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Lesson Plan

Artistic Elements: Exploring Art Through Descriptive Writing

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Artistic Elements: Exploring Art Through Descriptive Writing

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Two 40-minute sessions
Lesson Author

K. Powell

North Carolina


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology





  • Anna's Art Adventure by Bjorn Sortland; illustrated by Lars Elling (Carolrhoda Books, 1999)

  • Computer cart with projector

  • Drawing/writing paper

  • Easel with chart paper and markers

  • Projecting surface (e.g., screen, chalkboard, white board, wall)

  • Writing and coloring tools (e.g., pencils, crayons, colored pencils, markers)

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1. Set up the computer cart and projector so that students will be able to see the projected pieces of art while working at the same time.

2. Test the computer's Internet connection, and visit each of the websites listed above to make sure they work.

3. Gather the materials needed for this lesson, and place them in a central location in the classroom. The main text for this lesson, Anna's Art Adventure, recounts the story of a young girl who, while searching for the bathroom in an art museum, discovers the work of many influential artists, including artist Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain," which is one of his "ready-made" objects—a urinal. Other materials for this lesson include markers, an easel with chart paper, and art/writing supplies for your students. It's also a good idea to have extra paper, pencils, and coloring supplies in an easily accessible area of the room.

4. Select pieces of artwork to use for modeling of the lesson activities.

  • For Session 1, Before Reading, select a few teacher-made or student drawings, or artwork from the Global Children's Art Gallery or The Worldwide Kids' Art Gallery.

  • For Session 1, After Reading, choose artwork from Jackson Pollock's collection. Pollock's action paintings, such as "Lavender Mist," "Shimmering Substance," or "Full Fathom Five," are recommended for this lesson.

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