Fruit Still Life 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 learn how to think about still life paintings like an artist. They will apply this by creating several sketches of still life scenes as well as one finalized composition.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Describe still life paintings, as well as the reasons for artists to experiment with these scenes.
  • Identify famous still life paintings and describe them in terms of color, line, form, and content.
  • Arrange and paint their own still life scenes.

Length

90 minutes

Curriculum Standards

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.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.D

Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.

Materials

  • Slideshow of still life paintings, including both representational and abstracted compositions
  • Fruits of various colors and textures, arranged into four to five different scenes
  • Any other objects you'd like to add to still life scenes that students will paint
  • Colored pencils and/or pastels

Instructions

  • Begin with a slideshow of famous still life paintings. Start with more representational and less abstract paintings. Discuss these with students.
    • What is the point of a still life painting? What do you see in these paintings?
  • Continue with the slide show, working into more abstract still life paintings.
    • How do these paintings look similar? How are they different?
    • How do you think artists choose the objects they use in their still life paintings? What considerations go into this decision? How have artists arranged the objects in their paintings, and why?
  • Go through all of the slides again, asking students to think about things like color, texture, shape, line, and the relationship between objects. Discuss each of the paintings as a class. Are items juxtaposed, independent, or complimentary? How do colors and shapes relate to each other? How do different artists handle these ideas?

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