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					 Picturing America
Monroe Road Elementary
Lambertville, MI
     Clara Talip
     Art Educator
   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
    area informs
    students and
    parents of our
    new art prints.

   The art prints
    and books that
    inspired the
    students are on
    display too.

   Student artwork
    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
                                          American artwork!

                                          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
      Norman Rockwell.
     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
    student population.

   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
    a silversmith.
   We thought that Copley’s
    portrait of Revere was
    rather mild…perhaps
    Copley did not support
    the Revolution and
    wanted to portray
    Revere as “non-
   The teapot itself appears
    to be a symbol for
    American independence.
   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.
   Everyone was
    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
    and handle.
   The Neoclassical
    style (inspired by
    ancient Rome &
    Greece) would have
    fluted or grooved
   Some engraved
    designs include
    etched garlands and
    looped swags.
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
    the American
    Revolution with acting
    and script writing.
   College graduate
    Adam Werth films
    students with green
    screen technology.
   Student drawings will be
    edited into the green
    space as a backdrop to
    the films.
    Writing Projects
   Mrs. Taylor
    uses the
    Crossing the
    Delaware”, in a
    writing project
“A” is for Audubon!
Audubon’s “American Flamingo”
    Kindergarten Finger Paints!
   Painting is all
    figuring out
    shapes and

   We used
    white, red
    and yellow to
    create a new
    pink or peach

   We explored
    the habitat of
    the flamingo
    and looked at
    showing the
    nest and
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
Thomas Eakins
   We explored how                Peyton’s interpretation of
                                    “John Biglin in a Single Scull”
    leisure time is different
    from a century ago:
    sculling, badminton
    and croquet were
    popular sports …then!
   Students learned how
    to “sketch the human
    form by “bubbling” out
    the muscles to create
   Students
    techniques of
    “crumbling” or
    rolling a brush
    to create
    water and
                                  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
    rewarding activity.
   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

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