Famous Artists and Musicians Lesson Plan: Who Inspires YOU?

Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, K-3

In this artists and musicians lesson plan, which is adaptable for any grade level, students use BrainPOP or BrainPOP Jr. resources to explore the life and works of a self-selected musician or artist. Students will research their chosen musician or artist and then create an original composition inspired by the person they researched.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Explore the life and works of a self-selected artist or musician.
  2. Create an original composition inspired by their selected artist or musician.

Materials:

  • Computers with internet access for BrainPOP or BrainPOP Jr.
  • Materials for students to create their own piece of art or music

Preparation:

Determine whether students will work alone or cooperatively to complete their projects. You may wish to provide written directions or an assessment rubric for students to guide them in their projects. Preview the BrainPOP Jr. and/or BrainPOP art and music related movie topics to determine which ones are appropriate for your students, and list them for children to choose from.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Tell the class the name of one of your favorite artists or musicians and share examples of his or her work. Explain what you like about the musician or artist's work. You might also want to share a few examples of things that you've created that were inspired by your selected person's style.
  2. Show students the names of all the reading level-appropriate artists and/or musicians featured on BrainPOP and/or BrainPOP Jr. Facilitate a discussion around their work. Have students seen or heard of any of these artists' creations?
  3. If students are not familiar with many of the artists or musicians, show some of the movie features (the FYI and Q&A for BrainPOP movies or Background Information page for BrainPOP Jr. movies) to familiarize the class with various artists' lives and backgrounds. You can also provide time for students to explore these resources on their own to find an artist that is relevant to them.
  4. Ask students to select an artist whose life or works are intriguing to them, and provide the guidelines for their projects. If you have previously studied the techniques of famous artists, discuss these experiences with students, and encourage students to use the analyzation strategies they've learned.
  5. Allow students to watch the BrainPOP movie on their chosen artist and explore the related resources. Students should use this information to guide them in creating their original composition.
  6. Confer with students as they begin their compositions. Guide students to understand qualities that make the artist's voice and ideas unique, and talk about how students can build upon those qualities with their own creations.
  7. When all students have completed their artwork or musical composition, allow the class to spend time exploring one another's creations. Invite other faculty and parents to attend and celebrate your students' work!