CyberMuse Teachers - Lesson Plans
The Group of Seven

Lesson Plan Activity:
My Scene: Grade K-3

Summary

Description:

After exploring works by the Group of Seven, students will use the elements of design to study a nearby landscape, sketch and paint it.

Theory:

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the elements of design: line, colours, shape, and texture.

Creation:

Students will produce a two-dimensional image, which incorporates the elements of design.

Analysis:

Students will explain how the elements of design are used to communicate feelings and convey ideas.

Cross Curriculum Links:

This lesson plan also explores the subject areas of Geography and Language Arts.

Duration:

3 40-minute periods

Look & Discuss

Present and discuss a selection of the 9-featured artworks in the Artwork & Artists slideshow with your class.

(Tabs will provide you with information on the theme, composition, interpretation and the artist.)

A downloadable Presentation that you can add to or manipulate will also help share these images in your classroom.

Define and describe the following elements of design:

Line
is a mark on a surface that describes a shape or outline. It can create texture and can be thick and thin. Types of line can include actual, implied, vertical, horizontal, diagonal and contour lines.
Colour
refers to specific hues and has three properties: chroma, intensity and value. The colour wheel is a way of showing the chromatic scale in a circle using all the colours made with the primary triad. Complimentary pairs can produce dull and neutral colours. Black and white can be added to produce tints (add white), shades (add black) and tones (add grey).
Texture
is about surface quality, either tactile or visual. Texture can be real or implied by different uses of media. It is the degree of roughness or smoothness in objects.
Shape
is a two-dimensional line with no form or thickness. Shapes are flat and can be grouped into two categories: geometric and organic.

The following are some elements of design that you can emphasize in the painting Northern River:

  • The bluish trees on the far shore are reflected in the water. (Cool and warm colours)
  • A graphic linear design to create an image in which the overlapping trunks and branches form a delicate tracery of flowing lines that contrast with the touches of bright warm colour. (Line, shape, colour and texture).
  • The diagonal line formed by the fallen tree with a curved top links these two parts of the composition. (Line and composition).

The following are some descriptions you can use with your students in describing the emotions and feelings the painting exudes:

  • This remote spot, revealed through a delicate screen of dark trees, expresses a mysterious, almost gloomy, tranquility.
  • In Northern River, Tom Thomson created a powerful, troubling image of the Canadian wilderness.
  • The work undoubtedly reflects his attachment to the wild spaces of northern Ontario that he knew so well.

Materials

    • Sketch pads
    • Drawing paper
    • Erasers
    • Thick Mayfair paper
    • Scissors
    • Lead pencils
    • Tempera or acrylic paint
    • Paint brushes (medium sized)
    • Water
    • Water containers
    • Newspaper
    • Stencils of frames

Preparation Tasks

  • Pre-cut the Mayfair paper into smaller post-card sizes.
  • Pre-cut a few frame stencils

Create

Create Activity Image 1

Provide images of exemplars for each step

Students will create their own natural setting, or ?scene? :

Have students cut a 21 x 30 cm frame from thick Mayfair paper. Show your example and give the extras as stencils to be used by the students.

Create Activity Image 2

Ask students to choose a natural setting to observe which is close to the school and have them explain why they chose the site. (Is it because they think it is a pretty spot? Does it have special significance for them? Is it representative of the Canadian landscape?)Take the students into to their chosen natural setting. For example: playground, park, neighbourhood, etc.

Create Activity Image 3

Divide the class into groups and ask groups to choose a scene to observe through their cut frames. Have the groups describe their scene using the elements of design.

Create Activity Image 4

Once the students have observed their setting through the frame, have each one sketch what they saw within their frame with pencil onto a sketchpad. They should be aware of using the elements of design.

Create Activity Image 5

In the classroom, have students paint a landscape, based on their sketch. Ask them to think about a feeling they would like to portray within the painting. (For example, by using ?happy? or ?sad? colours).

After the work is completed, ask students to talk about how kinds of feelings and ideas they were trying to communicate within their composition.

Take it Further

Have students write a story to accompany their painting.

Assessment Guide

1 2 3

Theory Criterion
To what degree does the student demonstrate an understanding of the elements of design: line, warm and cool colours, shape, and texture?

The student demonstrates little understanding of the elements of design.

The student demonstrates a basic understanding of the elements of design.

The student demonstrates a thorough understanding of the elements of design.

Creation Criterion
How effectively does the student produce a two-dimensional image that communicates thoughts or feelings?

The student produces an image that communicates few thoughts or feelings.

The student produces an image that clearly communicates at least one thought or feeling.

The student produces an image that clearly communicates two or more thoughts or feelings.

Analysis Criterion
To what degree does the student explain how the elements of design are used to communicate feelings and ideas?

The student vaguely describes how the elements of design are used to communicate feelings or ideas.

The student clearly describes how the elements of design are used to communicate feelings and ideas.

The student thoroughly describes how the elements of design are used to communicate feelings and ideas.