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Middle [6th-8th] Lesson Plan

The Elements of Chemistry meet the Elements of Art

Created on April 04, 2017 by Karimarie

7th graders created a collaborative project combining art and science after they "Adopted and Element" from the periodic table. Students were asked to create a photographic composition that symbolically represented their element in an abstract fashion. Without the ability to use recognizable images or symbols the students were challenged to use the elements of art to convey five or more elements of their element. Using point and shoot cameras and pixlr editing software students created 12 x 12 digital photographs combining art and science.This project was designed several years ago by 7th grade Science teacher Mrs. Smith, this year we collaborated to create a different version of the project.

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6 sessions; 40 minutes per session

1. SWBAT identify key properties of a chosen element from the periodic table, and make artistic choices to define this element.

2.SWBAT use the elements and principles of art to create an abstract photograph

3.SWBAT use digital cameras and pixlr editing software to create a dynamic composition

4. SWBAT identify the elements that make a strong photograph.

5. SWBAT share with the class what they learned about their Periodic Element throughout this process.

1. Periodic Table and access to computers for researching their element

2. Digital Cameras-we used point and shoots but any will work

3. Computers and Pixlr editing software-can be found free at

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1. Have students choose which element from the periodic table they would like to learn more about. This portion was done in Science class. Then students had to identify five characteristics of of their element that could be translated using the elements and principles of art.

2. Students drew thumbnail sketches after a campus walkabout to discover which areas, shapes, textures etc could be used to show the characteristics of the elements abstractly. No representational images were allowed.

3. Students were then shown how to use the macro mode on the digital cameras and shared ideas on what makes a good photograph. Student had to take 10 photos, of 2 different subject matters, choosing the strongest one.

4. Using pixlr editing software students added layers, changed colors etc to enhance the base image. Students had to make a minimum of 5 different editing choices for their final photograph.

5. Photographs were printed at 12 x 12 and displayed along with their artist statements.

Students participated in a peer to peer review where they described their elements and the choices they made. They chose the strongest image based on this review. Students also wrote and artists statement describing their image and the artistc choices they made.

This was an amazing was to integrate STREAM into the art room. Pixlr is a free web based program and they have an ap as well. This is a project that can be done with little resources as students can use their phones or old cameras if needed.I would aldo like to thank my co-collaborator and project designer 7th grade Science teacher Mrs. Smith, for creating the foundation for this project and having the vision to see it transform.

Abstract Art, Photography

Balance, Color/Value, Contrast, Emphasis, Form, Line, Movement, Rhythm/Pattern, Shape, Space, Texture, Unity/Harmony, Variety

Digital, Photography

Science, Technology