EPHEMERAL ART LESSON Dashia RicheyStudents: Johnny, Karin, Ashton, Stella
RationaleIn this lesson, the students will begin to merge theirconsiderations of environment with the concept of artand art-making. Environmental art is an umbrella thatcovers many types of artworks within our naturalsurroundings. Most importantly, students will becomemore aware of their environment and their roles in it. Inthese lessons, students specifically will learn aboutephemeral works and environmental works. Studentswill experiment with the natural elementscompositionally and as mediums in their works.Students will also observe their surroundings and beginto pick out things that are considered art. As studentsbuild knowledge of environmental art, they will alsobegin building relationships with their community andpeers. In the final lesson, the students will produce acollaborative environmental piece for the school. Thispiece will be outdoors and visible to everyone. In doingsuch a large scale piece, students will gain a sense ofpride as well as unity while considering theirsurroundings and habitat.
Key ConceptsEphemeral art helps me understand my place in theworldEphemeral art exercises the imaginationEphemeral art allows freedom and self expression whilemanipulating natural elementsEphemeral art fosters critical thinking
The ActivityAfter our discussion, the learners were to go outdoorsand create their own ephemeral composition.They were to consider color and form.They were allowed 25 minutes to complete theircompositions.
Stella-1st grade Stella’s interpretation of ephemeral art wasrepresentative. For her to understand it, she had to make something that made sense to her.
Johnny Johnny’s piece is interpretive. He incorporated color and form. He also plays with theidea of progression and growth. The leaf design began with seeds, moved into green for growth, oranges and reds, to dark colors for decay and decomposition. His interpretation deals with what the object is a part of.
Ashton-6th gradeAshton wanted to build something-so he made a habitat. Again-representative, this made sense to him.
KarinKarin really struggledwith this. She keptsaying, “What do Imake?” and “I don’tknow what to make.”She did not like thelesson at all.She made a dog bonevase and shoved someleaves in it.
Reﬂection ActivityEach learner was provided a token response card andassigned to another learners artwork. They had to golook at the artwork and write their reﬂections on thecard.Upon completion, they handed their cards to me and Iread them out loud and we discussed.
Reﬂection CardsStella-“Kinda pretty”, “fall”Johnny-“forest ﬂoor, decomposition, expired lifeleading to new”Karin-“safety and strength”Ashton-“leaf like” “pretty cool”- when asked what does‘pretty cool mean?’ “because it grew from seeds to deadleaves”
What I Learned Ask diﬀerent questions in the beginning regardinginterpretation.Great lesson for all ages.The website interaction was awesome.Have a variety of token response cards and have themdo a longer writing activity.
DifferentGive learners more time to write reﬂections and havethem discuss their responses instead of me readingthem.Encourage learners to use expressive words or moreadjectives to describe their opinions.Show more images of compositions that aren’tnecessarily ‘something’ this would challenge theirinterpretative making eﬀorts.