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UNK Art Education

Unit Plan Template

Teacher: Beth Revelo & Annie Niles

Grade Level: 4th grade

Time allowed: 1 day - 2 days

Title of Lesson: Bird’s Eye View of a Mandan Village by George Catlin

Medium: Painting

NAEA Standards and Learning Objectives:


● FA 5.2.1 Students will use the creative process to make works of art exploring subjects
and themes with a variety of materials.
○ FA 5.2.1.b: Use observation, imagination and interpretation in creating artworks
that reflect a variety of styles, themes, and subjects.
■ Objective(s): Students will apply their knowledge of Native American
symbols or create their own personal symbol system to tell their personal
story that has been written in their Writing Block.
○ FA 5.2.1.e Apply various techniques to develop craftsmanship skills (e.g., use
cutting and gluing techniques to produce clean edges without visible glue).
■ Objective(s): Students will construct their personal visual story using
different techniques including cutting, tearing, and painting.
○ FA 5.2.1.f: Demonstrate respect for accepted procedures regarding responsible
care of equipment and materials.
■ Objective(s): Students will abide by the classroom’s rules and respect the
materials given to them.

● FA 12.2.4 Students will examine contemporary, historical, and cultural context in art and
○ FA 5.2.4.a. Identify ways that artist influences lives and communities.
■ Objective(s): Students will explain how George Catlin was an influential
artist among the Native American tribes.
○ FA 5.2.4.d. Explore how images and objects are used to convey a story, familiar
experience, or connection to the world.
■ Objective(s): Students will demonstrate knowledge of Native American
history and culture by learning about the Mandan Village and/or other
Native American tribes.

● FA 5.2.2. Students will use the critical process to examine works of art, learning about
themselves and cultures.
○ FA 5.2.2.c. Interpret the message communicated by a work of art, using
knowledge of visual elements, subject matter, and mood.
■ Objective(s): Students will identify and explain the artwork’s story found
in George Catlin’s “Mandan Village” and “Tepee of a Crow Village.”
● FA 5.2.2.d. Compare personal interpretation of a work of art with the
interpretations of others.
○ Objective(s): Students will discuss and explain their personal
interpretations and personal stories of their artwork with their classmates.

● FA 5.2.3. Students will develop presentation skills to communicate meaning.
○ FA 5.2.3.a. Communicate artistic statements using art terminology (e.g., product,
■ Objective(s): Students will explain and support their ideas, the process,
and completed piece using art terminology (e.g., symbol, shape) to their

Assessment and Evaluation:

● A formative assessment of talking to the students during the project to talk about
retainment of information with the Mandan Village.
● A formative assessment using an in-class discussion with a visual thinking strategy with
George Catlin’s paintings “Mandan Village” and “Tepee of a Crow Village.”

Teaching Rationale:

Why is this unit being taught?

- Students will be able to learn what the Mandan Village is and how they lived. They will
be able to understand what Native Americans did and learn more about their culture.

How does this unit relate to learning theory? What is the best way to teach to your students?
- Visual: Teaching with painting of Mandan Village; Visual demonstration of project.
- Auditory: Class discussion during “Carpet Time” of Mandan Village. Verbal instruction
of project.
- Kinesthetic: Taking part in the activity: Cutting and crumpling up the paper as well as

How is this unit appropriate for these student?

- At this age the students should be able to understand what other cultures are and how
they lived.

Theme, Big Idea, or Enduring Ideas and Issues:

1. Community:
a. Mandans lived together & worked together.
2. Celebration of Cultural:
a. Native American culture.
3. Art That Tells a Story:
a. Mandans & other Native American tribes culture used to be strong and thriving
but since then has nearly died out. It is important to record and tell your story.

Materials, Media, Technique, and Process:

Mixed media: Time capsule with pictures/letters/objects that students will send to their future
selves upon graduation.
Painting: “Buffalo Hide” with paper bags. Turn bags inside out, cut, crumple, and paint on them.
Drawing: Drawing on un/textured paper or brown paper. Textured paper with almost any
materials, brown paper with markers.

Style and/or Genre:

● Realism
● Landscape
● Historic Events
● Narrative Art
● Art by Subject Matter

Artistic, Cultural and Historic Connections and Contexts:

Artistic Connection: Paintings by George Catlin.
● George Catlin’s background; He was an artist and an explorer.
Cultural Connection: Native American tribes and culture.
Historic Connection & Context:
George Catlin’s background.

● Color wheel
● Hue
● Landscape
● Positive shape
● Unity
● Value
● Variety
Cross Curricular Connections:
Social Studies:
● History lesson about Native American tribes.
Writing & Fluency:
● Write a letter to your future self or perhaps to someone from the future and tell them your
story. Record your story as you see it.

Teaching and Learning Resources:

● Buffalo Hide Art Lesson
● Classroom Management:
● Modifications for visually impaired:
● Modifications for ADD/ADHD

● Standards:
● Nebraska K-12 Fine Arts Standards: Visual Arts (Adopted March 4, 2014).
● George Catlin Paintings
○ Teepee of a Crow Village
Sioux War Council

Modifications and Differentiations:

● For materials:
○ Use different color paints, use markers or crayons or colored pencils
● For students with hearing impairment:
○ Have them sit next to you so they are closer to you as you talk to the class
● For students with visual impairment:

Give the student a template with color contrasting colors, help the student outline
the images with a dark color, guide the students hands to help them locate the
materials, use dimensional glue
● For students with ADD/ADHD:
○ Sit student away from heavy classroom traffic, make sure the student know what
they are learning and what instructions they are going to follow. If need by, break
the assignment down into mini assignments, Give them materials one at time, use
color coordinating and highlight so they focus their attention on it.

Classroom Management Procedures:

1. Keep your students busy:
a. Make sure that your students have instructions they are following and keep
themselves busy.
2. Remind your students of the classroom rules:
a. Always reteach them and keep reteaching them throughout the year.
3. Make sure that the students know when to be quiet:
a. Clap to grab their attention or come up with a quiet please phrase.
4. Bringing rewards (candy, small toys, stickers) for those who are doing a good job.
5. Always use positive reinforcements and tell your students how awesome they are doing.

Studio Procedure for Making Art:

1. Bring in paper bags for the “Buffalo Hide” and set out supplies in advance or have

students set up their art station.

2. Have students sit on the floor during “Carpet Time” to discuss the Mandan Village and

other Native American tribes and history.

3. After discussion, give instructions to the students and slowly dismiss them so there is not

heavy traffic in the classroom. Once seated, once again tell students not to touch anything


4. They will take the paper bags, turn them inside them out, or cut them out with scissors.

They will then crumple up the paper and smooth it back out as best as they can.

5. Then, they will take the paint and put it on their palates or paper plates and take their

brushes to paint on the “Buffalo Hide.” Continue to talk to them and call on children to
answer some questions to see if they retained information about the Mandan Village.

Give positive affirmations to students who are creative and to help redirect students as to

what the artistic goal is.

6. For clean-up, have students do it in desk groups or teams. One students will put away the

paint, one with paint brushes, one with trash and paper, and another to wipe down the

tables with disinfecting wipes. Have a place set aside for students to put their work to dry.

Daily Lesson:

Time: Approx. 45 minutes total

● Done without written letter. Letter should be written in Writing Block beforehand.


Activator/Introduction/Motivator/Anticipatory Set/Bell ringer:

● Review what the students have learned about the Native American Cultural, show them

Native American music and talk to them about the Native American symbols and their


Transition/Segway/Cross Curricular Connection:

● Have a student from each table go and grab paper for their tablemates. The paper will

need to be pre-cut and approximately 16.5” x 11.5’. This is optional since you can have

the students cut it out themselves. Have the students crumple the paper and unfold it,

repeat this step until the paper looks like an aged buffalo hide. Have the students tear at

the edges around the paper, remind them to be careful not to tear off too much paper.

Demonstrate how much to tear off and explain why. Pause the lesson and remind your
students of the Native American Symbols and have them pick out the symbols that mean

something to them (family, culture, friends).

Teacher Demo/Direct Instruction:

● After students get an idea of what they want to do with their buffalo hides, have them

circle up around you and show them how to place the images on the paper without

running out space, then show them how to draw the images and then release them to

work on their Buffalo Hides.

Class Discussion:

● Have students sit on the floor during “Carpet Time” to discuss the Mandan Village and

other Native American tribes and history.

○ Talk about George Catlin’s paintings including “Bird’s Eye View of a Mandan

Village” and “Teepee of a Crow Village” or similar paintings. Talk about George

Catlin’s background and purpose of painting: He sensed the Native American

culture would be diminished or nearly wiped out, so he traveled to different tribes,

painting and recording as he saw the culture as accurately as he could. He was

telling their story.

● Have a quick discussion about paint manners. Review the rules of having paint and using

paint brushes. Once they are done, have them choose three colors and paint on their

symbols and as you walk around talk to them about what symbols they chose to be on

their paintings. Once their paintings are dry (will probably take more than a day) have

them go over their paintings with a black marker. Make sure that the students don’t paint
the border, that will be done with a black marker. When all the paint is dry, make sure

that the border gets done as well to bring focus and emphasis to the painting. Be careful

to not smudge the paintings.

Individual Practice / Independent Practice:

● Allow students to have their written letter beside them to guide them through making

their art as they draw out their personal story.

● Allow students to use Native American symbols from the ‘Symbols’ Worksheet or have

students create their own symbol system.

● If students miss the art project or need more time to catch up, they may be seated at

another table and paint.

Studio/Guided Practice:

● Be sure to give positive affirmations to students who are creative and to help redirect

students to the artistic goal. Give specific encouraging comments to students such as: “I

really like your symbols!” or “I like how you are using your color!” rather than vague

comments such as “Good job!”

● Go over the ‘Symbols’ worksheet and explain to students about Native American

symbols and how they are free to add in Native American symbols or create their own

easy-to-understand symbol system to display their personal story.


● Have the students hang their buffalo hides up on the wall, that way they can all dry. If

you have enough time have them return back to their desks and get out a piece of paper
and a pencil and have them write a paragraph on what Native American images they

chose and why they chose them and what means the most to them. (You can do this on

the next day.)

Special Clean-up Procedures:

1. Assign someone at each table to gather all the paint brushes to wash out nicely, another

person to gather the paint shirts (if needed), another person to dump water cups, and

another to throw away trash and wipe down tables with disinfecting wipes.

2. Once all of the materials are put away, have the table leader make sure that all people

have their paper and pencil out.


1. Computer: For listening to the Native American music to allow students to get motivated

and inspired. An example could be music from the Disney movie of Pocahontas to relate

to the student’s ages.

2. Dark Brown Roll Paper

3. White charcoal pencil

4. Tempera Paint: Red, Blue, Orange, Purple, Brown

5. Brushes

6. Black Markers

7. Paper Towels, and Water buckets

8. Paper plates (for paint)

Art Making Activity:

Total Time: Approx. 45 minutes

1. Have your students set up their stations. You can have students be given set-up assignments

such as one would gather paint brushes, another paper, etc. (5 minutes)

2. Have the students cut their paper. (03:00)

3. Have your students crumple the bag until it looks like a buffalo hide and then have them tear

the edges of the paper. Demonstrate beforehand or emphasize how much paper the students

should be tearing off so they don’t tear off too much. (2:20)

4. Review the symbols that they want to paint on their paper with the ‘Symbols’ worksheet. (2 to

3 minutes)

5. Circle up and review the paint manners. (10 minutes)

6. Put the materials on a plate and then put names on back of paper.

7. Let students work on their project. (15-20 Minutes)

8. Have the students place their finished projects on the wall or on a set apart counter to dry.

9. Give clean-up assignments to groups/desk tables. Assign one student to gather paint brushes

and wash them out, one student for dumping water cups, another to clean up the trash and wipe

down the desks with disinfecting wipes until stations are clean.