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Middle [6th-8th] Lesson Plan

Picasso Starving Artist Cafe

Created on March 19, 2012 by VareArt

This project celebrates Hispanic Heritage with a Picasso Portrait Lesson for Grades 6-8 (can be used in High School). This lesson differentiates the needs of all of my students in a fun way where students can choose what projects they are interested in using a menu style.

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6 sessions; 45 minutes per session

The students will learn about Pablo Picasso.
The students will describe a work of art in writing using the art elements of design.
The students will create an abstract self- portrait.
The students will learn how to sign artwork like an artist.

The artists will use: Computer, Printer, Scissors, Erasers, Pencils, Erasers, Colored Construction Paper, Writing Lined Paper, Crayons, Markers, and Colored Pencils.

Need these materials? Visit Blick!

Day 1
The students will look at Pablo Picasso’s The Three Musicians, Weeping Woman, and Self Portrait.
The students will learn about cubism.
The students will choose from the “menu” what activities they would like to complete.

Days 2-6
The students will choose what writing assignment they would like to complete. In each writing sample students will use the art elements of design to describe the work of art.

• Using the art elements, write a short story describing what you see in Picasso’s painting The Three Musicians.

• Be an Art Detective! Find shapes in Picasso’s paining The Three Musicians, and describe how he uses them.

The Main Course
The students will choose the style in which they will create a self- portrait in the cubist style.
• Create a portrait in Picasso’s style using Print your drawing, and use markers, crayons, or colored pencils to color, add depth, and patterns to your portrait.

• Choose one (1) of five (5) different face, eye, ear, nose, and mouth shapes to create your Picasso style portrait. Cut out each of the shapes, and glue onto construction paper to create your portrait composition. Then use markers, crayons, or colored pencils to color, add depth, and patterns to your portrait.
* Teacher will have a conversation with students about the importance of scissor safety.

• Create a Picasso like portrait creating the shapes of the face free hand using a pencil. To complete your drawing, use markers, crayons, or colored pencils to color, add depth, and patterns to your portrait.

The students will complete one of the following writing assignments:
• Write a letter to Picasso.

• Interview Picasso: Create a set of five (5) questions and answers you would like to ask Picasso and how you think he will answer.

• Create a cinquain poem describing Picasso’s The Three Musicians.

Differentiated Instruction:
The students will be able to choose what art activities they would like to participate in.
To create their Cubist Portrait the students will choose what materials they would like to use: computer, cut and paste, drawing free hand.
Visuals examples and hands on direction will be provided.
The students will be working on their projects individually, but will be in diverse cooperative learning groups and can ask for help and model peers.
Students can map out tasks using a flow chart.
Step-by-step instruction will be provided.
Worksheets will be provided to get students started.

Local Connection:
Students can visit The Philadelphia Museum of Art (donations on Sundays) or attend art galleries open late on First Friday of each month.

Vocabulary/ Word Wall Words:
Pablo Picasso: Spain born artist (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973), Co-founder of the Cubist Movement.

Assessment of Student Art Work:
o Level of Expressiveness
o Evidence of Experimentation
o Evidence of Imagination/Invention
o Relationship between art work and lesson
o Level of Skill

Pennsylvania Standards:

9.1 Production, Performance, and Exhibition of Art
A. Elements in each art form
C. Vocabulary within each art form
H. Safety in art
J. Technologies in art

9.2 Historical and Cultural Contexts
C. Styles and Genre in the Arts

9.3 Critical Response
D. Vocabulary for Criticism
E. Types of Analysis

9.4 Aesthetic Response
B. Aesthetic Interpretation
D. Artistic Choices

The students really loved having a choice in what they got to make. All students felt successful because they we in charge of their learning.


Visual Arts Standard 1:
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

[5-8] Students select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of their choices

Visual Arts Standard 2:
Using knowledge of structures and functions

[5-8] Students generalize about the effects of visual structures and functions and reflect upon these effects in their own work

Visual Arts Standard 3:
Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas

[5-8] Students integrate visual, spatial, and temporal concepts with content to communicate intended meaning in their artworks

Visual Arts Standard 4:
Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures

[5-8] Students analyze, describe, and demonstrate how factors of time and place (such as climate, resources, ideas, and technology) influence visual characteristics that give meaning and value to a work of art

Visual Arts Standard 5:
Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others

[5-8] Students analyze contemporary and historic meanings in specific artworks through cultural and aesthetic inquiry

Visual Arts Standard 6:
Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines

[5-8] Students describe ways in which the principles and subject matter of other disciplines taught in the school are interrelated with the visual arts

Pablo Picasso


Color/Value, Form, Line, Shape, Space, Texture

Colored Pencil, Crayon, Digital, Drawing, Fibers, Marker, Paper

English/Language Arts