Educational Technology and Distance Learning | February 12, 2017
Lesson Summary:
Students will practice constructing knowledge by researching a landscape types, and representing their elements on an artistic composition. They should locate information about their choice of forest, lake, prairie, mountain scene, desert or other landscape. After researching various sources, students will create a scene with four elements derived from research. For this project, students will use a draw program on a computer.
Research will be group based, and digital drawing will be individually completed.
Students and Subject Area:
This project is a good fit for third grade elementary students in Art class. 
21st Century Skill: 3b. “plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.”
Common Core Standard: Artistic Process – Connecting. 6-8.TH.Cn.11.2.2: Research the time period and artifacts from a particular location to articulate performance and design choices. 
HSp.VA.Cn.10.1: Document the process of developing ideas from early stages (such as utilizing inquiry methods of observation, research, and experimentation) to explore unfamiliar subjects through art-making. 
3.MA.Cn.10.1 Examine and use personal and external resources (such as interests, research, and cultural understanding, to create media artworks). 
Materials and Technologies:
For Research:
    Computer and internet service to research landscapes online.
    Streaming device or DVD player to watch segments from BBC’s “Planet Earth” or similar documentary.
    Email or parent’s social media for asking family members to share pictures of their landscapes.
    Library to peruse photographic books about their landscapes.
For Creating:
    Computer and a draw program (Illustrator, Corel, or other application).
Instructional Procedures:
1)    Anchor
Introduce the project by reading the poem “Prairie” by Carl Sandburg. Start the poem, then have the class popcorn read the remainder. (text is at
Explain to students that we will create a digital landscape, of their individual choosing, after researching elements to put into their landscapes. Ask students what their favorite landscape is, whether they’ve actually been there or not (real or imagined).
Divide class into groups according to their landscape types.

2)    Task
First, show students some examples of finished digital landscapes, as inspiration for the final piece. Second, demonstrate navigating to helpful websites for their research. Also, provide information about accessing DVD players, library and other sources. Hand out the following checklist in order to further clarify the task:
Choose Landscape: For example: forest, lake, prairie, mountain scene, desert or other landscape
List sources that you viewed information about your landscape: For example: National Geographic website, photography book, “Planet Earth” segment, etc.
List the four elements you will use in your digital art landscape: For example: tree, shell, sand dune, cactus, prairie grass, lake, boulder, etc.

3)    Directions
Class period 1b (after introduction) – Group research online. Collect screen grabs and notes about your landscape.
Class period 2 – Group library research. Collect photocopies, snapshots and notes about your landscape. Bounce ideas off your teammates.
Class period 3 – Bring any photos from home, and watch “Planet Earth” segments. Finalize your decisions about which four elements will be in your landscape. Teacher demonstrates the use of drawing software, and how to import any scanned images.
Class period 4 – Students work on their digital landscapes. Teacher is available for coaching on digital art making.
Class period 5 – Students pause for group feedback, then work more on their landscapes. Teacher is available for coaching on digital art making.
Class period 6 – Finish work, and publish to class online gallery.

4)    Student Choices
Choose Landscape: Students choose the type of landscape they will research and create
List sources that you viewed information about your landscape: Students choose the sources they will use to research their landscape
List the four elements you will use in your digital art landscape: Students choose at least four elements to create their digital landscape
Use a draw program to complete a digital landscape: The software available might not allow for much choice here, but students can choose their drawing style, tools, imported imagery, etc. Advanced students may choose to add animated elements, interactivity, etc.
5)    Student Inquiry
Inquiry processes are built-in to this project during the research phase, when they locate information about their choice of forest, lake, prairie, mountain scene, desert or other landscape.

6)    Collaboration and Teamwork
    Students work in small groups or pairs, according to similar landscape interests throughout the project, until they begin individually creating their digital art. 

7)    Teacher Coaching and Feedback
The teacher assists and coaches at each step outlined above, and the entire group provides feedback at the midway point of creation. 

8)    Student Reflection
Brainstorming individually and in groups happens after the introduction of the project. The research phase offers reflection opportunities as the students gather their elements. Critique half-way through the creation phase is another reflection benchmark. 

9)    Public Presentation
Once finished, the digital landscape art works will be presented on the class gallery website. As an extension of presentation, the English class might contribute poetry for each illustration. The end product would be an illustrated children’s ebook about landscapes.
Assessment Plan:
Students will be graded according to group and individual participation, as well as final product according to a rubric.

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