Georgia O Keeffe

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					Lesson Plan Using the CP300 Portable Document Camera

Submitted by: Linda Forman- Art teacher, grades K-5
             Barbieri Elementary School
             Framingham, MA

Topic: Looking at Flowers, the Georgia O’ Keeffe Way

Grade Level- K-12
This lesson has interdisciplinary connections with the science and language arts
curriculum (see extensions)

Background Information: Georgia O Keeffe (1887-1986) was one of the most
important painters of the 20th century. She had a knack for painting the large, small and
the small, large. She took risks with color and forced the viewer to look at things in a
different way, often painting only a part of an object, making us look into things or
through them. While in Lake George, she focused on plants and flowers and by 1924
painted them from closer range and in great detail. Although they looked abstract, she
was intimately painting observations of what she saw in nature.

“Nobody sees a flower, really, it is so small. We haven't time. So I said to myself- I’ll paint what I
see-what the flower is to me but I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at
it.” Georgia O’Keeffe for additional biography information

Lesson Objective: Students will be able to observe the intricate details of flowers and their parts and use
this information to draw enlarged versions of those flowers in the style of abstract painter, Georgia O

Materials: CP300 portable document camera, several samples of flowers and leaves,
large white paper, 12x18 or 18x24, oil crayons although regular crayons can be used with
younger students, watercolor, brushes

Vocabulary: abstract, crayon-resist, complimentary colors, and various parts of a flower
(See website)

Motivation: Using the document camera, students will observe magnified images of
various flowers, as well as parts of those flowers. Words will be written down that will
describe texture, line, design and color. Seeing the details will create an appreciation for
the small world of each living organism and provide a starting point for drawing them.
The flowers can be shown in very close view, focusing students’ attention, while
exposing them to new vocabulary and learning to identify the parts and varieties of
flowers. Using the camera and the computer, show the web page:, which provides a simple
drawing and explanation of the parts of a flower that can be compared to the actual
magnified flower.
       The camera will also be used to share numerous images of O’Keeffe’s artwork
with the students. These images will come from books, postcards and the internet,
allowing the entire class to observe and discuss many samples of the artist’s body of
work. Looking at reproductions of O Keeffe’s art is important so students can foster an
appreciation and recognition of her unique abstract style. Some websites to view her art

Lesson: Two one-hour class sessions
       Session 1: Using a large sheet of white paper and oil crayons, the student will
draw a flower whose petals extend to the edges of the paper. A rich layer of multiple, yet
related colors will be put down on the paper, paying attention to creating a center for the
flower. Some leaves may be present, but no stems, once again referring to the O’Keeffe
       Session 2: Using watercolor, students will paint over their flowers, as well as on
any blank areas of the paper. This technique is called a crayon resist. The wax of the
crayon will not allow the paint to cover it. The effect is a lovely textured affect with paint
settling into random areas of the picture.
       When painting, students should use colors that contrast with the crayon layer,
taking advantage of the principle of complementary colors. For example, if the flower is
in warm tones of reds, pinks oranges or yellows, the paint should be in cool tones of
blues, violets or greens, and vise versa.
Evaluation: Evaluation will take the form of a group critique. Students will first observe
their own piece of art and self reflect seeing if they covered their page with a large
flower, which was filled in with a rich, heavy layer of color. Did they choose
complimentary colors for the painted overlay? A group discussion can continue
observing the art of other students drawing attention to things that were done to make that
picture work well for the viewer.

          1. Using the document camera various insects can be shown so students can see
their body parts and features. Students can then render detailed observation drawings.
          2. In cooperation with the language arts teacher, students can create poetry or
descriptive prose to coordinate with their pieces of art.

There are individual curriculum frameworks for each state. In MA this lesson will
Standard 1: Students will demonstrate knowledge of the methods, materials and
techniques unique to the visual arts.
Standard 2: Students will demonstrate knowledge of the elements and principles of
Standard 3: Students will demonstrate their powers of observation, abstraction, invention
and expression in a variety of media, materials and techniques.
Standard 5: Students will describe and analyze their own work and the work of others
using appropriate visual arts vocabulary. When appropriate, students will connect their
analysis to interpretation and evaluation.
Standard 10: Students will use knowledge of the arts and cultural resources in the study
of the arts, English, language arts, foreign languages, health, history and social studies,
mathematics and science and technology engineering.