Art Illustrating the Development of America

Description –

The idea is for students to be able to examine American Art images in order to be able to tell the tale of the development of our country. They can use the clues they see in painting/pictures to explain how the country changed over time and how the lives of our citizens changed. This will then act as a stepping stone for them to come up with their own images that they create to demonstrate the changes they see in their own lives and the lives of their families.

Objective –

They will learn about the changes in American life. They will develop an appreciation of American Art as well as be able to see the role that it plays in educating and enriching the lives of the people. I also want students to be able to see the political ideas behind some paintings, such as Gast\’s , \”Progress\” which is loaded with imagery promoting the political/religious concept of Manifest Destiny.

Materials –

I will use American Art posters, overheads, or would like to be able to purchase a document projector so that I can show my students many, many examples of American Art. I would also use flip cameras so that students can capture their own images and document their own lives as well as the lives of their family members.

Other Information –

I have been teaching for 27 years and have been a contributing member to our district\’s Teaching American History Grant program. I have written curriculum and have always included the use of art in my classroom. Students are not exposed to enough of it and I often hear students tell me that my classroom is the first time that a piece of fine art is truly explained to them in terms of symbolism, perspective and purpose.

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