Alien Art Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

With this lesson plan, your students are going to design their own aliens. They will practice using art for storytelling by imagining homes and spaceships for these aliens, as well as depicting a human-alien interaction.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Conduct concept sketches focused towards concrete objectives
  • Demonstrate creativity by sketching aliens, as well as their homes and interactions with humans
  • Practice utilizing art for storytelling and character building

Length

90-120 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.3.A

Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation and its significance, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.3.C

Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole and build toward a particular tone and outcome (e.g., a sense of mystery, suspense, growth, or resolution).

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.C

Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.

Materials

  • Slideshow of aliens in art, focusing on concept art created by artists working for television and film studios
  • Artistic media of your choice

Instructions

  • Begin class with a discussion of aliens. Ask students what comes to mind when they think of aliens and ask them what influenced these ideas and assumptions. What have human cultures imagined alien life to look like?
  • Introduce a slideshow containing images of aliens from various artists. Try to focus on concept art utilized by artists whose work influenced important film or television franchises like Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr. Who, War of the Worlds, E.T, and so on. Discuss these images.
    • What do these aliens have in common? Are any of these images entirely distinct from the others? What makes each of these distinct?
    • What defines these artists' conceptions of aliens? What makes something look alien to us?

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