by Luzmarie Alvarez-Linney

Objectives: TEKS:

The student will listen critically to interpret and evaluate.

The student will use vocabulary to describe ideas, feelings, and experiences.

Perception: The student will identify art elements such as color, form, line, space, and value. The student will identify art principles such as emphasis and unity in artwork.

Creative expression: The student will express ideas through original artwork. Artwork will be created based on personal observations.

Response and evaluation: The student will apply simple criteria to identify main ideas in original artwork and artwork by peers and major artists.


The teacher will ask students what inspires them to do art. She will ask students where they can get ideas for their art.


Color transparencies of Georgia O'Keefe's work

Teacher's personal artwork inspired by O'Keefe

Viewing windows (one per student)

Watercolor paper

Watercolor paints


Water, plastic cups, paper towels

Pencils, erasers

Assorted silk (or fresh) flowers, one vase per table


1. The teacher will show the class some artwork she has done. She will ask students where they think she got her inspiration.

2. She will offer an introduction to O'Keefe's life and work.

3. She will show transparencies of O'Keefe's work.

Introduce vocabulary:

1. The teacher will describe the artwork using art vocabulary, show examples, and ask questions to check for understanding.

2. Students identify elements of art in O'Keefe's work using vocabulary they learned.


value / valor. The lightness of darkness of a color.

composition / composicion. The way shapes and forms are arranged on the picture plane.

flora / flora. Flowers

nature / naturaleza. The living things that we find outside in our environment. Things that are not manmade: earth, sky, animals, plants.

primary colors / colores primarios. The three basic colors from which all other colors are made. These are Red, Yellow, and Blue.

secondary colors / colores secundarios. The colors you get when you mix two primary colors together: Orange, Purple, Green.

warm colors / colores calientes. Remind us of the sun: Yellow, Orange, Red, Hot Pink.

cool color / colores frios. Remind us of water: Blue, Green, Purple.

organic shapes / formas organicas. Free-flowing, amoeba-like shapes found in nature.

abstract / abstracto. Artwork that has been broken down so as not to be recognizable. Nonrepresentational art.

Guided practice:

1. Using art vocabulary, the teacher will demonstrate how to draw a composition using silk flowers as subject matter.

2. The teacher will demonstrate how to use a viewing window.

3. Contour line, color, and value will be applied using watercolor.

4. Watercolor techniques will be discussed.

Independent practice:

1. Students will be seated in groups of four and will use a viewing window to find an interesting composition.

2. They will first draw their composition with pencil and then apply watercolor.

3. They will use value to depict folds and depth.


1. Students will review the vocabulary and techniques they have learned.

2. Students will tell what they know about Georgia O'Keefe's life and what inspired her.

3. Students will complete their paintings in several days. (They must wait for watercolor to dry before continuing.)


Students will view one last piece of O'Keefe's work and will give their personal critiques using what they have learned. After their project is finished, students will write reflections about their painting experience.


Notes from the Teacher

Luzmarie Alvarez-Linney, third-grade dual language teacher, Los Altos* Elementary

I can't believe that we're almost at the end of this school year! My journey through this year has been full of challenges, inspiration, and motivation to continue on. I'd like to think that, as teachers, we are always willing and open to new ways of doing things - at least we should be!

I know a lot of what I do I learned from seminars and professional development opportunities. Through the years I keep accumulating these nuances, and then I modify and reform them, depending on my students.

This year I attended a series of inservices called Project GRAD. The training is ongoing and deals with making students active participants rather than passive learners. I recall watching an interview with one of the Columbine shooters. He said that no one cared, no one listened. I learned about what all of these troubled kids share in common: feelings of isolation, having no choice in their learning (and in their lives, for that matter).

As an artist and teacher, I realize the power I have in my classroom, power to change a child's life for the better or for the worse. I have chosen to have a positive influence. I use art and culture in most of my teaching. My students know that I care about them, and I am sure that they care about me. Teaching through art is important because children see that their ideas count and that they have a choice in their learning and a positive outlet for expression. Through art, students learn about history, culture, aesthetics, and discipline.

Annenberg has been instrumental in allowing our faculty to grow professionally. Annenberg funds allowed us to attend the TABE conference, where we presented our Dual Language Program to other bilingual teachers. It was effective because we were able to network and learn, and then share our knowledge with our peers when we returned. We have been blessed with many professional development opportunities this year, which in turn help us to truly implement reform efforts in our school.

I believe our school is awesome! Our children are creative, bright, and bilingual. They inspire me to become a better teacher and to help guide them on the path to an even brighter future.

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Updated 8/8/2002