Lesson Plan 1 > Photoshop Collage: Creatures with a Story

Age: 8th Grade


Time: 6 Classes


Focus: The lesson will focus on learning the history of collage, collaging a mythical creature and developing a short story.



a. Describe the characteristics of styles and genres such as documentary, narrative or abstract. (

b. Demonstrate use of a variety of tools, materials and techniques in media arts based on the characteristics of the hardware and software. (

c. The student will create a work that becomes the starting point for a literary narrative.


Motivational Resources:

§  Examples of collage work

            Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain" <http://becksearlescott.files.wordpress.com/2009/             01/ fountain.jpg>

            Richard Hamilton's "Just What is it That Makes Today's Homes So Different, So             Appealing" <http://htca.us.es/blogs/perezdelama/files/2008/10/hamilton.jpg>

§  Posters of Dada art

§  Handout of the process

§  An example of a collage creature

            <http://blog.lib.umn.edu/mathi208/arted/Images/             Digital%20Collage%20Creature.jpg>


Art Materials:

§  Digital photos

§  Macintosh computers

§  Adobe Photoshop CS3

§  Projector

§  Flash drive(s)

§  Color printer

§  Copy paper

§  Lined paper

§  Pencils



During the beginnings of World War I, both sides of the conflict promised their people a quick and swift victory. No one expected the fighting to last as long or be as detrimental to those involved. In reaction against the horrific effects the war was having on its nations, an art movement was developed. Dada began in Europe and is characterized by nonsensical imagery that spoke of frustrations against the war. (Stokstad, 1088) Dadaists questioned what art is and produced images that conflicted with the traditional standards of art. This attitude is a reflection of the people of the time and how they were handling the warfare happening around them. Another characteristic of Dada art is collage. (Stokstad, 1091) The term comes from the French word coller which means "to glue." (Stokstad, 1080) and according to Dictionary.com, collage is "a technique of composing a work of art by pasting on a single surface various materials not normally associated with one another." ("Collage") "Experimental artists cut pictures from magazines and newspapers and pasted them together in composite images whose jumbled scale and perspective challenged conventional expectations." (Marien, 245) And while the imagery of the Dada movement and their use of collage may have started as political commentary, collage can be used in a variety of ways including illustration.


Throughout literary history, authors have been inspired by the images that they see. Whether those images are pieces of artwork produced by the masters, situations they witness in everyday life, or landmarks and places they've visited during their lifetime. Pictures and images have accompanied literary narratives for hundreds of years ("The History of Illustration") and have become very important to some stories. In fact, there is an entire business devoted to visually portraying the events taking place in a narrative. Book illustration is a large source of rich imagery that spans many genres of art and almost always accompanies an author's words. While some stories "paint" vivid pictures with words alone, illustration can provide a deeper look into a storyline for its readers.


Instructional Procedure:

Class 1: During the first class meeting the students will be introduced to collage and its history found in Dada. Examples of collage will be shown and discussed as well as how collage can be created in a digital format. The students will be introduced to the assignment and shown a digital collage creature as an example in order to begin brainstorming. Students will also be encouraged to begin thinking about a story that they would like to tell revolving around their creation. Mysticism and nonsensical ideas should be encouraged since the creatures are completely imaginary and would work well with a completely unrealistic narrative.


Class 2: During the second class day, an image bank will be made available to the students which will be divided into categories such as landscape, animal, texture, interior, exterior, face, etc. From these images, the students should select portions from multiple images using the tools found in Photoshop and begin creating a mythical creature. The students should be reminded about the importance of setting and how each element that they choose to include should have a purpose and meaning within their story. At the end of the period, all work should be backed up on the project flash drive.


Class 3: Day three is marginally a workday to continue developing the students' creatures. At the end of the day, all students' work should be backed up on the project flash drive.


Class 4: On the fourth day, students should be cleaning up their imagery and putting any final touches on their creature. As students begin to finish, they should use their time to begin writing a rough draft of their narrative. As they finish their creatures, their imagery should be printed in order for their work to be taken home and all work should be saved onto a flash drive devoted to the project.


Class 5: Day five is devoted to writing a short story starring their imaginary creatures.


Class 6: On the sixth day of class, every student will have the opportunity to present their imaginary creature to the class via the projector. While their image is displayed they should read their narrative that they composed and a discussion and critique should take place.


Evaluation/Assessment: A rubric will be used to document the students' understanding of the assignment, degree of participation, development of concept and application of technique(s) learned. Also, a critique will accompany final presentations of work.


DBAE Checklist:

Art Production: Students created a fictitious creature collaged from an image bank source.

Aesthetics: Students developed an image inspired by the history of collage.

Art History: Students learned about the history of collage and its influence on Dada.

Art Criticism: Students had the opportunity to discuss their personal artwork, as well as the work of their peers, in a critique session.



"Collage." 2009. Dictionary.com. 12 December 2009. <http://dictionary.reference.com/             browse/Collage>.


"The History of Illustration." 1997-2008. Society of Ilustrators. 13 December 2009.             <http://societyillustrators.org/about/history/283.cms>


Marien, Mary Warner. Photography: A Cultural History. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006.


Stokstad, Marilyn. Art History. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Person Prentice Hall, 2008.