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Every Picture Tells a Story

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Summary

Students will examine the ways in which a work of art represents the culture or lifestyle of people living in a state.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

Students will examine the ways in which a work of art represents the culture or lifestyle of people living in a state.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Art
  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade
  • Sixth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Five
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 151-500 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have knowledge of:

  • The writing process
  • Essay writing
  • Geographic features and the climate of their home state

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Reverse (back)
  • Grant Wood

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the Iowa quarter reverse
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • 1 overhead transparency of the “Grant Wood’s Life” page (optional)
  • Pictures of Grant Wood paintings
  • Copies of the “Painting Evaluation” chart
  • Copies of art books (which feature paintings or prints)
  • Writing paper
  • Pencils
  • Copies of the “Coin Outline” worksheet
  • Crayons or colored pencils

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the Iowa quarter reverse.
  • Make an overhead transparency of the “Grant Wood’s Life” page
  • Locate images of additional paintings by Grant Wood.
  • Work with the school art teacher to locate art books (which feature paintings or prints) that would lend themselves to this project.
  • Make copies of the “Painting Evaluation” chart (1 per student).
  • Make copies of the “Coin Outline” worksheet (1 per student).

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/333.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state, if available. Then display the transparency or photocopy of the Iowa quarter reverse. Locate Iowa on a classroom map. Note its position in relation to your school’s location.
  2. With the students, examine the design on this coin’s reverse. Explain that this image is taken from a painting, named Arbor Day, which was created by a famous Iowan artist named Grant Wood. Point out Wood’s name on the coin’s reverse, and ask the students whether they have ever heard of this artist. Show the students images of some of Wood’s other works, including his most easily identifiable painting, American Gothic.
  3. Pose the following questions to the students: Do you think that this painting was completed recently or in the past? What does it tell us about the United States and Iowa in the time when Wood painted?
  4. Using the overhead transparency of the “Grant Wood’s Life” page, share some information with your students about this artist.
  5. Draw the students’ attention to the building on the coin and ask what kind of building they think that this might be. Who would the people in the picture be? What might they be doing? Explain that the building on this coin is a school, but that in the 1800s and the early 1900s, most of the schools that existed were small and often had only one room for children of all ages.
  6. Read the words “Foundation in Education” to the students and then ask what they think these words might mean. Why do they think that Iowa would put these words and a picture of a school on its quarter reverse? Responses should reflect the idea that schools and education are important to the state.
  7. Explain to students that they will be examining a variety of paintings by different artists.  Students will research and select a painting that they feel best represents the state where they live. They will then write an essay in which they describe how this artwork reflects life in their state.
  8. Assign each student a partner and allow them the remainder of the class period to brainstorm a list of words, ideas, and cultural values which best describe their home state. Students should take notes during their brainstorming session and place these notes in their writing folder to be referenced on the following day.

Session 2

  1. Remind students of their assignment and direct them to retrieve their notes from the previous session.
  2. On an overhead projector, display a copy of the “Painting Evaluation” chart.
  3. Model the use of this organizer with the students based on the painting Arbor Day. Explain what is required in each field and take suggestions from the students to complete the chart.
  4. Distribute a copy of the “Painting Evaluation” chart to each student.
  5. If students need more time to brainstorm about their state, allow this. Otherwise, direct students to select an art book from the collection that has been set aside in the classroom.
  6. Independently, students should examine the art books, completing a row on the “Painting Evaluation” chart for any painting that reminds the student of an aspect of their life in their home state.
  7. Allow students to continue to explore a variety of books to find the painting which best represents their state. Students should work on their charts independently.

Session 3

  1. Direct students to take out their charts from the previous day. Based on their chart, students will need to select the picture they feel best represents their state.
  2. Explain that today the students will begin to write the first drafts of their essays. In this essay the students should use their brainstormed list (from the first session) to describe their home state and how they feel about this state. They should also identify the painting that was selected, including its name and artist. They should explain why they feel that this painting best represents their state.
  3. Allow the students an appropriate amount of time to write their drafts.

Sessions 4 and 5

  1. Allow students to spend sessions 4 and 5 drafting, editing and revising their essays.
  2. Upon completion of their essay, instruct students to pick up a “Coin Outline” sheet and draw a quarter design for their state, using elements of the painting that they selected.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Direct the students to incorporate class spelling or vocabulary words into their stories.
  • Let struggling readers/writers dictate their ideas to the teacher or a classroom aide. Work with the student to re-read the essay that they wrote.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Use frequently misspelled or misused words from the essays as future spelling or vocabulary words.
  • Have students write a creative story about life in Iowa from the perspective of one of the individuals depicted in the painting Arbor Day.
  • Allow students to create their own paintings in which they depict their own family life in their home state.

Use the worksheets and class participation to assess whether the students have met the lesson objectives.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.4 Language
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.4.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Use relative pronouns (who, whose, whom, which, that) and relative adverbs (where, when, why).
    • Form and use the progressive (e.g., I was walking; I am walking; I will be walking) verb tenses.
    • Use modal auxiliaries (e.g., can, may, must) to convey various conditions.
    • Order adjectives within sentences according to conventional patterns (e.g., a small red bag rather than a red small bag).
    • Form and use prepositional phrases.
    • Produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons.
    • Correctly use frequently confused words (e.g., to, too, two; there, their).
  • L.4.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use correct capitalization.
    • Use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text.
    • Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence.
    • Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.5 Language
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.5.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections in general and their function in particular sentences.
    • Form and use the perfect (e.g., I had walked; I have walked; I will have walked) verb tenses.
    • Use verb tense to convey various times, sequences, states, and conditions.
    • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense.
    • Use correlative conjunctions (e.g., either/or, neither/nor).
  • L.5.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use punctuation to separate items in a series.
    • Use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence.
    • Use a comma to set off the words yes and no (e.g., Yes, thank you), to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g., It’s true, isn’t it?), and to indicate direct address (e.g., Is that you, Steve?).
    • Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works.
    • Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.5 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Text Types and Purposes
Standards:

  • W.5.1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
    • Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
    • Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.
    • Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically).
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
  • W.5.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
    • Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general observation and focus, and group related information logically; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
    • Link ideas within and across categories of information using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., in contrast, especially).
    • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.
  • W.5.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
    • Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
    • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, description, and pacing, to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
    • Use a variety of transitional words, phrases, and clauses to manage the sequence of events.
    • Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.6 Language
Grade(s): Grade 4
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.6.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Ensure that pronouns are in the proper case (subjective, objective, possessive).
    • Use intensive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves).
    • Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and person.
    • Recognize and correct vague pronouns (i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous antecedents).
    • Recognize variations from standard English in their own and others' writing and speaking, and identify and use strategies to improve expression in conventional language.
  • L.6.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements.
    • Spell correctly.

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: 5-8 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 5: Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others
Grade(s): Grades 5–8
Standards:

  • Students compare multiple purposes for creating works of art
  • Students analyze contemporary and historic meanings in specific artworks through cultural and aesthetic inquiry
  • Students describe and compare a variety of individual responses to their own artworks and to artworks from various eras and cultures