Here’s a bold and bright pop art lesson using Crayola® Markers inspired by the work of American artist Robert Indiana.
60 to 90 Minutes
Introduce students to American artist Robert Indiana. There is an interesting short video (trailer to a movie) about his opinion on his work at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BYwgAqoEXo0
Discuss a number of his works as a class. What do they like? What do they dislike? How do they feel? What does his work remind them of? Etc.) A video of many of Indiana’s pieces without commentary can be found at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2asDxz9nwWU
Hand out 9” x 12” (22.86 cm x 30.48 cm) white paper, pencils, rulers, and compasses to students. Encourage students to pick a number that has a significance to them and draw it using an interesting font or stencil on their paper. Challenge students to use a certain number of geometric shapes (a square, a circle, a hexagon, angles (one right angle, one obtuse, one acute) or lengths of lines.
Students add shapes and lines around their number to complete a pattern geometric piece that reflects Robert Indiana’s style.
Give students a variety of Crayola® Markers and have them color in their design. Encourage students to pay attention to detail, contrast, and color choices (complimentary, primary, secondary).
Have students create a small artist card that indicates the title of their work and the reason they chose their number, along with some fact families, equations, or other mathematical/scientific concepts related to their number (example shown below).
4 score by Ava Martin
I chose the number 4 because it is the day of my birthday.
• 4 x 4=16
• 4 quarters in a dollar
• 4 legs on a chair
• 4 seasons in a year
LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
MATH: Write and understand numerical expressions.
MATH: Draw and identify lines and angles.
MATH: Reason with shapes and their attributes.
VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.
VA: Identify specific works as belonging to a particular culture, time, and place.
VA: Identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum.
Robert Indiana does not really consider himself a pop artist. Compare his work to other pop artists (Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, Robert Rauschberg, David Hockney) to see how his work is similar or different.
Indiana’s work Love (1964) was reimagined for President Barack Obama’s political campaign using the word Hope. Have students host a design contest for a sculpture for their school that using a word they feel is poignant for their school community.
Photocopy and distribute art to a different student than its creator. Have students identify and measure elements from a peer’s work (This art piece has a square, a circle and triangles. The angle in the top right point of the start measures 28 degrees, it is an acute angle. The area of the square is…).