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High [9th-12th] Lesson Plan

Recovering the Classics

Created on April 16, 2016 by KatieMorris

Students participate in "Recovering the Classics" by designing a cover for a book in the public domain.

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10 sessions; 45 minutes per session

1. SWBAT understand the public domain and copyright.
2. SWBAT research a book in the public domain.
3. SWBAT plan and create a design to serve as a cover for a book in the public domain that merges the feel of the book with the artist's personal style.
4. SWBAT participate in a class critique about the designs.
5. SWBAT write an artist statement that communicates their idea and reflects on their artwork.

We used:
1. Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements
2. Paper
3. Pencils
4. Paint
5. Digital Cameras
6. Scanner

You could use:
1. Any program that lets you combine photos with text
2. Any traditional 2D art media

Need these materials? Visit Blick!

1. Introduction
-Explain the Recovering the Classics Program: Partnership between NY Public Library and Digital Public Library of America as part of a White House initiative to spread the joy of reading, inviting artists to create new covers for "100 of the greatest works in the public domain." Many classics have auto-generated or poorly designed covers that don't really capture the excitement of the books.
-Explain that books in the public domain are no longer protected by copyright laws.
-Look at some of the examples on the Recovering the Classics website and discuss the different artists' styles.
2. Sketching and planning
-Students sign up for a book on the shared spreadsheet so that there won't be duplicates.
-Remind students to read or research the story to get ideas, not imitate covers or posters that have already been made.
-Students start sketching ideas
3. Plan the design (should be 12x18 inches, 300 ppi if digital)
-Designs could be totally digital or start with other media.
-The medium chosen should help to communicate the feel of the book or the artist's style
-If photos are used they must be the student's own work or labeled for reuse
-Students who start with traditional media are encouraged to scan or photograph the work to add text digitally
4. Peer feedback
-Students encouraged to share their in process designs with peers to get feedback
5. Reflection
-When work is finished, students complete the rubric and artist statement
6. Hallway "critique"
-Class gathers in front of display to talk about designs they like and why they think they are successful.

A rubric and artist statement is used to assess the work, in addition to teacher conferencing.


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

[9-12 Proficient] Students conceive and create works of visual art that demonstrate an understanding of how the communication of their ideas relates to the media, techniques, and processes they use
[9-12 Proficient] Students apply media, techniques, and processes with sufficient skill, confidence, and sensitivity that their intentions are carried out in their artworks

Visual Arts Standard 2:
Using knowledge of structures and functions

[9-12 Proficient] Students evaluate the effectiveness of artworks in terms of organizational structures and functions
[9-12 Proficient] Students create artworks that use organizational principles and functions to solve specific visual arts problems


English/Language Arts