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Multiple Level Lesson Plan

Verdadism: Artist Social Commentaries

Created on March 26, 2012 by lightARTed

Verdadism is an art unit based on the work by Soraida Martinez and promotes social tolerance through the creation of abstract art.

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1. Students learn about the Puerto Rican artist, Soriada Martinez and create paintings in her style.

2.Students will understand that art can be used as a tool to communicate meaning and ideas.

3. Students understand how art can reflect societal issues, shape how we think, and influence the world.

large white paper
paint, brushes
oil pastels

Need these materials? Visit Blick!

1. Introduce the lesson with a teacher made PowerPoint about Soraida Martinez and Verdadism.
2. Lead a class discussion about possible topics for their paintings.
3. Have students brainstorm ideas about an issue important to them, topics that have a personal meaning to them are even better! Some ideas of things you might be interested in depicting/standing up for or against:
pollution/environmental concerns, racism, homelessness, wars, poverty, verbal abuse, bullying, depression, discrimination, …
4. Once their sketch and idea is properly formed, students may begin their drawings on the paper and begin painting.
5. I usually give a painting and color demonstration before every paint project to remind them of the color wheel and the choices they make.
6. When the painting is complete students are to write their social commentary. (This would be a great collaborative project with students' classroom teachers. Writing in the art room is time consuming and integrating arts with language arts is wonderful.)
7. Display student and art and writings together. (I like for students to do this in a word document to incorporate technology as well.)
8. Class critique, students will read their commentaries and explain their work.
9.Optional if time: Compare/contrast to Pablo Picasso's Guernica, his social commentary on the German's bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.

1. Did students develope their ideas through brainstorming?
2. Did students create a painting symbolising an important social idea?
3. Did students write a social commentary that explains their painting, feelings, ideas about that issue?
4. Did students give their piece an appropriate title?

Soraida Martinez is an abstract artist who created a style of painting called Verdadism. Verdadism is a form of hard-edge and abstract painting that includes a written social commentary to explain the art and promote hope, peace, tolerance, justice, and social change.

The word Verdadism is a combination of the Spanish word for truth (Verdad) and the English suffix for theory (ism).
Soraida’s art focuses on topics such as racism, sexism, and stereotyping and is based on her personal life experiences and observations of American society.
Her art has influenced many other artists and writers and is being used by educators to teach diversity and tolerance.
Soraida Martinez is Puerto Rican and was born in 1956 in Harlem, New York City.

Essential Questions:

1. How can artists communicate personal ideas and meaning in artworks?

2. Do artists have a responsibility to society (e.g., to produce work that does not continue stereotypes or further prejudice)?

3. How does art reflect culture?

4. How does art shape culture?

5. In what ways do artists influence society?

6. In what ways does society influence artists?

7. How can you make a POSITIVE difference in the world through ART?

Discussion Questions for Critique:

What is your social commentary about?
Why do you feel the way you do about your topic?
What is your reasoning for choosing your topic?
Has anyone in your family been affected by your topic? How? Why? How did it affect them?
What is the “flip side” of your issue? What might the other side have to say? Can you see their point of view?
Does the painting get your point across? How?
Is there a focal point (center of interest)? Does it show effective use of Principles of Design? How?


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

[5-8] Students intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas

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
[5-8] Students select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of their ideas

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
[5-8] Students use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks

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

[5-8] Students compare multiple purposes for creating works of art
[5-8] Students describe and compare a variety of individual responses to their own artworks and to artworks from various eras and cultures

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

[5-8] Students compare the characteristics of works in two or more art forms that share similar subject matter, historical periods, or cultural context
[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

Hard Edge, Abstract Art


English/Language Arts, History/Social Studies, Multicultural Studies