Friday, May 17, 2013

egyptian funerary design lesson plan

(The above image license belongs to the St. Louis Art Museum. 
Interested parties may view these collections at

Type of Lesson Plan: Object-based Lesson Plan/Reading Comprehension (Integrated Studies) 
Topic: Egyptian Funerary Design – Learn to Draw With a Grid 
  •  Students will be able to transfer an Egyptian tomb image by way of a “grid” drawing process.
  • Students will be able to recognize the formal characteristics of Egyptian funerary art.
  • Students will be able to fill out a graphic organizer after reading with a partner an article given to him or her in class. 
Missouri Show-Me Standards: FA 3, FA 1 
ST Standards - CA 2, 3, 1.5, 1.6, 3.5 
Reading – Develop and apply skills and strategies to the reading process
H. Grade 6 – Apply post-reading skills to demonstrate comprehension of text:
  • Draw conclusions
  • Analyze text 
Strand III: Artistic Perceptions – Investigate the nature of art and discuss responses to artworks
A. Grade 6 – Discuss how different cultures have different concepts of beauty and explain how responses to artworks from various cultures are based on both personal experience and group beliefs
Strand I: Product/Performance – Communicate ideas about subject matter and themes in artworks created for various purposes
C. Grade 6 – Create an original artwork that communicates ideas about the following theme
  • Functions of Art in Culture 
Grade Level Targeted: Middle School (7-9) 
Number of Class Periods: three 55 minute class periods
Facility & Equipment Requirements:
  • Computer for power point presentation 
Resources needed for teaching lesson:
  • Power point
  • Egyptian cartoons or coloring pages depicting funerary arts from tomb walls 
Materials Per Student:
  • Article and graphic organizer per every two to three students
  • Pencils
  • Egyptian cartoon or coloring page of tomb funerary art
  • Tracing paper
  • Ruler
  • Larger white paper to transfer grid image to 
Vocabulary Terms:
  1. Funerary Art – Art used to decorate tombs with in order that the dead be honored and cared for in the next life.
  2. Masons – Masons build with stone and are also stone carvers in Egypt.
  3. Cartoon – This is a beginning sketch an artist works from in order to develop a larger more elaborate work of art.
  4. Grid – A map designed with exact calculations in order to transfer and enlarge correct proportions or a smaller image or cartoon
  5. Plaster – Plaster in Egypt was a liquid substance made from chalks/powdered clays mixed with water and glue to make a fast drying sealer/surface for ancient artists to paint into and on top of.
  6. Excavation – This is the meticulous process, conducted by archeologists, of “digging out” a site where there used to be a former city or tomb that has been buried over the passing of time.
  7. Limestone – Limestone is an ordinary sedimentary rock used as a building material in ancient Egypt. 
Literacy and Studio Activities:
  1. Students will be divided into small groups and will read together the article called “Preparation of a Painted Tomb-chapel—The Egyptian Artist and His Methods” by Dr. William C. Hayes.
  2. Students will then fill out the graphic organizer included with their packet with their small group members.
  3. Small groups will then rejoin the larger class and share with all of the students parts of their graphic organizers when called upon by the instructor.
  4. Students will then view the Egyptian power point.
  5.  On the second day students will learn to draw a Egyptian cartoon image, (I have included a ample supply of these burned to a CD with the power points,) with a “Grid System” similar to that method used by Ancient Egyptians and on the third they may color their image.
Preparing your Image: Choose a large, clear image. You may need to scan and print out a small photograph. 
  • Decide on your grid size - small enough that there is a line close to major points of the drawing (eg. each pupil and the mouth, for a portrait image) but not so small that it becomes confusing. For an 8 x 10 portrait a grid size of around half an inch up to one inch would be fine.
  • Draw the grid, making sure your lines are fine, straight and clear. Fine black marker works for lighter key images, but a dark tone may need a white gel pen. A valuable photo can be placed in a plastic sleeve or wrapped in cling film, with the grid drawn in OHP marker.
  • Mark the center intersection on the grid as a reference point.
Gridding the Paper:
  • Using a sharp, medium pencil, lightly draw a grid on your paper. A same-sized grid is the easiest, as no adjustments need to be made. You can enlarge or reduce the size, but don't do it mathematically. You are judging rough proportions by eye, not measuring distances.
  •  Darken the intersection of the center lines on the grid as a reference point. 
To draw the image, you may wish to work methodically from one side of the image, or just begin with the most obvious features.
  • Edges and strong changes of tone make clear shapes in the photograph. Where one of these shapes crosses a grid-line, count how many grid-lines from your reference point the grid-line is.
  • Judge how far the shape is along the square, then count across and mark this at the same point on the grid-line in your drawing.
  •  Do the same again, further along the same shape - for example, the line of the chin in this drawing. Mark the point where the shape meets another grid-line, then join the two, following any bumps or curves in the shape in the photograph.
  • Where a key point is away from a grid-line, such as the mouth in this example, you will need to judge the relative distance from the nearest grid-lines. In the detail image, you can see that it is estimated to be two-thirds from the lower line, and about halfway across.
  • Make sure you have drawn outlines for all the key parts of your drawing. Less defined areas, such as a patch of shade or highlight, may be roughly indicated too.
  •  Carefully erase your grid lines, repairing outlines as you go. Now you are ready to start shading your drawing. Take your time, and make sure you use a full range of tone.
  • Make sure your pencils are sharp, and draw your outlines as lightly as possible. Don't use too hard a pencil, as they will make dents in the paper.
  • If you find it confusing knowing which grid square you are on, try numbering or color-coding them, or cover half of your image and only work on a small section at a time.
  • Use the same method to help draw a still-life, placing a grid drawn on a board behind your objects - but you'll need to close one eye when viewing to remove parallax (distortion caused by the different view from each eye).
Cleanup Time & Strategy: Allow for 5 minutes of clean up at the end of the second and third days 
1.) For the assessment of the literacy half of the lesson, students will be asked to transfer their graphic organizers to the chalkboard as a larger group. I will look and listen to confirm that all students have the opportunity to participate in the larger discussion and I will also collect the graphic organizers and grade them.

2.) The assessment of the art project is informal and I will look for the following things:
  •  Students should accurately mark off a grid on top of their “Egyptian Cartoon”
  •  Students should then accurately mark off a larger mathematically accurate version of the grid on their plain white drawing paper
  • Students should then color in their image with pigments similar to those they viewed previously on the power point presentation
  •  Projects should be turned in on time
Copyright: Donna Grimm, 2010

Method of Egyptian Draftsmanship.

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