Sculptures & Statues Lesson Plan: Research and Create!

Submitted by: Angela Watson

Grade Levels: K-3

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades K-3, students use BrainPOP Jr. resources to compare and contrast the artistic styles of various sculptures and statues. Students then research the artistic intention and historical significance of a selected statue, and create an original sculpture (using physical materials or digital tools) to honor a community or historical leader, or event.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Compare and contrast the artistic styles of various sculptures and statues
  2. Research the artistic intention and historical significance of a selected statue
  3. Create an original sculpture (using physical materials or digital tools) to honor a community or historical leader or event

Materials:

  • Internet access for BrainPOP
  • LCD projector
  • Computers for students to use while conducting research
  • Photocopies of the Activity

Vocabulary:

mobile; statue; sculpture; medium; abstract

Preparation:

This lesson can be spread across multiple days. Make photocopies of the Activity for students to use, and identify appropriate websites they can use when research their sculptures. You may want to compile a list of statues students can choose from.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Display the Puzzle Game for the class to see, and challenge students to determine which famous sculpture stands in the New York Harbor (The Statue of Liberty.)
  2. What other famous sculptures do students know? Ask the class to watch for familiar art as you play the Sculpture movie. What sculptures does the movie feature that are new to students? Talk about the ones students liked best and why.
  3. Use the Word Wall to review the meaning of the term statue (and other vocabulary as needed.) Remind students that many memorials have statues to commemorate and honor an important person, event, or idea.
  4. Together, conduct an Internet search for images of famous memorials, such as the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and Abraham Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  5. As they take their virtual tour, ask students to compare and contrast two (or more) of these statues. What does the pose of the statue tell you about the person or about the artist's view of the person?
  6. Challenge students to work individually or in pairs/groups to learn more about a statue that interests them. Distribute copies of the Activity for students to use as an organizer for their thinking. Provide time for students to conduct their research online. Allow them to print out a photograph of their statues.
  7. Have students hang their research and statue photographs around the classroom, and invite the class to take a tour to different parts of the room to visit the various statues. Encourage them to look for similarities and differences between the statues and make inferences about the artists' purpose and style.
  8. Next, invite students to create a statue of their own. They may want to model their statue after a historical figure or community leader. Or, they may want to recreate a special or important moment that occurred in their neighborhood. Have students create their statues using a variety of art materials and/or digital tools.
  9. Display the sculptures in a class art gallery. Have students write or talk about both their artistic style and the background information about the person or people they are honoring. Invite parents or other community members to visit your class gallery and see the statues your students have created!

Extension Activity:

Create a class book of statues by binding together students' Activity pages and printed photographs. A second book can be created using photographs of the original sculptures that students created. Have each child write a short caption for his or her picture. You may wish to create this book digitally.