Monday, March 28, 2011

life in a jar, an insectarium art lesson plan

 Above, student artwork of bugs in jars
Title: Life In A Jar
Topic: insects, botany, drawing
Goals & Objectives:
•    Students will create a still life from observation using drawing tools to illustrate living organisms and the organism’s environment.
•    Students will use crayons and magic markers to demonstrate line.
GLEs:
Show-Me Standards for Visual Art in k-2nd Grade
Strand IV: Interdisciplinary Connections, Explain the connections between Visual Art and Communication Arts, Math, Science or Social Studies
Strand I: Product/Performance – Select and apply two dimensional, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas and solve challenging visual art problems
•    Produce a line using crayon, pencil, or marker for kindergarteners
•    Fill an area with solid color/value using crayon, pencil, or marker for 1rst Graders.
Strand I: Product/Performance – Communicate ideas about subject matter and themes in artworks created for various purposes
•    Still Life: Create an original still life from observation for 2nd Graders.
Show-Me Standards for Science Course Level Expectations - Grade level expectations for grades K-8 are clustered into suggested units and arranged to support development of conceptual understanding. The standards listed below are for grades levels 4-7.
Strand 3: Living Organisms
•    Characteristics of Living Organisms
Strand 4: Ecology
•    Interactions among Organisms and their Environments
Grade: k-2nd Grade
Length of Class Period: 55 min.
Frequency of Class Period: once a week
Time Needed: one class period
Facility & Equipment Requirements:

  • One computer lap top
  • Room with good lighting
  • Large tables, approximately ten, each seating four students
  • Two sinks
  • Dry erase board
  • Drying racks
  • Cabinets for storage
  • Projector for viewing computer video, CDs and DVDs
Resources Needed:
  • Four or five glass jars with a variety of plants displayed in each.
  • Photographs of insects or living/realistic looking plastic insects in each jar.
  • Power Point showing pictures of insectariums
  • “Just Kiddin’ Around” video by the Missouri Department of Conservation (JKA #02 Insects)
Materials Per Student:
  • White drawing paper
  • Crayons, pencils, pens, watercolors
  • Stencils of jars if the students wish to use these
  • Photographs of bugs
  • Living bugs in jars too!
Vocabulary/Terminology:
  1. Insectarium - An insectarium is a kind of live insect zoo, or a museum or display of live insects.
  2. Display - a visual representation of something
  3. Natural History - the scientific study of plants or animals
Motivation- Looking and Talking Activity: Large group discussion about “Just Kiddin’ Around” video by the Missouri Department of Conservation (JKA #02 Insects)
Step-by-Step Studio Activity Specifics:
Phase 1: Clarify goals and establish set

  • Students will watch brief video selection from Missouri Department of Conservation about insects.
  • Students will discuss the video in a large, classroom discussion
  • Students will draw from life or photographs a minimum of three insects in their jar.
  • Plants should also be included in the children’s drawings.
  • Draw also the plants or insects that your insects would need to eat in order to survive in the jar if they were real.
  • Color in the drawing completely using the natural colors found in the insects and their environments.
Phase 2: Demonstrate knowledge or skill
Task Analysis:

  1. Students will either trace a jar from a stencil on a white piece of paper or draw a jar free-hand.
  2. Student may then take time to observe insects in the jars or to sift through pictures of insects supplied in the art classroom
  3. After selecting three insects to draw in their jars, students should organize their drawing materials at their table and proceed to draw their favorite insects.
  4. Each child should also include plants and appropriate foods in their artworks that the insects would need to survive comfortably in their miniature insectariums.
Phase 3: Provide Guided Practice
  • The teacher will supply a wide variety of drawing tools for students to use in this project.
  • The instructor will also set at each table a real jar containing insects for students to observe and draw from.
  • Photographs and picture books of insects will be available in the classroom.
  • Samples of insectariums will be shown to the children and discussed during class as they work.
  • The teacher will circle the room and work one on one with each student as they need it.
  • The instructer will continue to describe the life cycles and eating habits of the insects selected with the class during the hour.
Health & Safety Concerns: There are no health and safety concerns for this project.
Special Needs Adaptations:
Modifications for the hard-of-hearing or deaf student:

  • Student will be seated closer to instructor so they will be better equipped to hear instructions or read lips
  • Student will be provided with written instructions so that they read about the discussions and demonstrations
  • The instructor may use a amplification devise provided by the school or student’s parents
Modifications for the student with limited vision or blindness:
  • Students will be allowed to observe samples of art projects with their hands and for extended periods of time
  • Students will be provided with safe tools and one-on-one guidance during a demonstration of the project
  • The project may be slightly adjusted to accommodate the student’s limitations or for safety reasons
  • Student will be given ample time to exist classroom before large crowds gather outside of the classroom.
Modifications for students with mild brain injury:
  • Students will be provided with duplicate instructions for home and school. Student will not need to remember to carry home materials to review.
  • Students will be given ample time to exist classroom with a pre-determined aid or peer before the official end of a class.
  • Instructor will provide for parent e-mail communication concerning the progress and needs of their student.
  • Student may be given special seat assignment in order to enable his participation in class appropriately. Specific peers may be better equipped to articulate projects visually for this student.
Cleanup Time & Strategy: Students will be instructed to put away art materials neatly in their containers, clean off their tables, and recycle their trash two minutes prior to dismissal.
Assessment: A standardized rubric will be used to analyze and critique each individual student’s artwork
Provide extended practice and transfer – Students will be encouraged to create even more projects at home. Materials used during class may be duplicated in their own home. A handout for children to take home and color will be provided from education.com


all articles and lesson plans are copyrighted 2011 by Grimm