M.C. Escher Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Who was M.C. Escher and how did his unique style impact the art world? This lesson plan uses a fact-filled text lesson to outline Escher's life and work for the class. An activity challenges them to try out some of his techniques.

Learning Objectives

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

  • summarize the life and work of M.C. Escher
  • list the techniques that became the hallmark of M.C. Escher's style

Length

1.5 to 2 hours

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.2

Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.3

Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.7

Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.9

Compare and contrast findings presented in a text to those from other sources (including their own experiments), noting when the findings support or contradict previous explanations or accounts.

Materials

  • Assorted images of well-known works by M.C. Escher
  • Paper copies of the text lesson M.C. Escher: Biography, Art & Facts, one for each student
  • A worksheet created using the quiz from the associated text lesson, one for each student
  • White multipurpose paper
  • Colored pencils

Instructions

  • Display the images of M.C. Escher's work for the class.
    • What is unique about the images on display?
    • Can anyone name the artist who created these works?
  • Pass out the M.C. Escher: Biography, Art & Facts text lesson
  • Instruct the class to read the introduction and 'Impossible Architecture' section of the text lesson.
    • Did anyone correctly identify the artist as M.C. Escher?
    • How is the 'third, illogical dimension' represented in the examples on display?
  • Ask the class to read the 'Defying Gravity' section.
    • How did Escher's early life experiences impact his work?
  • Have the class read the remainder of the text lesson now.
    • What examples of 'spatial awareness' can you identify in the works on display?
    • What is M.C. Escher's lasting legacy?
  • Pass out the worksheet and instruct the students to work independently to complete it.
  • When all students have finished the worksheet, review each question and answer with the class as students self-check their responses.

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