Media Literacy Lesson Plan

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Click here for the full Lesson Plan

Grade Level: 10th-11th Grade

Time Needed: 5 Class Periods

Focus: This lesson is focused on exploring media literacy through advertising and using Photoshop to recreate a misleading advertisement into a more truthful one.

a. Evaluate how the principles of media arts such as repetition, unity and contrast are used in the creation of, presentation of, or response to media artworks. (
b. Integrate tools, materials, and techniques to create original products for artistic purposes. (
c. Analyze how a work in media arts influences and is influenced by the personal, social, cultural and historical contexts. (
d. Revise creative work based on artistic intent and using multiple sources of critique and feedback. (

Motivational Resources:
-Powerpoint about media literacy and assignment introduction
-Video examples:
-Magazines, online ads
-Teacher example of studio project
-Video tutorials:
Lasso tutorial
Selection Tools
Cropping and Cutting out
Changing Background
How to Create a Background

Art Materials:
-Magazines, newspapers, online ads
-Photoshop (or open source software like GIMP)
-Computers (Mac or PC)
- 2 or 3 Scanners
-Printer paper
- 10 Flash drives
-Crescent board or other mounting board (one for each student)
-Adhesive: double stick tape and/or glue sticks

Introduction to the Lesson:
Media literacy is important to enable a person to understand, evaluate and ask questions about what they see and hear. This can be traced back as early as the 1600s. It was first used to sway a large group of people to believe a common goal. Propaganda usually refers to a political standpoint and appeals to an emotion to gain a strong opinion from the viewer. If the artist of the propaganda gets you take a side on an argument then it's doing its job. The word 'propaganda' has changed through the eras into a more general term. In present day the term refers to more manipulative media and advertisements.
When identifying with these advertisements we see everyday we need to learn how to become literate. As consumers it is important to understand the mask that covers the advertisements we believe to be true, in all aspects of digital media. In film we can see how editing takes a large role in adjusting the way we see things. Areas to take into consideration are the way the artist puts together a specific piece of work. When looking at magazine ads the editors have complete control over each add that is printed. Color, font, size, placement, overall weight of the composition, and the words added all give the viewer a direction to go. Whether the message is negative or positive an opinion is developed and the advertisement is successful.
Gaining a positive or negative view is important, but it is also important to identify if the advertisement is misleading. Editors are really good at taking a product, that may or may not be good for you and making it look 'too good to be true'. Using a trained eye to break down an ad into to what it is exactly that the advertiser is saying is important when buying into a product. Students will explore and demonstrate this by picking an advertisement they find misleading and indentifying how the editor put it together to create the desired opinion.


Photoshop Kaleidoscope Tutorial by Nicole Dalesio


This week I wanted to focused on ideas for lesson plans that could be incorporated into the classroom seamlessly. I also wanted to find a studio project that could be done in no more than 3 days. As far as I can recall, all of the lesson plans I've made have been at least 4 days if not longer. What I found was a great photoshop tutorial called Photoshop Kaleidoscope Tutorial by Nicole Dalesio. The main objective is to make a kaleidoscopic image from a one of the student's choosing. This activity does involve basic math skills, but I wouldn't say that it is an art and math lesson.
I choose this activity because it is so easy, and the outcome is always interesting; with the variety of shapes and colors that are made, makes each final project unique. I continued to write up a lesson plan incorporating this activity into a lesson plan. I was glad to see that the activity itself only takes one classroom time, and the final critique lasts for one class time as well. I think these short lessons really help encourage the learning process of Photoshop; even though the process is relatively simple, you learn new tools of photoshop (even I did, I never knew about the polygonal lasso tool!).

Making Your Own Kaleidoscope Picture with Photoshop

Grade Level: 4th- 5th Grade

Time needed: 2 Class periods

Focus: Through this short lesson plan the students will create their own, unique kaleidoscope image through Photoshop.

a. The students will describe how the principles of media arts such as repetitions, unity and contrast are used in the creation of artwork (
b. The students will describe a variety of tools, materials, and techniques used with software and hardware for creation in media arts (
c. The students will justify personal interpretations and reactions to a variety of media artworks (

Motivational Resources:
-The video by Nicole Dalesio, Photoshop Kaleidoscope Tutorial (Math/Geometry Art)
-Premade teacher and past-student examples
-Kaleidoscopes (around 5)

Art Materials:
-Photoshop (or any open shareware, example: GIMP)
-Preferred: 8" x 8" photo paper, but 8.5" x 11" if fine too, for the students to print out their projects (each student needs 1)
-Color paper - large variety of colors
-Glue sticks or any type of clear adhesive
-Scissors to cut their image (if you use 8.5" x 11")

Introduction to the Lesson
One has probably played around with a kaleidoscope before, looking at all of the colors and shapes it creates. David Brewster invited the kaleidoscope in 1816 while studying physical science and the properties of light. He discovered this contraption while looking at objects at the end of two mirrors; he discovered how light and colors created new shapes and patterns. How kaleidoscopes create these patters is with mirrors; mirrors give it the ability to reflect light within the scope, giving it more dimension and interest. This lesson plan uses the idea of the kaleidoscope to transform an image into a kaleidoscopic image.
The students will focus on creating a kaleidoscopic image through Photoshop. After the students create their image, they will mount it and participate in an in-class critique. The students will gain knowledge in the use of Photoshop, and how to correctly mount an image into a backdrop. The critique should engage the students in discussions about how each one is unique from the original image; how they differ is up for interpretation, but they should talk about the colors and shapes of the kaleidoscopic image.

Click here for the full lesson plan

Nicole Dalesio. Photoshop Kaleidoscope Tutorial. 2009. video. VimeoWeb. 8 Dec
2011. .

Technology in the Classroom

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For this week's reporting I found an e-journal from the UMD's online journal database about how to get creativity through technology, rather than just using technology as a tool. The article Creativity in Digital Art Education Teaching Practices by Joanna Black and Kathy Browning talks about basically using technology as a new medium (such as paint, clay, or charcoal) to foster expressive creativity, rather than just a tool. It also talks about getting teachers to move forward to the digital era, but not forgetting about the traditional methods as well.

Black and Browning introduce the problem of including technology into teaching, and how some teachers are unwilling to change. Some aspects on not taking the step forward are: "software difficulties, increasing stress, heavier teaching loads, time constraints, shortage of hardware and software, and lack of teacher support/training" (Black and Browning, 2011). To me, I feel like a lot of teachers are just unwilling to change because they want to teach how they learned, and most of them I am guessing did not use any (or barely any) technology when they were making art or going through school. I just feel like they are being stubborn almost, because of course it's hard to change your ways and learning new technology is hard and frustrating, but all of us are going through it. Maybe getting art teachers together within the local district would be a great idea so everyone can just teach each other, and share different methods.

Black and Browning go on to talk about how teachers cannot ignore this new type of literacy. I agree that as art teachers we have a responsibility to teach digital literacy through our lesson plans (creating and researching) so students can learn how this type of media is made and how to 'read' digital media. It's also about how we integrate technology into the classroom; it should be "stimulating [the] students' learning, their imagination, and the creative process"(Black and Browning). They talk about how a lot of creativity is made through experimenting with the new programs. E. Pickard expresses that "creativity requires this leap from the known, to alternatives, but to make it fully, the individual must be able to hypothesize, imagine, and appreciate the significance of one's transformational activity". I agree with his statement, because if one were to think of making an art project (doesn't matter the medium), you would think about how you would go about making that specific project (what tools you would use and what steps you would take). Without learning that medium, you wouldn't be able to even think about how to go about making that project. Through these steps, you ultimately create a project that expresses yourself creatively, while problem solving how to successfully complete the art assignment.

The problem though, is successfully using technology to foster creativity in the classroom. Black and Browning believe that there is a gap between knowing basic computer skills, and using computers or technology for art education. I agree as well; I think that just because someone knows how to use PowerPoint and use it as a tool, doesn't mean they are using technology successfully in the classroom. Technology should foster the creative process of the students. They say that educators need to take time out to learn the new software and create lessons that use this technology in a creative way.

Browning goes on about her case study Digital Applications in Elementary Visual Arts: A Case Study in Ontario and Newfoundland Schools (2006). She focused on six general elementary teachers who use digital software in their classes. The teachers used digital software to teach the principals of design (focusing on basic shapes, relationship of text to image, cut and paste, and digital photography). Although, these are not really the principals of design, they are just tools and methods of design. The educators were missing the point that they shouldn't focus on the 'how-to' of technology but rather the 'how-to' of art. Browning then goes on to talk about how she incorporated teacher training and creative use of technology in the classroom with these educators. It was a 3-year study, each year she would change the theme of the projects, then had workshops for the teachers to learn how to successfully integrate technology that related to the theme, and also included lectures from artists that related to the years theme. The first year was very strict in what the educators could actually do, and the following two years were more broad and free to interpretation. The participants all agreed that the second and third years were more successful than the first. They thought, "that teachers could interpret the broad themes easily, and these themes offered flexibility through innovative, broad, project-centered, and problem-based curricula" (Browning). It was such a success because "they focused on creative art ideas and not technology driving the curricula, [and] given freedom to shape creative digital arts programs"(Browning). I think this study is really interesting, because it shows that even when teachers work with tight rules and expectations, the results are not as successful as when given freedom to interpret.

I think this is a great article to read if you're interested in learning about using technology in a creative environment. It is great if you are on the edge of taking the step to the digital era, it really explains why it is important to foster this great tool for creative expression.

Black, Joanna, and Kathy Browning. "Creativity in Digital Art Education
Teaching Practices
." National Art Education Association 64.5 (2011): 19-34. Web. 17 Nov 2011.

Digital Narratives Through Pixilation - Lesson Plan

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Digital Narratives Through Pixilation - Lesson Plan
Grade Level: 9th - 12th
Time needed: 7 Classes (50 minutes each)
Focus: This will focus on narrative artwork through pixilation. The students will create a unique short animation focusing on the narrative of the piece using popular tools such as Photoshop and digital cameras.

a. Students will be able to identify the elements in media arts such as image, sound,
space, time, motion and sequence. (
b. Students will integrate tools, materials, and techniques to create original products for expressive intent (
c. Students will create a single, complex work (

Motivational Resources
- PowerPoint about animation (focusing on pixilation)
- The teachers example animation
- Youtube videos
o PEZ - Human Skateboard
o Oren Lavie - Her Elegance
o Regina Spektor - Samson
o Kina Grannis - In Your Arms
-Story books (for narrative inspiration)

Art Materials:
- Computer (Mac or PC)
- Photoshop (or any open source software similar to Photoshop, like Gimp)
- iMovie (or any open sources software similare to iMovie, like Avidemux)
- Camera
- Tripod (Optional, but preferred since it will help smooth the animation)
- Costumes (Optional)

Introduction to the Lesson
Narrative art, or art that tells a story, is a very important method for telling an idea or feeling. Narrative artwork can be about historical events, or even simple situations between people. The students should be focusing on being able to tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end, and focus on vast amount of expression that can be shown through a narrative piece.
This lesson plan will focus on being able to tell a story through the stop motion technique, pixilation. The lesson will include a presentation about when pixilation was started, demonstrations of pixilation animation, and then a demonstration in Photoshop how to make pixilation animation.
The students should gain knowledge about how to make a pixilation animation, along with how to tell a story through a piece of work. The students should gain appreciation for the method of animation, along with the expressiveness of story telling.

Digital Story Telling

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This week I researched about Digital Story Telling within Art Education. This topic really interested me this week because in both my digital arts mixed media class and digital methods in art education class, we are learning about story telling. What I eventually discovered is that digital story telling has an infinite variety of different stories that could be told; The story could be fiction or non-fiction, meaning you could really make a lesson plan focused on any subject, being a historical event or totally made up.
What I first stumbled across was a blog entry from edutopia called Digital Storytelling: Helping Students Find Their Voices by: Suzie Boss. What Boss explains is basically how digital technology has changed from having big, clunky cameras to being able to have cameras in our pockets and how accessible they are. She says that this almost makes it easier, but there are still skills that come along with story telling, and that "Teachers who bring digital storytelling into the classroom are discovering what makes this vehicle for expression worth the effort. They watch students gain proficiency in writing and research, visual literacy, critical thinking, and collaboration." (Boss, 2008).
I think that this is very true that story telling can be a great way for students to learn about how to use technology in the classroom in an expressive way.
Boss then gives a list of links that gives more information about digital story telling. My favorite from the bunch was a site called The Educational Uses of Digital Story Telling. This site is for educators who want to make videos to show in the classroom, but they have great tutorials that could be used within the classroom as well. There is also rubrics for grading students work, which would be handy to have for the future.
I think these two sites are very mind opening to what story telling can be. I never thought of researching historical events for digital story telling, but that would be a great way to mix history and art. Digital story telling is a great medium for students to learn about history or to show off their personal expression. I like how it's so broad of a theme, that you can really go anywhere with lesson plans and involve a lot more in the classroom than just art!

Boss, Suzie. "Digital Storytelling:Helping Students Find Their Voice." Edutopia. 03/04/2008. Web. 3 Nov. 2011.

Education Uses of Digital StoryTelling. University of Houston, n. d. Web. 3 Nov. 2011.


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For this weeks reporting, I did a hard search through the UMD's library catalogue to find a magazine article about E-learning with Art Education. The author Robert Quinn explains how E-learning is becoming more common in the school settings. Whether it be because the student chooses to take online classes or because of a natural disaster or illness that is going through the community, E-learning is more accepted now than ever, and the educators should really be more aware of how to teach in this setting. This really made me realize that me and my classmates may not be offered a job in a traditional classroom setting, especially with the rise of Minnesota's statewide K-12 online program that is now available to all Minnesotan students. This is a great article to start out reading if you are new to thinking about the online "classroom" and how it is different to conduct lesson plans through the internet rather than a traditional classroom. Quinn explains different options for art educators to use for online art making activities. He starts with the obvious photo manipulation. There are many applications that one can use for this activity, such as Photoshop, but there is also free software available that does the same thing as photoshop like the shareware GIMP. There are many other programs that can be used as well; If you just google shareware like photoshop, or whatever program you want similar to, there will be lots of links that show up. I think that it's great that shareware is available because it cuts costs for not only the students but the school as well. He then moves on to netArt, which is basically art that is shown on the web, rather than a gallery setting. He explains that this method is much more interactive, allowing students to upload their works, and having the students comment on each others pieces (almost like a traditional classroom critique). Being even more interactive, he explains that digital collaboration is also a good option in making digital art with one or more classmates. He shows examples of this type of method too; he talks about Jeff Murphy and Heather Freeman (husband and wife) who actually met online and collaborated through the internet. They would send pictures and in-progress works back and forth, both giving each other feedback, ultimately after a few week they would arrive at a final piece. This method is basically combining the first two (using photo manipulation and netArt) to be able to collaborate with other students to make a final piece together. He goes on talking about the program WebCT (now called Blackboard Learning System), which is like Moodle, and how it's a great way for students to be able to post their in-progress works, and even take those works and work on top of it. I think that this is such a great tool, but it doesn't have to be limited to just online classes. I feel a lot of students would feel more comfortable doing an online version of a critique; Students wouldn't have to worry about thinking of something to say right on the spot, or worry about talking in front of everyone. It's a great tool just to get people talking about each other works, along with sharing different tools or techniques. Quinn also talks about an interesting lesson plan that he uses for online classes. THe lesson plan is basically a "traveling picture", where one student draws something and then passes it to the next student, only online. Within the discussion board, he posted 5 images that were to each be manipulated 2 times using digital imaging software. All of the students were to post their 10 final pieces on the discussion board for collaboration, which was the first stage of the process. The second stage is for the student to take one of the images another student manipulated and create another image from that. This is repeated for stages three, four, and five. He didn't make a certain program required because he thought that would inhibit the students intuitive and experiential learning when they try something for the first time. There also was not a theme requirement, this was so the students' artistic responses wouldn't be hindered. There were student comments on the lesson plan about how they liked it, and there seemed to be more constructed criticism than positive feedback. The students thought there should have been more direction in the program itself along with the theme. I thought it was interesting that students liked having boundaries on their works. I thought that maybe students would want more open ended projects, so they can go in their own direction, but maybe it's just the little push that they are looking for. So all in all, I thought this article was a very important article for the modern day art teacher looking for some advice on how to teach in the online setting.

QUINN, ROBERT D. "E-Learning in Art Education: Collaborative Meaning Making Through Digital Art Production." Art Education 64.4 (2011): 18-24. Education Research Complete. EBSCO. Web. 18 Oct. 2011.

Photoshop Animation

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Here are our examples of photoshop portrait animation.

Untitled from Sarah Nelson on Vimeo.

Untitled from Madelaine Sandon on Vimeo.

Equipment Needed for this Tutorial:
-Computer (PC or Mac)
-Photoshop cs3
-Webcam or camera
-Green screen or green poster

Photoshop Tutorial:
Photoshop Portrait Animation Tutorial

Researched Portrait Example:

'I love' self portrait animation from Jamie McDine on Vimeo.

Another portrait example:

1) McDine Jamie. (2009). 'i love' self portrait animation [Web]. Retrieved from

2)My first shot at after effects [Web]. (2008). Retrieved from

3)Russell, Brown, Dir. Using the Animation Palette. Web. 11 Oct 2011. .

Bi-Weekly Reporting - 10/6/2011

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"If you want to get something done in the world,
you must not only have something to say,
but have a way to say it
and make sure that you are heard."

This week what I found was an article(that eventually led me to the video above) about the Boston Arts Academy's curriculum and how they incorporate both Fine Arts courses and regular academic courses. They believe when the student gets to focus on their passion half of the day, their other courses that they might usually have problems with come a little easier, or just make high school in general a little easier. The curriculum is also a college-prep program, letting the students start focusing on their passion earlier and become ready for the rigorous college schedule.
I thought it was interesting how the students took their passion, and could learn more about it through traditional courses. One of the students was even talking about the anatomy of the brain and how a certain part is responsible for processing the music.
Another important part of the curriculum one of the teacher explains, is learning life lessons. These passions that the students have teach them discipline, practice, responsibility, and dedication. Without those qualities, one would never achieve a higher level of ability within their passion.
Another teacher explains how the visual arts program is a little different, and how it is a way of thinking rather than doing. She explains how art IS math or science, and it even shows a little animation about math. I have thought about this before, and I think that art is more than just the creating side, and that it can teach more than just aesthetics. There are all types of different subjects within art, such as math, science, or history, and that art educators are missing these important contents in their lessons. I am not saying that traditional/technique art classes are bad or wrong, I just think that the creation and understanding of art can include more that what meets the eye.
I also thought the senior project for the visual art students was really interesting and important. Senior visual art students are required to apply for a grant, and sell their artistic community project to a group of investors. They must put together all of the financial information, project information, concept, etc. and sell it to the investors so they can actually go through with their idea. I think this is important, especially for students who want to be artists, and make money off of their art, because writing and applying for grants is a main part of an artist's job. I think this project is a great way for the students to see what it is like to set up a project idea, and try to make it happen.
I think this school has a great curriculum and I hope to keep their program in mind when I am making lesson plans or activities for future classes.

Works Cited:
"Art Works: Integrating Creativity in the Curriculum."
Edutopia. The George Lucas Educational Foundation, n. d. Web. 6 Oct. 2011.

Rubenstein, Grace. "Cross Training: Arts and Academics Are Inseparable."
Edutopia. The George Lucas Educational Foundation, n. d. Web. 6 Oct. 2011.

Chapter 10 Reading

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In this reading, one activity that I found really interesting was the Burning Secrets lesson plan. This lesson plan includes making origami boxes (but encouragement for making your own too), learning what conceptual art is and how to apply it to their own artwork, and participating in a conceptual art experience. I thought this lesson plan was especially unique because of the conceptual art involvement. I think that one thing in art that some have problems with is making a conceptual art piece, and this lesson plan is great for explaining what it actually is and how to incorporate it into their own artwork. It also talks about doing installations with the boxes, which I think is a great way for students to think about how they could use the environment around them for their art. All in all I think this is a great activity and I hope to use it for inspiration for my own lesson plans.

One thing that I've seen before is, which is just a blog that has pages and pages of hand made postcards with people's secrets on them. They send them in anonymously, and the author of the blog puts about 20 or so up each Sunday. He also makes books with pages full of the postcards. It could be interesting for students to digitally make their own postcard secrets, and print them out and send them in.

The Art Education 2.0 Manifesto

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Screen shot 2011-09-21 at 9.17.26 PM.png

Today while searching for interesting topics within Art Education, I stumbled upon The Art Education 2.0 Manifesto from the blog Art Junction.
The Art Education 2.0 Manifesto was written by Craig Roland in March of 2009. What this manifesto was about is why we should integrate technology into the art program of today's students. It states that the World Wide Web is not just a place for resources anymore, but more of a tool for sharing, creating, collaborating, and communicating content and ideas. He states that "[Art educators should] recognize that it's a way to connect to students. Today's youth has contemporary media rooted in their everyday lives" (Roland, 2009).
Today's youth is surrounded by new technology, and with that comes the skill of digital media literacy. Through art education, one can use digital and online tools, and with that the goal is to have the students successfully understand various media technologies. While using those technologies, the student should be able to create, communicate, and distribute an idea. With more practice with the digital and online tools, one will work on their digital media literacy and be able to "analyze, interpret, and evaluate other's messages" (Roland).
While Roland states many advantages to including digital technology, he also discusses some draw backs (or even false assumptions) of digital media. Sometimes the students can think "glitz over substance, speed over sustained effort, and entertainment over critical reflection" (Roland). These are not the ideals that should be taught, but rather help students "sustain and celebrate their humanness in a highly technological world" (Roland). We as art educators want to install ideas such as: "the willingness to take a chance, challenge convention, explore the unknown, to desire to work honestly, the ability to appraise and defend what is personally and socially important". I think that these ideals are exactly what should be taught through art education, the students should learn to think individually and explore their creativity through different mediums. I think it's important to foster their creativity, ideas, and openness to try new things.
Within the manifesto Roland also distinguishes 10 guidelines. The guidelines discuss a variety of different topics such as: thinking of the World Wide Web as not just as resources but a tool for digital literacy, to focus on the outcome and not the tools, recognize the pro's and con's of new and traditional mediums and see what is best for the desired outcome, use free and open-source software and tools, and encourage personal expression, collaboration, and community.
This manifesto I think is a great thing for all art educators to read. It really gives us a guide to go off of for digital technology, and what can actually be taught with it (like digital media literacy and fine art). Roland seems like he is very passionate about his work as an art educator and he has a wide sense of what can be used a tools within the classroom. I hope to be able to take some ideas from here and keep them in mind for when I am creating lesson plans in the future.

Here is the direct link to the Manifesto:

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