Presentation on theme: "Craig Segal Whittier Elementary School Middle School, Social Studies Washington Crossing the Delaware: How an Artist Used a Legendary Event to Comment."— Presentation transcript:
Craig Segal Whittier Elementary School Middle School, Social Studies Washington Crossing the Delaware: How an Artist Used a Legendary Event to Comment on the Present
Emanuel Leutze Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851 Oil on canvas; 149 x 255 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Key ideas that informed the lesson: Washington Crossing the Delaware depicts a momentous event that has had great symbolic importance in American history. We retell the past to help us understand the present. Artists resurrect historical events to comment about current issues. Inaccuracies in great works of art may be done intentionally to communicate a message. In mid-nineteenth century America, western expansion was seen as vital to solving social, economic, and political problems. Applying an historical context to a work of art results in a fuller understanding of the artist’s intentions and the meanings of a work of art.
What I wanted students to learn: Great works of art are complex and may be interpreted in a variety of ways A painting is a way to understand a situation. We can understand history when we “read” a painting of an event.
Quotations from 6 th Grade Students Who Experienced the Curriculum: "Art helps because it shows you details that the text doesn't tell you." – Jesse "When we studied about the 13 colonies, and I didn't get some of the writing, I looked at the artwork and then I understood." – Karla "We learn how to guess what the artist is trying to express. You could guess at why the artist put [certain] details in the painting" – Karina "Art helps me because by looking at the painting, I imagine I am there in the picture" – Adriana "I could visualize what was happening in historic life. It gives us details too like the setting and their dress code." –Erick
A few major learning activities: Students use chart paper to arrange the inaccuracies and anachronisms they discovered in the artwork. “Touch a figure; hear him speak.” Reenact events preceding and following this snapshot of time. Students create their own representation of one of the painting’s themes such as “Unity over Diversity” or “Triumph over Adversity.”
What my students learned: That the American colonists needed to unite and overcome their diverse backgrounds in order to defeat and gain independence from Britain To appreciate the significance of a celebrated American masterpiece To synthesize facts with observations to summarize the themes of an artwork To interpret the depiction of the crossing of the Delaware in this painting and the artist’s intentions To compare and contrast an historic event with facts as presented in narrative accounts To evaluate the causes and effects of 19 th century westward expansion.
What I Learned: I can use works of art to improve my teaching of History, Reading and Writing; prior to the institute my reliance on art was minimal The study of art provides students an additional opportunity to grasp literary terminology Students will make observations and inferences which will enhance the group’s understanding of an artwork Incorporating art into the curriculum provides for lively classroom activities and discussions