A unit of study consists of a series of lessons related by concept, topic, media, and/or technology. Use the template provided for unit planning.
Overview of unit and lesson planning: Unit and Lesson Planning (PowerPoint)
Understanding by Design:http://www.grantwiggins.org/documents/UbDQuikvue1005.pdf
Art Focusing Lens List (pdf)
Art Concept List (pdf)
Concept Connection Verbs (pdf)
Blooms Taxonomy (pdf)
–a specific topic or investigation. A unit plan identifies enduring understandings, concepts, inquiry questions, vocabulary/literacy, etc., that will be explored in the lessons taught throughout the unit. Unit planning allows for continuity between lessons. Unit plans are generalized and can evolve and be amended over time as individual lessons develop.
Unit plans should be considered fluid and flexible; plans that help you focus and reflect on your teaching. The unit template provides the necessary elements you need to consider in your planning. The template should not direct your planning; complete the template at the end of your research to ensure creative planning.
Introduction to Planning a Unit: A Story A Unit Emerges-The Story
Standards and Grade Level Expectations: List all Standards and Grade Level Expectations (GLE) for the grade level being taught the unit; even if all GLEs are will not be addressed by teaching this unit, they should be written here.
Lesson Titles and Description: Include the titles of proposed lessons that might be taught and a description. The lesson description should give information (brief) about the Art learning that will occur:
- Conceptual/ideation/personal grounding
- Expressive features and characteristics of art (Elements/principles of art)
- Historical/multicultural content
- Critical reflection/aesthetics/transfer
Include an estimate of the number of class sessions each lesson may take for students to accomplish the learning experience and the sequence of the lessons in the unit.
Focusing Lens/Lenses: A focusing lens provides a way to consider and link the concepts, goals; and objectives of the unit/lessons introduced to students. For example, the concept of perspective might be introduced to students using the focusing lens of change. All concepts, skills, content, etc. that pertain to teaching perspective will be considered through the lens of change. As the lessons are encountered in the unit, students might explore perspective:
- Drawing from changing perspectives
- Exploring how the “technology” of perspective has changed over time
- How a viewer’s perception of space might be shaped and changed using perspective
- Changing the “meaning” of space
A focusing lens, like a concept, is timeless, transferrable and universal. Possible focusing lenses might include: Beliefs/Values, Identity, Relationships. Tension/Conflict, Freedom, Design, Aesthetic, Patterns, Origins, Transformation, Change, Influence, Collaboration, Intention, Play/Exploration, Synergy/Flow, Choices, Balance, Inspiration, System, Structure/Function, Reform. (This is not an exhaustive list; simply possibilities.)
Prepared Graduate Competencies: List the Prepared Graduate Competencies that will be addressed in this unit.
Standards and Grade Level Expectations: List all standards and the GLEs that pertain to this unit of study. (Units [and lessons] must have all standards; but NOT necessarily all GLEs.)
Inquiry Questions: These questions are developed from the concepts, enduring understandings, and content students will explore. Inquiry questions should be engaging and debatable: In art, what does it mean when something is beautiful? How can something be so ugly it is beautiful? These questions have no right or wrong answer and are provided to students as a way to explore new approaches and understand new possibilities about the topic introduced for examination. For example, inquiry questions about perspective might include:
- Why do various cultures experience and define space differently?
- How much knowledge is necessary to create art if a formula is provided for its creation?
- Can art present us with a different way of understanding our environment?
- What differentiates art-making technologies?
Unit Strands: Since the Visual Arts Standards are inherently involved in the art making process, the unit strands consist of: Comprehend/Reflect/Create/Transfer.
Concepts: Consider a concept as a big idea. Because concepts are “big ideas” they are timeless, transferrable and universal. (Look for concepts in the standards, content specific curriculum, etc.) Examples of concepts used in art might include: Composition, Patterns, Technique, Rhythm, Paradox, Influence, Style, Force, Culture, Space/Time/Energy, Line, Law/Rules, Value, Expressions, Emotions, Tradition, Symbol, Movement, Shape, Improvisation, and Observation. For example, concepts related to perspective might include: three-dimensional, two-dimensional, artistic intention, representation, planning, concepts, space, atmosphere, etc.
Enduring Understandings: Enduring Understandings show a relationship between two or more concepts; connected with an active verb. The best enduring understandings not only link two or more concepts; but demonstrate why this relationship is important. Like concepts, they are timeless, transferrable and universal.
Enduring Understandings synthesize what students should understand—not just know or do—as a result of studying a particular area of art. Moreover, they articulate what students should “revisit” over the course of their lifetimes in relationship to art. (As you develop your enduring understanding consider the overall purpose of this lesson for this particular group of students; how the lesson fits into the curriculum [curricular relevance] or is appropriate for the students’ developmental level and is age appropriate [age level traits]. This does not need to be written into your understanding.)
Factual Guiding Questions: These (convergent) questions link directly to building the generalizations and are tied to specific topics/content and typically have objective, definitive, and/or right/wrong answers. For example: What are the basic components of one-point perspective? How would you explain foreground, middle ground, background?
Conceptual Guiding Questions: These (divergent) questions link directly to building the generalizations and are designed to provoke thoughtful, multiple, and/or subjective answers that ask for deeper levels of thinking. For example: Why was the invention of perspective important? Why would an artist want to create illusionistic space on a flat, two-dimensional surface?
Critical Content: The “locked in time and place” topics and factual information that students must know in order to successfully master the unit’s larger enduring understandings. Critical content might include knowing techniques, artists, processes, vocabulary, etc. This is about information; what my students know…
- How early artistic representations used spiritual or thematic importance as a focal point rather than the distance from the viewer
- Perspective drawing terminology (vanishing point, horizon line, linear perspective, aerial perspective)
- Preliminary plans and exercises that contribute to finished perspective drawings
- Compositional elements of drawing (foreshortening; fore/middle/background)
- Expressive Features & Characteristics of Art (point, line and plane; space; volume
- Techniques to complete one and two-point perspective drawings
- Principles of linear and aerial perspective (objects that are closer appear bigger, parallel lines intersect at the horizon, values appear lighter in the distance
- Stylistic differences of drawing in the work Zhang Zeduan, Guo Xi, Paola, Uccello, Vincent van Gogh, Mary Nimmo Moran, Toms Eakins, Edward Hopper
Key Skills: The transferable skills (i.e., skills that are applicable across content areas) that will be introduced and/or refined in order for students to successfully master the unit’s larger enduring understandings. Skills, that are transferable, might include : comparing and contrasting, analyzing, debating, creating, etc. This is about exhibiting understanding; what my students are able to (do)…
- Apply visual expressive features and characteristics to describe and create drawings
- Create perspective drawings using materials and techniques necessary to convey an intended meaning/purpose
- Identify and explain key artists employing illusionistic drawing approaches
- Compare and contrast drawing styles across time and cultures
- Defend how the intended meaning and purpose for a drawing is reflected in its structure
Vocabulary, Literacy / Numeracy Integration: List terms specific to the topic that students will be introduced to in the unit and possible lessons and describe how literacy and numeracy are integrated into the lesson. For example, new vocabulary about perspective might include: two-dimensional, three-dimensional, artistic intent, media manipulation, representation, planning, abstraction, concept/ideas, etc.
Literacy might be integrated with the use of concept maps, written artist statement and critique. The perspective unit covers analytical and sequential learning closely aligned to numeracy.