Musings about the importance and impact of art and art education in the 21st century.

Cupcake the style of (4th grade)

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in at 6:47 PM

This is one of my favorite lessons. There is just something about the sweet subject of cupcakes that gets every student excited.  My impetus for creating this lesson was to loosen up my approach to teaching and frame the project with a problem and then give the students multiple options in order to answer it.  For this lesson, the subject was cupcakes and the challenge was to create a triptych using in 3 different media and portraying 3 different artistic styles. 
The media options included colored pencil, crayon, marker, oil pastel, and paint. The different artistic styles included cubism, fauvism, surrealism, and realism.  
When introducing the project I gave each table a packet with pictures explaining each style and the project criteria. I gave them a few minutes to examine the packet as a table group, discuss the information, and think of any questions they had regarding it.  As a whole class I addressed the questions and the students then got started. They used reference pictures to sketch a cupcake and when they created a drawing they liked, they used carbon paper to replicate the sketch 3 times so that the original cupcake began exactly the same on each square.  
I love this lesson because of the originality and sense of accomplishment it gave each student.  Each piece is unique to it's creator and because they had to use the information given to create a work of art, the characteristics of each style really stuck with them.  
The only caveat that I'd like to add to this lesson is that this class happened to be an extremely well-behaved and focused group so it was easy for me to give them the kind of freedom and access to so many materials that this project required.  They really needed little to no reminders of where things go to cleanup, how to handle materials respectfully, to stay focused or on task, or motivation to learn the information. I believe the lesson was a great idea but the ease of management really helped too!