Differentiating for a variety of learners, jennifer iatarola(2)
Theory: Why Differentiate?
In order to meet students’
diverse learning styles and
abilities educators should
instruction can make the
class more meaningful,
comprehensible, and most
Subject: Visual Arts
Grade Level: High School (grades 912)
Unit: “Current World Issues in Art”
Lesson Topic: Global Warming
Mixed Media Sculpture
Literacy Strategies for Lesson
1. Responsive Writing:
Students will write a response to my prompt after
watching a couple short national geographic videos on
global warming. This strategy is meant to inspire
students and enhance their critical thinking. There are no
right answers, this way it encourages students to think
outside the box!
2. Questioning the Artist (art version of questioning the
The students will deconstruct digital images of “global
warming art” and try to figure out the messages within .
This will help students generate ideas for their mixed
Video and Prompt
Write your response to the following prompt. Draw
ideas from personal opinion, experience, and ideas in
the video. Based on your response it will help you
come up with a meaningful work of art that depicts
your views on global warming. Share our responses
with your neighbor or discuss it with the class.
Prompt: What is your stance on global warming? Do
you care, why or why not? What are some changes
you might take in your life to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions or what are some suggestions you have for
society? How might you portray the issue of global
warming in your art? Give at least two examples.
Questioning the Artist Image #1
• What is the message?
• Is the imagery effective, why or why
Questioning the Artist: Image #2
• What is the meaning of the
• Is there a mood, if so what is it?
Questioning the Artist Image #3
What do you think
is the intended
There can be multiple
Fake Student Answers:
By Casey Bennett
“It looks like its meant to be humorous. It takes away from the
seriousness of the issue of global warming. It might make people want
to save homeless people before polar bears, or put the two on the
same level. I think its confusing and it’s not a very good
“The artwork is implying how we are filling up the sea with trash and
how the fish are being replaced with garbage. The mood is happy and
dark at the same time, the play on fish is quirky, but the presence of
trash is the harsh and gross reality”
“I think the artist is trying to show how green house gasses are caused
from cigarette smoking and factories. It shows how humans are
polluting the earth in multiple ways.”
Materials and Timing
Videos: 5-6 minutes total
Questioning the Artist Section:
3-5minutes (Done with a partner, share
groups answer with the class).
Responsive Writing: Students will be
given around 10-15 minutes after video
to complete the handout.
Mixed Media Project: 3-4 class
Supplies: recycled materials, scissors,
hot glue, paint, paper, national
geographic magazines, newspapers,
The Big Question
How will I differentiate???
Differentiating in the “Questioning the Artist Activity”: This visual learning activity is
meant to be a collective and social process. I will have students work in pairs then have a
class discussions on their interpretations. This way if anyone is confused they will have
the help of their peers and instructor to better explain things.
Differentiating in Multiple Resources: Utilizing multiple resources other than text
books can aid to enthusiastic learning and elevate achievement (Brozo,253). I am
showing the videos and images to get the students motivated , but this method will also
cater to the visual and auditory learners, as well as ELL students. The writing portion will
help those who are more kinesthetic (learners by doing). The writing is also not going to
be graded, it is meant to be a tool to collect their thoughts and ideas, which will take the
pressure off students with learning disabilities or those who struggle with writing. We will
share answers with the class so students can hear their classmates ideas and scaffold
one another's thinking.
Differentiating within instruction and for the mixed media project: I will use the
red/green card assessment tool for those who are struggling on their writing and art
projects. Students with learning disabilities will be asked to write what they thought of the
video versus answering my in depth prompt. Students with severe learning or mobility
disabilities won’t be expected to convey an environmental issue or meaning within their
art, but show they are exploring the materials and attaching things in a creative fashion.
During the video I will pause in a couple sections and model comprehension by restating
Example of high school student mixed media project:
Shows the negative effects of pollution and global warming
on the environment.
At first I was unsure if the videos were enough for the lesson, but
Casey said it helped him generate ideas and they weren’t to long,
therefore it was easy to pay attention. One thing I would change
would be to have the students answer the prompt after discussing
the artworks, versus right after the video, that way they would have
more ideas to pull from in their response.
It always surprises me how creative and in depth in his responses
and ideas are since he is not the artsy type. I also really enjoyed
his unique interpretations of the artworks!
I felt the lesson topic was good because it’s a global issue. The
students might find this issue relative to their lives, which may help
those who don’t enjoy art get more interested.
Looking back, I wish I would have done this exercise on two
students so I could have more feedback on how I had to
differentiated for them, but overall I was pleased with his work.