Cultural Representation in Sculpture

For students of 8th to 12th grade.

Unit Topic: Culture and Art
Year Level: 10
Lesson Number: 1

Unit Aim or Outcome: Students to discuss importance of culture within Visual Arts and develop understanding of representation.

Lesson Outcome: Students will compare and contrast works of Australian artists Gerry Wedd and Vernon Ah Kee to examine notions of culture within Visual Arts. Students will begin designing their own contemporary sculpture to depict a cultural indicator representative of themselves. This design will then be made with clay and paint in the following lesson.

Powerpoint presentation of Gerry Wedd and Vernon Ah Kee (CantChant 2007 in particular)
Projector and laptop
Cultural indicators list worksheet
'Exit cards' AfL strategy

Lesson Outline
Class discussion about what students think represents culture
List cultures they believe exist in local environment
Discuss knowledge of any other cultures students may have experienced and where?
Complete in pairs cultural indicators work sheet
Introduce works of Australian artists Gerry Wedd and Vernon Ah Kee via presentation
Compare and contrast artists and artworks in whole class discussion, acknowledging importance of Ah Kee’s representation of Aboriginal culture within work. 

Teaching strategy/Learning Activity:
Students will:
Discuss and reflect upon cultural indicators and the importance of these indicators
Respond to artists in journals about what their works represent
Develop list of own cultural indicators they associate with
Choose object or concept that represents their culture and synthesize reasoning behind choice
Begin design process in journals to start clay work in next lesson

Teacher will:
Communicate ideas about culture and possible representations
Question students’ knowledge of cultural indicators
Model appropriate Visual Arts terminologies when comparing and contrasting artworks
Scaffold design process with both visual examples of artist’s works and previously made sculptures

Concluding strategy:
Recap over cultural indicators, question why student’s believe these indicators are important and why they have chosen particular design Why is it important to them? How will they make this sculpture?

Use ‘exit card’ assessment for learning strategy to gain understanding of level of comprehension of culture and task by students at end of introductory lesson
Formative assessment on observational level throughout class
Formative assessment on cultural indicators worksheet
Journal work indicative of appropriate terminology when reflecting on artists and own designing process
Completed and resolved cultural representative sculpture will be assessed at end of unit

Any special considerations or contingency plans: 
Consider any Indigenous students within class as Ah Kee’s work may contain images of deceased Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people. If so, ensure students aware before visual presentation. Prepare back up artist Reg Mombassa if needed as alternative compare and contrast activity.
Ensure timeline of lesson and unit plan succinct as time constraints may occur with firing clay sculptures.

Did the students engage with the lesson? 
Was the content of the lesson appropriate for the class?
Did students gain deeper comprehension of cultural indicators in local environment?
How did the students respond to self-reflection about their own culture?
Was compare and contrast activity successful in integrating Visual Arts terminologies into class and journal work? Did the students enjoy designing process?
What may have worked more successfully?
How will mastery of skills in clay sculpture be introduced and developed in next lesson?