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High and Dry

Georgia O'Keeffe's landscapes inspire a study of deserts and creation of detailed desert ecosystem drawings.

  • Grade 6
    Grades 7 and 8
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Look at a variety of topographical maps and desert photographs. Research the meanings of terms and symbols used to describe the world's deserts. Describe similarities and differences between desert environments and the local environment, citing plant and animal life, temperature, and rainfall, for example.
    2. Study desert scenes painted by Georgia O'Keeffe. Identify elements of desert landscapes depicted in her art.
    3. Cover the work surface with newspaper. Experiment with Crayola® Watercolor Paints to create a sand dune effect that shows various planes of landscape. Dry on a flat surface.
    4. When dry, add details with Crayola Colored Pencils.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    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.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Explore factors that contribute to one's personal identity such as interests, capabilities, and perceptions.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Through Georgia's Eyes by Rachel Victoria Rodriguez; My Name Is Georgia: A Portrait by Jeanette Winter by Jeanette Winter; Georgia O'Keeffe: A Life by Roxana Robinson

    Students investigate the life of Georgia O'Keefe and her approach to art. In their own words, students describe O'Keefe's career influences. Students include a personal response to several self-selected O'Keefe paintings.

    Encourage students to investigate additional artists of the Modernists era. Compare and contrast their work with that of O'Keefe. Organze research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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