Am Art As A Gateway Part II - Lesson Plan Example

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Part II of the presentation given at Fulbright Alumni Conference

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Am Art As A Gateway Part II - Lesson Plan Example

  1. 1. AmericanFlamingo,1838John JamesAudubon(1785–1851)
  2. 2. Activity #2• 1) In what area can flamingos be found?• 2) What do you think they feed on?• 3) What color are the birds? Does thecolor change depending oncircumstances? What kind ofcircumstances are these?• 4) Are flamingos in danger now?
  3. 3. Activity #3Flamingos or flamingoes are gregarious shorebirds. There are four flamingo species inthe Americas and two species in the Old World.Flamingos often stand on one leg, the other tucked beneath the body. The reason for thisbehavior is not fully understood. Some suggest that the flamingo, like some otheranimals, has the ability to have half of its body go into a state of sleep, and when one sideis rested, the flamingo will swap legs and then let the other half sleep, but this has notbeen proven. Recent research has indicated that standing on one leg may allow the birdsto conserve more body heat, given that they spend a significant amount of time wading incold water. As well as standing in the water, flamingos may stamp their webbed feet inthe mud to stir up food from the bottom.Young flamingos hatch with grey plumage, but adults range from light pink to bright reddue to aqueous bacteria and beta carotene obtained from their food supply. A well-fed,healthy flamingo is more vibrantly coloured and thus a more desirable mate. A white orpale flamingo, however, is usually unhealthy or malnourished. Captive flamingos are anotable exception; many turn a pale pink as they are not fed carotene at levelscomparable to the wild. This is changing as more zoos begin to add prawns and othersupplements to the diets of their flamingos. Scientists have discovered that flamingos aredying by the thousands along the Great Rift Valley lakes of Kenya and Tanzania.
  4. 4. • gregarious animals – animals or birds who live ingroups• shorebird (wading bird) - any bird with long legsthat stands in the water while it hunts for fish• swap - to replace one thing with another• webbed feet - if a bird or animal has webbed feet,it has skin between its toes to help it to swim well.• hatch -if a baby bird, fish, insect etc hatches or ishatched, it comes out of its egg and is born• plumage - a bird’s feathers• vibrant – 1) lively and exciting 2) bright andcolourful• malnourished - weak or ill because you do not eatenough or do not eat enough of the right foods
  5. 5. Activity # 5Activity # 5: Discussing the paintingAsk students1)• What they notice first when they look at this print. It will probably be the size andcolour of the flamingo.• What is in the background of this print? We find other flamingos, marshes, water.• What are the birds doing in this image? They appear to be looking for food.• Ask students why they think Audubon painted his subjects life-size rather thanjust creating smaller pictures of them. He wanted viewers to understand the actualsize of these birds and to see the details in their bodies and wings.• Why do you think that Audubon positioned the flamingo like this with its neckbent down?He wished to fit this big bird on the page, to create a pleasing composition, and toshow how this tall bird was able to eat food in the water.
  6. 6. Top fragment
  7. 7. • Born in Haiti and educated inFrance, John James Audubon(1785-1851) settled permanentlyin the USA at the age of 21. Hefound occasional employment asa taxidermist, portrait painter,and drawing teacher, while hepursued his "Great Work," Birdsof America - a comprehensiveartistic record of North Americanbirds. Unlike the way birds werebeing drawn at the time––as stillimages––Audubon’s picturespresented them the way theyreally looked in the wild.• To make Birds of America usefulto both professional andamateur ornithologists, Audubonportrayed his subjects at eyelevel so that their distinctivemarkings would be clearlyvisible. 435 plates were sized toaccommodate Audubonsdepictions of bird specimens.
  8. 8. • Ask the students what they think thesketches at the top represent. How do we callbird feet like this?• Ask students to speculate about why theyhave been left in the print.• Have students explain what makes thisprint an artwork rather than just a scientificillustration.• Ask students if they think this flamingo looksalive or dead.
  9. 9. Discussion Topic/ DebatesScience and Ethics• Can scientists kill animals or birds for thesake of research?• Is there such a thing as “animals’ rights”?Should they be legalized?
  10. 10. Watch a National Geographic video Flamingoes of Bogoriahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYW2SD-rHuM&feature=PlayList&p=869FF62EA75A842D&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=241) Do flamingoes live in large flocks? How do we call birds like that?2) Are flamingoes beautiful birds?3) What kind danger do flamingoes face?4) How do ill flamingoes look?5) Is it possible to save and protect flamingoes? How?Go to Slide #6 In groups of three describe the pictures. Use the information of thetext and the video.
  11. 11. EXTENSIO NSActivity #1: R eading for inform ationAt hom e go to site of the cam paign Save Flam ingoes and answer questions about theorganizationhttp://www.savetheflam ingo.co.za/1) W hat is the cam paign about?2) W hat area is m entioned in the petition? W hy do flam ingoes inhabit this area?W hy is it im portant to preserve it?3) Do only flam ingoes suffer from the problem with the dam ?4) W ho is running the cam paign?5) W ould you like to sign the petition to support the project? Think up a good sloganfor the cam paign.
  12. 12. Activity #2: WritingImagine that you are a flamingo or any other animal in danger (probably the one youwould be if you were an animal) Write a letter to National Geographic Journal appealingto the readers to think about your fate. To express your point, please, use ConditionalType II (which is often used for expressing hidden request) e.g.:If people cared more about preserving the nature around, we, flamingoes, wouldn’t die ofpesticides in the water, etc.You may use the words from the texts and the following words to help you:Natural habitatCaptivity (n)To migrate (v)Extinct (adj)Endangered (adj)Nourishment (n)Population (n), to populate (v)Congregation (n)Flock (n)
  13. 13. Individual ProjectsResearch Questions•Based on the work of art:Audubon’s “Birds of America”: An artistic or ascientific project?•Connecting the painting and contemporaryculture:Plastic Flamingos in American Pop Culture:How and why it has become kitsch?
  14. 14. Plastic Flamingoes• Pink plastic flamingosare one of the mostfamous of lawn ornamentsin the United States, alongwith the garden gnomeand other suchornamentation. Theseofficial flamingos were soldin pairs, with one standingupright and the other withits head low to the ground,"feeding". Plasticflamingos have becomethe stereotypical exampleof lawn kitsch and an iconof pop culture.
  15. 15. American GothicGrant Wood 1930
  16. 16. Research questions:• Are the characters of “American Gothic”fictional or real?• Why has this painting inspired so manyspoofs?• How does this phenomenon characterizecontemporary pop culture?
  17. 17. Thank you!!

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