Nature Art Lesson Plan

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Through this lesson plan focused on nature art, students will explore the ephemeral land art sculptures of Andy Goldsworthy and will create their own land art sculptures. In addition, students will photograph their sculptures to preserve them.

Learning Objectives

As a result of this lesson, students will:

  • Create sculptures using natural objects
  • Explain their choices of materials related to their sculptures
  • Describe the sculptures of Andy Goldsworthy as a model of nature art
  • Photograph their art


45-60 minutes multiple days

Curriculum Standards

National Core Art Standards: Artistic Processes

Students will generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Students will convey meaning through presentation of artistic work.
Students will perceive and analyze artistic work.

Please note that each state has different standards for (SUBJECT). Please consult your state's standards to ensure proper alignment.

Materials Needed

  • Projector or SmartBoard
  • Images of sculptures by Andy Goldsworthy (available online)
  • Found materials to use for natural sculptures
  • Digital cameras


  • Land art
  • Site-specific art
  • Ephemeral


  • Use a projector or SmartBoard to show students images of the artwork created by Andy Goldsworthy, which are widely available online. His art is called 'site-specific' and 'land art.'
  • Discuss his art through questions such as:
    • What materials does Goldsworthy use to create his sculptures?
    • How do these materials fit with the environment on which they are used?
    • What do you notice about his art?
    • What questions do you have about his art?
    • Which is your favorite sculpture? Why?
  • Point out that the sculptures he creates are temporary, or ephemeral; they don't last because they incorporate ice and other aspects that will deteriorate with time or change in the weather. Because of this, he creates photographs of his artworks. In effect, he makes two different pieces of art: the original sculpture and then the photograph of the sculpture.
  • Ask students:
    • Would it bother you to spend time creating a sculpture that is ephemeral? Why or why not?
    • Why do you think Goldsworthy has chosen this art form?
    • Does the fact that the art is ephemeral have any relation to nature in general? If so, what?

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