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Monday Morning Ready03.09.2018
Jumpstart Your Week!

Early in her career, Dalia Messick, a cartoonist struggling to get her work published, got a couple pieces of advice from the head of the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate’s secretary. First, change your character’s profession, she said, and secondly, change your name.... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

Think of your favorite male and female cartoon characters. Do you think they are treated differently because one is a boy and the other is a girl? Why or why not?

Grade 5-6

Why do you think the secretary told Dalia Messick to change her name? Would you change your name if you were in the same situation? Why or why not?

Grade 7-8

According to the article, the exhibit, "Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists," is dedicated to exploring the lesser-known, centuries-spanning contributions of female artists who broke into these make-dominated fields. In what way, if any, do you think an exhibit like this helps female artists and aspiring artists living today?

Grade 9-10

According to the article, women who were interested in drawing cartoons and comics early on were often limited to certain subjects. Why do you think this happened? What does it tell you about society's views of women and the dynamics between men and women in the workplace?

LESSON PLAN
Explore the Work of a Female Artist

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.
SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
Meet Miriam Schapiro
In this interview provided by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery, abstract artist Miriam Schapiro discusses her struggle to succeed in the male-dominated abstract expressionist movement.

Artist and Society
In this teacher-created lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, high school students design their own “system” that shows the impact that society had on a given artist and the impact that this artist might have had on others in an artistic movement.

Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence
The Ubuhle (means “beautiful”) artists’ community was established in 1999 by local resident Bev Gibson and master beader Ntombephi Ntombela [En-Tom-be-Fi En-tom-bell-la] to empower local women with the means to provide for their families through art. Review this brochure from the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum to meet some of the female artists who live and work together in the community.

An American Story in Dance and Music
Students will discover how a dancer/choreographer, composer, and sculptor worked together to tell a beautiful story about American history.

Reading "Julia Morgan Built a Castle"
Use this guide to actively read "Julia Morgan Built a Castle," a picture book about one of America’s first female architects.

Zaida Ben-Yusuf: New York Portrait Photographer
Invite students to explore this National Portrait Gallery exhibition to learn about the extraordinary life of photographer Zaida Ben-Yusuf, an important figure in the pictorialist photography movement in late 19th- and early 20th-century New York.

Ancient Women Artists May Be Responsible for Most Cave Art
Previously, most researchers assumed that the people behind these mysterious artworks must have been men. Read this Smithsonian article to learn why they may have been wrong.
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