All the Things! - Andy Warhol’s Art
Grade Levels: 3-6
Like it or not- our modern lives are full of stuff. Every day, we interact with a multitude of objects; foods, technology, tools, cars, furniture, books…the list goes on and on! In addition to the stuff we have, we also possess a veritable library of media that we consume on a daily basis. Music, movies, YouTube videos, stories, etc. How are we to feel about all of these connections that we maintain? Andy Warhol’s paintings, including Campbell’s Soup Cans, extol the value of the things in our life and celebrate the indominable meaning of experience- no matter how mundane. In this lesson, students will evaluate the meaning behind Warhol’s work, will chose a “thing” in their lives that they feel holds a special yet accessible importance, create a piece of art that magnifies it’s “thisness”, and write about the object.
SUGGESTED TIME ALLOWANCE:
3 days, 30-40 minutes each day
- Evaluate Andy Warhol’s art
- Create a work of art depicting one important thing in their lives
- Write informatively about the chosen item
LA.4.W.4.2 - [Standard] - Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
Anchor Standard #7. Perceive and analyze artistic work.
Anchor Standard #1. Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
- Poster board, paper, or other canvas material
- Markers, crayons, colored pencil, paints (students’ choice)
1. Project Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans (Website: https://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/andy-warhol-campbells-soup-cans-1962/ ) and present students with the question: “Is this art?” Allow students to share interpretations of the meaning of the painting and guide them toward creating a definition of art. Create a list of criteria with which to determine whether or not something is art. Once students are satisfied with the conversation, give them some background on Andy Warhol’s artistic style. Explain that he was a pioneer of “pop art,” a style that used popular images to invoke the feelings that people have about familiar objects and celebrities. Pop artists also challenged the idea that art had to be “original” to be meaningful or good.
2. Invite students to brainstorm a list of items or people that they feel are both easily recognized and important to them. Once they have an adequate number of items on their list, invite students to share their lists with a partner. Have students share with the class what items were familiar to both students in each pair. Then guide students in a short discussion of why Andy Warhol might have chosen to depict items like the ones they chose. Collect the student’s lists or have them put them in folders.
1. Have students retrieve their lists. Tell students that they should choose one item or celebrity that they feel is particularly important to them. Explain that they will be making a piece of art that depicts the specialness of their choice.
2. Lead students in a short discussion of how they can use art to show specialness. Ideas may include changing its color, including a background, using a halo or other effect.
3. Allow students to use whatever materials they choose to create their art. Give students 20-30 minutes to work on their pieces. Cleanup when ready.
1. Have students finish any remaining artwork.
2. When students finish, explain that they’ll need to display their art and should have a short blurb “from the artist” to give some context for their work. Have students write a short paragraph explaining why the item they chose is important. Remind students of what they know about informative and persuasive writing. When finished, students may choose to frame their art with paper and should neatly write or type up their “from the artist” blurb to display with the work.
Assessment: Do a “Gallery Walk” once students’ art has been displayed. Ask each student to explain why they chose the item they chose. Ask each student how their choices in making the art help to show how important it is to them. For each student, playfully ask them, “So, how is this art? It looks to me like it’s just something you like. Art has to be original!” and gauge their response in relation to the previous discussion of Andy Warhol and pop art. Record responses and assess based on thoughtfulness, intent to communicate, knowledge of pop art concepts, and clarity of informative blurb.