Sculpture/Hand Building Grades 6,7,8

West Haven Public Schools

Unit Planning Organizer

Revised July 2010

Subject: Visual Arts                                                     

Grade: 6,7,8

Unit: Sculpture/Hand-building                                   

Pacing: 1-4 weeks (depends on schedule)

Essential Question(s):

  1. Why is the study of sculpture and 3-D art important?
  2. Which elements of art and principles of design will be the most dominant in a Sculpture/Hand-building project and how do they apply?
  3. What goes into the production of a quality piece of 3-D art?

Big Idea(s):

  1. Sculpture and 3-D art have played a significant part in the development of civilization and continues to impact our world today.
  2. The elements of art and principles of design are applied to Sculpture/Hand-building projects based on the requirements and needs of the project, as well as personal choices.
  3. Knowledge and application of the principles of construction are needed to produce a piece of 3-D art.

CT State Standards (includes West Haven’s “Priority” GLES’s in BOLD and “Supporting” Standards)

Content Standard 1: Media

  • 1.2  improve the communication of their own ideas by effectively using the characteristics of a variety of traditional and contemporary art media, techniques and processes (2-D, 3-D, including media/technology)
  • Core Team Connection: Students will use media and tools in a safe and responsible manner.

Content Standard 2: Elements and Principals

  • 2.3 select and use the elements of art and principles of design to improve communication of their ideas
  • Core Team Connection:  Students will apply technical skills in practical production utilizing the elements and principals of design. Students will develop and build upon creative thinking skills.

Content Standard 3: Content

  • 3.1  consider, select from and apply a variety of sources for art content in order to communicate intended meaning
  • 3.2  consider and compare the sources for subject matter, symbols and ideas in their own and other’s work
  • Core Team Connection: Students will select and use symbols, ideas and subject matter to communicate meaning.

Content Standard 4: History and Culture

  • 4.1  know and compare the characteristics and purposes of works of art representing various cultures, historical periods and artists
  • Core Team Connection: Students will create 3-D artwork that demonstrates understanding of how culture and history can influence visual art.

Content Standard 5: Analysis, Interpretation and Evaluation

  • 5.5  reflect on and evaluate the quality and effectiveness of their own and others’ work using specific criteria (e.g., technique, formal and expressive qualities, content)
  • 5.2  describe and analyze visual characteristics of works of art using visual art terminology
  • Core Team Connection: Students will identify possible improvements in the process of creating their own 3-D work. Students will describe visual characteristics and expressive qualities of works of art using visual art terminology.

Content Standard 6: Connections

  • 6.4 apply visual arts knowledge and skills to solve problems common in daily life
  • 6.1 compare the characteristics of works in the visual arts and other art forms that share similar subject matter, themes, purposes, historical periods or cultural context
  • 6.5 identify various careers that are available to artists
  • Core Team Connection: Students will make connections between the visual arts, other disciplines and daily life. Students will recognize and identify that visual works of art are produced by artists working in different times, places and cultures.  Students will become cognizant of the many avenues for careers within the Arts. 

“Unwrapped” Concepts and Skills, and Bloom Levels (BL)

Concepts(Need to Know) 

Skills(Able to Do)


Standard 1:



Standard 2:

elements of art, principals of design




Standard 3:


subject matter, symbols and ideas





Standard 4:

characteristics and purposes




Standard 5: 

quality and effectiveness





Standard 6:

knowledge and skills




Standard 1:

 improve (communication)


Standard 2: 

select and use (elements of art, principals of design)



Standard 3:

consider, select and apply (sources)

consider and compare (subject matter, symbols and ideas)




Standard 4:

know and compare (characteristics and purposes)



Standard 5:

reflect and evaluate (quality and effectiveness)

describe and analyze (characteristics)



Standard 6:

apply (knowledge and skills)

compare (characteristics)

identify (careers)


























Instructional Planning

Suggested Resources/Materials:


  • Adobe CS3 for Mac (InDesign, PhotoShop, Illustrator)
  • Photoshop Elements 6 for Windows and Mac – Nick Vandome, 2008, Computer Step
  • Adobe InDesign CS4 one-on-one  - Deke McClelland, 2009, Deke Press


  •   (Software Tutorials)
  • (National Organization Of Photoshop Professionals)
  •   (The work of Jacob Cass)
  •  (Overviews of icons of American Design)
  •  (The work of Milton Glaser)


  • The Secret Life of Logos – Leslie Cabarga, 2007, HOW Design Books
  • The Big Book of Logos – David E. Carter, Editor, 2006, Collins Design
  • The Non-Designer’s Type Book – Robin Williams, 2008, Peachpit Press
  • The Mac is Not a Typewriter – Robin Williams, 2007, Peachpit Press
  • Logo, Font and Lettering Bible – Leslie Cabarga, 2004, HOW Design Books
  • New Master’s of Poster Design: Poster Design for the Next Century – John Foster,  2006, Rockport Publishers
  • Modern Dog: 20 Years of Poster Art – Michael Strassberger, 2008, Chronicle Books
  • The Non-Designer’s Design Book – Robin Williams, 2008, Peachpit Press
  • Graphic Design, The New Basics – Lupton and Phillips,  2009, Princeton Architectural Press
  • Janice VanCleave: Geometry for Every Kid
  • Janice VanCleave: Math for Every Kid
  • Robertson: Stop Faking It
  • Christopher Hart: Carooning for the  Beginners
  • Claudia Zaslausky: Math Games & Activities from Around the World
  • Istvan Banyai: Zoom
  • Paul Ross Wallach: Drafting
  • Crystal Productions: Bridging The Curriculum Through Art, Interdisciplinary Connections
  • Curtis Tappenden, Luke Jefford, Stella Farris: Graphic Design
  • Jill Britton: Symmetry & Tessellations
  • Dale Seymour & Jill Britton: Introduction to Tessellations
  • Jim McNeill & Pam Stephens: Tessellations: The History & Making of Symmetrical Designs
  • Mike Artell: Cartooning for Kids
  • Mike Artell: Funny Cartooning for Kids
  • Noel Ford, Pete Dredge, Steve Chadburn: Draw Cartoons
  • Doug Marlette: In Your Face
  • Jill Britton & Walter Britton: Teaching Telssellation Art
  • Phil Metzger: Perspective Without Pain
  • David R Morin: Perspective Made Easy
  • Jil Fine: Art, American Pop Culture
  • Greg Tang: Math-terpieces, The Art of Problem Solving
  • Christine Fleming: Art as Science
  • Heather Miller: The 10 Most Provocative 20th Century Artworks


  • Take 5 - Crystal Productions : Digital Art Media
  • M.C. Escher: Metamorphose
  • M.C. Escher Company: Escher Collection
  • Crystal Productions: Jim McNeill, Tessellations
  • Crystal Productions: Careers in Art
  • Crystal Productions: Know the Artist, Set 6 and 7
  • Crystal Productions: Printmaking
  • Crystal Productions: Perspective
  • Crystal Productions: Elements of Art
  • Crystal Productions: Principals of Design
  • Carolina Mathematics: Why Study Geometry
  • Carolina Mathematics: Why Study Algebra
  • McDonald Publishing: Math & Art


  • Fly By Night: Doodle! #10 Careers in Art
  • Fly By Night: Doodle! #8 Perspective
  • Fly By Night: Doodle! #2 Cartooning and Characatures
  • Fly By Night: Doodle! #6 Comic Book Art
  • Fly By Night: Doodle! # 7 Light and Shadow
  • Crystal Productions: Tessellations, Jim McNeill
  • Kultur: Artists of the 20th Century, Andy Warhol
  • Crystal Productions: Dropping in on Andy Warhol
  • Disney: Cars
  • Crystal Video: Drawing for All, Volume 3 Perspective & Landscape
  • Learn & Earn Video: Graphic Design 1
  • Learn & Earn Video: Graphic Design 2
  • Crystal Productions: Careers in Art: Graphic Design
  • Crystal Productions: Optical Illusions, How to Create Them
  • Crystal Productions: Basic Perspective Drawing
  • Learning Zone Express: 6 Tips for Graphic Design
  • Double Diamond Corporation: Perspective Drawing: Getting the Basics
  • Mike Artell: Basic Cartooning

Suggested Research-based Effective Instructional Strategies:

All recognized strategies are included, individual teachers can choose which they feel are appropriate:

  • Identify similarities and differences
  • Summarizing and note taking (sketches)
  • Reinforcing effort and providing recognition
  • Homework (Sketchbook) and practice
  • Nonlinguistic representations
  • Cooperative learning
  • Setting objectives and providing feedback
  • Generating and testing hypotheses
  • Cues, questions and advanced organizers (portfolios)


Vocabulary/Word Wall


Interdisciplinary Connections

Elements of Art

(Line, Shape, Color, Value, Form, Texture, Space)

Principals of Design

(Balance, Contrast, Emphasis, Movement, Pattern, Rhythm, Unity)














Hand building




Leather hard



Low Fire

High Fire





Air Bubbles/Pockets




Carving Tools






Earth Ware

Water Soluble



Oral Reports

Additional arts criteria specific to the project

Written assignment/project



Math, History, English, Writing, Science Strands