Elementary Unit Plan
Textured Pirate Ship Seascapes

Big Idea: Fantasy and Exploration

Overview: Students will learn about the explorers Christopher Columbus and Christopher Newport and the contributions they have made toward North American history. They will discuss how people used to sail to other countries by boat before modern forms of transportation existed. Next, students will learn about exploration and discuss the reasons why people would want to go to other countries that they have never been to before. After being introduced to the concept of fantasy, students discover that the lesson involves a more imaginative twist. Students will not be imagining themselves as just any type of explorer over the next few weeks. Instead, they are going to play the role of pirates, who are exploring the sea to their own fantasy lands. In this unit, students will design their own unique pirate ships and collage elements from each lesson to form a final mixed-media seascape. 

Rationale: Imagination allows children to explore themselves and fosters the development of creativity in a society that tends to stifle and restrict creative growth as we age. This unit is important for third-graders, who are halfway through elementary school, to remind students that fantasy has no age limit or uniform conditions that must be met in order to show others your personal way of seeing the world. In addition, using multiple media in an art project allows students to explore the various ways they can communicate their creative thoughts. This unit explores the theme of fantasy through several discussions and art making activities that teach students about the courage and exploration of important figures in American history, while guiding them to expand upon this knowledge by visualizing what their own adventure might be like.

Cultural/Artist Reference: Howard Pyle and N.C. Wyeth

Key Concept: Through creating their own textured seascapes, students will have the opportunity to learn about why people have explored and traveled throughout history. Students will use fantasy to imagine where they might explore and what their own unique pirate ship will look like.

Targeted Student Group: Elementary level, 3rd Grade, varying abilities

Unit Objectives:
• Students will identify and use pattern and texture in a work of art.
• Students will know that various art media and techniques can be used to mimic the textures we see in nature.
• Students will understand the use of symmetry and asymmetry in a composition to create their ships.
• Students will design and create their own ships using their imaginations.
• Students will discuss famous explorers, why they explored, and their contributions to North America.

Related National Standards for Visual Arts Education
Achievement Standard:
• Students know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes
• Students describe how different materials, techniques, and processes cause different responses
• Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories
Students use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner

Related Virginia Visual Arts Standards of Learning
3.4    The student will identify and use
    5.    pattern—extend the sequential structure, using motifs
3.14    The student will identify distinguishing characteristics of landscape, seascape, and cityscape.
3.22 The student will analyze works of art by subject matter, including portrait, landscape, still     life, and narrative.
3.24    The student will analyze works of art for the use of
    2.    balance—symmetry and asymmetry; and
    3.    spatial relationships—overlapping, size, proportion, and placement.

Related Virginia Standards of Learning for History and Social Science
3.3 The student will study the exploration of the Americas by
a) describing the accomplishments of Christopher Columbus and Christopher Newport.
b) identifying the reasons for exploring, the information gained, the results of the travels, and the impact of the travels on American Indians.

Materials: visual examples of ships and brief historic information on explorers,
12 x 18 white paper, colored construction paper (9”x12” brown, 4”x6” black, varying sizes of light brown strips), construction paper crayons, scissors, glue, finger paint
tempera paint, large paint brushes, water containers, pencils, textured painting tools

Evaluation Strategies
Formative- I will walk around to see that students are following each step of the demonstration correctly: painting, adding texture, cutting out shapes, collaging.
Summative- I will assess students understanding by asking them to share their ships, where they fantasized about sailing to, and to point out the different textures they used in their in their seascapes. I will have the students share their insignia what it means to them.

Individual Lesson Outlines

Day 1
Introduction (Why do people explore? Christopher Columbus and America)
Read book on pirates (transition to concept of fantasy)
Demonstration (introduce texture, texture tools, and painting the ocean)
Independent work (students create their textured oceans)
Clean up

Day 2
Introduction/Review (Christopher Newport and Jamestown)
Demonstration (painting the texture of wood for the boat and sponge painting the sails)
Independent work (painting the base for their ships and sails)
Clean up

Day 3
Introduction/Review (introduce symmetry and asymmetry, parts of a ship, Howard Pyle)
Demonstration (designing their own ship hull and gluing pieces together to create the boat)
Independent work (students create their ships)
Clean up

Day 4
Introduction/Review (concept of symbols/insignias, N.C Wyeth)
Demonstration (gluing down the boat to the ocean, creating your own personal insignia, and adding final mixed-media elements to the seascape)
Independent work (students create their own symbols and add final details to their seascapes)
Clean Up