Artwork Title: Seven Deadly Sins

Name of Artist: Candy Zhang & Catherine Chua

School: Damai Secondary School

This lesson is suitable for students in: Secondary 3


What values are important to us? What are values?

What values can we learn in the process of making and learning about art? 

This lesson unit will stretch over 4 weeks. Students should already have prior knowledge of figure drawing, grid method, coloured pencil rendering, collage with magazine cut-outs and basic composition acquired during their art-making experiences in lower secondary.

Objective/ Instructions

Students will:

  • learn to work collaboratively, tap on one another’s strengths and think critically to solve an authentic problem. 
  • learn to observe and capture the human figure from different perspective views.
  • use grid method to enlarge a drawing proportionately.
  • apply coloured pencil rendering techniques to render their drawing realistically.
  • draft an artist statement that communicates their intent and be able to talk confidently about their artworks.
  • describe values that are reinforced through the artmaking process and identify how these values are observable in an art classroom setting. 

This is an overview of the breakdown of the activities that the students will be engaged in over the four weeks.

Week 1

  • Sit students in circle. Students are required to reflect and share their thoughts on two sets of questions:
  1. What are values? Why are values are important to us?
  2. What values can we learn in the process of making and learning about art? 
  • Some of the common responses to Question 1 might be:
    • Values are things that we/you believe are important in the way we live and work
    • When the things we do and the way we behave match our values, we are satisfied and content. When it doesn’t we don’t feel good and become unhappy
    • School values. Example… [Note: probe students to give examples of how students should behave to exemplify a particular school value, in and outside school]
    • Respect, Resilience, Responsibility, Integrity, Care, Harmony (R3ICH)
    • Other characteristics of people they respect/look up to. (E.g. compassionate, committed, competitive, generous, creative, trustworthy, thifty, loyal, inquisitive)
    • Values define us / values helps us plan and make decisions in life/ values might help us prioritise how we live
  • Some of the common responses to Question 2 might be:
    • We learnt to be diligent and not procrastinate in order to meet submission deadlines
    • We learnt to persevere when we encountered difficulties in drawing
    • We learnt to be thrifty and not waste materials by using only what we need
  • Repeat key words, and a student helper can type the words out into a word processor. Consolidate students’ responses into a word splash and conclude the circle discussion by emphasizing that values can be fostered over time. [Note to teachers: values can be taught and caught]
  • Teacher will lead students to discuss and respond to “Seven Deadly Sins” using thinking routines from “Let’s Talk about Art”.  Teacher to share artist’s intention behind the work and the artist’s use of foreshortening to create a strong focal point in their composition. Brief students on task: to take on the role of illustrators to revamp the attitude and behaviour posters in the art room with the objective of promoting values identified during circle discussion (e.g. humility, patience, temperance, diligence, etc.)

Week 2

  • Project the word splash on the screen.
  • Students will work in groups (2-3 student per group) to work on one virtue or value and make sketches of the layout for their poster. Set 5 minutes aside for the groups to decide on their virture or value, based on Week 1’s class discussion. They will have to make use of things that they can find in the art room as props and enact the layout that they have in mind. They will photograph the different “layouts” using their smartphone while paying attention to lighting, facial expression, point of view (e.g. bird’s eye view, worm’s eye view), etc. 
  • Students to work in their groups to review the photographs that they have taken. They will have to discuss, evaluate and choose the layout that best represents the virtue or value. Teacher to print out the chosen photograph as reference.
  • Students can also choose to incorporate collage, from magazine cut-outs of text and images into their work. Examples of how this might be done should be shown.

Week 3-4

  • Shown 3-4 examples of successful illustrations. Discuss their composition.
  • Students to produce thumbnails of their composition, and select the composition that is most interesting to them. Students will use the grid method to enlarge their image proportionately on A2 or transfer their drawing onto another A3 size Strathmore paper. They will work together to render the drawing using coloured pencils, watercolour-pencils or paint.

Week 5

  • Conduct a Critique session on students’ completed works. Students are expected to present their preliminary photographs, thumbnail sketches of layouts, initial and final concepts.
  • Discuss: What values can we learn in the process of making and learning about art?

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