CyberMuse Teachers - Lesson Plans
Contemporary Inuit Sculpture
Lesson Plan Activity:
Contemporary Reflections: Grade 9-12
This lesson presents 10 Inuit artists whose work reflects traditions that are thousands of years old and bears witness to a culture that is alive and well, and in full transition. Students will explore and use the personal, social, cultural, and physical environments that surround them to write a legend and create a related art project.
Students will manipulate and organize the elements and principles of design to plan artworks.
Students will use experiences from their personal, social, cultural, and physical environments as a basis for visual expression.
Students will demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between art and context.
Cross Curriculum Links:
This lesson plan also explores the subject areas of? Canadian and World studies, English language, History and geography, Native studies
4 x 40 minute sessions
Look & Discuss
Present and discuss a selection of the 10-featured artworks in the Artwork & Artists slideshow with your class.
(Tabs will provide you with information on the theme, composition, interpretation and the artist.)
A downloadable Presentation that you can add to or manipulate will also help share these images in your classroom.
The telling of legends is not unlike the telling of other stories where a lesson or a moral is passed on from the narrator to the audience. Legends are a way of explaining a choice, or a behaviour that is desired or undesired by creating visual images and explaining actions through examples. Many artworks made by contemporary Inuit artists make reference to legends.
- Discuss the meaning and significance of legends. Ask students to research legends on the Internet or at the library. You may want to discuss some of them in class.
- Have students select a contemporary event of personal note. The event can be related to any moment that they feel they learned something, be it political, social, personal, environmental, etc.
- Have the students write a brief legend, which teaches the lesson they themselves learned from the event. They may want to keep a daily journal as a way of developing their thoughts.
- Textiles: cloth, thread
Painting or drawing or photo montage materials:
If a video or digital camera is unavailable, pre-select and visit a site nearby to the school that the students will measure out. Assign work groups to make proposals and drawings for the same site.
Once they have written their legend, ask the students to think about how they would illustrate this legend. Would it be as a sculpture, a drawing, a painting, a collage or a quilt? What moment of the legend would they illustrate? Have the students create three project plans, each one using a different medium of execution, to illustrate their legend. The project plans should consist of a list of materials, a timeline for execution, an artist statement, and a description of the artwork they would like to produce. The project plan can also include sketches. Students should be aware of how their manipulation of the elements and principles of design are used differently with different media.
Have the students select and execute the project plan which they feel best represents the legend they are depicting.
Once finished, students should write an essay that describes how the work they created fits into the contemporary world. Their essay should detail the lesson they hope others will glean from their artwork as well as address how their manipulation of the elements and principles of design are supported by their chosen medium.
Take it Further
In pairs, have students interview their partner on the planning, execution and message of their artwork. Students should then write a concise 400-word review that provides the reader with a context for the artwork and addresses the aesthetics of the artwork.
The student provides little evidence that he/she manipulated and organized elements and principles of design to plan artworks.
The student provides evidence that he/she manipulated and organized elements and principles of design to plan artworks.
The student provides much clear evidence that he/she manipulated and organized elements and principles of design to plan artworks.
The student uses no experiences from their personal, social, cultural and physical environments as a basis for visual expression
The student uses at least one experience from their personal, social, cultural and physical environments as a basis for visual expression.
The student uses more than one experience from their personal, social, cultural and physical environments as a basis for visual expression.
The student demonstrates limited understanding of the relationship between art and context in their essay.
The student demonstrates an understanding of the relationship between art and context in their essay.
The student demonstrates a thorough understanding of the relationship between art and context in their essay.