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Author: Fran Hobbs
Subject: Visual Arts
Grade: Fourth Grade
Course: Mixed Media
Title: The Coral Reef
Length of Unit: Five 55-minute class periods
Power Macintosh G3 computers
black fine line markers
size #7 wc brushes blue, green, and violet watercolors
One Small Square Seashore (interactive software by Virgin Sound and Vision)
18 by 24 white drawing paper
Standards-Based Outcomes (MDE):
II. Reflect on the Nature, Adequacy, and Connections Across Scientific Knowledge
Content Standard II, 1: All students will analyze claims for their scientific merit and explain how scientists decide what constitutes scientific knowledge; how science is related to other ways of knowing; how science and technology affect our society; and how people of diverse cultures have contributed to and influenced developments in science. (Reflecting on Scientific Knowledge)
2. Show how science concepts can be interpreted through creative expression such as language arts and fine arts. (Key concepts: Poetry, expository work, painting, drawing, music, diagrams, graphs, charts. Real- world contexts: Explaining simple experiments using paintings and drawings; describing natural phenomena scientifically and poetically.)
4. Develop an awareness of and sensitivity to the natural world. (Key concepts: Appreciation of the balance and the effects organisms have on each other, including the effect humans have on the natural world.)
III. Use Scientific Knowledge from the Life Sciences in Real-World Contexts
Content Standard III, 2: All students will use classification systems to describe groups of living things; compare and contrast differences in the life cycles of living things; investigate and explain how living things obtain and use energy; and analyze how parts of living things are adapted to carry out specific functions. (Organization of Living Things)
1. Compare and classify familiar organisms on the basis of observable physical characteristics. (Key concepts: Plant and animal parts- backbone, skin, shell, limbs, roots, leaves, stems, flowers. Real-world contexts: Animals that look similar- snakes, worms, millipedes; flowering and non- flowering plants; pine tree, oak tree, rose, algae.)
Content Standard III, 4: All students will explain how scientists construct and scientifically test theories concerning the origin of life and evolution of species; compare ways that living organisms are adapted (suited) to survive and reproduce in their environments, and analyze how species change through time. (Evolution)
2. Explain how physical and/or behavioral characteristics of organisms help them to survive in their environments. (Key concepts: Characteristics- adaptation, fitness, instinct, learning, habit. Traits and their adaptive values- sharp teeth or claws for catching or killing prey, color for camouflage. Real- world contexts: Common vertebrate adaptations, such as white polar bears, sharp claws and sharp canines for predators, changing colors of chameleon; behaviors such as migration, communication of danger, adaptation to changes in the environment.)
Content Standard III, 5: All students will explain how parts of an ecosystem are related and how they interact; explain how energy is distributed to living things in an ecosystem; investigate and explain how communities of living things change over a period of time; describe how materials cycle through an ecosystem and get reused in the environment; and analyze how humans and the environment interact.
1. Identify familiar organisms as part of the food chain or food web and describe their feeding relationship within the web. (Key concepts: Producer, consumer, predator, prey, decomposer, habitat. Real-world contexts: Food chains and food webs involving organisms, such as rabbits, birds, snakes, grasshoppers, plants.)
2. Explain common patterns of interdependence and interrelationships of living things. (Key concepts: Producer, consumer, predator, prey decomposer, habitat. Real-world contexts: Relationships among plants and animals in an ecosystem- symbiotic relationships, such as insects and flowering plants, birds eating fruit and spreading seeds; parasitic relationships, such as humans and mosquitoes, trees and mistletoe.)
4. Design systems that encourage growing of particular plants or animals. (Key concepts: Needs of life- food, habitat, water, shelter, air, light, minerals. Real-world contexts: Ecosystems managed by humans, including farms, ranches, gardens, lawns, potted plants.)
Content Standard I, 1: All students will apply skills and knowledge to perform in the arts.
21. Use materials, techniques, media technology, and processes to communicate ideas and experiences.
22. Use art materials and tools safely and responsibly.
23. Use visual characteristics and organizational principles of art to communicate ideas.
24. Be involved in the process and presentation of the final product or exhibit.
Content Standard II, 2: All students will apply skills and knowledge to create in the arts.
16. Apply knowledge of materials, techniques, and processes to create artwork.
17. Apply knowledge of how visual characteristics and organizational principles communicate ideas.
21. Use technology as a tool for creative expression.
III. Analyzing in Context
Content Standard III, 3: All students will analyze, describe, and evaluate works of art.
22 Identify various purposes for creating works of visual art.
23. Understand that there are different responses to specific artworks.
24. Describe and compare the characteristics of personal artwork.
25. Understand how personal experiences can influence the development of artwork.
V. Connecting to Other Arts, Other Disciplines, and Life
Content Standard V, 5: All students will recognize, analyze, and describe connections among the arts; between the arts and other disciplines; between the arts and everyday life.
12. Explain how visual arts have inherent relationships to everyday life.
13. Identify various careers in the visual arts.
15. Identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum.
Best Shot Instruction:
Reteaching and Enrichment:
The students as a whole group view the display of the coral reef artworks and discuss what they learned about the plant life, animal life, textures, and colors found there. Students then discuss the most pleasurable part of the assignment, as well as the most distasteful part.
Review and Closure:
Students discuss the content of their individual artworks using the science terms of the coral reef. They then discuss the process of creating their personal artworks using the art vocabulary.