Fairfield Porter Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Use this lesson plan to teach students about artist Fairfield Porter. Students will read a text lesson that covers Porter's life and work, discuss and analyze his unique style, then apply concepts to an activity.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • provide a biography of Fairfield Porter
  • analyze work by Fairfield Porter
  • discuss and describe what makes work by Porter notable


1 hour for the lesson, plus additional time for activity completion


Key Vocabulary

  • Fairfield Porter
  • Realism

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.3

Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.

Warm Up

  • Divide students into small groups or partner pairs and give each group an image of a painting or drawing by Fairfield Porter. Consider providing a wide range of his work, including still life, watercolor, portraits, etc.
  • Instruct each group to analyze the piece, attempting to identify the style, medium and message.
  • After students finish, have each share their piece and ideas, then discuss as a whole group.
  • Tell students the work is by artist Fairfield Porter. Allow students to share prior knowledge, and have each student choose their favorite piece to focus on for the remainder of the lesson, regrouping as necessary. Hang the pieces on the wall in your classroom.

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