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Explore the Work of a Female Artist

Students will conduct research to identify a female artist or illustrator and learn about her career and the type of art she made. Then they will create their own piece of art in the same style.

PROCESS:

  1. As a class, brainstorm a list of famous artists that students are familiar with. Examine the list. Does it contain more men than women? If so, why do students think that is? Guide the class to understand that historically, men's accomplishments have been recognized more than women's. This has occurred in all fields. Art is no exception.  
  2. Select one female artist or illustrator prior to conducting this activity or have students conduct research to identify one in pairs or small groups. Then have students conduct research to learn about the artist's career and the type of art she made. Encourage them to examine several pieces of her work.
  3. Provide a variety of supplies. Then give students time to create their own piece of art in the style the artist used. Encourage students to be original. Rather than copying the artist's work, they should create pieces of art in that style that express their own personalities. 

ASSESSMENT: 

Invite students to present their artwork to the class. As they do, encourage them to share what they learned about the artist, her career and the type of art she made.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON: 

Grades 3-4:
Prior to conducting this activity, select one female artist or illustrator for the class to investigate. Provide assistance as students conduct research. Then provide the necessary supplies and give students time to create artwork in the style the artist used. Invite students to share what they learned about the artist, her career and the type of art she made.
Grades 5-6:
Prior to conducting this activity, gather a variety of supplies so students can create artwork in different styles. Then have students complete the activity in small groups. Instruct each group member to create his or her own piece of art in the style the artist used. When the group presents its work to the class, encourage each member to share one fact he or she learned about the artist, her career and the type of art she made.
Grades 7-8:
Prior to conducting this activity, gather a variety of supplies so students can create artwork in different styles. Assign each student a partner. Encourage pairs to select one artist or illustrator and conduct research to learn about her career and the type of art she made. Tell partners to write a brief summary about the artist and to print out pictures showing at least three examples of her work. Then have each partner create his or her own piece of art in the style the artist used. Invite pairs to present their work to the class.
Grades 9-10:
Prior to conducting this activity, gather a variety of supplies so students can create artwork in different styles. Encourage each student to select one artist or illustrator and conduct research to learn about her career and the type of art she made. Tell students to write a brief summary about the artist and to print out pictures showing at least three examples of her work. Then give students time to create their own piece of art in the style the artist used. Invite students to present their work to the class. As they do, challenge them to identify interesting or innovative aspects of the woman's work and explain why her career is worthy of further study.