Baltimore Curriculum Project Draft Lessons

Introductory Notes

These lessons generally follow the grade-by-grade topics in the Core Knowledge Sequence, but they have been developed independent of the Core Knowledge Foundation. While the Core Knowledge Foundation encourages the development and sharing of lessons based on the Core Knowledge Sequence, it does not endorse any one set of lesson plans as the best or only way that the knowledge in the Sequence should be taught.

You may feel free to download and distribute these lessons, but please note that they are currently in DRAFT form. At this time the draft lessons on this web site do NOT have accompanying graphics, such as maps or cut-out patterns. Graphics will be added to this site later.

In participating BCP schools, these lessons are used in conjunction with the Direct Instruction skills programs in reading, language, and math. If you use or adapt these lessons, keep in mind that they are meant to address content and the application of skills. You will need to use other materials to ensure that children master skills in reading, language, and math.

First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 12 - Adam and Eve in Art

Observe closely the way a Biblical theme is portrayed in art.
Identify the medium of terra cotta as based on clay.
Differentiate a sculpted form from paintings.

Slide of The Temptation of Adam and Eve from the workshop of Giovanni della Robbia
A sampling of 3-dimensional forms (suggestions under Background, below)

Suggested Book
Downer, Marion. Long Ago in Florence: The Story of the della Robbia Sculpture. New York: Lothrop, Lee, and Shepard, 1968.

Simple pen and ink sketches by Mamorn Funai plus excellent muserum photographs of works from the della Robbia studio bring 15th-century Florence to life. A good story for reading aloud.

Background for the Teacher
The two art lessons for December are designed to supplement the World Religion lessons that are the Unit for World Civilization this month. Those lessons were supplemented musically by two Negro spirituals, a Christian carol celebrating the birth of Jesus, and portions of Handel's Messiah. There are just two art lessons this month; the first will present a bas relief from a Renaissance church, and the second will deal with Islamic art.

This lesson will introduce the children to the first sculptural piece they have seen (even though it is technically a bas relief), and it is important for them to recognize the difference between three- and two-dimensional forms in art. Any three-dimensional forms that you could bring to the classroom for the children to touch (carved wooden bird; decorative porcelain statue; decorative salt and pepper shakers; ornamental china bowls or mugs made to represent realistic vegetables or flowers) will reinforce this concept.

Show the children the slide and tell them that this piece of art was made nearly five hundred years ago in the workshop of an Italian artist from a family called della Robbia. Have someone locate Italy as the country and Europe as the continent or origin for the piece.

Ask the children to tell you the names of the man and woman in this piece of art (Adam and Eve). As a hint, tell them that the piece was made to be part of a Christian church and that the figures in it are from a story from the Judeo/Christian Bible they have been learning about in their World Civilization lessons. They are from the same book of Genesis that the story of Noah came from. Encourage the children to tell the story of Adam and Eve, even if you have to help them piece it together with several people contributing. If no one can tell even a part of it, tell it in its simplest form. Such as:

According to the Bible, Adam and Eve were the first man and woman that God created in the world. God placed them in the Garden of Eden, where every kind of wonderful tree and flower grew, along with rivers to water the garden and help everything to grow. In the middle of the garden he placed a tree of life and also the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God told BCP DRAFT ART 23

First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 12 - Adam and Eve in Art
Adam and Eve that they could eat freely of anything in the Garden of Eden, but they were not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Just the way most people who are told there is one thing they must never do, Eve and Adam were before long tempted in a way they could not resist to eat from that forbidden tree. In the Bible, the creature that tempts Eve is a serpent, or snake, who is very clever with words in tempting people. According to the story, God then punished Adam and Eve by shutting them out of the Garden of Eden, not allowing them to live forever, and making them so ashamed of having naked bodies so that they had to cover themselves with clothing from that time on.

Ask: Why do you think people would choose to have the story of Adam and Eve on the walls of a church? (When people are in a church, synagogue, mosque, or other place of worship, they try to be thankful for their lives and to think about the things they should or should not have done, and how they could be more kind and obedient.)

Tell the children to take another careful look at the slide of Adam and Eve. Let them tell you anything they notice about it--colors, lines, faces, the borders.

Say: Can you find the serpent in this scene? What is unusual about this serpent?

Do you think this is a painting? Why not? (not flat, it's three-dimensional)

Do you know the name for most three-dimensional works of art? (sculpture)

At this point, if you have brought in some of the recommended three-dimensional forms, show them to the children. Put them out on a table and allow the children to feel their contours and walk around them.

Ask: Can you see the figures in a painting from the side or back? Can you feel their contours? Tell the children that a painting is flat, just like the pictures they make on paper. Sculptured figures can be viewed from the side, the front, the top, and all around. Adam and Eve are a specialized kind of sculpture, called bas relief, that is attached to its background. This kind of sculpture was used most often to decorate walls.

Does anyone want to guess what this bas relief sculpture is made of? Help them to guess by reminding them what it is they use when they make figures, bowls, or other things that have three dimensions (front, back, and sides). If they guess clay, tell them that all of this sculpture was made of clay that was modeled, then cut apart into pieces so it could be baked in a very hot kiln. This process is called firing, and it hardens the clay. The piece would then be put back together again and covered with a special glaze that was mostly white. After this was allowed to dry, the piece was painted with brilliant colors, covered with another glaze that you could see through and fired again to make the colors even more brilliant and glowing.

Tell the children that the della Robbia family in Italy experimented with all kinds of colors and minerals to produce these pieces in a way that has allowed them to hold these shiny colors for nearly five hundred years. The family developed a whole workshop of people who learned how to do these special bas relief sculpted pieces to decorate churches, famous buildings, and homes of wealthy people. The della Robbia school became so famous for their work that even today we still call this kind of art della Robbia.

If time permits, ask the children to tell you what kinds of art they have seen in places of worship. They might be paintings, stained glass, statues, needlework, carvings, candlesticks. Ask them which they liked best and why, and if they can remember what people appear or what stories are told in their favorite pieces of religious art.

First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 13 - Islamic Arts

Look at some characteristic shapes in a mosque.
Observe a Muslim prayer rug as a work of art and learn how it is used.

Slide of Marilhat's Landscape with Mosque
Slide of Islamic Prayer Rug
Classroom size world map; map of Middle East from World Religion Lesson 2

Note for Teacher
The painting for today's lesson, Landscape with Mosque, is part of the collection of the Walters Art Gallery. It was painted in about 1840 by a relatively obscure French painter named Prosper-Georges-Antoine Marilhat. For the purposes of this lesson, the painting is used first to illustrate some characteristic features of Islamic architecture in order to add to the students' understanding of Muslim practices. Secondly, the painting provides an opportunity to review the basic concept of landscape painting introduced and developed in Lessons 7 and 8.

Review with the children what they have learned in their World Religions lessons about the names of the buildings where people worship and give thanks.

Ask: Who remembers the name of the building where Jewish people go? (synagogue or temple)

What about where Christians worship? (church)

Now the hardest word for us--where do Muslims pray? (mosque)

Review for the children that people are called to pray in different ways. Jews are called to prayer by the sound of someone blowing into the horn of a ram, and the horn is called a shofer. Christians are called to prayer and worship by the sound of bells. Does anyone remember how Muslims--or the people in the Islamic religion--are called to prayer? (A man called a muezzin calls Muslims to prayer five times each day.) The muezzin usually has a very high-pitched, sound to his call, as if he is singing through his nose (Demonstrate the sound for the children of singing in a very nasal voice without words, but just on a vowel.)

Show the children the slide of Marilhat's Landscape with Mosque.

Ask: What do you see in this slide? (building, palm tree, trees, blue sky, tiny figures)

Which do you think this building is, a synagogue, church, or mosque? (Let the children raise their hands for each guess and tell you why they think so. See whether this can lead to a brief discussion about buildings, stained glass, towers, just to let them speak about what they have observed.)

Say: There are two shapes this building has that all mosques seem to have: one is the round dome (point to it) the other is the thin tower (point it out). The high, thin tower of a mosque always has at least one balcony built around it, and that is where the muezzin stands to call people to prayer.

Now, can anyone guess what kind of painting this is? (landscape painting) How can you tell? (If you need to, review some of the material from Lessons 7 and 8.)

Ask: Why do you think the painter made the people in the painting look so tiny? (It makes us know how enormous the mosque is.)


First Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 13 - Islamic Arts
Do you think the mosque is in a hot or cold climate? (hot) Why? (palm trees, clear blue sky, bright sun looks hot) Remind the children that Muhammad came from Arabia in the Middle East. (Review the geographical term and show on the map.) Tell the children that most of the world's Muslims live in countries of Asia and Africa. (Show on the map the large area of the Asian subcontinent, southeast Asia, and most of Africa.)

Ask: Do you think there are Muslims in the United States? (Definitely, but not as many in North America as in Asia and Africa.)

Next, show the children the slide of the Islamic prayer rug without telling what they will see. Ask what they think this is. If no one knows, tell them it is a Muslim prayer rug, and that when Muslims pray, they get down on their knees and bow their foreheads to the floor. Muslims who can afford it, have a prayer rug for this. Ask what colors they see (deep red in the middle, blue, tan, and cream in borders). Ask: which is the most important color? How can you tell? Why do you think the rug looks so shiny? (made of silk)

Say: The artist who made this rug about one hundred years ago used that beautiful red to draw our eyes to the center of it.

Point out the stylized lamp that hangs from the arch in the center and the two pillars that support the arch. Tell the children that these symbolize the holiest parts of the mosque that invite Muslims to come in to pray. (They may need to review what the word symbol means, and what they learned in their World Religions classes about symbols for the three religions they have studied so far.) Remind them about the Adam and Eve sculpture they saw in the last lesson that was part of the decoration of a church. Tell them that in Muslim buildings of worship it is not allowed to have statues of people or paintings of people. Any decorations in a mosque show shapes from their writing (Arabic calligraphy) and geometric shapes (cones, squares, triangles, etc.) or designs made of shapes that might look a bit like leaves, plants, or animal forms.

If there is time, ask the children to think about a rug as a form of art. Remind them that it has lines and shapes, colors, and texture. See whether they can make some guesses about how the texture might feel from looking at it. Ask whether any of them have rugs they think are works of art and why. Tell them that in Muslim countries, people remove their shoes before walking into a mosque or standing on a prayer rug.

If anyone in the class is Jewish, have them tell the class whether they sit or stand and how they pray in synagogue; then have someone in the class who is Christian tell the class the same information.