4th Grade Lessons

The Artist and the Landscape

My name is Carrie Goe-Nettleton, Art Educator at the Yellowstone Art Museum. I am an experienced classroom educator who is certified in K-12 art education. I created these lessons to be directly connected to the art in the Online Art Suitcase. They are all aligned to the National and Montana Visual Arts standards. All lessons include a list of materials, detailed procedures, and tips for setting up for art making in your classroom. They all begin with guiding questions using Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) that will assist you in talking about art with your students. You can access each lesson here or by clicking on an image of the art on the home page.

YAM Art Suitcase
Untitled, 1982, Kevin Red Star (Crow/Apsáalooke), Lithograph Print, 22 x 30”, Gift of Yellowstone Print Club (1982.18)

Landscapes with Colored Pencil

Lesson Overview: Students will create their own landscape including a foreground, middle ground, and background. Using colored pencils, students will work to create the illusion of depth in their drawing and to tell a story about the place they are creating, including details that reflect their own identity.

YAM Art Suitcase
Ranch Gate #2, 1982, Dennis Voss, Mixed Media on Paper, 61.5 x 84”, Gift of Theodore Waddell (1997.10)

Mixed Media Imagined Landscapes

Lesson Overview: Using simple, light weight, found objects –string, buttons, paper clips, popsicle sticks, etc. –students will create their own abstract landscape of a place that is important to them.

YAM Art Suitcase
Three Girls Walking along a Path, 1992, Ken Blackbird (Gros Ventre/Assiniboine), Color Photograph, 15.5 x 23”, Gift of the artist, David Orser and Ossie Abrams (2002.5)

Inspired by Sound

Watercolor and Ink Radial Design

Lesson Overview: Starting with a circle, students will create a work of art that is inspired by the sounds of a powwow. They will discuss the use of shape and line to create balance, repetition and symmetry.

YAM ONLINE Art Suitcase
Magpies in the Snowstorm, 1986, Jessie Wilber, Serigraph (Screen Print), 25 x 20”, Museum purchase with Montana Cultural Trust Fund (1989.4)

Collagraph Printmaking

Lesson Overview: Students will create a print inspired by animals. They will discuss the use of positive and negative space in printmaking and will use cardboard to create the printing plate.

YAM art suitcase
Untitled, circa 1920s, Isabelle Johnson, Watercolor on Paper, 17.5 x 14.75”, Gift of Isabelle Johnson Estate (IJ1992.318)

Nature Tessellations with Watercolor Pencil

Lesson Overview: Using and exploring watercolor pencil techniques, students will make a four piece tessellation using line, shape and pattern to create a repetitive work of art that is inspired by their surroundings.

YAM Art Suitcase
When the Queen Goes Out, I Like to Soak My Feet, 2005, Sheila Miles, Oil on Canvas, 24 x 18”, Museum purchase funded by Miriam Sample (2007.3)

Narrative Art with Oil Pastels

Lesson Overview: When the Queen Goes Out, I Like to… -Students will write and illustrate their response using oil pastels. Students will be asked questions about the color wheel, color mixing, and complementary colors and the way that they are used in Sheila Miles’ work. This lesson will incorporate writing and art.

Note About Showing Examples

In each of the lessons I have included my art examples. They show just one way to convey an idea using the lesson plan. It is there to help you plan your lesson. You may choose to share it with students. Be aware that sometimes showing a completed example at the beginning of a lesson can actually hinder some students’ creativity. Examples help students understand the process, but be sure students do not feel that they should copy it. They should learn the techniques and use them to communicate their own ideas (like in writing). One recommended approach is to share a partial example with students at the beginning and then a completed example after the students already have started to create using their own ideas. Students’ artwork should always reflect their own voice. This will allow every piece of art created in class to be unique. Before creating art with your students, I would also suggest creating the artwork from the lesson yourself. This will help you better understand the lesson and be able to more thoroughly explain it to your students.