Realism Lesson 1

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Points of View

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Objectives

  1. Students will be able to identify the viewer’s point of view in an artwork (bird’s eye view, worm’s eye view and eye level view).
  2. Students will be able to describe the setting of an artwork and the positioning of an object or character in that setting (on top of, beside, under, inside, behind, between, etc.).
  3. The students will be able to explain how the viewer’s point of view or the position of an object or character in a setting adds drama or helps an artwork tell a story.

Arizona Visual Arts Standards

  • RELATE: Artworlds: PO 102, 202, & 303: Discuss how artworks are used to communicate stories, ideas and emotions.
  • RELATE: Artworlds: PO 105, 205 & 305: Make connections between art and other curricular areas. (Observation
    of objects seen from different points of view and in different positions relates to directional and positioning words in elementary grades and for English language learners.)
  • RELATE: Meanings & Purposes: PO 101: Interpret meanings and/or purposes of an artwork using subject matter and symbols.
  • RELATE: Meanings & Purposes: PO 201, & 301: Interpret meanings and/or purposes of an artwork using subject matter, symbols, and/or themes.


Preparation
Identify objects in the classroom that appear different when viewed from different locations in the classroom.
You may wish to view the International Guild of Realism: 8th Annual Juried Exhibition List of Artists (pdf), which includes thumbnail images of works that exploit point of view and setting. Note: This list provides links to artist websites for more information. Some of these artists do work in the figurative genre as well, so be sure to review websites ahead of time.

Resources

Activities
Unit Preview: Introduce the theme in life, that “Each of us has a point of view that affects how we see and respond to our world” by discussing some event familiar to your students and identifying how various people might understand it quite differently depending on their point of view. Examples might come from current events in the news, school events, popular films or family situations.

Introduce the theme in art, that “Artists manipulate the viewer’s point of view to create drama in their artwork” by demonstrating literal points of view (bird’s eye, worms’ eye, eye level, close-up, distanced, etc.) using objects in the classroom, such as objects on high shelves, on the floor or directly in front of the class.

Introduce the three key questions students will be working with in the unit. Note that Lessons One and Two will focus on questions that can help students better understand someone else’s art and in Lesson Three (secondary) or Four (elementary) students will focus on a version of those questions to help them make decisions in their own art:

  1. What point of view did the artist choose for this artwork? (What point of view shall I choose for my artwork?)
  2. How has the artist positioned objects/characters within the setting of the artwork? (What object/character and setting shall I choose for my artwork?)
  3. How can an artist’s choices create drama or help tell a story? (How can I increase drama or tell a story in my artwork?)

Definition and Examples: Display slides 1-3 to introduce and show examples of various points of view.

Guided Practice: Demonstrate point of view and position changes with an ordinary object. The object could be something convenient like an empty waste basket, which can be easily moved so you can show it as it appears from above and below and turned in different directions. Ask students to hold a common object (book, pencil eraser, scissors, etc.) directly in front of them. Then move the object up and down and turn it observing how it looks from different points of view and different positions. Ask individual students to share some of their observations.

Assessment: Display and pose the questions on slide 4. Follow up with slides 5 and 6 that spell out how viewpoints are used in each of the paintings on slide 4.

Definition and examples: Use slide 7 to introduce settings.

Assessment: Show slide 8 and ask students to respond to the two questions to assess their understanding of setting.

Transfer to TCA: Slide 9 invites students to visit the International Guild of Realism: 8th Annual Juried Exhibition at the Tempe Center for the Arts. Note that many of the works in the exhibition are also viewable online using the International Guild of Realism: 8th Annual Juried Exhibition List of Artists (pdf).

Vocabulary

  • Point of View
  • Setting
  • Surroundings

Extension Activities
DRAWING: Student make thumbnail sketches of a small, ordinary object as seen from different points of view or turned in different directions.
ENGLISH: Student practice using directional or positional words such as left/right, up/down, above/below, in front of/behind, on top of/under, beside/inside/outside, etc.

Assessment Checklist
____1. Students will be able to identify the viewer’s point of view in an artwork (bird’s eye view, worm’s eye view, eye level view). (Descriptions of ordinary classroom objects from different points of view and discussion of
slides 2-6 in Points of View PowerPoint presentation)

___ 2. Students will be able to describe the setting of an artwork and the positioning of an object or character in that setting (on top of, beside, under, inside, behind, between, etc.). (Discussion of slides 7 in Points of View PowerPoint presentation)

___ 3. The students will be able to explain how the viewer’s point of view or the position of an object or character in a setting adds drama or helps an artwork tell a story. (Discussion during 5-8 of Points of View PowerPoint presentation