Activity Introduction

paintbrushes-heroQuick summary: In this activity students will explore how art can be seen as a form of social commentary, and how environmental artists can reflect the environmental sentiment of the time. Students will begin by looking at historical examples of art (including environmental art) and how these help to describe what was happening at the time. They will then select an environmental work of art from the year they were born, one from now, and then they will create one for an imagine future in 50 years time.

Learning goals:

  • Students will understand that art can be seen as a form of social commentary.
  • Students will understand that art can tell us how people are thinking about our environment.
  • Students will recognise the different ways artists have explored nature and the environment at different points in history.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 5 & 6 Visual Arts

  • Explore ideas and practices used by artists, including practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, to represent different views, beliefs and opinions (ACAVAM114)
  • Develop and apply techniques and processes when making their artworks (ACAVAM115)
  • Plan the display of artworks to enhance their meaning for an audience (ACAVAM116)
  • Explain how visual arts conventions communicate meaning by comparing artworks from different social, cultural and historical contexts, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artworks (ACAVAR117)

Year 5 History

  • Examine different viewpoints on actions, events, issues and phenomena in the past and present (ACHASSI099)
  • Present ideas, findings, viewpoints and conclusions in a range of texts and modes that incorporate source materials, digital and non-digital representations and discipline-specific terms and conventions (ACHASSI105)

Year 6 History

  • Examine different viewpoints on actions, events, issues and phenomena in the past and present (ACHASSI127)
  • Present ideas, findings, viewpoints and conclusions in a range of texts and modes that incorporate source materials, digital and non-digital representations and discipline-specific terms and conventions (ACHASSI133)

Syllabus Outcomes: VAS3.1, VAS3.2, VAS3.3, VAS3.4, HT3-5.

Topic: Sustainability

Time required: 2 x 48 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activity and facilitate discussion

Resources required: Internet access, student worksheets, art materials.

Digital technology opportunities: Prezi presentation creation, digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunity for homework or extension.

Keywords: Environment, art, history, past, present, future.

Artists used in this resource:

  1. The Mona Lisa – Leonardo da Vinci
  2. Hush! – James Tissot
  3. The Empress Eugenie Surrounded by her Ladies in Waiting – Franz Xaver Winterhalter
  4. Rowan leaves and hole – Andy Goldsworthy

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

painting-heroTeacher preparation:

Overarching learning goal: Students will understand that art can be seen as a form of social commentary and that it can be used to tell us how people are thinking about our environment. Students will also recognise the different ways artists have explored nature and the environment at different points in history.

Teacher content information: Art can be seen as a form of social commentary: it tells as story about what is happening in the world at that time. If we look back at art throughout history we can see it represents the major thoughts, ideas and events of the time.

This applies to how humans have felt  and thought about our environment throughout history. Up until the 18th Century you will find little reference to the relationship between humans and the environment in art. It certainly features in the background of many images, but this probably reflects the broader understanding of the environment; it was in the background.

Then in the 18th Century came

...
 
- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What will art look like in the future?

Your job is to look at the past, present and future of environmental art.

Part 1. The past

Find a work of environmental art from the year you were born (you can use the internet to find your work of art - just be sure to record as much detail about the webpage you got the image from, including the URL).

What is the name of the artwork and the artist, and when was it created?

Describe this artwork:

What do you think this artwork says about how people were thinking about the environment at that time?

 

Part 2. The present

Find a work of environmental art from this year (you can use the internet to find your work of art - just be sure to record as much detail about the webpage you got the image from, including the URL).

What is the name of the artwork and the artist, and when was it created?

Describe this artwork:

What do you think this artwork says about h

...
 
- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.