Author: Dr. Trina Melloy, PS 89 Queens
Lesson Preview This unit is composed of several modules: an Arts Module and a language arts module. The unit culminates in a portfolio of writing and art projects, including sketching, drawing, and painting.
E2: The student produces a narrative account in the form of an autobiographical and expository composition
Grades Upper Elementary and Intermediate School Levels
Subject Art, Language Arts
Activities 1. The Arts and Reading
Rembrandt Revisited- A review of Rembrandts life and major works.
Have students discuss selected paintings such as The Night Watch and Aristotle with the Bust of Homer. Have them also focus on self-portraits comparing earlier works by Rembrandt with later ones. Have them discuss the idea that the self-portrait can be considered a "memoir without words". Encourage students to draw their own self-portraits while looking into a mirror using charcoal Follow this up with additional self-portraits using drawing materials such as tempera, acrylic paints, and pastels.
Aristotle with the Bust of Homer
Have students paint their face. First, describe its basic shape; describe your eyes, their self-portrait using descriptive works. Point out that Rembrandts self-portraits were not just drawings of himself, but of emotions expressed by his face, such as surprise, joy, and worry. In fact, some people think that the word self-portrait wasnt even used during the time of Rembrandt but came into use later.
Write three paragraphs describing your nose, ears, etc. Next, describe how you show your emotions with your face, and lastly, describe how you think your face will look when you reach various ages.
For another lesson, students were asked to go to texts such as "O.Henrys Short Stories," "By the Shores of Silver Lake," and "Sarah, Plain and Tall" and copy three or four examples of facial descriptions used by the authors. Students read these to their classmates.
A pretest to assess student knowledge of Rembrandts life and works administered early in the year before the start of the unit.
A Student Attitudinal Inventory