Digging Deep: Exploring Science and Language Arts through the Visual Arts

Page 1

Digging Deep: Exploring Science & Language Arts through the Visual Arts


1. Overview of Digging Deep Curriculum 2. Part 1: Introducing Digging Deep Unit and Foundational Skills 3. Part 2: Exploring Artists Inspired by Land & Photography Session 4. Part 3: Select, Research, and Write Field Guide 5. Part 4: Watercolor Inspired by Walter Anderson 6. Supplementary Instructional Materials & Resources


Digging Deep: An inquiry-based, interdisciplinary school program at the Mississippi Museum of Art Overview and Instructional Plan

Digging Deep is a multidisciplinary project designed to utilize The Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA) as a place for exploring an urban ecosystem rich with native flora and fauna as well as original works of art by Mississippi artists. During teaching trips to the Museum, students will explore connections between art in The Mississippi Story, an exhibition of the Museum's permanent collection, and The Art Garden. The goal of this inquiry-based project is for students to work in small groups to create field guides of flora and fauna in The Art Garden, illustrated with photographs and watercolors. This project is standards-based, and meets objectives in science, language arts, visual arts, and technology. While the project was developed for 3rd through 6th graders, it can be adapted easily for younger and older students. This project is an original curriculum designed for The Art Garden, though it includes several individual lessons from other published sources. The Museum's education department has a collection of resources related to this project that are available to participating schools. In addition, MMA educators are excited to work with you to deliver this engaging curriculum to your students. Please contact education@msmuseumart.org for more information.

Big Ideas • • •

Environmental conditions exist in urban neighborhoods to support plant, animal, and human life in an ecosystem. Nature is a primary theme in the art created by Mississippi artists, as evidenced by work in The Mississippi Story at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Many artists become environmentalists because of their close connection to and love for nature. The inquiry skills needed for creating art are the same skills needed for conducting scientific investigations. In this unit, students will learn to be close observers, learn to record information and data for subsequent analysis, critique initial efforts, work collaboratively, and work further on first-stab observations to create fully-realized artwork and published text. Students will learn about Mississippi artists whose work has its origin in nature.

Basics • • •

Designed for students in grades 3-6, though can be adapted for younger or older students Recommended time frame for full project: at least 2 months Lessons can be undertaken individually or collectively, and travel to the Museum is not a requirement.

Digging Deep was piloted in 2012 with 43 fourth graders at Davis Magnet Elementary School in Jackson, Miss. These students created the photographs, watercolor paintings, and field guides featured as examples throughout this curriculum. We used a set of 13 digital cameras owned by the Museum that are available for use. The primary author of this project is Sarah C. Campbell, an author/photographer and teaching artist, in collaboration with educators from the Mississippi Museum of Art. Teachers from Davis Magnet School were Jalisha Cross and Jordan Gunther, fourth grade; and Beth West, International Baccalaureate Coordinator. 2

Standards Digging Deep is designed to be multidisciplinary. It meets objectives outlined in the 2010 Mississippi Science Framework, the Common Core Standards for Reading and Language Arts, Mississippi Visual and Performing Arts Framework, and National Educational Technology Standards. Specifically, the unit engages students with the inquiry (1) and life science (3) strands from the science framework. For the common core, it addresses reading standards for informational text, and standards for writing, speaking and listening, and language. In the arts, students will meet objectives in creating/performing (CP), critical analysis (CA), and connections (C). In technology, the unit addresses creativity and innovation (1), and technology operations and concepts (6). Example: Grade 4 Mississippi and National Standards 2010 Miss. Science Framework.…………………………………1b., 1c., 1d., 1e., 3 a., 3c., 3e. Common Core Reading Standards for Informational Text.…3, 7, 9, 10 CC Standards for Writing.…………………………………………2a., 2b., 2c., 2d., 2e. CC Standards for Speaking and Listening.…………………….1c., 1d., 4 CC Standards for Language.………………………………………6 Visual Arts Framework.……………………………………………1a., 1b., 1c., 2b., 2c., 2d., 2e., 2f., 2g., 3a., 3b., 3c., 5a., 5b., 5c., 10a., 10b., 10c., 10d., 10f., 11a.,11b.,11c., 11d., 12b., 12c., National Education Technology Standards.……..……………1a., 1b., 6a.

Resources and Preparation Equipment List • pencils • lightweight paper 18” x 24” for nature journals • watercolor paper, several sizes o 22” x 30” for field guides o 6” x 10” for watercolors • scissors • glue • rulers • Private Eye™ loupes, magnifying lenses • nametags • clipboards • colored pencils • watercolors • digital cameras, media cards • computers with internet access Handouts/Instructions Instant Book How-to Field Guide Photography Checklist Guide to Making a Field Guide Vocabulary List Questions to Guide Brainstorming Session To Develop

Topics Using Private Eye™ Loupes for Observation and Observational Drawing Worksheet Sketching and Contour Drawing How-To Watercolor How-To 3

The first part of this curriculum introduces the basics of the Digging Deep unit and helps students develop skills in close observation and sketching. Learning Objectives for Part 1: 1.

Explore the work of artist and naturalist Walter Anderson; Understand the basics of sketching and contour drawing; Observe nature through a technique called the 20Second Nature Break™; and Learn to make an instant book, which will be used to practice nature journaling.

2. 3. 4.

Introduce artist Walter Anderson and sketching techniques (2, 45 minute sessions) 

Read and discuss The Secret World of Walter Anderson (45 minutes). This book is available on loan through the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Education Department. Introduce sketching and contour drawing (3, 15-minute sessions).

Walter Inglis Anderson (1903-1965), Stone Crab, 1951. watercolor on paper, 11 x 8 ½ inches. Collection of Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson. Purchase. 1967.006. Copyright © Estate of Walter Anderson.


Students will learn sketching techniques to use in their nature journals when they are in The Art Garden. In addition, they will choose one of their sketches to use as inspiration for their watercolor, in Part 4 of this curriculum. See Discussion Questions & Sketching Handout See examples Walter Anderson’s Horn Island Watercolors See MMA Looking at Art Handout See Walter Anderson’s Bio Make Instant Book using 18” x 24” paper (2, 10-minute sessions)  Found in How to Make Books by Esther K. Smith. See Instant Book How-to.  Students will use their instant book to practice nature journaling at school and for the first trip to the Museum—we recommend making two so that students can get the hang of it.

Practice 20-Second Nature Break™, Nature Journaling (3, 5-minute sessions)  Found in No Student Left Indoors: Creating a Field Guide to Your Schoolyard by Jane Kirkland This book is available on loan through the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Education Department.  This activity can be done in any outdoor setting, such as a playground. Establish Student Groups (recommended Group Size: 3-4 students) (10 minutes)  Students will work in small groups to create their field guides, the culminating project of this unit. Groups should be established early, though topics of the field guides do not need to be chosen until after their first visit to The Art Garden, or your chosen outdoor green space. 5

The second part of the curriculum takes place primarily in The Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art through two 1.5 hour visits. During these visits, students will explore the galleries to identify examples of artists finding inspiration in the land and then focus on The Art Garden, where they will sketch and take photographs to be used in their field guides. Learning Objectives for Part 2: 1. Consider and choose topic for field guide; 2. Discover artists who find inspiration in the land; 3. Use sketching & digital photography as ways through which to capture interesting images related to their field guide topic. Visit the Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA), guided by Museum Educators (1.5 hour session) 

The Art Garden  20-Second Nature Break™  Students will bring the nature journals they made and with which they practiced at school (Instant Book format) with a clipboard and pencil.

The Mississippi Story  Focus on “The Land” section, especially works by Bill Dunlap, Walter Anderson, and Carol Cole.  Sketching Lesson 6

Brainstorming Field Guide Topics Students will begin to brainstorm topics for their field guides based on their initial exploration in The Art Garden—these might include texture, color, living plants, etc.  See Questions to Guide Brainstorming Session to Develop Topics

Between visits to MMA: Finalize topics for field guide (ideally each group in a class will have a different topic)

Second visit to the MMA (1.5 hour session)  The Art Garden  Photography  See Field Guide Photography Checklist  MMA Studio Classrooms  Private Eye™ Loupe Sketching  See Using Private Eye™ Loupes for Observation and Observational Drawing Worksheet


The third section is when the students, having selected their field guide topics in groups and then taken their photographs, will begin selecting which photographs to use in the field guide and researching and writing about their topic.

Learning Objectives for Part 3: 1. Learn what a field guide is and what components make up a field guide; 2. Select photographs for field guides and use to research and write informational text; 3. Begin making the final group field guide. Read Wolfsnail, by Sarah C. Campbell [30 minutes) This book is available for loan from the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Education Department.

 Discuss field guides; look at examples of field guides; introduce format; how to choose images and research/write text.  See Field Guide How-To 8

Select Photographs (.5 hour per group of 4-6 kids) Students will choose one photograph from the many they have taken to research and to write about as their page for their group’s field guide.  See Photo Selection How-To Research plant/animal in photograph (2, 30-minute sessions)  Use field guides, internet, and experts from Mississippi Museum of Natural Science to research subject of photograph. Write information about plant/animal in photograph for field guide (1, 30 minute session) Peer edit/teacher edit writing for field guide (20 minutes) Make Instant Book with Good Paper to create Field Guide (10 minutes)  See examples of student-created field guides Write pages


The last section of the curriculum focuses on watercolor—MMA educators will visit the school and introduce and help students produce their own watercolor, inspired by one of the sketches in their sketch book. Learning Objectives for Part 4: 1. Review the life and work of Walter Anderson; 2. Explore watercolor as an artistic medium; and 3. Create a finished watercolor from sketch done in nature journal.


Introduce Watercolor Media/Practice Technique (2, 1.5 hour sessions) Students will use a sketch from their nature journal to create an original watercolor inspired by the work of Walter Anderson they have seen at the Museum. One watercolor will be selected from the group for the front cover of that group’s field guide. When possible, MMA educators would be happy to deliver this portion of the lesson at your school. Contact the Education Department to discuss further. See Watercolor How-To See Examples of Student Watercolors Select a watercolor to use to illustrate cover Mount watercolors on black construction paper Have book party/watercolor gallery show Note: Everyone involved in the pilot project agreed that this curriculum would be more successful if teachers spent time during the term(s) leading up to the project by developing some of their own skills that students will use to complete the project. These include sketching and learning to use watercolors. See Mini-Lesson on Using Private Eye™ Loupes for Observation and Observational Drawing and Keeping a Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie and Charles E. Roth.


BOOKS AND ONLINE RESOURCES Books All of these books are available on loan from the Mississippi Museum of Art.

Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator, by Sarah C. Campbell, photographs by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell The Secret World of Walter Anderson, by Hester Bass, illustrated by E.B. Lewis Horn Island Logs by Walter Inglis Anderson Kaufman Field Guides: Birds, Insects, Butterflies Alabama & Mississippi: Gardener's Guide by Felder Rushing and Jennifer Greer

Websites for Students Ecosystem Gardening: Create Wildlife Habitat. Protect the Environment. http://www.ecosystemgardening.com/ Kids Gardening http://www.kidsgardening.org/

Books for Teachers No Child Left Indoors: Creating a Field Guide to Your Schoolyard by Jane Kirkland  This book features the Nature Break™ lesson, a detailed discussion of nature journaling, and makes recommendations on field guides. Keeping a Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie and Charles E. Roth The Art of Field Sketching by Clare Walker Leslie How to Make Books by Esther K Smith  This book gives instructions on making the Instant Book.

Websites for Teachers http://www.the-private-eye.com/index.html  An online store for purchasing Private Eye™ Loupes, and educational materials. http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6709160.html  Creating Contour Drawings and Frames: A two-lesson unit featuring Walter Anderson


DEVELOPING CLOSE OBSERVATION SKILLS THROUGH THE LIFE OF WALTER ANDERSON Walter Anderson took the time to truly see what was all around him. He concentrated so intensely on his subjects that he felt he truly became that tree, that flower, or that bird-especially among his friends on Horn Island. -Hester Bass, The Secret World of Walter Anderson

READ…. Begin by reading The Secret World of Walter Anderson by Hester Bass. This book is available on loan from the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Education Department.

THINK ABOUT…. What is unique or interesting about Walter Anderson? What are a few adjectives you might use to describe Walter Anderson's lifestyle? _______________, _______________, ______________

Take a few moments to look together at the watercolors by Walter Anderson.

TAKE A CLOSE LOOK… SEE: What is going on in this picture? What do you see that makes you say that? What else do you notice? CONNECT: What do you know about this image? What does this image bring to mind? THINK: What do you think about this image? What makes you say that? How does it make you feel? WONDER: About what does this image make you wonder? What more do you wish to know about it? How would you describe Walter Anderson’s paintings? Brainstorm words together to build a vocabulary around which to describe his paintings. Are they energetic? Or are they still? Are they vibrant? Or are they dull?

THINK ABOUT…. As it said in The Secret World of Walter Anderson, Walter Anderson’s Horn Island paintings were not discovered until after his death. He told no one about them, not even his wife and children. Why do you imagine he kept them secret? Why were they special to him? 14

In addition to being an artist, many also describe Walter Anderson as a naturalist, an environmentalist, and an even an ecologist. Does anyone know what those words mean? What do they have in common?

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES…SKETCHING When he went to Horn Island, Walter Anderson would capture the animals and plants on the island through his watercolors. He would also keep logs or journals where he would sketch and write about his experiences. He would sometimes use these sketches to produce his finished watercolors. Explain to students that when they go to The Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art, they are going to keep a log, or a nature journal, just like Walter Anderson did. They will document the plants, the insects, and the animals they find, and, eventually, will work together in groups to create a field guide on a certain topic, using the nature journals as a guide. Introduce the basics of sketching In the following, students will learn to draw as they see everyday subjects and objects in and around them. These lessons will help build fundamental skills in close observation and sketching, and are important to do before beginning the field research in The Art Garden (or other location). Supplies: • • • •

Sketch paper Drawing Pencils Erasers Mat board frame (optional)

Vocabulary: • • •

Contours Shading Motif

DRAW…. The following three lessons are meant to help to develop foundational skills for sketching and shading. These can be done in one lesson or, preferably, spaced out over the course of a few days to reinforce learning.

Contour drawing In this exercise, students will learn about the outline, or contour, of a shape. They will begin by using their hand, which is a good way to practice simplifying a familiar shape before moving onto the shapes they will draw when observing in nature. After tracing their hand, they will then try to draw it freehand.


Ask students to place their hand on a piece of paper and to carefully (and delicately) trace around it using their pencil. Tracing first will help to emphasize the importance of capturing only the outline of the hand. Next, ask the students to remove their hand from the paper and place it in front of them. Have them try drawing their hand again, only this time without tracing. Have them repeat this to practice drawing only the contours of what they see. See Contour Drawing How-To

The Seven Motifs During the 1930s, Walter Anderson acquired a book by a Mexican artist, Adolfo Best-Maugard, called A Method for Creative Design, which would influence him tremendously. After studying decorative wares unearthed from a pre-Hispanic site in Mexico, Best-Maugard identified seven elements from which all decorative patterns are made: the simple straight line, the spiral, the simple circle, the semicircle, the wavy line, two half circles (or the “s� shape), and the broken zigzag. Walter Anderson employed these elements directly, as is evidenced in the distinctive lines and patterns that make up many of his birds, turtles, and other creatures seen in his work. In this exercise, students will practice with the designs and use them together to create their own patterns. Ask them to all try using the motifs to (1) create a border around their name; (2) to draw a flower; and (3) to draw an animal of their choice. See Motifs How-To

Sketching and Shading In this exercise, students will begin to consider light and shading in their sketches. This will be important when they are journaling in The Art Garden. Students will begin by using basic shapes—a cube, a cone, a circle, and a box. [Note: when possible, we suggest you use a three-dimensional version of one of these shapes to help students consider how light affects the shape.] On a sheet of paper, ask the students to draw one of these shapes. Using the edge of a pencil, ask them to shade a portion of the shape and note from where the light is coming. After shading the shapes, we suggest practicing sketching (combining contour drawing and shading) in the classroom or outside for a few minutes each day prior to visiting The Art Garden. See Shading How-To


LOOKING AT ART The following is meant to assist educators with helping students respond thoughtfully and critically to works of art. When looking at works of art, the students’ experience is most rewarding if they are encouraged to respond imaginatively and if they understand that there are no wrong answers. Establish a protocol, or a thinking routine, to provide structure to the dialogue around a work of art. Research shows that thinking routines make students more comfortable to engage in unfamiliar dialogue and encourage active participation among all learners. Creating a “culture of thinking” 1 helps facilitators meet learning objectives and also assists in building students’ vocabulary so that they can become more conversant and descriptive with visual prompts. To read more about thinking routines, click here. If you do not currently use a protocol in your classroom, please use the Museum’s, which students encounter when visiting MMA. Use this routine with each work of art before incorporating the various discussion questions and additional activities you find in this guide. When confronting a new work of art, walk your students through the following:

SEE-CONNECT-THINK-WONDER SEE: What is going on in this picture? What do you see that makes you say that? What else do you notice? As students identify what they see, we recommend that you point to what they are noticing in the work. Continue to ask these questions until all possible answers are exhausted.

CONNECT: What do you already know about this image? What does this image bring to mind? This is an opportunity for students to draw from their prior knowledge (other disciplinary content, personal experiences, etc.) and make connections to it. Students can collectively pool information during the “connect” portion.

THINK: What do you think about this image? What makes you say that? How does this work make you feel? Why? This is a chance for students to express an opinion about the image. Here, you might push them to support their claims through the elements of art—composition, shape, form, color, and texture.

WONDER: About what does this image make you wonder? What more do you wish to know about it? This encourages students to use their imaginations and to think about other factors that they would like to know about the work. This would also be an appropriate time to introduce other “contextual” factors about the life and work of the artists, historical events that were happening at the time this work was created, etc.


Ritchart Summer 2007


WALTER INGLIS ANDERSON (1903-1965) Walter Inglis Anderson was an artist and naturalist who explored a range of media, including watercolor, drawings, linoleum block prints, furniture, carved figures, ceramics, and oil paintings. Stylistically, his work can be split into three periods: the Ocean Springs years (1930-1937); the Oldfields years (1940-1948); and the Horn Island years (1949-1965). It is his work during the Horn Island years for which he is most known and recognized, even though much of the notoriety he has received came after his death. 1 Walter Anderson was born in New Orleans in 1903, the second of three boys. The son of a successful grain merchant and an artist mother of a well-to-do New Orleans family, Walter enjoyed many privileges as a young boy. At a young age, he took interest in the natural world around him, enjoying exploring the swamps and bayous around New Orleans with his two brothers as well as hunting with his father. When Anderson was eleven years old, he was sent to a military boarding school in New York (which he described as “prison”) for four years, which was interrupted by World War I. He returned to New Orleans to finish his education at the Isidore Newman School. 2 Walter’s mother, an artist herself, was determined that her three boys would pursue careers as an artist. The family would eventually relocate to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, where Peter became interested in ceramics and founded Shearwater Pottery in 1928. Once he finished school, the youngest—James—would also work at Shearwater Pottery in addition to working in watercolors, oils, and block prints 3 Walter Anderson went to New York, where he spent a year at the New School of Fine and Applied Art (now the Parsons School for Design) studying commercial art. After a year, Anderson enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy for the Fine Arts (PAFA), where he spent four years. While at PAFA, Anderson was preoccupied with “the study of masters of drawing, especially Durer, Ingres, and Degas.” 4 He studied with Henry McCarter, an artist who had studied in Paris and been friendly with the Impressionists. McCarter encouraged his students to consider “Light as color, rather than as value or tone.” 5 Anderson supposedly spent much of his time at PAFA rejecting drawing from cast molds, and, instead, enjoyed spending time and drawing at the Philadelphia Zoo. He turned in the drawings he produced at the zoo, for which he was awarded the Packard Prize (he competed with the entire student body at PAFA). Additionally, in 1927, he received the Cresson grant to travel to Europe and study in France. While in Europe, Anderson saw many important sites in France and Spain—he visited the Louvre, the Prado, and many art museums in between. But it was the cave paintings of southwestern France—the Les Eyzies and Lascaux—that he found particularly moving. 6 After Europe, Anderson moved back to Ocean Springs, where he met Agnes Grinstead, a recent graduate of Radcliffe College, whose family had a summer home nearby. The two would soon marry and have four children together. During the 1930s, Anderson painted for the Works Progress Administration where he painted murals, most notably a mural for Ocean Springs High School which now hangs in the Walter Anderson Museum in Ocean Springs. During the 1930s, Anderson acquired Mexican artist Adolpho Best-Maugard’s A Method for Creative Design, which would influence him tremendously. Adolpho Best-Maugard was commissioned at a young age to illustrate pre-Hispanic materials that were being excavated from the Valley of Mexico. While copying thousands of these decorate wares, he studied them closely and began to see similarities between the patterns on each ware. After exploring these similarities further, he would ultimately conclude that all primitive people use the same forms and patterns to represent various natural phenomena, and he thus identified seven elements from which all decorative patterns are made: point and straight line, spiral, circle, semicircle, wavy line, “s” shape, and zigzag. 7 Anderson employed these elements directly, as is evidenced in the distinctive lines and patterns that make up many of his birds, turtles, and other creatures seen in his work.


(Black, 1998) (Black, 2009) (Black, 1998) 4 (Sugg, 1985, p.12 5 (Sugg, 1985, p.12 6 (Black, 1998) 7 (Pomade, 2006) 2 3


In 1937, Walter Anderson suffered from a nervous breakdown and, for the next three years, would be institutionalized at various mental hospitals. In August 1938, he returned to Ocean Springs, but was almost immediately hospitalized again in Maryland in 1939. Somehow, Anderson escaped in the winter in his hospital outfit, and was not heard from again until he appeared in Ocean Springs. In 1940, the Anderson family moved to Oldfields, the pecan plantation and antebellum home where his mother was born. 8 Walter Anderson joined his family at Oldfields in 1941. Trying to build a market for his work, it was during his time at Oldfields that Walter Anderson created his linoleum blocks and printed them on the reverse side of wallpaper. 9 Walter Anderson stayed at Oldfields until 1947, when (with the consent of his family) he moved back to his cottage at Shearwater Pottery. During the last twenty years of his life, Walter Anderson would spend his time traveling back and forth to several of the barrier islands, the islands that separate the Mississippi Sound with the Gulf of Mexico. Both the Pascagoula and Pearl rivers flow into the Mississippi Sound, where the water is thus brackish and supports a number of different species of animals and plants.10 Anderson would spend his days drawing and studying the plant and animal life, mainly on Horn Island, and at night he would sleep under the skiff he had used to row himself across the 14 miles of sound to get to the Island. In 1965, he weathered Hurricane Betsy on Horn Island covered only by his skiff. 11 After his death from cancer in 1965, his widow, Agnes Grinstead Anderson, discovered thousands of logs, sketches, and watercolor paintings, which represent a remarkable catalogue of Anderson’s work during the years he spent at Horn Island. As Patty Carr Black says, “For Anderson, art was not a product but a process, a means of experiencing the world.” 12


(Pickard, 1996) (Pickard, 1996, p.xvi) (Sugg, 1985) 11 (Black, 1998) 12 (Black, 1998, p.199) 9




QUESTIONS TO GUIDE BRAINSTORMING SESSION WITH STUDENTS The following questions should be used after the first visit to The Art Garden (or whatever outdoor space you are using) to create your field guides. The ultimate goal of this brainstorming session is to choose topics upon which your field guides will be based. (whole class – 10 min., group – 8 min., report back to whole class – 5 min.) You've looked at some field guides in your classrooms. Yes? What did you notice about the field guides? An observation that might be made is that field guides are organized by categories, species, locations, wide view (landscape), focused (up close) view, etc. Our project is to create field guides for The Art Garden. You will work in groups – each group will create a different field guide. What did you notice while you were outside in the garden? What did you hear in the garden? What did you smell in the garden? What did you touch in the garden? Did you notice any patterns in the garden? Any groups of similar things? How did what you saw outside compare to the art you saw in The Mississippi Story? How was it different than what you expected to see in The Art Garden? How was it different from the [your school’s] schoolyard? Keep in mind that we are going to make 10 field guides. We will share them with people who have never visited The Art Garden. What do you think would make a good topic for a field guide for The Art Garden?


FIELD GUIDE PHOTOGRAPHY CHECKLIST Group facilitator: Goal: Each student in the group will take enough photographs to choose one that adds an item to the field guide, is in focus, and interesting. Classroom Teacher:

. Group #

Working with Camera #'s


. Topic: ,

Take group photograph for back cover. Camera #

. ,

. .

Take photograph of student photographer as he/she takes possession of the camera. Student's name:

. Camera #


Take photograph of student photographer as he/she takes possession of the camera. Student's name:

. Camera #


Take photograph of student photographer as he/she takes possession of the camera. Student's name:

. Camera #


Take photograph of student photographer as he/she takes possession of the camera. Student's name:

. Camera #


Take photograph of student photographer as he/she takes possession of the camera. Student's name:

. Camera # 22


LOUPE OBSERVATION Draw a picture of what you see using the loupe.

As I observed the

, it reminded me of

I also thought that it looked like






























PHOTO SELECTION HOW-TO Photo selection works best with small groups of students (no more than 5 or 6 at a time). Allow approximately 30 minutes for each group. Supplies index cards pencils computers (1 for each student) jump drives holding student images (1 for each computer) Preparation Save student images on a jump drive in a file structure that works like this: teacher name → group number → student name Procedure Students will work in windows explorer. They will need to know computer basics, such as using a mouse to select (both oneclick and double-click), and navigating file structures to find and open files. Before the students sit down, you should select the drive that corresponds to the relevant jump drive. Instruct the students to double-click on the file with their teacher's name. Then, to double-click on the file with their group number. Then, to double-click on the file with their name. At that point, they should see a list of the file names for the photographs they took. You can instruct them how to display the files as thumbnails. Ask the students to open the first image. This is typically an image of the student. (When I take students out in the field to take photographs, I take a photograph of the student right before I hand the student a camera. This makes it easier to identify the photographer of the images.) Say: “Is it a picture of you?” Yes. “That's how we know we have the right images.” Ask the students to look in the upper left hand corner of the screen to find the file name of the image. Ask each one to read it aloud, and check over his/her shoulder. Tell them that this file name (or, more precisely, the last four digits of the file name) is the label to use to refer to any image they select. At that point, ask the students to look through all the images, one by one, and then select the three images they think best fit the assignment. Solicit from them characteristics of good images from two points of view: scientific and artistic. Some answers are: clear, shows several parts of plant or animal for identification purposes, interesting shapes, lines or colors. Each student writes the three file names on an index card. Then, ask them to underline the file name of the image they think is best. At that point, ask them to face away from the computers with their index cards in hand. Tell them that you will act as Art Director. Begin the “creative meeting” to choose the images that will go in the field guide. Ask each one to describe his/her image. If two students present photographs of the same plant or animal, ask both students to bring their images to the screen and ask all the students to take a look and express preferences, with reasons. Take a vote. (I feel comfortable expressing my preferences and giving my reasons because it models for the students how a photographer makes judgments about which images he/she will use. I ask that they articulate a reason, too, when they express a preference.) 27

BASICS OF WATERCOLOR TECHNIQUE The following guide is for creating watercolor paintings. Students can use a sketch they did in their nature journal or use a photograph they took as the basis for their watercolor. The painting will serve as another final project for the Digging Deep unit, and, if desired, can be used to illustrate the front cover of the field guide.

Supplies • • • • • • • • •

Tube or liquid watercolors Sable watercolor brush(es) Watercolor paper (approximately 150lb) HB graphite stick Sponge Containers for water Paper towels Pencils Palette (for mixing tube colors)

Resources: • •

A Symphony of Animals by Walter Anderson The Secret World of Walter Anderson by Hester Bass

Vocabulary: • •

Watercolor wash Drybrush

Primary Outcomes: • •

Students will explore watercolor as an artistic medium, learning to make a watercolor brush, a line, and a wash. Students will create their own watercolor, using one of their nature sketches or photographs

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES…EXPLORING WATERCOLOR Lesson: Watercolor Wash Students will first work with watercolor to practice working with the medium to create a watercolor wash. A watercolor wash is a method of painting with water soluble paint that creates a soft color by using more water than pigment in the brush. Creating a wash will help give students a better understanding of how the more water you use, the more diluted the pigment becomes and the lighter the color will be on the paper.


Procedure • Students will lay out selected colors of paint. • Load brush with water and dip into paint to produce a wash. • Slightly tilt paper on the board on which you are using for stability. • Begin at the top and move steady horizontal strokes across the paper. • Repeat process for darker washes of color. Add more paint and less water for deeper color. watercolor wash

Lesson: Watercolor Lines Students will experiment with finer brushes to make lines with watercolor.

Procedure To create lines or details in watercolor use a smaller brush with more pigment than water and draw as you would with a pencil.

watercolor drybrush

Lesson: Watercolor Drybrush Procedure Drybrush technique can suggest textures in a watercolor painting. It is created by removing any moisture from a brush and skimming the brush slightly filled with pigment along dry paper. HB graphite sticks can also be used in watercolor paintings when paper is dry. These can be used before or after painting.


CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES…CREATING A FINISHED WATERCOLOR Before you begin, have students choose which photograph or sketch they wish to use to create their watercolor painting. Using typing paper, have students utilize their sketching skills to enlarge their sketch or photograph to the full size. Once they are satisfied with their drawing, have them lightly re-draw their sketch on the high-quality watercolor paper. Next, using the techniques they just practiced, have them begin painting their watercolor. Reiterate that using water to dilute the pigment is important and to lightly apply paint to their paper. Once the students are finished, you can mount their watercolors on black construction paper for display, and/or choose one work among the groups’ members to use as the front cover of each group’s field guide.


VOCABULARY LIST* Field guide – a book for the identification of birds, flowers, minerals, or other things in their natural environment. Species – a group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals Plants – a living organism of the kind exemplified by trees, shrubs, herbs, grasses, ferns, and mosses, typically growing in a permanent site. Animals – any living organism other than a human being Art installations – a creation by an artist that was specifically made to be placed in a certain environment or space. Sculpture – two- or three-dimensional representative or abstract forms Fountain – an ornamental structure in a pool or lake from which one or more jets of water are pumped into the air. Landscape – a picture representing an area of countryside Adaptation – a change by which an organism or species becomes better suited to its environment Environment – the surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operates Ecosystem – a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment. Energy – the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity Energy source – the source from which strength and vitality is gained to perform a physical or mental activity Food web – a system of interlocking and interdependent food chains Food chain – a hierarchical series of organisms each dependent on the next as a source of food. Predator – an animal that naturally preys on others Prey – an animal that is hunted and killed by another for food Range – the distance within which something can be reached or perceived Macrophotography – photography producing photographs of small items larger than life size Rough draft – the initial outline of an informational piece of writing Storyboard – a sequence of drawings, typically with some directions and dialogue, representing the shots planned for a book, movie, or television production. Caption – a title, brief explanation or piece of text appended to an article, illustration, cartoon, or poster Rural – in, relating to, or characteristic of the countryside rather than the town. 35

Urban – in, relating to, or characteristic of a city or town Perspective – the art of drawing solid objects on a two-dimensional surface so as to give the right impression of their height, width, depth, and position in relation to each other when viewed from a particular point. Artistic choice – the process used by a creator of a work of art to locate the most relevant pieces to place within a piece of work Basic elements of Design – line, Color, Shape/Form, Space, Value and Texture Realistic – representing familiar things in a way that is accurate or true to life Focal point – the center of interest or activity Loupe – a small magnifying glass Watercolor wash – a method of painting with water soluble paint that creates a soft color by using more water than pigment in the brush. *These definitions are adapted from the New Oxford American Dictionary.


Walter Inglis Anderson (1903-1965), Stone Crab, 1951. watercolor on paper, 11 x 8 ½ inches. Collection of Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson. Purchase. 1967.006. Copyright Š Estate of Walter Anderson.

Walter Inglis Anderson (1903-1965), Wood Duck, no date. watercolor on paper. 8 ½ x 11 inches. Collection of Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson. Purchase. 1967.030. Copyright Š Estate of Walter Anderson.

Walter Inglis Anderson (1903-1965), Horn Island窶認all, no date. watercolor on paper, 8 ツス x 11 inches. Collection of Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson. Purchase. 1967.034. Copyright ツゥ Estate of Walter Anderson.

Examples of Student Watercolors

Examples of Student Watercolors

Examples of Student Watercolors


MUSEUM HOURS: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM - 5 PM Sunday, noon - 5 PM Monday, Closed The Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art – a 1.2 acre park where community and culture convene. Open to the public, the green space includes public art, a children’s fountain, a performance stage, outdoor classrooms, and gardens lush with Mississippi native plants. The Museum Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM Sunday, noon – 5 PM Monday, Closed



The Palette Café by Viking is open Tuesday through Saturday. Coffee served 10 AM Lunch served 11 AM – 2 PM

Keep up with what’s happening at the Mississippi Museum of Art. Visit WWW.MSMUSEUMART.ORG to sign up for our weekly email updates, which provide information on upcoming events and exhibitions at the Museum.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.