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Subject: Art

Grade Level: 12th grade


Estimated Time: 5 weeks
UNIT TITLE: Who are our heroes?
Enduring Idea or Theme: Heroes
Unit Description: Heroes are all around us yet are often overlooked. In this unit students will
explore how artists have used heroes in their art. Students will gather an understanding that there
is a variety of heroes such as super heroes, athletes, military, and every day heroes. They will
produce portraits and pottery conveying heroes. As well as demonstrating collaborative work to
create a mural about modern day heroes. Through collaborative work and individual work the
students will come to understand how art can be used to convey a social commentary.
The website created for this unit can be found at http://whoareourheroes.weebly.com/
State or National Core Art Standards:
NCASS: VA: Cr1.1.llla Visualize and hypothesize to generate plans for ideas and directions
for creating art and design that can affect social change.
NCASS: VA: Cr2.2.llla Demonstrate understanding of the importance of balancing freedom
and responsibility in the use of images, materials, tools, and equipment in the creation and
circulation of creative work.
NCASS: VA: Cr3.1.llla Reflect on, re-engage, revise, and refine works of art or design
considering relevant traditional and contemporary criteria as well as personal artistic vision.
NCASS: VA: Pr4.1.llla Critique, justify, and present choices in the process of analyzing,
selecting, curating, and presenting artwork for a specific exhibit or event.
NCASS: VA: Pr6.1.lla Make, explain, and justify connections between artists or artwork and
social, cultural, and political history.
NCASS: VA: Pr6.1.llla Curate a collection of objects, artifacts, or artwork to impact the
viewer’s understanding of social, cultural, and/or political experiences.
NCASS: VA: Re.7.1.llla Analyze how responses to art develop over time based on knowledge
of and experience with art and life.
NCASS: VA: Re.7.2.lla Evaluate the effectiveness of an image or images to influence ideas,
feelings, and behaviors of specific audiences.
NCASS: VA: Cn.10.1.llla Synthesize knowledge of social, cultural, historical, and personal life
with art-making approaches to create meaningful works of art or design.
1. What broad, overarching understandings are desired of students?
 There are a diverse variety of heroes.
 There are many characteristics that heroes can possess.
 Portraits can be literal, symbolic, realistic, and abstract.
 Murals can be used to convey a social issue.

2. What are the overarching “essential” questions that support this unit?
 What is a hero?
 Who are our heroes?
 What impact do heroes make?
 How do we use art to portray heroes?

3. As a result of this unit, students will be expected to demonstrate an understanding


of:
 How an artist can create realistic and symbolic portrayals of heroes.
 How to compose and execute a portrait drawing.
 How to form pottery using the techniques discussed.
 How to plan and execute the creation of a mural.
 How artists can work collaboratively to form a cohesive work.
 How art can be used to convey a social commentary.

4. What “essential” and unit questions will focus the discussions and activities of this
unit?
 What constitutes a hero?
 What are some lessons that heroes can teach us?
 What qualities do heroes have that make them exceptional?
 What roles do heroes play in our culture?
 Why do artists depict heroes?
 How are murals used to convey social commentary?
 How have artists created social commentary about heroes?

5. Key Vocabulary or Concepts: Hero, mural, abstract, balance, portraiture, composition,


content, contrast, design, figurative, emphasis, form, function, perspective, point of view,
proportion, reflection, scale, hatching, cross-hatching, shading, blending, blind contour
drawing, sculpture, three-dimensional, variety, ceramic, clay, firing, kiln, glaze, figure,
cartoon, gesture, mosaic, pottery, scoring, focal point.

6. Major Learning Activities: In lesson one students will explore the characteristics that
heroes may possess and create a portrait of a super hero. After discussing how athletes
are portrayed as heroes as well as techniques on pottery creation students will create
pottery depicting athletes. In lesson three students will be exposed to murals and how to
work collaboratively to create work that conveys a social commentary. Students will then
work in small groups to plan and create a mural.
Lesson Title: Superhero Portraiture
Estimated Completion Time: 1 ½ weeks

Overview
This lesson will have students exploring the use of heroes in comic book art and media. They
will be exposed the characteristics that are found in superheroes and artists such as Tommervik,
Brian Bolland and Matteo Scalera who work in comic books and/or deal with superheroes.
Students will then design and draw their own superhero portrait.

Enduring Ideas/Essential Questions


 There are a diverse variety of heroes.
 There are many characteristics that heroes can possess.
 Portraits can be literal, symbolic, realistic, and abstract.
 What qualities do heroes have that make them exceptional?
 What are some lessons that heroes can teach us?

National Core Art Standards


NCASS: VA: Cr2.2.llla Demonstrate understanding of the importance of balancing freedom
and responsibility in the use of images, materials, tools, and equipment in the creation and
circulation of creative work.

NCASS: VA: Cr3.1.llla Reflect on, re-engage, revise, and refine works of art or design
considering relevant traditional and contemporary criteria as well as personal artistic vision.

NCASS: VA: Pr6.1.lla Make, explain, and justify connections between artists or artwork and
social, cultural, and political history.

NCASS: VA: Re.7.1.llla Analyze how responses to art develop over time based on knowledge
of and experience with art and life.

NCASS: VA: Re.7.2.lla Evaluate the effectiveness of an image or images to influence ideas,
feelings, and behaviors of specific audiences.

NCASS: VA: Cn.10.1.llla Synthesize knowledge of social, cultural, historical, and personal life
with art-making approaches to create meaningful works of art or design.

Lesson Objectives
 The students will describe and design their idea of a superhero.
 The students will create a portrait of their superhero.
 The students will apply the skills and techniques of portraiture drawing.
 The students will recognize certain characteristics of heroes.
Tools and Materials
Sketch book, pencil, color pencils, pen, paper, examples of artists’ works

Introduction
The teacher will conduct a class discussion about “What is a hero”. Show video
“Connections/Heroes” http://www.metmuseum.org/connections/heroes#/. Discuss how super
heroes play a role in our culture today. The teacher will then instruct the students to create a list
of characteristics that heroes possess. The teacher will encourage students to think about “What
lessons do heroes teach us?” The students can share their lists with each other to learn about
more characteristics. The teacher will introduce students to artists Tommervik, Matteo Scalera,
and Brian Bolland. The teacher will discuss how portraits can be literal, symbolic, realistic and
abstract.

Process
Day one: Introduction to superheroes and artists Tommervik, Matteo Scalera, and Brian Bolland.

Day two: Review how portraits can be literal, symbolic, realistic, and abstract. The teacher will
then discuss and demonstrate a blind contour drawing. Following that, instruct students to pair up
and create their own blind contour portraits. This will give students an opportunity to create an
abstract portrait as well as learn that portraits don’t always have to look perfect. Discuss how
sometimes mistakes help make the art.

Day three: Demonstrate different techniques used in portrait drawings such as hatching, cross-
hatching, shading, and blending. Have students practice those techniques in their sketch books.
The teacher will then explain the parameters and guidelines of the project. Students will design
their own superhero using the characteristics they’ve discussed in class. The students will draw a
portrait of their superhero. The portrait can be in a realistic style, abstract style or in the style of a
comic book character. Provide time for students to research on the internet or in other material
different styles, techniques, and superheroes.

Day four – six: The students will work on their superhero portraits. The teacher will meet with
each student individually to check the progression of their work and provide constructive
feedback.

Day seven: The students will present their superhero portraits to the class. The class will discuss
what they see in the portraits that communicates hero.

Assessment
Assign a rating of 1-5 for the following questions. One being needs improvement, five being
excellent.
 Did the student create a completed superhero portrait?
 Does the project demonstrate one or more of the techniques demonstrated during class
(hatching, cross-hatching, shading, blending)?
 Did the student use the available space on the paper constructively?
 Does the project show thought, planning, and a visual description of the students’ ideas?

Artists or Works of Art Studied


“Connections/Heroes” by Jose Rivero; “Abstract Cubism Clark Kent Superman Art Print”
(2013) by Tommervik; “Batman and Robin” (2011) by Tommervik; “Batman” (2012) by
Tommervik; “Batman” (2015) by Matteo Scalera; “Sketch 391” by Matteo Scalera; “Sketch
388” by Matteo Scalera; “Sketch 373” by Matteo Scalera; “Brian Bolland prelim to Judge Dredd
Eagle #23” by Brian Bolland; “Superman” by Brian Bolland; “Brian Bolland Wonder Woman
#63 Cover” (1992) by Brian Bolland; “Batman” by Brian Bolland

References
Curious Caricature: Vibrant Artwork Inspired by Cartoons. (2009, July 24). Web Urbanist.
Retrieved from http://weburbanist.com/2009/07/24/caricatures-eye-catching-artwork-
inspired-by-cartoons/
Hepworth, M., & Garran, D. (2010). Multi-media hero analysis how perceptions of a ‘hero’
change. The Kennedy Center ArtsEdge. Retrieved from https://artsedge.kennedy-
center.org/educators/lessons/grade-9-12/Heroes_Multi_Media_Analysis
Rivero, J. Connections/Heroes. [Video file]. Retrieved from
http://www.metmuseum.org/connections/heroes#/
Tommervik Art for Sale. Retrieved from http://1-tommervik.pixels.com/index.html?tab=about
Torres, M. (2012, December 21). Comic Book Artist: Brian Bolland. Retrieved from
http://abduzeedo.com/comic-book-artist-brian-bolland
Pinterest Board:
Project resources can be found at https://www.pinterest.com/caseysmith9889/independent-
project-materials/

Lesson Title: Athlete heroes/pottery


Estimated Completion Time: 2 weeks

Overview
This lesson will have students exploring how athletes can be considered heroes. They will be
exposed to art work from ancient Greece that depicts athletes as heroes. They will also look at art
work of today that depicts athletes as heroes such as examples from the joint project of Marvel
and ESPN Super Impact25, and Malcolm Farley. Students will then design and create their own
piece of pottery which will depict an athlete/athletes as a hero.
Enduring Ideas/Essential Questions
 There are a diverse variety of heroes.
 Why are some athletes considered to be heroes?
 Why do artists depict athletes as heroes in their art?
National Core Art Standards
NCASS: VA: Cr1.1.llla Visualize and hypothesize to generate plans for ideas and directions
for creating art and design that can affect social change.

NCASS: VA: Cr3.1.llla Reflect on, re-engage, revise, and refine works of art or design
considering relevant traditional and contemporary criteria as well as personal artistic vision.

NCASS: VA: Pr6.1.lla Make, explain, and justify connections between artists or artwork and
social, cultural, and political history.

NCASS: VA: Re.7.1.llla Analyze how responses to art develop over time based on knowledge
of and experience with art and life.

NCASS: VA: Re.7.2.lla Evaluate the effectiveness of an image or images to influence ideas,
feelings, and behaviors of specific audiences.

NCASS: VA: Cn.10.1.llla Synthesize knowledge of social, cultural, historical, and personal life
with art-making approaches to create meaningful works of art or design.

Lesson Objectives
 The students will design and create their own piece of pottery depicting an
athlete/athletes.
 The students will apply the skills and techniques of creating pottery.
 The students will understand why some athletes are considered heroes.

Tools and Materials


Sketch books, pencil, clay, under-glaze’s, over-glaze, paint brushes, water, sponges, kiln,
examples of artist’s work

Introduction
The teacher will conduct a class discussion about how athletes can be considered heroes. The
teacher will encourage the students to participate during the discussion by asking them questions
such as, “Why do artists depict athletes as heroes? What qualities make athletes heroes?” The
teacher will show the students the presentation “Greek Athletes” from the Museum of Fine Arts
http://www.mfa.org/node/9452 as well as “Athletics in Ancient Greece” from The Metropolitan
Museum of Art http://metmuseum.org/toah/hd/athl/hd_athl.htm. The teacher will also expose the
students to modern works of art by LeRoy Neiman and Malcom Farley.

Process
Day one: Introduction to the use of athletes as heroes in art both historic and modern.
Day two: The teacher will demonstrate the method of making pottery using the coil pot method,
the proper storing method for the clay, and the proper method for glazing and firing.
Day three: The teacher will instruct the students to research and brainstorm using the library,
internet, and other print resources to design their own piece of pottery depicting an
athlete/athletes. Students should create sketches in their sketch books of their design ideas before
beginning their pottery.

Day four – nine: The students will work on their piece of pottery. The teacher will meet with
each student individually to check the progression of their work and provide constructive
feedback. If needed the teacher will demonstrate the methods of coil pot, glazing, and firing
again. The students will be finishing their pottery at different times so they will be firing their
pottery on different days. Follow the firing instructions listed on the package of clay for accurate
temperature and amount of time. Once a student’s piece has been fired and has cooled they can
begin decorating their piece with the different colors of under-glaze. Once that has dried the
students can coat their piece in the over-glaze. Once the over-glaze has dried the piece will need
to be fired in the kiln again to seal the piece.

Day ten: The students will present their pieces of pottery to the class and discuss their
athlete/athletes that they choose to depict and why.

Assessment
Assign a rating of 1-5 for the following questions. One being needs improvement, five being
excellent.
 Did the student create a completed piece of pottery?
 Does the piece depict an athlete/athletes as a hero?
 Did the student use the available space on their piece of pottery constructively?

Artists or Works of Art Studied


Works from “Athletics in Ancient Greece” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; “Mixing bowl
(krater) depicting belt wrestling" (1350-1250 B.C.) by unknown artists; “Drinking cup (kylix)
depicting Herakles wrestling the Nemean lion” (530-510 B.C.) by unknown artist; “Mixing bowl
(krater) with sprinters” (480 B.C.) by unknown artist; “Bowl (dinos) depicting athletes training”
(430-420 B.C.) by unknown artist; “Drinking cup (skyphos) depicting jumpers” (480 B.C.) by
unknown artist; “Olympic Boxing, Moscow 1980” by LeRoy Neiman; “Lance Armstrong” by
Malcom Farley; “Football” by Malcom Farley; “Batsman” by Malcom Farley; images from
Super IMPACT25

References

Fox, M. (2012, July 8). Art history: why were ancient (greek, roman etc.) sculptors able to create
true to life human forms with incredible precision while ancient painters produced much
cruder representations?. Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/Art-History-Why-were-
ancient-Greek-Roman-etc-sculptors-able-to-create-true-to-life-human-forms-with-
incredible-precision-while-ancient-painters-produced-much-cruder-representations
Greek Athletes. (2016). Boston: Museum of Fine Arts. Retrieved from
http://www.mfa.org/node/9452

Hemingway, C. & S., (2002, October). Athletics in ancient Greece. In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art
History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved from
http://metmuseum.org/toah/hd/athl/hd_athl.htm
How to make a coil pot: using flat coils to construct large jars. (2016, July 27). Retrieved from
http://ceramicartsdaily.org/pottery-making-techniques/handbuilding-techniques/how-to-
make-a-coil-pot-using-flat-coils-to-construct-large-jars/
Malcolm Farley. PhosphorArt. Retrieved from http://www.phosphorart.com/malcolm-farley/
Neiman, L. Retrieved from http://www.leroyneiman.com/
Super Impact25. (2015). Retrieved from
http://www.espn.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/14272243/espnw-marvel-create-super-
impact25-heroes#
Yost, M. (2012, July 16). The art of the athlete. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from
http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303962304577510954015433834
Pinterest Board:
Project resources can be found at https://www.pinterest.com/caseysmith9889/independent-
project-materials/

Lesson Title: Collaborative Hero Mural


Estimated Completion Time: 1 ½ weeks

Overview
In this lesson students will be exposed to murals and artists who create murals such as Willis
Humphrey, Eric Okdeh, and Margaret Kilgallen. As well as organizations like Mural Arts
Philadelphia and Greetings Tour. The students will explore how murals can be used to convey a
social issue, social commentary, or message. They will participate in class discussions about the
heroes of today and what constitutes a hero. The students will work in small groups to create a
mural consisting of their heroes.

Enduring Ideas/Essential Questions


 What is a hero?
 There are a diverse variety of heroes.
 Murals can be used to convey a social issue.
 What impact do heroes make?
 How do we use art to portray heroes?
 Who are our heroes?

National Core Art Standards


NCASS: VA: Cr1.1.llla Visualize and hypothesize to generate plans for ideas and directions
for creating art and design that can affect social change.

NCASS: VA: Cr2.2.llla Demonstrate understanding of the importance of balancing freedom


and responsibility in the use of images, materials, tools, and equipment in the creation and
circulation of creative work.

NCASS: VA: Pr4.1.llla Critique, justify, and present choices in the process of analyzing,
selecting, curating, and presenting artwork for a specific exhibit or event.

NCASS: VA: Pr6.1.lla Make, explain, and justify connections between artists or artwork and
social, cultural, and political history.

NCASS: VA: Pr6.1.llla Curate a collection of objects, artifacts, or artwork to impact the
viewer’s understanding of social, cultural, and/or political experiences.

NCASS: VA: Re.7.1.llla Analyze how responses to art develop over time based on knowledge
of and experience with art and life.

NCASS: VA: Re.7.2.lla Evaluate the effectiveness of an image or images to influence ideas,
feelings, and behaviors of specific audiences.

NCASS: VA: Cn.10.1.llla Synthesize knowledge of social, cultural, historical, and personal life
with art-making approaches to create meaningful works of art or design.

Lesson Objectives
 How to plan and execute the creation of a mural.
 How artists can work collaboratively to form a cohesive work.
 How murals can be used to convey social commentary.
 How artists have created social commentary about heroes.
 Why artists depict heroes.
 How to recognize the heroes in our everyday lives.

Tools and Materials


Sketch book, pencil, color pencils, markers, water color, acrylic paint, pens, large roll paper,
examples of artist’s work

Introduction
The teacher will conduct a class discussion about who our heroes are today. The teacher will
encourage students to participate in the discussion by asking questions such as; “Who are our
heroes? What constitutes a hero? What makes an average person, someone in our everyday lives
a hero?” The teacher will show the students the following videos; “Street Artists Create Huge
Murals” http://www.voanews.com/a/street-artists-create-huge-murals/1827069.html, “Open
Source” https://www.muralarts.org/artworks/open-source/, and “SHORT: Margaret Kilgallen:
Heroines” http://www.art21.org/videos/short-margaret-kilgallen-heroines. The teacher will then
show the students the works of Willis Humphrey, Eric Okdeh, and “Greetings from Denver” by
Greetings Tour and Guerilla Garden. The teacher will discuss how these murals can be used to
convey the artists message and create a social commentary.

Process
Day one: Introduction to murals and artists.

Day two: During the first half of the class have students brainstorm and create a list of everyday
heroes and the reasons why those people are heroes. The students can use the library, internet or
other sources to help in their brainstorming session. Students might end up with people such as
their parents, military, celebrities, etc. During the second half of class divide the students up into
either 4 small groups or 6 small groups depending on class size. Each group will be given a letter
H-E-R-O or H-E-R-O-E-S. The teacher will provide the instructions and guidelines for the
project. The students are to work together to fill the letter that they have been given with their
heroes. They can be an everyday hero, superhero, or athlete. The students can also use a variety
of materials such as; pencils, pens, color pencils, markers, and paints. Their hero can be drawn in
any style that they wish but must be cohesive with the others in their letter. (similar styles, color
palette, etc.). The students will use their sketch books to sketch their ideas before beginning the
actual full size mural.

Day three: Provide the students with a large cut out of their letter (size will depend on the space
available for hanging the finished mural). The students will begin drawing out their heroes in
their letter. Students will have to work collaboratively to figure out the placement of each hero,
style, color, and time management.

Day four – seven: Students will work on their project. The teacher will meet with each group to
check the progression of their work and provide constructive feedback.

Day eight: The students will present their letter to the class and discuss the heroes they have
chosen and why they are considered heroes. Once all groups have presented their letters all the
letter will be placed together to form a mural reading “HERO” or “HEROES”. The mural can be
placed in the hall for all students to see thus emphasizing a social commentary about heroes and
what constitutes a hero. Have the class participate in a discussion about what they hope other
students who see the work to understand or perceive about heroes.

Assessment
Assign a rating of 1-5 for the following questions. One being needs improvement, five being
excellent.
 Did the student participate in the creation of their groups’ letter?
 Are the heroes in the letter cohesive?
 Did the students use the available space in the letter constructively?
 Does the project show thought, planning, and a visual description of the students’ ideas?

Artists or Works of Art Studied


“The Legacy of Bishop Richard Allen” (2016) by Willis Humphrey; “South Philly Musicians”
(2016) by Eric Okdeh; “Greetings from Denver” (2015) by Greetings Tour and Guerilla Garden;
“Street Artists Create Huge Murals” (2014) by Deborah Block; “Open Source” (2015) by Mural
Arts Philadelphia; “SHORT: Margaret Kilgallen: Heroines” (2013) by Art21;

References
Bartlett, L. (2015, December 29). The ten best Denver street-art murals of 2015. Retrieved from
http://www.westword.com/arts/the-ten-best-denver-street-art-murals-of-2015-7443297/2
Block, D. (2014, January 6). Street artists create huge murals. [Video file]. Retrieved from
http://www.voanews.com/a/street-artists-create-huge-murals/1827069.html
Clarke, J. (2016). Lesson plans: hooray for heroes theme unit. Retrieved from
http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=5288
Heroes Mural. (2001, January 8). Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/00-
2/lp2287.shtml
Heroic Activities celebrate heroes. (2016, January 10). Retrieved from
http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson/lesson218.shtml
Humphrey, W. (2016). The legacy of Bishop Richard Allen [mural]. Retrieved from
https://www.muralarts.org/artworks/legacy-bishop-richard-allen-m-e-church/
My Hero – A Class Mural. (2000, June 9). Education World. Retrieved from
http://www.educationworld.com/a_tsl/archives/00-1/lesson0041.shtml
Okdeh, E. (2016). South Philly Musicians [mural]. Retrieved from
https://www.muralarts.org/artworks/musicians/
Open Source. (2015). [Video file] Mural Arts Philadelphia. Retrieved from
https://www.muralarts.org/artworks/open-source/
SHORT: Martgaret Kilgallen: Heroines. (2013). [Video file]. Art21. Retrieved from
http://www.art21.org/videos/short-margaret-kilgallen-heroines
Social Work Degree Guide. (2014). The 25 most amazing community arts projects. Retrieved
from http://www.socialworkdegreeguide.com/25-most-amazing-community-arts-projects/
Pinterest Board:
Project resources can be found at https://www.pinterest.com/caseysmith9889/independent-
project-materials/