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Astronomy and Art Lesson

September 30, 2019 


Overview: The learners will create pen and ink drawings of their assigned astronomical concept, then research facts about their concept to be on the back of the cards. Then the drawings will be made into small “trading cards”/ art prints for the students to share and learn about new astronomical concepts. 

Big Idea: Perspective

Subject Matter: Astronomy 

Key Concepts: New perspectives of the universe, noticing details, sharing ideas. 


Essential Questions: How can you use your knowledge of astronomy to create 

well-informed creative artwork? 

How can you use your new perspective of the universe to inspire artmaking? 

How can artwork spread information and knowledge to others? 

Rationale: This unit will empower students to share knowledge through art-making. This unit will allow students to get a new perspective of astronomical concepts, while also creating detailed and creative artwork. The students will conduct their personal research, which is a skill that can translate into other aspects of education. They will learn from one another and be able to appreciate each other’s unique style of drawing. 

Target Student Group: 8th grade advanced Earth Science class at Binford Middle School 

Cultural Responsiveness: This project will encourage students to become curious learners and researchers, which are skills that can help them become critical thinkers in a world that throws constant information their way. The students will be encouraged to learn from one another and share their final creations. This will help to include all students and create a classroom environment that values all students for their contributions. 

Specific Objectives: Students will communicate their understanding of mark making techniques by performing a sketchbook assignment. Students will be able to take their new perspective and knowledge about astronomy to be inspired to make their own unique drawings. 

Lesson1, Day 1- Intro to Astronomy and Drawing Objective: On the first day students will start with a video that puts their learning into a new perspective. Then the students will be introduced to their first project, and shown examples of artwork that shows the skills of pen and ink drawing. They will be shown basic mark-making techniques such as cross hatching, pointillism, and scribbling. They will receive their topic for their trading card. Then, students begin making sketches for their artwork. Assessment: Students will be assessed as to how they incorporate their mark making techniques into their sketches. Students will be assessed on creativity in their final drawings in how they portray their topic. 

Lesson 2, Day 2 and 3- Research and Drawing Objective: The students will be reminded of what reliable sources are, and given tips for researching their topics. The students will begin their final drawings on 8x10 cardstock paper. They will write their five facts that they researched on the back of the paper. Assessment: The students will show their understanding of mark making and experimenting with pen and ink in their final drawings. The students will show their creativity by making unique final drawings inspired by their specific astronomical topic. The students will show their understanding of research by providing five facts about their specific topic on the back of their drawings. 

Lesson 3, Day 4- Sharing and Learning Objective: The students will receive their final prints of their “trading cards”, and will also receive a “scavenger hunt” worksheet- the worksheet will be based off of their classmates cards. It will have questions about the research information on the cards, but also questions to spark artistic critique and feedback for their classmates. At the end of the class, the teacher will ask discussion questions in order for students to reflect on their learning process. Assessment: The students will show their learning of astronomical information through the worksheet, as well as giving their classmates feedback about their artwork. The students will share what they learned through a discussion at the end to reflect on the unit. 

National Art Standards: VA:Cr2.1.8a Demonstrate willingness to experiment, innovate, and take risks to pursue ideas, forms, and meanings that emerge in the process of artmaking or designing. VA:Pr5.1.8a Collaboratively prepare and present selected theme based artwork for display, and formulate exhibition narratives for the viewer. Virginia Art SOLS 8.1 The student will plan for and reflect on the art-making process, using a sketchbook/journal. 8.4 The student will synthesize prior knowledge and experience to create works of art. 8.18 The student will critique personal work and the work of others. 



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