Lesson Plan

How to Review a Piece of Art

Students will learn what to loook for in a work of art and how put those observations into words in order to do a general critique of a work of art

Students will be able to...

  1. Identify key aspects of the work of art (composition, subject matter, etc)
  2. Analyze the image and identify a possible meaning behind the image (must be backed up by evidence from the image itself)
  3. Write a review of the image in an objective "professional" manner
Grades 9 - 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Exploring
  • Blackboard or computer display/projector screen/smart board will read "How do we decide what art is good?"
  • When students arrive in the classroom they will be assigned a work of art
  • The teacher will pose the question on the board to students and record results
  • The teacher will explain to the students that the class will be focused on reviewing/critiquing art
  • Hand out print out of Feldman's approach to art criticism and the teacher will have students read out each step and its small description <http://artistclassroom.weebly.com/feldman-approach.html>
  • Pull up YouTube video <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqZZhp-HJes> tell students to write down examples for each step (that they notice) from the video as well as what they felt was the MOST important aspect of the artist and his work
  • After the video is done go over the results and have a discussion about what was written down.


2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Reading
  • Students will all be given a copy of an art review from the New York Times <http://nyti.ms/1yLeJBN>
  • They will then read through the review as a group (Popcorn reading) and highlight what they think are the four parts of Feldman's approach
  • Go over the parts of the reading they identified
  • Ask students what they thought worked best about the article and have them explain why they feel that way
  • Go over how balance of description and analysis work together to make an interesting review


3 Guided Practice

Activity: Other — Writing
  • Students will pair up with classmates and look at recent work by the student
  • Groups will then write a short review (300 words or less) about students work following Feldman's four step approach
  • After the groups have finished their reviews they will then trade partners with another gorup and exchange reviews and peer edit them and also offer at least one thing they think works well and one thing that could use improvement. (Students are not required to follow this advice but should take it into consideration).
  • Students will then edit their reviews and turn them in.

4 Independent Practice

  • Students will be given a prompt for writing their own review as a take home homework assignment
  • Students will then use the Google Art Project tool to look up their assigned work of art and write a review of the piece (2 page double spaced minimum)
  • Students are encouraged to look up other reviews on the piece and use them as a reference for their review however the students review should not contain quotes, or passages from the articles referenced. They should attempt to use their own thoughts and observations in the review.
  • Reviews will be brought back to class on the due date (a week later?) and presented to the class (read aloud by the group). The class will then discuss each review and share what they thought worked well and what could be improved upon.

5 Wrap-up

Activity: Debating
  • Teacher will walk over to the board/pull up the question that states "How do we decide what art is good?" and present the question to the class again
  • Write the answers previously given on one side of the board and then ask students what they  think the answer is now
  • Write the new answers on the opposite side of the board and have students explain their reasoning a little
  • End the discussion with the thought that some artists like Vincent Van Gogh, were at the time, considered terrible artists but as perceptions of art change then the appreciation of certain forms of art change as well so ultimately "good art" is decided by the trends of society. Then encourage students to make art that is meaningful to them and who knows maybe in time they could be the next Vincent Van Gogh.