Link to Lesson Plans (for teachers)

Project 1: Around the Neighborhood

LEARNING:  Students study the life & work of the African-American artist Jacob Lawrence, specifically looking at his paintings of Harlem, where he lived.

CREATING: Students create sketches of their own neighborhood and finish by creating a collage, similar to how Jacob Lawrence used his neighborhood  (Harlem) as inspiration for his paintings.

CONNECTING: This project is thematically aligned with themes taught in the 2nd grade EL & Bookwork curriculum. Specifically, it addresses the general  theme of the ‘community’ by having students focus & study their neighborhood, as well as learning about the Harlem/African American community.


Project 2: Artist, Explorer, Scientist

LEARNING: In this project, student artists learn about how scientists use drawing in their field research. They focus their studies on the ornithologist John Audubon. He was notable for his extensive studies documenting all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats. He eventually produced a book called ‘Birds of North America’ which contained 435 life-sized watercolours of North American birds, all reproduced from hand-engraved prints.

CREATING:  Students begin the project by creating ‘field sketches’ through which they learn the basics of observation drawing. They then pick an animal figurine of their choice, draw it from observation, study the habitat of the animal, create an accurate background for their drawing, and then turn the drawings into a series of prints. 

CONNECTING: This project is thematically aligned with the topic of ‘birds’.. Specifically, it supports 1st graders in their study of birds by looking at the biography and artworks of John Audubon. 

In addition, there is a lot of room for customizing the lesson to directly support classroom learning of animals and their habitats. During lessons 2&3, the teacher can curate the source material to match their classroom learning objectives (e.g., if a class is studying the rainforest, choose animals found in the rainforest for the project, and students are instructed to research their animal’s habitat)

Doodles Academy presents artworks in the public domain as well as works that are protected by copyright and used in accordance with fair use for informational or educational purposes. Because some of these materials are copyrighted, they are only to be used for educational purposes. You can read CMSI’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts to understand how to use and distribute these materials amongst your students.

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