Defining Nature Through ArtGrades 6-8 Arts & Literature, Environment/Nature Lesson or Unit Plan
This lesson will teach students how to connect the various organisms within nature through an artistic lens. Students will develop their own definition of nature, and conceptualize this definition through Chinese landscape paintings or poetry. They will leave this class with the ability to interpret natural elements within Chinese landscape paintings and Chinese literature.
|Title:||Defining Nature Through Art|
|Subject Area:||Life Science/Biology|
|Time Required:||Two 45-minute periods|
|Standards:||S2 Life Science Concepts
S4e Demonstrates an understanding of the impact of science
S5b Uses concepts from Science Standards 1 to 4 to explain a variety of observations and phenomena
|Introduction:||This lesson will teach students how to connect the various organisms within nature through an artistic lens. Students will develop their own definition of nature and conceptualize this definition through Chinese landscape paintings or poetry. They will leave this class with the ability to interpret natural elements within Chinese landscape paintings and Chinese literature.
The students in sixth grade honors science at this school learn all life science or Biology. The curriculum moves from learning about cells and their functions to specific organisms and their characteristics and interactions with eachother. To transition from the Fungus Kingdom to the Plant Kingdom, it is important for the students to open up their eyes and see how these species fit into the world as a whole, not the microscopic world. A lesson on “nature” and what composes it helps students put these various organisms into context. Furthermore, tapping into their creative thoughts helps them make connections between science and their lives. Allowing the students to create nature scenes using the techniques of Chinese landscape paintings or write poems in the style of early Chinese poetry, such as the Book of Odes; Tang dynasty poetry; and the famous Ming dynasty drama The Peony Pavilion.
|Procedure/Pedagogical Technique/Instructional Strategy:||Students will make a list of things that are in nature. They will then be put into groups of three and discuss their lists. After the discussion, they will write a definition of nature. Each group will have one person read their definition of nature. The class will then watch a movie that defines nature and shows nature in 5 different locations. Students will be asked to write down their observations of nature in each location. After the movie, they will be asked to write down their favorite natural setting from the movie. They will then write how it made them feel.
After this discussion, students will be shown a few pictures of Chinese landscape paintings. They will discuss as a class, what elements of nature they see in the paintings.
|Discussion Points/ GroupInteraction:||
|Closure:||Students will be able to present their creative work, either landscape paintings or poems. They will be able to compare each others’ ideas and perspectives on what is dominant in nature.|
|Instructional Resources/ Materials:||
|Extending the Lesson / Follow-up Activity:||Students will learn about plants and animals in nature. They will also learn about the impacts of humans on nature in an environmental lesson.|
Caterogy: Grades 6-8 Arts & Literature, Environment/Nature Lesson or Unit Plan
Teach China is a comprehensive professional development program offered by China Institute to provide a wealth of opportunities for K-12 educators to enhance their knowledge of China, past and present. We take an interdisciplinary approach consistent with national and state-mandated standards in order to help educators incorporate the teaching of China into all subjects and grade levels, including Mandarin language learning, the humanities, social studies, and the arts. Teach China promotes cross-cultural understanding through the use and creation of authentic materials, the presentation of balanced perspectives, and the fostering of enduring connections between educators around the world.