Art Smart: A Lesson in Form, Degas & Sculpture

by This is Carrie on June 11, 2010

For the last second grade art lesson of the year we talked about form. This art element is the perfect one to follow shape since they are so very similar.  Just like shape, there are geometric and organic forms but while shape is flat, form is 3 dimensional.

After the short overview of form, I introduced them to french born, Edgar Degas, an artist who was well known for his paintings depicting everyday life.

Edgar Degas, Combing the Hair 1896

Degas was not only known for his paintings, but also his sculptures (a great example of the art element of the day, form)

Edgar Degas, Little Dancer of Fourteen Years 1881

Numerous bronze castings of the orignal wax sculpture “Little Dancer” have been made and can be found in museums all over the world, each one wearing it’s own unique tutu.  It’s one of my favorite pieces of art to visit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

As an introduction to our art project, I wanted the kids to see the different kinds of materials artists use to sculpt.  From sand to sugar to glass to pumpkin, the kids got more and more excited with each example.

Then, armed with their fingers, some tools and a few instructions about sculpting with clay, the kids were left to create whatever their hearts desired.  My favorite: “The Prehistoric Slug”.

Find all 6 “Art Smart” lesson posts HERE.


{ 2 trackbacks }

What are some names of artists who painted dancers and has a similar style to Degas? | Custom oil painting
June 20, 2010 at 4:01 am
First Exhibition to Explore Picasso’s Response to Degas | Custom oil painting
June 20, 2010 at 2:14 pm

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara Cox Landolt June 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm

The tutu reminds me, I bought a sparkle skirt today! :-)
Thanks for the updated race report link on twitter too.
Your students are lucky to have you as a teacher!


Jill July 30, 2011 at 8:46 am

I love your Art Smart lessons. I am leading a lower elementary age art class this year and am looking forward to using your lessons as a guide. I’m wondering though, is there a lesson about the art element: space. I found lessons for the other six, but could not find a reference to that element.



This is Carrie
Twitter: thisiscarrie

I never did a specialized lesson for space. We didn’t have enough lesson time to cover all the elements so that was one I left out. Good luck with your lessons!


Jill Reply:

Thanks for getting back with me and for the well-wishes. I’m looking forward to the lessons.


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