Monroe Road Elementary
The NEH/ALA posters serve as a springboard for themed art projects
related to the American experience as seen through the eyes of artists.
Through the Picturing America art series, our student population of 668
elementary students explored many issues in American history.
Mrs.Talip lead discussions with students about how artworks provide visual
and historical records of events and values from select time periods in our
Inspired by American masterpieces, our art, writing and theatre projects
reflect a deeper understanding of history.
Here is our portfolio of events:
Promoting our new art prints
The glass case
in our commons
parents of our
new art prints.
The art prints
and books that
students are on
is on display for
all to enjoy.
Web page informs our community
ART in America
ATTENTION! All history buffs,
writers, artists and thinkers!
The POSTERS are here...the
POSTERS are here!
The NEH has provided Monroe Road
Elementary with some dynamic
views of AMERICA! The National
Endowment for the Humanities, with
the American Library Association,
has awarded Monroe Road
Elementary 40 fantastic posters of
Mrs. Talip will teach students how
these artworks provide visual and
historical records of events and
values from select time periods in our
history. The NEH posters serve as a
springboard for themed art projects
related to the American experience
as seen through the eyes of artists.
Integration of DBAE
Our framework for teaching art:
DBAE (Disciplined Based Art Education) is a
curricular model which activates the art
production (or art-making) process in an
elementary or secondary classroom. Famous
artworks provide the inspiration for discussions
about art history, criticism and aesthetics.
The Picturing America art series complements
our current DBAE model because our art
activities are inspired by discussion of famous
works of art. Art history is discussed within a
historical timeframe, focusing on people,
events, and objects from American history.
Our Monroe Road students were excited to
view the Picturing America art prints because
of their themes, size and quality.
and His Vision of America’s
Four Human Freedoms
A sample art lesson at
Monroe Road Elementary
A Sample Lesson
Our art lessons are driven by Michigan
benchmarks and standards.
The DBAE curricular model allows for discussion
of art processes, artworks, artists and periods of
The following Rockwell lesson is a sample
lesson showing my rationale for integrating art
and history at Monroe Road Elementary.
Freedom of Speech
The intent of this lesson was to:
Investigatethe life and works of artist
Find out more about the artwork,
“Freedom of Speech”
What motivated Rockwell to create this image?
Can you put yourself in an illustration that
shows one of our “Four Freedoms”?
Michigan Art Benchmarks
After viewing Rockwell’s famous artwork,
Freedom of Speech, 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students will:
Describe how artwork communicates facts and/or feelings about a
specific time period (art criticism).
Recognize that art is created to fulfill personal and/or social needs (art
Know that the visual arts have a history and specific relationships to
various cultures and times (art history).
Use colored pencils as an art medium to create their own Saturday
Evening Post covers (art production).
Write article titles on the covers with themes and events occurring in
this time frame (social studies).
The idea for this lesson originated from Rockwell’s webpage:
Norman Rockwell Museum
Resource Packet for Educators/ K to 7 series
Rockwell and World War II
In 1942, Rockwell heard an inspirational
speech by Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
FDR explained that the world was
fighting a war to protect every
individual’s right to freedom of speech
and worship, as well as from want and
FDR’s Four Human Freedoms
Freedom of Speech
Freedom of Worship
Freedom from Fear
Freedom From Want
The Saturday Evening Post
Rockwell’s Four Freedoms is Rockwell’s
personal way of depicting non-violent
support of World War II.
Rockwell’s Four Freedoms appeared in
The Saturday Evening Post.
These posters were available to the
public if they purchased war bonds to
help the troops.
Learning Can Be FUN!
Fourth grade students Sara and Hannah test their
skills with illustrating Dr. Martin Luther King, using
colored pencils as the art medium.
Freedom of Speech
By 4th grader
Integrating Freedom of Speech
Freedom of Speech is a “timeless”
American value which is as important today
as it was in the 1940s.
Freedom From Fear
By 5th grader Marla By 4th grader Isabelle
Freedom of Worship
By 4th grader Melanie By 4th grader Patrick
Freedom From Want
By 4th grader Cameron By 4th grader Harrison
Students were motivated to draw scenes
from their own personal experiences.
Drawing at a 3rd and 4th grade level,
student’s depictions of the Four
Freedoms were age-appropriate,
sometimes funny, as they realized how
hard it is to draw the people the “right
Some students revealed their knowledge
of history with the historical captions.
We found that Rockwell’s talent as an
illustrator was due to his skill with the
artistic aspects of perspective,
composition and realism.
As an extension activity, Kindergarten
and 1st grades were inspired by Rockwell
too as we read the story, “Rockwell: A
Boy and His Dog”.
More Art and History!
Integrating art and history can be an
experimental process…the teacher often
improvises to find an art activity that is a good
fit for the theme, age group and abilities of the
We would love to share our art lessons
with other teachers who have utilized the
Picturing America art series!
Teapots and Patriotism
Fifth and Sixth grade
students learned that
Revere was a patriot and
We thought that Copley’s
portrait of Revere was
Copley did not support
the Revolution and
wanted to portray
Revere as “non-
The teapot itself appears
to be a symbol for
This painting of
Paul Revere inspired us
to create small metal
“toolings” of teapots..
Learning about Revere Ware
We used 32 gauge
aluminum to create
cut-outs of teapots.
guessing which part
of the tea service
was the “slop jar”.
Nearly every student
knew that there was
no real tea party at
the Boston Tea
Didn’t anyone drink tea at the Boston Tea Party?
As an advocate for the Revolution, Jennifer throws her
teapot out into the Boston Harbor…can assume that the
tea has been tossed too?
Sixth Grade Creates Metal Toolings
Parts of a teapot
include the finial
(knob), feet, spout
style (inspired by
ancient Rome &
Greece) would have
fluted or grooved
etched garlands and
Jacob floats his teapot in the Boston Harbor too.
Nick places his teapot in a modern venue
Integrating Scripts and Acting
Mrs. Werth’s fifth grade
makes a connection to
Revolution with acting
and script writing.
Adam Werth films
students with green
Student drawings will be
edited into the green
space as a backdrop to
Delaware”, in a
“A” is for Audubon!
Audubon’s “American Flamingo”
Kindergarten Finger Paints!
Painting is all
and yellow to
create a new
pink or peach
the habitat of
and looked at
Tempera Paintings by 3rd grade
More Audubon BIRDS!
Audubon’s “Bird’s of America”
book was dubbed an elephant
folio due to the size and weight
of the book.
2nd grade explores more
Audubon birds with a scratch art
project, inspired by a different
bird book, “Inch by Inch”,
by Leo Lionni.
We discussed differences
between picture books and non-
fiction books. We identified
Caldecott Award books and
discussed what a “folio” is!
Romare Bearden Cityscapes
“C” is for collage, civil rights,
cityscape and community.
Bearden’s “The Dove”
Rowing Down the River with
We explored how Peyton’s interpretation of
“John Biglin in a Single Scull”
leisure time is different
from a century ago:
and croquet were
popular sports …then!
Students learned how
to “sketch the human
form by “bubbling” out
the muscles to create
rolling a brush
Many students recognized that
this Eakin’s competitive rowing
painting was in a locale close to
a city. Eakins paintings are very
different from many of Winslow
Homer’s rural water scenes.
We found that Thomas Eakins
was indeed a master painter
because painting water is a lot
harder than it looks.
Artist’s Views of America
Students answer art criticism questions. Student Teacher Miss Wilson uses an
Was Bierstadt’s view of Yosemite grander overlay to differentiate the foreground,
than real life? Those who have been there middle ground & background.
think it’s spectacular!
Bierstadt’s Yosemite Valley
We discussed National Parks, conservation and global warming.
By Olivia 3rd grade
By Brianna 3rd grade
The Great American Quilt
We integrated geometry with paper folding
and bi-secting of squares to create paper
quilts. Quilts with random patterns (using
mostly scraps of fabric) are known as “crazy
Quilts are “functional” works of art.
We were delighted to see how the Picturing America art series reinforced
concepts students were already exploring in their social studies curriculum.
For example, 5th and 6th grade students came to art class with extensive
knowledge about the American Revolution. Integrating an art project was a
As classroom teachers became aware of our American “art theme” they gradually
came to the art room with more requests to borrow the “art posters” for writing
projects (for example, writing a paragraph to describe a setting), while some just
came in and asked for Lincoln or Washington.
The Picturing America website is a valuable resource, yet it doesn’t provide
enough concrete art lessons for an elementary art class.
We are looking forward to seeing what other elementary art teachers have
Although I feel we got off to a slow start, the Picturing America art series is a
program that we can build on in the future.
The Picturing America program reminds me that we often overlook our own
talents and resources. American artists should never take a backseat to the more
popular van Gogh and Monet lessons that are so prevalent in an elementary art