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Place and Memory

Lesson Overview

This lesson is designed for high school students in the virtual classroom. Students will explore ways in which historical and contemporary artists depict places from memory. Students will understand the idea of perspective as a drawing technique and as their own perspective, or way of regarding something. Using materials they have access to at home students choose how to depict a place they have a clear memory of, considering both how the place looked but also how to show the viewer how they regard that place.  

Learning Objective


Through looking and talking about artwork students will identify contextual information in historical and contemporary artworks and understand how visual elements can influence the viewers interpretation. 

Art Standards


Analyze how one’s understanding of the world is affected by experiencing visual imagery


Identify types of contextual information useful in the process of constructing interpretations of an artwork or collection of works.



Learning Objective


Through interpreting ancient and contemporary art students will make connections and comparisons between them.

Art Standard


Compare uses of art in a variety of societal, cultural, and historical contexts and make connections to uses of art in contemporary and local contexts.

CompareContrast (1).jpg

A Jamboard activity for students to compare and contrast artwork by Mark Bradford. Students use knowledge constructed through interpreting artwork to inform their final artwork. 

Learning Objective


Students will create mixed media artwork using materials they have available at home. Students will understand that traditional techniques like linear perspective are tools they can utilize if they feel it will contribute to the idea behind their work. They will understand that collage and ignoring linear perspective are also tools to create successful artwork.

Art Standards


Choose from a range of materials and methods of traditional and contemporary artistic practices to plan works of art and design.


Student artwork reflects the many choices they could make in how they depicted their memory of a place. 

Learning Support Example

I used interactive Pear Deck slide shows for this lesson to formatively assess students current knowledge about perspective drawing and interpreting artwork.

Students were able to type or draw their responses to questions posed and I was able to see their responses in real time. Pear Deck was a useful tool in the virtual classroom to ensure student participation as well as take the temperature on the classes current knowledge level. 


Students began with a visualization exercise about the place they remember. Key tangible elements and feelings were recorded by students in their sketchbooks. Then students experimented with ways to add expressive elements to their artwork. Finally, students chose how to portray they place they remembered using any of the techniques we practiced in their sketchbooks.

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