Abstraction—Critique of Art
8th Grade Art

NETS-S Standardssmall_0085.jpg
1. Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students:

a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
b. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.

2. Research and Information Fluency
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. Students:

b. locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
d. process data and report results.

4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources. Students:

b. plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
c. collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.

FL State standards

Cultural and Historical Connections
VA.C.1.3-The student understands the visual arts in relation to history and culture.
1. Understands and uses information from historical and cultural themes, trends, styles, periods of art,
and artists.

Aesthetic and Critical Analysis
VA.D.1.3-The student assesses, evaluates, and responds to the characteristics of works of art.
1. Understands how a work of art can be judged by more than one standard.
2. uses research and contextual information to identify responses to works of art.

Applications to Life
VA.E.1.3- The student makes connections between the visual arts, other disciplines, and the real world.
1. Understands how knowledge, skills, and attitudes gained from the visual arts can enhance and
deepen understanding of life.

Lesson Description

Length of Lesson 4 class periods

Students will:

· Demonstrate skills in describing, analyzing, and interpreting their own and other’s artwork.
· Judge a piece of art work, stating criteria and citing evidence to support their judgments.


Student work
PowerPoint software

Design elements
Design Principles
Art criticism



1. Explain that students will study art criticism, the process of thinking critically about art.
2. Tell students that after discussing the art works that are in the lesson, they will evaluate a famous piece of art, and create a PowerPoint presentation.

1. Have students read and discuss the text in relation to example A.
2. Refer to example B and discuss the four steps of art criticism:
Step 1: Observe and describe the work objectively. Avoid such terms as ugly, beautiful, and cute. Point out and describe visual evidence: design elements and recognizable subjects. Gather information as a detective would.
Step 2: analysis means looking for relationships or connections among visual elements and other evidence. Connections are seen by referring to design principles.
Step 3: interpretation is the process of using observations that were made in steps 1 &2 to make inferences about the work’s ideas feelings or wordless message. There can be more than one way to interpret an artwork.
Step 4: the process of judging art is similar to the process of judging anything. First you consider the work’s style and purpose. Then select criteria or standards appropriate for that style or purpose. For example, it isn’t fair to judge nonobjective art by criteria for judging realism.


1. Distribute student’s portfolios and have them choose 3 pieces of artwork and write a “1” on the back of each one.
2. Have students write their reasons for selection, which should be based on style, theme, technique, medium, design, or thought processes.
3. Have volunteers hold up one work and share their reasons. Help other students identify the criteria or standards used.
4. Explain that judgments are almost always based on some standards or criteria. When the criteria are known, it is possible to understand why judgments can be similar or different.
5. Ask students to apply what they have learned by completing a webquest. They need to prepare the PowerPoint and bringing it to class. Give students a week to complete the PowerPoint.
6. When students return with their PowerPoint, make sure that they know to have a printout of the slides that they have created. The original PowerPoint will be e-mailed to the instructor. Remind students in preceding class meetings that they need to have a printout of their PowerPoint on hand for their group discussion.


1. In the next session of class, place students into groups of five based on the artist that they chosen for their critique. Students need to have their printout on hand for the discussion.
2. Have each group choose a discussion leader and spend half of class time sharing their interpretations and judgments.
3. Students must be able to point out features of the artworks that support their interpretations and judgments.
4. The last 30min. of class each group will report to the class a summary their group discussion.

Technology Integration
In this lesson I will be putting together a PowerPoint that goes along with the introduction and investigation section of this lesson. This will help to keep the different steps that are being presented visually organized for the students. This is also an effective way to show students artwork. With each step there will be a piece of artwork displayed so that students are able to practice that step.
Students will also be creating a PowerPoint presentation that shows their understanding of the 4 steps that are involved in critiques. This will allow students to keep their thoughts organized, so that when it is time for them to present information in their groups they can easily relay the information

Research Component
Chapman, H.L. (1998). Adventures in Art.worchester, Massachusetts. Wyatt Wade

Paul, N. and Fiebich, C. (2005). The elements of digital Storytelling. Retrieved April 20, 2010 from http://www.inms.umn.edu/elements/

Eisner, N., Fleming, N., Kaffel, N. (2007).Best Practices Website for School library Media Specialist. Retrieved April 24, 2010 from http://courseweb.lis.illinois.edu/~jevogel2/lis506/index.html

**NETS-S Standards**
**Visual Arts Standards**