Psychedelic Self-Portraits

On of the most exciting periods of music and art to study when I was a teenager and pre-teen was the Psychedelic era.  It seemed radical, revolutionary, and free.  Freedom is what those pre-teens and teenagers are craving so why not peak their interest with a lesson on John Lennon and Richard Avedon?

 

psychedelic

Title:Beatles Psychedelic Self-Portraits

Grades: Gr 4-8

Art Lesson Plan-4 50 minute sessions

Enduring Idea: Heroes and Heroines

Rationale: Throughout, time humans have created or selected heroes to teach lessons that portray virtuous characteristics and noble archetypes that help an individual, a nation or a culture survive and thrive.  Artists, have often been influenced by heroes and have portrayed real or mythological heroes in their artworks.

Materials: pencils. erasers, markers, 12″x 18″ white paper

Resources: Beatles by Avedon, John’s Secret Dreams: The John Lennon Story, examples of psychedelic art (Peter Max, Richard Avedon, concert posters), self-critique form

Preparation: precut white paper to 12″x 18″, gather examples of psychedelic art, and create an exemplar, create a self-critique form students can use to check their work according to the criteria they were given to complete the assignment

National Arts Standard Anchor (s):

#2. Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
#8. Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.

Objectives:
*Students will learn about the life of John Lennon and the Beatles
*Students will learn why John Lennon is considered a hero
*Students will become familiar with the psychedelic art of the 1960’s
*Students will create a self-portrait in the style of Richard Avedon’s portraits of the Beatles.

Vocabulary:
Psychedelic, Abstract, Self-Portrait, Repetitive Pattern

Interdisciplinary Standards:

  • Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).

Procedures: Day 1:  S will view teacher exemplar. T will review the lesson steps. S will listen to the book John’s Secret Dreams: The John Lennon Story. T “Why did John Lennon stage a bed in?” “What did John Lennon believe in?”  “What can we learn from his actions?”  S will pair up and trace their heads on a white paper in pencil.  Day 2: T will review the lesson steps.  T will review with class the examples of psychedelic art using the Elements of Art and Principals of Design.  S will use a ruler and pencil to add a psychedelic pattern to his/her self -portrait.  Day 3: S will review the steps of the lesson and vocabulary.  S will begin coloring in his/her self portrait with bright colored markers.  Day 4: S will finish coloring in his/her self-portrait.  S will use the self-critique form to self-critique his/her project using the elements of art and principals of design. S will hand in his/her project along with the self-critique form for grading.

Assessment:

S neatly and carefully drew the outline of his/her head on the paper and added a repetitive pattern. 3/10
S neatly and carefully colored in his her self-portrait using bright bold colors to create abstraction.  4/10
S answered all the questions on his/her critique form, demonstrating thoughtfulness as to how they describe their project using the elements and principals. 3/10

 

Tips for a Successful Arts and Crafts Playgroup 

successful-playgroup

This time last year I would be teaching 25-50 elementary aged students in a public school setting.  Everything was as accessible and easy as could it could be for a person to do art with large groups of young kids-I had two large sinks, big tables for them to sit at, and custodians to clean at night.  Having an art playgroup is actually more work, but a ton of fun too!

1.  Choose an age range. Decide what age range of kiddo you’re gearing this toward.  Too wide of an age range would mean projects at different levels to please the kids, plus a similar age is nice for the kids to play together.

2. Send out an invite at least two weeks in advance. I do my invites via Facebook event and this way I can send out notifications to the moms leading up to the playgroup.

3. Decide how you want to pay for materials. Do moms give you a flat fee to attend?  Do they bring their own materials? I run mine like a co-op.  Everyone brings a treat and everyone brings a material to share.

4. Decide what activities you will do with the littles.  I aim to do 3 art activities in 1 hour.  Usually we do a messy project like pumpkin play dough, a paper craft, and a sensory project.

5. Set up all of your materials and projects before. Often I do all of the assembling prior to the playgroup so the group runs more smoothly. Sometimes Ben does his projects the weekend before.

Cake for the moms and applesauce squishes for the kiddos.

Fully assembled rain sticks before playgroup.

6. Have snacks and drinks available. Applesauce packets are great to have on hand.  Don’t forget some paper plates and cutlery!

7. Clean and set up your home.  I put the dogs outside with water, clean the floor, kitchen and restroom. I make an easy dinner too, so it’s done and out of the way.  Put away any toys or activities you don’t want kids to take out.  I put away the Playdough and thin out the toy offering.

8.  Set up a drying area for wet projects. I have a large kitchen counter that we use.

9. Have examples ready and show moms what to do as they arrive.  Art is a visual language so it makes sense to visually present each project.

10. Tidy up a little as the group creates and plays. Ask a mom or two to help or stay after a little longer to help.
Most importantly have fun and watch your kid(s) have fun learning!  Play is so important in childhood development.  It teaches them social skills and creativity-they can’t get that sitting in front of a tv!  I love using the play group as a chance to reconnect with my busy mom friends, get my boys busy, and share my passion.  Have fun creating!