Second Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 26 - Architecture


Review the meaning of the term architecture (introduced in Lesson 9).

Hear that another term for three-dimensional in sculpture and architecture is mass.

Observe that buildings can have vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines.

Begin to look for symmetry in works of art.


Copy of Visual Arts Lesson 9 for reviewing

Slide of View of the Walters Art Gallery Renaissance Court (#6 in plastic sleeve)

Tempera paints, a few colors for each child in flat trays or saucer-shaped containers

Paper for painting, 9 x 12 or smaller

Pieces of narrow-gauge string, several for each child

Note for the Teacher

This month's visual art lessons are closely tied to the material the children will be studying in History/Geography for the month. You may want the students to have access to the maps of Greece provided for those lessons as they are looking at the art work.

Before teaching this lesson, read over Visual Arts Lesson 9. It was the first art lesson for the month of November and gave the children a thorough introduction to what architecture is, the kinds of questions we can ask ourselves when we look at architecture, and what kinds of questions an architect has to consider in designing a building or bridge. Since then, the children have looked at examples of paintings and sculpture, but not of architecture. Therefore, it would be good to conduct a brief review based on Lesson 9 before looking at further examples of architecture in Lesson 17. One will exemplify the way that Renaissance artists looked at Greek architecture and the other is an example of classical Greek architecture that has inspired artists for thousands of years.


Show the students the slide View of the Walters Art Gallery Renaissance Court, which is #6 in the plastic sleeve, and use it to conduct a brief review of the material presented in Lesson 9.

Conclude the review by asking: What kind of art have we been looking at in the last few lessons? (sculpture) Sculpture from where? (Asia, India and Thailand) What do sculpture and architecture have in common that paintings don't have? (three-dimensionality, insides and outsides, etc.)

If the children have any hesitation about this, have the children help you to fill in the following chart on the board: Make three vertical columns labeled Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture. On the left side list the elements of art: color, line, shape, texture, light, and mass. Go through each element with the students, asking them to tell you whether that element is found in Painting, Sculpture, and/or Architecture and marking a large X in the appropriate column. When you get to the element mass, say: This is the term artists use to describe something we've observed in sculpture and architecture that isn't found in paintings. What do you think this term mass means? (three dimensionality, inside and outside, however the children can express this concept) What is the term again? (mass) Touch a desk and ask: Does this have mass? (yes) Put your hand on a student's head or shoulder and ask: Does this have mass? (yes) Then point to


Second Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 26 - Architecture

one of the children's drawings hanging in the room and ask the same question, to be sure they perceive the difference clearly. They will be able to see from the chart that, while each of the other elements is evident in all three media, only Sculpture and Architecture have an X marked for the element mass.

Have the children look again at the slide and ask them some questions about line. For example: Do you see any vertical lines in this architecture? (yes, columns--talk about the function of columns) What about curved lines? (yes, arches--talk a bit about the function of arches) Horizontal lines? (yes, tops of balconies, floor, etc.)

Ask: Where does the light come from in this court? (through the roof, which is glass) Say: Do you remember when we first looked at this slide, we said that in warm climates a court doesn't even have to have any roof at all? One of the things an architect has to think about when designing any building is how to bring natural light into the building. Can you think of some of the ways architects might do that? (open roof, as in this court, windows, doors, archways) Can you think of reasons why it's important to bring natural light into a building? (Discuss with the children the need for daylight in order to see, move, work; discuss how most of us feel happier in sunlight than on rainy, gloomy days; discuss how scary it is in the middle of the night when everything is dark; mention how important these things were when designing buildings before there were gas or electric light.)

Turn to the slide once more and say: There is one more term I want to talk to you about today before we end the lesson. This term is symmetry, and it means that if we look at something and think of a vertical line going exactly down the center from top to bottom, everything on the left side exactly matches everything on the right side. If that is true of a building or other work of art, we say that it is in perfect symmetry, or it is perfectly symmetrical.

Now take one more look at the court at the Walters and see whether you think it is perfectly symmetrical. If you think it is, tell me why. (Children may see the doorway exactly in the middle of the balcony and count columns out from the center or archways out from the center or they might be able to tell from the roof.) Then ask: Do you think our bodies are symmetrical? Why or why not? (yes, one arm on each side, one leg, one eye and ear, etc.) Yes, our bodies are symmetrical, maybe not perfectly symmetrical, but certainly symmetrical.


Pass out pieces of paper, and give each child three or four different colors of tempera to work with plus pieces of string for each color. Show them how to fold their papers vertically right down the center (reminding them about symmetry). Briefly demonstrate the process of painting with string dipped in a color by saturating the string thoroughly and then placing the string in no particular fashion on one side of the paper, folding the paper at the center fold, then carefully unfolding the paper. The children will do this with three or four colors, waiting a few seconds between each color. When they are finished, they will probably be able to see that they have created paintings that are perfectly symmetrical. Make sure that they can point out the symmetrical shapes/designs/lines in their own paintings.



Second Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 27 - Architecture


Look closely at the painting of an Ideal City and note its architecture.

Continue to look for symmetry in architecture and other works of art.

Notice that balance and symmetry are not the same thing.

Look at one or more pictures of the Parthenon.

Be introduced to the term renaissance as meaning the rebirth of an idea.


Slide of View of the Walters Art Gallery Renaissance Court (#6 in sleeve)

Slide of View of an Ideal City

Picture of the Parthenon from books (see suggestions below) or magazines

Classroom size map of world or Europe

Suggested Books for Pictures of the Parthenon

Glubok, Shirley. The Art of Ancient Greece. New York: Atheneum, 1963.

Hirsch, E.D., Jr., ed. What Your 2nd Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1991.

Isaacson, Philip M. Round Buildings, Square Buildings, & Buildings That Wiggle Like a Fish.

New York: Knopf, 1988.

See also Suggested Books for this month's History/Geography lessons.


Briefly review with the students the two new terms they learned in the last lesson. Ask them: What is the term artists use when they want to talk about the three-dimensionality of sculpture and architecture? (mass) Show them the slide of the View of the Walters Art Gallery Renaissance Court and say: What is the term that tells us that everything on the right side matches everything on the left side? (symmetry) Artists say when a work of art is so perfectly balanced, it is what? (perfectly symmetrical) Right, and we said that our bodies are also symmetrical, but not perfectly symmetrical, because we may have one eye that looks a little larger than the other or one shoulder a little higher than the other, but our bodies definitely have a symmetrical design, even though they may not be perfectly symmetrical.

Show the children the View of an Ideal City, which was painted during the Renaissance by a painter whose name is unknown to us. Tell the children the name of the painting and ask: Do you think the painter who made this was interested in architecture? (yes) How can you tell? (Everything the painter is showing us in the painting is a work of architecture--buildings, columns, plaza, town square, etc.) Say: Take a good look at the buildings. Do you think they are symmetrical? (We can't see them completely, but it looks that way.) Now what about the painting as a whole? Is it perfectly symmetrical? (no) Why not? (Shapes and designs of the buildings on left and on right are not identical.)

Say: Let's see whether we can think of another word to describe that way the two sides of this painting relate to each other. Think about balance. What do you think would happen if you saw two friends on a seesaw (or teeter-totter), and one was tall and thin while the other was short BCP DRAFT ART 53

Second Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 27 - Architecture

and fat? Is there any chance they could be equally balanced? (yes, it could happen if they weigh nearly the same) So, if we can see a point right in the center and compare the things on the left with those on the right, they might balance even if they didn't look exactly the same. Let's see what things in this painting are nicely balanced, but not really symmetrical, and which things are perfectly symmetrical.

Make two columns on the board, one labeled Left Side, the other Right Side. Say: Let's look at the painting again. First of all, we have to find the center. Is the center marked with something or do we have to use an imaginary line? (fountain directly in the center with a statue on it) How many columns can you see? (four columns) How many on the left side? (Write two columns under the Left Side label.) How many on the right side? Go through the same procedure with the buildings in the foreground, those buildings in the background, the geometric figures or designs on the plaza, and so on which leaves just the triumphal arch exactly in the center of the background, which in itself is perfectly symmetrical if divided down the center with an imaginary line. The children can see from the information in the two columns that things are very balanced in the painting. Say: I guess we could say that--just like two people of the same weight or mass on a seesaw who are not the same or identical but their weight or mass is equal, they will be balanced. So even though the buildings on the right are not identical to those on the right, the painting is very balanced.

Next show the children one or more photographs of the Parthenon. Ask: Does anyone recognize this building and where it is? (Parthenon, Greece) How old do you think it is? (about 2500 years old) What kind of art work is this? (architecture) Do you think this building is symmetrical? (yes) Why? (numbers of columns are equal on each side of a central vertical line, the two sides of the triangular figure at the top are identical, and so on) Do you think the architect of the Parthenon was concerned with bringing light into the building? (yes, use of columns) Do you remember from your History/Geography lessons, what kind of climate Greece has? (warm all year) Do you know, or can you guess, what the purpose of this building was? What it was built for? (a temple to honor the goddess Athena)

Tell the children that this building was built as a temple to Athena, the patron goddess of Athens. (Review what the children have learned about the goddess Athena in literature.) Say: There are many entrances to this perfectly symmetrical building, as people could enter between each column. Tell the students that people would bring gifts of animals to sacrifice to the goddess Athena and that special ceremonies and games would be held at the Parthenon at special times of year that were similar to the Olympic games they have learned about. Ask: What else do you notice about where the Parthenon was built that makes it so special? (Accept any answer that indicates good observation, but try to have them see that its prominence at the very top of a high hill is important.)

Finally, show the children the slide again and ask whether they think this painting was made in ancient Greece. Why or why not? (Encourage different points of view.) Then tell them that the Parthenon was made about 2500 years ago and the painting was made in Italy about 500 years ago. Say: The painting was made at a time we call the renaissance, which is a hard word that means "rebirth." The renaissance was a time when artists all over Europe, beginning in Italy (show on map) looked back at the beautiful symmetry of Greek architecture and tried to make it again in their works of art--their paintings, their architecture, and their sculpture.


Second Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 28 - Greek Sculpture


Look closely at an example of Greek sculpture.

Relate sculpture of wrestlers to activity of Greek Olympic games.

Identify Olympic games as a religious festival.


Classroom size world map or map of Europe

Slide of Ganesha (#17 in plastic sleeve)

Slide of Seated Buddha (#18 in plastic sleeve)

Slide of Hellenistic Wrestlers sculpture, 200-100 B.C.

Note for Teacher

This art lesson will supplement information about the Greek Olympic games given in History/Geography Lesson 44.


Begin the class by showing the students the slide of Ganesha and ask who remembers what it is (sculpture, sculpture of Hindu god, half man and half elephant). Ask: What is the word we recently learned that artists use to describe something that sculpture and architecture have that painting does not have? (mass) And what does mass mean? (three-dimensionality) Does anyone remember what continent this sculpture of the god Ganesha comes from? (Asia) What religion does it come from? (Hindu)

Next show the children the slide of the Seated Buddha and ask what continent this sculpture comes from (Asia). Do you remember who this sculpture represents? (Buddha) What religion do we think of when we hear about Buddha? (Buddhism) Do sculptors tend to make Buddha very active or very thoughtful, which do you think? (thoughtful) What about the sculpture makes you say that? (seated, at rest, gently curving lines, closed eyes)

Say: The next sculpture we look at comes from a country on the continent of Europe that you've been studying about in your History/Geography lessons this month. Who can tell us the name of that country and show it to us on the map? (Greece) Say: This sculpture is much older than the ones we saw from Asia. The piece of Greek sculpture we are going to look at today is more than 2,000 years old.

Show the students the slide of Hellenistic Wrestlers and ask: What do you think these two figures are doing? (Accept all answers that indicate the child is observing.) Ask: Is this sculpture very thoughtful, like the Seated Buddha, or very active? Do you think what the two men are doing is easy or difficult? (difficult) How can you tell? (one body bent into strained position, can see muscles and almost feel that weight and pressure is being used by standing figure) Do you think this sculpture has anything to do with religion? (They will probably guess no.)

Tell the children that actually the sculpture does have something to do with the Greek religion. Say: The two men are Greek wrestlers, and wrestling is an important part of the ancient Olympic Games, which was a competition given every four years in honor of the god Zeus, so wrestling was part of an important religious festival or celebration. Ask whether anyone

can tell the class something about Zeus that they learned in History/Geography or in literature BCP DRAFT ART 55

Second Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 28 - Greek Sculpture

this month. Review what the children have heard about the ancient Greek games. Then ask: What kind of clothes are these wrestlers wearing? (none) Why do you think they are naked? Tell the children that all Greek athletes who participated in the ancient Greek Olympics were naked and that Greeks thought that well-fed, well-exercised human bodies were among the most beautiful things. Ask: Do you think modern people think that way? (Let them express opinions, then say: probably not, since most people tend to feel embarrassed and a little uncomfortable about naked bodies)

Tell the children that the most important event of the Olympic games was called the Pentathlon, which is a Greek word meaning a contest with five parts. Say: The ancient Greeks believed that to be a really great athlete a man needed to be able to do many different kinds of athletic activities very well, not just develop the muscles needed for one activity the way a weight lifter might develop very large, bulky muscles but not necessarily be able to run or be flexible. To participate in the Pentathlon, a man had to run a foot race, throw a round discus, do a long jump from a standing position, throw a long pointed javelin, and wrestle. The Pentathlon was the most important event at the Olympics, and the man who won the Pentathlon was crowned with a wreath of leaves from the olive tree.



Tell the children you want them to look carefully at three different pieces of sculpture and decide which one they like best and why. Show the children the three slides you have used for this class and take time to let the students look carefully at each one as you remind them of what they are.

Pass out lined paper for writing and give them a prompt written on the board that says, "I like the ___________________ sculpture the best because

If there is time, the students may want to illustrate their compositions.


Second Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 29 - Greek Art


Look closely at an ancient Greek amphora.

Hear about craft of pottery in ancient Greece.

Review the term symmetry.

Observe that the Greek amphorae were perfectly symmetrical.

Make symmetrical amphorae of cut paper.


Classroom size world map or map of Europe

Slide of Panathenaic Amphora, 485 B.C. (black-figure ceramic)

One piece of black, two of orange construction paper for each child

Scissors, paste

Pattern for symmetrical Greek amphora, attached

Pictures of ancient Greek amphorae from books (See Suggested Books, Lesson 17 as well as those listed below)

Suggested Books

Clare, John D., ed. Ancient Greece. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1994.

Excellent color photographs of amphorae used throughout the book to illustrate aspects of ancient Greek life and beliefs.

Pearson, Anne. What Do We Know About the Greeks? New York: Peter Bedrick Books, 1992.

Good color photographs of examples of vase painting, amphorae, the Parthenon, and pieces of ancient Greek sculpture.

Powell, Anton. The Greek World. New York: Warwick Press, 1987.

Color photographs of amphorae from different periods of ancient Greek history. Good examples of the way the vase painting on amphorae have served as primary sources for information about ancient Greek history.

Background for the Teacher

Greek pottery, starting with the earliest pieces found, from about the tenth century B.C., through its highest expression in the fifth century B.C., is an amazing record not only of the art history of Greek civilization but as some of the best possible evidence for every aspect of that culture. The earliest pots were decorated with geometric designs, and gradually studies of human figures in motion emerged. People have gone so far as to say that while Greek philosophers were among the first to ask the most basic questions about the human nature and the purpose of life, Greek artists were among the first to develop the depiction of the human body and all of its possibilities of movement.

Although pottery was made in many centers throughout Greece, by about 550 B.C. Athens became the primary one. Art historians identify six or seven basic shapes for Greek vases, and they are named according to their functions. The children will see two of these shapes in the slide from the Walters collection--the krater with its wide mouth is one, used as a bowl for mixing the wine and water which was the staple drink of the ancient Greeks is one. The other, which the students will look at in more detail is an amphora (a Greek word meaning "to carry on BCP DRAFT ART 57

Second Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 29 - Greek Art

both sides" which refers to the two handles always found on an amphora) with its characteristic egg shape, which was used to store liquids such as oil, honey, and wine as well as solids such as corn and other grains. All Greek vases were thrown on wheels and are therefore good examples of perfectly symmetrical vessels.

The painting of the vessels was a complex process of painting and firing, resulting in two basic kinds of decoration: one is called red-figured; the other, black figured in which the natural terra cotta color is the background and fine lines of drapery were achieved by scratching into the glazed black figures after one or more firings. The scenes portrayed on the vases ranged from the telling of complex stories about the gods and goddesses to the depiction of athletic events and, finally, simple household scenes of everyday life.


Show the children the slide of the Panathenaic Amphora and ask: What country and continent do you think these two pieces of pottery come from? (Greece, Europe--children will have seen many examples in recommended books for History/Geography as well as literature for this month even though they have not formally discussed them) Have someone show the class the locations of Greece and its continent on a map. Do you think they were made in modern times or ancient times? (ancient times, nearly 2500 years ago) Say: The one we are going to talk about mostly today is the one with the narrower (skinnier, smaller) neck. Some people call this kind of pottery a vase (write the word on the board), a word you may have heard as something to hold flowers. The ancient Greeks called a vase with this particular shape an amphora (write on the board), which is a Greek word that means "to carry on both sides." The other Greek vase that you see was called by another Greek word, which is krater (write on the board) and means "to mix," because this shaped vase is a bowl used to mix two different kinds of liquids.

Say: We already noticed that the amphora has a narrower neck than the krater. What other differences can you see? (List them on the board under the two terms as the children name them.) Be sure that the following things are included:

Krater is wider throughout, has red figures on black background, has straight handles, has figures of men in long, draped clothing, maybe philosophers or students.

Amphora is egg-shaped, has curved handles, has black figures on red background, has two horses with riders in a fairly narrow horizontal band.

Ask: What is one thing that both of these Greek vases have in common about their shapes? (might say rounded, which is true, but lead them to see that they are both perfectly symmetrical and review a bit from previous lessons about symmetry) Explain to the students that Greek potters were able to make these vases perfectly symmetrical by forming them on a potter's wheel that was kept turning at a steady rate as the potter molded the lump of clay with his hands. (If you have a picture in one of the books suggested above, show it to the children now.)

Tell the students that although we value these ancient vases as works of art, they were all very useful to the people who lived in those times. Ask: Could you guess what these Greek vases were used for? (storing and carrying all kinds of liquids such as honey, wine, and oil; also grains and other foods) Tell the children that the horseback rider with the long spear (javelin) is one of the Greek divinities they learned about in Greek mythology. Ask: Can you guess which one? (They will probably guess one of the gods, but this is actually Athena.) Have a few of the


Second Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 29 - Greek Art

children tell the class what they remember about Athena. Then tell the children that this particular kind of amphora was used to hold olive oil and given as a prize at some festivals held in her honor in which athletes competed in wrestling, boxing, and weightlifting; and in which musicians and artists competed with each other as well.


Do the activity yourself first and show the children the finished product. Give the children the following directions and be sure to explain that they will use every piece of paper that they cut. There will not be any scrap pieces.

1. Cut out the pattern.

2. Fold the piece of black paper in half vertically and secure the pattern with a paper clip along the fold. Put the outline piece on the desk and remove the pattern from the black vase.

3. Before unfolding the vase, cut a small free-form design that begins and ends at the fold.

4. Open the black vase and glue it to the piece of red paper.

5. Glue the remains of the black paper (outline piece) onto the other piece of red paper, creating a red vase within the negative space.

6. Glue the small black figure onto the negative space of the red amphora.

Review the concept of symmetry with the children. You could also take the opportunity to talk about negative and positive space in relation to the process the students have just followed.


Second Grade - Visual Arts - Lesson 29 - Greek Art