Black & White Drama

Black & White Drama lesson plan

Explore and respond to the work of Ansel Adams, creating original black and white pencil landscape drawings of the Sierra Nevada.

  • 1.

    Ansel Adams is known for his photographs of the Sierra Nevada, where the Sierra Club was founded by John Muir. Adams's work, exquisite in both its grandeur and detail, is powerful and awe-inspiring. His photos demonstrate a strong sense of composition and clarity. Study several of his photos of the Sierras. Choose one that shows great space and contains interesting shadows.

  • 2.

    On white paper, lightly sketch the landscape in Adams' photo with a black Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencil.

  • 3.

    Using a black Crayola Fine Line Marker, draw over your sketch lines. Fill in areas that are in shadow. Silhouettes are solid, and lighter areas remain white.

  • 4.

    Research the plants and animals that live in the area for authenticity. Add details that contribute to your drawing, such as figures or trees.

Standards

  • LA: Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.
  • VA: Understand there are various purposes for creating works of visual art.

Adaptations

  • In small groups, students view a presentation of Ansel Adams' photographs located at http://www.sierraclub.org/history/ansel-adams/slideshow/default.aspx. Students respond by posting to a class blog organized for this activity.
  • Students use a map of the United States to locate national parks. Investigate black and white or color photographs from one more of these national parks. Choose one picture and sketch it using Crayola Colored Pencils. Write a brief description of the sketch, identifying the national park where the photograph was taken, and providing insight into the uniqueness of this sketch. Post the sketch and written description in the classroom for viewing.