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Teacher name: Kate Toensmeyer

Lesson title: Art Explorers Suitcases

Grade level: 1st-2nd
Time frame: 1 hours
Where in the World? Through
the series of lessons in this six-week
sequence, students will become art
explorers, visiting a variety of
countries and learning about each
areas artistic culture.
Lesson Narrative: This lesson is
the kick-off to students adventures
as Art Explorers. First, students
will decorate brown shoebox
suitcases, which they will keep to
hold mementos from all of their
travels throughout the next few
Since students must
embark on their travels with new people (their classmates and their teacher), it is important that
they decorate their suitcases in a way that represents them, whether through symbols, patterns,
cartoons, or colors. Each student will also receive a passport, which will hold stamps from all
countries the class visits, as well as serve as a travel sketchbook. Since all passports include a
photograph and an information section, each student will draw a self-portrait and complete an
About Me page to go into their passport.
Lesson Rationale: This lesson introduces the class overarching sequence. In this lesson,
students will experiment with a variety of media (paint, markers, crayons, colored pencils,
collage, etc.), to decorate their suitcases and passport self-portraits in a way that resonates with
them. This will help them to gain confidence in using artistic mediums for creative selfexpression, which they will do in greater depth throughout the lesson sequence. Allowing the
students to use a variety of mediums also enables me, as the teacher, to assess their baseline
skill levels.
Through sharing their suitcase designs, self-portraits, and About Me page with their
classmates and teacher, students will develop a greater sense of rapport with the class, which
will lay a solid groundwork for later lessons.
Key Concepts:

Artists can create with many different materials.

Art is a means of self-expression.
You can understand other people through their art.

1.) Students will create a self-expressive artwork.
2.) Students will demonstrate craftsmanship in using artistic materials.
3.) Students will experiment with a variety of artistic media to communicate an idea.

1PE Recognize and describe that people create art and art objects to communicate ideas and
serve different purposes.
(First Grade)
1PR Demonstrate beginning skill and craftsmanship in the use of art materials and tools.
(First Grade)
4RE Explain how personal interests and experiences are reflected in the subject matter of
(First Grade)
(12 students total)

Brown shoeboxes (one per student)

Strips of leather and tacks (for handle, to be prepared by teacher)
Acrylic or tempura paint
Paint brushes (sizes small-large)
Markers (assorted colors)
Crayons (assorted colors)
Colored pencils (assorted colors)
Bottled glue and/or glue sticks
Construction paper (assorted colors)
Passports (to be created prior to lesson)

Lesson Vocabulary:
(All Lesson Vocabulary remains on the class Word Wall for the duration of Saturday Art.)
Travel: To take a trip from one place to another
Country: A land where people live, which is then made up of states and towns
Example: Our country is the United States. We live in Ohio.
Culture: How people live. People around the world have different types of art, food, stories,
music, and festivals. We call all of these parts of life culture.
Media: Different materials that artists use to create. When you use markers, crayons, pencils,
paper, or clay, you are using different kinds of media.
Suitcase: A box used to carry whatever you need when you are traveling.
Passport: A small book travelers keep that says they can travel to different countries.
Passports give basic information about you so you wont get lost in a different part of the world.
Historical/Multicultural Exemplars:
I will bring in a suitcase holding my own travel treasures, including Kenyan hippo
statues and jewelry, a handwritten letter and artwork from England, a Menorah from Israel, and
a Peruvian llama doll. Students can pass around these items and ask questions. I will explain
that they can collect treasures from class in the suitcase they make. They can also keep their
suitcases for later, where they can keep treasures they find from home and all around the world.

Visual Culture Component:

After the class explores the historical/multicultural exemplars, I will ask the students
about their own travels.
Discussion Questions:

Have you ever travelled anywhere? Where? Has anyone gone to a different country?
If you have travelled somewhere, what was your favorite part about your visit?
Where would you really like to visit? Why?
Why is it important that explorers bring a suitcase and a passport?

1.) Tell students that they will be art explorers over the next few weeks. Explain that
explorers can find all sorts of amazing things, saying that I will share some of my own
travel treasures today.
2.) Open my suitcase and briefly explain the contents inside. Allow students to explore the
items and ask questions. (Historical/Multicultural Exemplar)
3.) Explain that all travelers need a suitcase to hold everything they discover, along with a
passport, which says they can visit different countries. Today, the art explorers will be
making suitcases and passports.
4.) Ask: (Visual Culture Component)
Have you ever travelled anywhere? Where? Has anyone gone to a different country?
If you have travelled somewhere, what was your favorite part about your visit?
Where would you really like to visit? Why?
Why is it important that explorers bring a suitcase and a passport?
5.) Define the words listed in the Vocabulary section, allowing for student questions and
input. Allow student volunteers to place each new word on the Art Explorers Word
Wall (see Classroom Set-up).
6.) Tell students that they will now be making their own suitcases and passports. Explain
that I added things to my suitcase that I felt best represent me. (ExampleI love nature,
so I created flowers out of construction paper for my suitcase.) Since they are all
different, their suitcases will be different, too.
7.) Distribute passports to students. Explain that they will be getting stamps in their
passports for each country they visit. They may also use their passports as a sketchbook.
8.) Students make now work on their suitcases and passports for the rest of class. As we
discussed in Step 5, students will have many different mediums, or materials, available.
They may use whatever is most comfortable for them.
9.) Throughout class time and at the end of the lesson, students will share their suitcases
and passports with one another and me.
Throughout class time and at the conclusion of the lesson, students will share their
suitcases with one another and me. I will employ formative assessment throughout the lesson,
monitoring students conversation to assess whether they successfully used the various art
materials to communicate an idea or personal experience (1 PE, 4RE), while demonstrating
basic understanding of skill and craft (1PR). I will also ask specific questions about their
rational and process throughout independent work-time.

Example Assessment Questions:

Ask students about a specific item they have depicted on their suitcase. It may be a
picture of a family member, friend, or pet. Perhaps they have painted planets or flowers.
Inquire why they included this, and allow the student to discuss their personal interests.
Perhaps students included a certain scheme of colors or patterns. Ask students about
their artistic decisions.
Inquire what students included as their fun fact in their passports. Use this as an
opportunity to further discover their personalities and interests.

Hook: The opportunity to explore my travel treasures (see Visual Culture), will allow
students to grow excited for the upcoming Where in the World sequence and to gather their
own travel treasures. Classroom discussion of their own travels will also engage students in
the overarching theme, Where in the World.
Sketchbook/Artists Journal Motivation: The students will make a passport, which will
serve as their sketchbook for later classes, as well as a suitcase, which will serve as a portfolio.
Dialogue: See Visual Culture, Historical/Multicultural Exemplars, and Assessment for
episodes of dialogue.
Adaptations/Special populations: Since this is my first lesson
these students, I gave a wide variety of materials options. For
example, students with developed fine motor skills may
chose to work in paint or cut paper, while those with
lower motor skills may opt for crayons or markers.
This will allow me to assess students development in
greater depth.
Closure: I will instruct students that they must keep
their suitcases in the classroom until Saturday Art is
over, because these suitcases will hold all of their travel
treasures. Before the students depart, they will receive
first stamps, which say World Traveler, in their passports.