Quick 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 a work of art that features nature or our environment from the past, one from the present, and then they will create one for an imagine future in 50 years time.
- 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)
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:
- The Mona Lisa – Leonardo da Vinci
- Hush! – James Tissot
- The Empress Eugenie Surrounded by her Ladies in Waiting – Franz Xaver Winterhalter
- 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.