PULL LEFT tour example lesson plan

The Arts Initiative Urban Arts Space
Exhibition Tour

PULL LEFT Exhibition Tour Lesson.pdf - Download

Created by: Sohayla Pagano, Emily Biesemeier
School: Ohio State University Urban Arts Space
Unit Lesson Title: PULL LEFT Exhibition Tour
Grade Level:  4th
Length of Class Period: 60min
Date of Lesson: July 26 – September 6, 2014

-Discuss China.  What do your students already know about China?  What about China would they like to learn more about? 
-Discuss the term “contemporary art.”  What does it mean to be a contemporary artist?  How are contemporary artists now both the same and different from artists in the past (think globalization, increased access to different cultures and ideas via digital technologies, etc.)?
-Discuss visiting an art gallery or museum.  What is a gallery?  What types of things do you expect to see in an art gallery?  What are some things we can and cannot do in an art gallery?



Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy:
(CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1) Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively

Ohio Department of Education Visual Arts Standards

Enduring Understandings

4: Literacy: As consumers, critics and creators, students evaluate and understand artworks and other texts produced in the media forms of the day.

Progress Points

4: D. Express personal responses to artistic works giving reasons for their interpretations and preferences.

CONTENT STATEMENT – Perceiving/Knowing

4: 1PE Use sensory details and descriptive language to identify and describe universal themes, subject matter and ideas expressed across arts disciplines.

4: 2PE Notice and describe different visual effects resulting from artmaking techniques.

CONTENT STATEMENT – Producing/Performing

CONTENT STATEMENT – Responding/Reflecting

4: 2RE Develop and share their ideas, beliefs and values about art.


Anticipatory Set (what do the students already know, why is this lesson relevant?)

Students may have seen art in a museum before or have some understanding of what the artwork would be like in this type of setting. By taking a trip to the OSU Urban Arts Space, students will get to see another way of displaying art that is a little different than a museum. The work in PULL LEFT will challenge the way students may think of contemporary art and welcome new ways of thinking and making. Since all the artwork has come from China, the students will also get a global perspective on the way art is being made around the world.

Central Focus (Form and Structure, Art Production, Context, Personal Perspective)

The work in PULL LEFT will challenge the way students may think of contemporary art and welcome new ways of thinking and making. Since all the artwork has come from China, the students will also get a global perspective on the way art is being made around the world.

Essential Questions (provocative, engaging, critical)

-When looking at the artwork, what things do you see? What do you notice about the work?
-What do you wonder? What do you see that makes you say that?
-Why might the artist have chosen to do that? What might be the importance of that?
-Is there a narrative or story behind this image? If so, what?
-Why might your understanding of this work of art be different from someone else’s in the class?
-Do you think this is art? Why or why not?

(Stage One) Performance-based Assessment Objectives

Students will use sensory details and descriptive language to look at and identify the artwork that is on exhibition

Students will notice and describe the different effects and artmaking techniques that the Chinese contemporary artists have used.

Students will develop and share their own ideas about the artwork in this exhibition. Each opinion is valid.

(Stage Two) Performance-based Assessment Strategies

The docent will look for each student to be engaged in the discussion and respectfully listening to the other student’s responses. If they do not appear to be engaged the docent will assess why by asking them, and remedying the situation as seems fit.

Academic Language

Contemporary: Belonging to or occurring in the present.

China: A country of eastern Asia.

Beijing: The capital of China.

Taikang Space: A non-profit contemporary art gallery in Beijing, China. The artwork in this exhibition has come from Taikang Space as well as its curators.

Global: of or relating to the whole world; worldwide.

Medium: the substance the artist uses to create his or her artwork

Materials/Resources for Teachers

Prepare gallery and ensure that there is enough staff to monitor the group on the tour

(Stage Three) Learning Activity

Getting the Classroom Environment Ready

Exhibition will be opened early if necessary to accommodate the group.  Lights, projectors, and TVs must be turned on before group arrives.

Procedures for the Teaching/Learning Structure (indicate approximate time for each step)

1.     Greet (5 minutes)

a.     Students will enter the gallery space, the docent will greet them and ask them to split into their touring groups.

2.     Introduction to Touring Activity (5 minutes)

a.     The docent will give a quick introduction to the background of the exhibition. The docent will stress the importance of discussion and dialogue to this gallery experience

b.     The docent will cover gallery rules and etiquette. The docent will also lead a discussion of what an art gallery is.

3.     Looking at Liu Xinyi’s Automatic Arms (7 minutes)

a.     What is the first thing that comes to mind when you see this piece?

b.     Is it a sculpture? Why or why not?

c.     What is the significance of a “Lucky cat arm”?

d.     What might be powering the arms (making them move)?

4.     Looking at Xie Molin’s Overlay No. 38  (7 minutes)

a.     What is this work of art made of? 

b.     How do you think this work of art was made?

c.     What shapes/textures/colors do you see?

5.     Wang Yuyang’s Breath  (7 minutes)

a.     Look closely! Do you notice anything strange about these bricks?

b.     What do you hear?

c.     Why do you think the artist has chosen to do this? What is the significance?

d.     What do you think the material might be?

6.     Liu Chuang Buying Everything on You  (7 minutes)

a.     How is this art?

b.     Whose possessions are these? How do we know?

c.     How much do you think he spent on all of these things?

d.     Why do you think they are displayed like this?

e.     Would you ever do this if he approached you on the street?

f.      How does this work of art increase our understanding of contemporary Chinese culture/life?

7.     Zhao Zhao Cobblestone  (7 minutes)

a.     What kind of story do these two photographs tell?

b.     If you were to make up a narrative, what would it be?

8.     Liu Chuang Untitled (The Dancing Partner) (7 minutes)

a.     Have you ever seen two cars do this on the street?

b.     What are some of the key details that you can notice while watching the video?

c.     What does the artist mean when he says that this is what it feels like to adjust to a new place?

Closure, Review & Anticipation (what’s next?)

Closure: (5 minutes)

Students are asked to take a moment to think about the different works on view. The docent will lead a discussion by asking what their favorite pieces were. The docent will also make note that we all have different opinions of art and that each one is valid.   The docent will make sure to point out that we must be respectful of other people’s interpretations even if they are different from our own, encouraging empathy. 

Supplemental Activity

Painting lesson based on Xie Molin’s painting, Overlay No.38