Lesson Plan: Irene Aguilar’s “Angel, Playing Horn”

This lesson plan contains the Texas TEKS for Elementary, Middle, and High School art teachers. The lesson teaches the importance of Folk Art in Mexico and allows the students to connect with their personal holidays and traditions by creating their own Folk Art.


If you use or reference this lesson plan, please leave a comment with your feedback. The lesson plan can be downloaded in the link below.


Irene Aguilar, Angel, Playing Horn, 1993, clay and acrylic paint, 8.38 inches X 4.38 inches X 4.5 inches, Tyler Museum of Art, Tyler, Texas.

Culture: Mexico

Subject: Fine Arts, Art History

Collection: Tyler Museum of Art’s Boeckman Collection

Grades: Elementary School, Middle School and High School

Topics: Artistic Practices, Art History, Critical Thinking


Art Vocabulary

Activity Vocabulary:

Irene Aguilar:

  • Irene Aguilar is a famous Folk Artist from Mexico. Her artwork is mostly made with ceramics, acrylic paint, and a wire armature. Her artwork expresses her devotion to Catholic religious practices and iconography, her interest in depicting Mexican mythology, and representing the culture of Mexico. Her family, known collectively as the Aguilar Workshop, is a famous group of artisans who make Folk Art depicting Mexican Heritage and Culture.

Folk Art:

  • Folk Art is a style of art that is made by regional people who preserve their history, traditions, and culture in their art. Mexican Folk Art consists of various artists who work in clay, fiber, metal, wire, papier mâché, and paper. The attributes of Folk Art are:
    • To celebrate a holiday, festival, religious observance, or tradition;
    • Used in the home as a utilitarian object, such as a bowl or a jar;
    • Handmade by people who live in specific regions, such as artists from Mexico;
    • Made with art skills that were passed down through the family or learned from regional artists;
    • And, made for both the regional population and foreigners who visit the country.

Ceramics:

  • The artistic methods of using clay, glazes, and ceramic firing methods to create a ceramic object. These objects can range in size, shape, and color.

Clay:

  • A material that is developed from wet earth and minerals. When it is drying or heated in a kiln, the clay hardens into a ceramic object. 

Bone-Dry Clay:

  • As clay dries in an open-air environment, the color of the clay will change from a red-brown color to a light grey. This result of this process is called bone-dry clay. When clay reaches this stage, it is ready to be placed in a kiln and fired.

Kiln:

  • A furnace that heats clay at high temperatures to create a ceramic object. The act of heating clay in a kiln is known as ‘firing’.

Glaze:

  • A thin coating of pigment that is painted or dipped on a ceramic work at the bone-dry stage. Dipping is when bone-dry clay is submerged into the glaze to fully cover the piece. Painting the glaze on the bone-dry clay enables the artist to create intricate designs on the clay.

Throwing:

  • A common process of creating a vessel out of clay. The artist places a section of clay on a throwing-wheel. He or she can control the speed at which the wheel will turn. As the wheel turns, the artist shapes the clay into a bowl, a cup, or a vase shape.

Acrylic Paint:

  • Acrylic paint is a type of water-based paint commonly used by practicing artists. Originally developed in the 1960’s, it dries quickly and can be layered to create opaque compositions and translucent washes.

Artist Statement:

  • An artist statement is designed to explain the artist’s compositional decisions made in the development of the artwork. The statement can range between 250 words to three pages.

Figures:

  • A figure, commonly found in figurative art, is often referencing a person depicted in artwork. The individuals can be represented in a variety of styles, ranging from realistic to abstraction.

Elements of Design:

  • Artists use the elements of design to create the foundation of the artwork. The elements of art include: line, shape, form, space, color, and texture.

Line:

  • An element of design; line is created on a surface with a pointed moving tool. Lines can range in size, width, texture, and presentation. Common types of line are vertical, horizontal, diagonal, zig-zag, and curved.

Shape:

  • An element of design; shape is a two-dimensional enclosed space that represents either an organic shape or a geometric shape. Geometric shapes include squares, circles, rectangles, triangles and other standard geometric shapes. Organic shapes include natural non-geometric shapes that are developed from curvilinear lines.

Form:

  • An element of design; form is a three-dimensional enclosed space that represents organic and geometric shapes in a third space. Geometric forms include cubes, spheres, triangular prisms, rectangular prisms, and cones. Organic shapes include three-dimensional forms observed in nature, such as trees, rivers, and rocks.

Space:

  • An element of design; this term defines the surface area between, before, and behind an object in a composition.

Color:

  • An element of design; this term defines the pigments used in a painting. Color can be organized into categories, such as: hues, values, complements, and intensity.

Texture:

  • An element of design; this term defines an artwork’s surface. The artist’s use of the chosen medium creates either implied or actual texture.

Principles of Design:

  • Artists used principles of design to build upon the foundational elements of design. This includes the following: rhythm, movement, balance, proportion, variety, emphasis, and unity. 

Rhythm/ Pattern:

  • A principle of design; this term defines the repetitive imagery and elements of design found in a composition.

Movement:

  • A principle of design; this term defines the visual movement observed in a painting. This can be identified as kinetic movement or implied movement. Additionally, movement can be defined as how the viewer’s eye moves throughout the composition.

Balance:

  • A principle of design; this term defines the arrangement of the presented imagery with the elements of design. It refers to either asymmetrical compositions or symmetrical compositions.

Proportion:

  • A principle of design; this term defines the comparative size between objects in the composition. It can refer to the imagery within a painting or the size between a sculpture and a real object.

Variety:

  • A principle of design; this term defines the combination of imagery, objects, and ideas in an artwork.

Emphasis:

  • A principle of design; this term defines the most prominent area in a composition. The viewer’s eye is drawn to this point because the artist used a mixture of the elements and principles of design.

Unity:

  • A principle of design; this term defines how the elements and principles of design are combined within a composition.

Bibliography: Resources for Vocabulary and Lesson Plan

“Art Term: Acrylic Paint.” Tate Modern Museum of Art. Updated 2021. Accessed May 7, 2021. https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/a/acrylic-paint.

Fournier, Patricia. “Mayolica of Cuanajuaio.” In Cerámica y Cultura: The Story of Spanish and Mexican Mayólica. Edited by Robin Farwell Gavin, Donna Pierce, and Alfonso Pleguezuelo, 297 – 314. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2003. https://www.google.com/books/edition/_/IHdoCDr_JaEC?hl=en&gbpv=1

Oettinger, Jr., Marion. “The Mexican Folk Artist.” In Folk Treasures of Mexico. Edited by Marion Oettinger, Jr. New York: Harryn Abrams Inc. Publishers, 1990.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.102: Art, Kindergarten, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=102.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.105: Art, Grade 1, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=105.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.108: Art, Grade 2, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=108.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.111: Art, Grade 3, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=111.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.114: Art, Grade 4, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=114.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.117: Art, Grade 5, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=117.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.202: Art, Middle School 1, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=202.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.203: Art, Middle School 2, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=203.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.204: Art, Middle School 3, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=204.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.302: Art, Level I, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=302.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.303: Art, Level II, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=303.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.304: Art, Level III, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=304.

Office of the Secretary of State. “§117.305: Art, Level IV, Adopted 2013.” Texas Education Agency: Education, updated 2013, accessed January 5, 2022, https://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=19&pt=2&ch=117&rl=305.

Ragan, Rosalins. “Elements of Art.” In Art Talk, 61 – 211. Edited by Bennett and McKnight Division. San Francisco: Glencoe Publishing Company, 1988.

Ragan, Rosalins. “The Principles of Design.” In Art Talk, 211 – 347. Edited by Bennett and McKnight Division. San Francisco: Glencoe Publishing Company, 1988.

Wasserspring, Lois. “Ocotlán de Morelos.” In Oaxacan Ceramics: Traditional Folk Art bu Oaxacán Women. Vancouver: Raincoast Books, 2000.

“What is Folk Art?” Museum of International Folk Art. Updated 2020. Accessed December 8, 2021. https://www.internationalfolkart.org/learn/what-is-folk-art.html.


Elementary School Lesson Plans


Goals:

Elementary School Students of all Levels will be able to do the following:

  • Identify the principles of design used in the artwork;
  • Identify the elements of design used in the artwork;
  • Identify how Irene Aguilar created an angel figure to celebrate the Christmas holiday;
  • And, Students will identify a personal connection to a holiday and create a drawing of themselves celebrating the holiday.

Texas Elementary School TEKS:

Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade, Third Grade, Fourth Grade, and Fifth Grade


Kindergarten:

  • §117.102.b.1.B
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • identify the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, and form, and the principles of design, including repetition/pattern and balance, in the environment.
  • §117.102.b.2. A / B
    • Creative Expression:
      • create artworks using a variety of lines, shapes, colors, textures, and forms;
      • arrange components intuitively to create artworks;
  • §117.102.b.3. A / B
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • identify simple subjects expressed in artworks;
      • share ideas about personal experiences such as family and friends and develop awareness and sensitivity to differing experiences and opinions through artwork;
  • §117.102.b.4.A / B
    • Critical Evaluation and Response:
      • express ideas about personal artworks or portfolios;
      • express ideas found in collections such as real or virtual art museums, galleries, portfolios, or exhibitions using original artworks created by artists or peers;

First Grade:

  • §117.105.b.1.A / B
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • identify similarities, differences, and variations among subjects in the environment using the senses;
      • identify the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, and form, and the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, and balance, in nature and human-made environments.
  • §117.105.b.2. A / B
    • Creative Expression:
      • invent images that combine a variety of lines, shapes, colors, textures, and forms;
      • place components in orderly arrangements to create designs;
  • §117.105.b.3. A / B / C
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • identify simple ideas expressed in artworks through different media;
      • demonstrate an understanding that art is created globally by all people throughout time;
      • discuss the use of art in everyday life;
  • §117.105.b.4.A / B
    • Critical Evaluation and Response:
      • explain ideas about personal artworks;
      • identify ideas found in collections such as real or virtual art museums, galleries, portfolios, or exhibitions using original artworks created by artists or peers.

Second Grade:

  • §117.108.b.1.A / B
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • compare and contrast variations in objects and subjects from the environment using the senses;
      • identify the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, and space, and the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, and balance.
  • §117.108.b.2. A / B
    • Creative Expression:
      • express ideas and feelings in personal artworks using a variety of lines, shapes, colors, textures, forms, and space;
      • create compositions using the elements of art and principles of design;
  • §117.108.b.3. A / B / C
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      •  interpret stories, content, and meanings in a variety of artworks;
      • examine historical and contemporary artworks created by men and women, making connections to various cultures;
      • analyze how art affects everyday life and is connected to jobs in art and design;
  • §117.108.b.4. A / B
    • Critical Evaluation and Response:
      • support reasons for preferences in personal artworks;
      • compare and contrast ideas found in collections such as real or virtual art museums, galleries, portfolios, or exhibitions using original artworks created by artists or peers;

Third Grade:

  • §117.111.b.1.A / B / C
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • explore ideas from life experiences about self, peers, family, school, or community and from the imagination as sources for original works of art;
      • use appropriate vocabulary when discussing the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, and the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity;
      • discuss the elements of art as building blocks and the principles of design as organizers of works of art.
  • §117.111.b.2. A / B
    • Creative Expression
      • integrate ideas drawn from life experiences to create original works of art;
      • create compositions using the elements of art and principles of design;
  • §117.111.b.3. A / B / D
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • identify simple main ideas expressed in artworks from various times and places;
      • compare and contrast artworks created by historical and contemporary men and women, making connections to various cultures;
      • investigate the connections of visual art concepts to other disciplines.
  • §117.111.b.4. A / B
    • Critical Evaluation and Response
      • evaluate the elements of art, principles of design, or expressive qualities in artworks of self, peers, and historical and contemporary artists;
      • use methods such as oral response or artist statements to identify main ideas found in collections of artworks created by self, peers, and major historical or contemporary artists in real or virtual portfolios, galleries, or art museums;

Fourth Grade:

  • §117.114.b.1.A / B / C
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • explore and communicate ideas drawn from life experiences about self, peers, family, school, or community and from the imagination as sources for original works of art;
      • use appropriate vocabulary when discussing the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, and the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity;
      • discuss the elements of art as building blocks and the principles of design as organizers of works of art.
  • §117.114.b.2. A / B
    • Creative Expression:
      • integrate ideas drawn from life experiences to create original works of art;
      • create compositions using the elements of art and principles of design; and
  • §117.114.b.3. A / B / D
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • compare content in artworks for various purposes such as the role art plays in reflecting life, expressing emotions, telling stories, or documenting history and traditions;
      •  compare purpose and content in artworks created by historical and contemporary men and women, making connections to various cultures;
      • investigate connections of visual art concepts to other disciplines.
  • §117.114.b.4. A / B
    • Critical Evaluation and Response
      • evaluate the elements of art, principles of design, intent, or expressive qualities in artworks of self, peers, and historical and contemporary artists.
      • use methods such as written or oral response or artist statements to identify emotions found in collections of artworks created by self, peers, and major historical or contemporary artists in real or virtual portfolios, galleries, or art museums;

Fifth Grade:

  • §117.117.b.1.A / B / C
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • develop and communicate ideas drawn from life experiences about self, peers, family, school, or community and from the imagination as sources for original works of art;
      • use appropriate vocabulary when discussing the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, and the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity; and
      • discuss the elements of art as building blocks and the principles of design as organizers of works of art.
  • §117.117.b.2. A / B
    • Creative Expression:
      • integrate ideas drawn from life experiences to create original works of art;
      • create compositions using the elements of art and principles of design;
  • §117.117.b.3. A / B / D
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • compare the purpose and effectiveness of artworks from various times and places, evaluating the artist’s use of media and techniques, expression of emotions, or use of symbols;
      • compare the purpose and effectiveness of artworks created by historic and contemporary men and women, making connections to various cultures;
      • investigate connections of visual art concepts to other disciplines.
  • §117.117.b.4. A / B
    • Critical Evaluation and Response
      • evaluate the elements of art, principles of design, general intent, media and techniques, or expressive qualities in artworks of self, peers, or historical and contemporary artists;
      • use methods such as written or oral response or artist statements to identify themes found in collections of artworks created by self, peers, and major historical or contemporary artists in real or virtual portfolios, galleries, or art museums;

Elementary School Art Activity


Questions for Elementary School Students:

  1. Examine Irene Aguilar’s Angel, Playing Horn. Identify where each element of art is located in the folk art.
  2. Examine Irene Aguilar’s Angel, Playing Horn. Identify where each principle of art is located in the folk art.
  3. Why is Folk Art important in Mexico?
  4. What are some traditions and holidays in Mexico that use Folk Art?
  5. How do you identify Folk Art?

Activity: Elementary School Fine Arts

  • Activity Setting: Classroom
  • Materials: Coloring Pencil, Graphite Pencil, and Paper
  • Subject: Color, Learning about Cultural Holidays
  • Texas TEKS: Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade, Third Grade, Fourth Grade, and Fifth Grade
  • Duration: Single Day Project or an Extended Project

Students will discuss Irene Aguilar’s Angel, Playing Horn and the traditional and artistic aspects of Folk Art. Then, the students will create their interpretation of Folk Art. The students will pick a holiday that is culturally, traditionally, or personally important to them. Then, they will draw and color themselves celebrating the chosen holiday. Along with their drawn scene, they will include a object that symbolizes the holiday. For example: if they pick Día de los Muertos, they can draw a decorated skull with their figure.


Activity: Elementary School Art History

  • Activity Setting: Classroom
  • Materials: Pencil/ Pen on Paper or Word Document
  • Subject: Research, Artwork Analysis
  • Texas TEKS: Art 1, Art 2, Art 3
  • Duration: Single Day Assignment or a Research Paper

After the student creates their artwork, the student will make an artist statement. It can consist of a paragraph or more. The student will explain what holiday they selected, why it was chosen, why it is important to them, and why their figure is paired with the selected holiday object. The goal is for the student to explain their reason for creating the artwork. Additionally, it allows the student to draw a comparison between their interpretation of folk art and Irene Aguilar’s Angel, Playing Horn. The teacher can decide if the student will read their artist’s statements in a presentation to the class.


Middle School Lesson Plans:


Goals:

Middle School Students of all Levels will be able to do the following:

  • Identify the principles of design used in the artwork;
  • Identify the elements of design used in the artwork;
  • Identify how Irene Aguilar created an angel figure to celebrate the Christmas holiday;
  • And, Students will identify a personal connection to a holiday and create a clay figure of themselves celebrating the holiday.

Texas Middle School TEKS:

Art 1, Art 2, Art 3


Art 1:

  • §117.202.c.1.A / B / C / D
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • identify and illustrate concepts from direct observation, original sources, personal experiences, and communities such as family, school, cultural, local, regional, national, and international;
      • understand and apply the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, as the fundamentals of art in personal artworks using art vocabulary appropriately;
      • understand and apply the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity, in personal artworks using art vocabulary appropriately;
      • discuss the expressive properties of artworks such as appropriation, meaning, narrative, message, and symbol using art vocabulary accurately.
  • §117.202.c.1.A
    • Creative Expression:
      • create original artworks based on direct observations, original sources, personal experiences, and the community;
  • §117.202.c.3.A / B / C
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • identify the influence of historical and political events in artworks;
      • identify examples of art that convey universal themes such as beliefs, cultural narrative, life cycles, the passage of time, identity, conflict, and cooperation;
      • explain the relationships that exist between societies and their art and architecture;
  • §117.202.c.4.A / B
    • Critical Evaluation and Response
      • create written or oral responses to artwork using appropriate art vocabulary;
      • analyze original artworks using a method of critique such as describing the artwork, analyzing the way it is organized, interpreting the artist’s intention, and evaluating the success of the artwork;

Art 2:

  • §117.203.b.1.A / B / C / D
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • identify and illustrate ideas from direct observation, original sources, imagination, personal experiences, and communities such as family, school, cultural, local, regional, national, and international;
      • compare and contrast the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, as the fundamentals of art in personal artworks using vocabulary accurately;
      • compare and contrast the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity, in personal artworks using vocabulary accurately;
      • understand and apply the expressive properties of artworks such as appropriation, meaning, narrative, message, and symbol using art vocabulary accurately.
  • §117.203.b.1.A
    • Creative Expression:
      • create original artworks that express a variety of ideas based on direct observations, original sources, and personal experiences, including memory, identity, imagination, and the community;
  • §117.203.b.3.A / B / C
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • analyze ways that global, cultural, historical, and political issues influence artworks;
      • analyze selected artworks to determine contemporary relevance in relationship to universal themes such as belief, cultural narrative, life cycles, the passage of time, identity, conflict, and cooperation;
      • compare and contrast relationships that exist between a society’s art and its music, literature, and architecture;
  • §117.203.b.4.A / B
    • Critical Evaluation and Response:
      • create written or oral responses about personal or collaborative artworks addressing purpose, technique, organization, judgment, and personal expression;
      • analyze original artworks using a method of critique such as describing the artwork, analyzing the way it is organized, interpreting the artist’s intention, and evaluating the success of the artwork;

Art 3:

  • §117.203.b.1.A / B / C / D
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • identify and illustrate concepts from direct observation, original sources, imagination, personal experience, and communities such as family, school, cultural, local, regional, national, and international;
      • evaluate the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, as the fundamentals of art in personal artworks using vocabulary accurately;
      • evaluate the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity, in personal artworks using vocabulary accurately;
      • compare and contrast the expressive properties of artworks, including appropriation, meaning, narrative, message, and symbol, using vocabulary accurately.
  • §117.203.b.1.A
    • Creative Expression:
      • create original artworks expressing themes found through direct observation; original sources; personal experiences, including memory, identity, and imagination; and the community;
  • §117.203.b.3.A / B / C
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • analyze ways in which global, contemporary, historical, and political issues have influenced art;
      • analyze cultural ideas expressed in artworks relating to social, political, and environmental themes such as environment/nature, conflict and power, relationships to others, and reality/fantasy;
      • evaluate the relationships that exist among a society’s art, music, theatre, and dance;
  • §117.203.b.4.A / B
    • Critical Evaluation and Response:
      • create written and oral responses about personal or collaborative artworks addressing purpose, technique, organization, judgment, and personal expression;
      • analyze original artworks and portfolios using a method of critique such as describing the artwork, analyzing the way it is organized, interpreting the artist’s intention, and evaluating the success of the artwork;

Middle School Art Activities


Questions for Middle School Students:

  1. Examine Irene Aguilar’s Angel, Playing Horn. Identify where each element of art is located in the folk art.
  2. Examine Irene Aguilar’s Angel, Playing Horn. Identify where each principle of art is located in the folk art.
  3. Why is Folk Art important in Mexico?
  4. What are some traditions and holidays in Mexico that use Folk Art?
  5. How do you identify Folk Art?
  6. Discuss how to work with clay.
    • How do you connect two different pieces of clay?
    • How do you fire clay?
    • What is a kiln?
    • What are the safety measures to ensure the students and teacher are safe around the kiln?
  7. Discuss fire safety with the students and the importance of safety around the kiln.

Activity: Middle School Fine Arts

  • Activity Setting: Classroom
  • Materials: Clay, Pencil, Paper, Acrylic Paint
  • Subject: Sculpting, Painting
  • Texas TEKS: Art 1, Art 2, Art 3
  • Duration: Single Day Project or an Extended Project

Students will discuss Irene Aguilar’s Angel, Playing Horn and the traditional and artistic aspects of Folk Art. Then, the students will create their interpretation of Folk Art using clay.

The students will pick a holiday that is culturally, traditionally, or personally important to them. Then, they will draw themselves celebrating the chosen holiday in the style of Aguilar’s sculpture: a figure holding an object that symbolizes their chosen holiday. For example: if they pick Día de los Muertos, they can draw a decorated skull with their figure.  

Once the student decides how the final sculpture will look, they will begin working with clay. The students will create a clay sculpture of their planned drawing. When the sculpture is done, the teacher will go through the process of firing the clay.

When the clay sculpture is fired, the student will paint their sculpture using acrylic paint.


Activity: Middle School Art History

  • Activity Setting: Classroom
  • Materials: Pencil/ Pen on Paper or Word Document
  • Subject: Research, Artwork Analysis
  • Texas TEKS: Art 1, Art 2, Art 3
  • Duration: Single Day Assignment or a Research Paper

After the student creates their artwork, the student will make an artist statement. It can consist of a paragraph or more. The student will explain what holiday they selected, why it was chosen, why it is important to them, and why their figure is paired with the selected holiday object. The goal is for the student to explain their reason for creating the artwork. Additionally, it allows the student to draw a comparison between their interpretation of folk art and Irene Aguilar’s Angel, Playing Horn. The teacher can decide if the student will read their artist’s statements in a presentation to the class.


High School Lesson Plan


Goals:

High School Students of all Levels will be able to do the following:

  • Identify the principles of design used in the artwork;
  • Identify the elements of design used in the artwork;
  • Identify how Irene Aguilar created an angel figure to celebrate the Christmas holiday;
  • And, Students will identify a personal connection to a holiday and create a clay figure of themselves celebrating the holiday.

Texas High School TEKS:

Art Level I, Level II, Level III, and Level IV


Level I:

  • §117.302.c.1.A / B / C / D
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • consider concepts and ideas from direct observation, original sources, experiences, and imagination for original artwork;
      • identify and understand the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, as the fundamentals of art in personal artwork;
      • identify and understand the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity, in personal artwork;
      • make judgments about the expressive properties such as content, meaning, message, and metaphor of artwork using art vocabulary accurately.
  • §117.302.c.2.A / D / F
    • Creative Expression:
      • use visual solutions to create original artwork by problem solving through direct observation, original sources, experiences, narrations, and imagination;
      • create original artwork to communicate thoughts, feelings, ideas, or impressions;
      • demonstrate effective use of art media and tools in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, fiber art, design, and digital art and media.
  • §117.302.c.3.A / B
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance
      • compare and contrast historical and contemporary styles while identifying general themes and trends;
      • describe general characteristics in artwork from a variety of cultures, which might also include personal identity and heritage;
  • §117.302.c.4.A / B
    • Critical Evaluation and Response
      • interpret, evaluate, and justify artistic decisions in artwork by self, peers, and other artists such as that in museums, local galleries, art exhibits, and websites;
      • evaluate and analyze artwork using a verbal or written method of critique such as describing the artwork, analyzing the way it is organized, interpreting the artist’s intention, and evaluating the success of the artwork;

Level II:

  • §117.303.c.1.A / B / C / D
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • use visual comparisons to illustrate concepts and ideas from direct observation, original sources, experiences, narration, and imagination for original artworks;
      • identify and apply the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, as the fundamentals of art in personal artworks;
      •  identify and apply the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity in personal artworks;
      • explore suitability of art media and processes to express specific ideas such as content, meaning, message, appropriation, and metaphor relating to visual themes of artworks using art vocabulary accurately.
  • §117.303.c.2.A / D / F
    • Creative Expression:
      • create original artwork using multiple solutions from direct observation, original sources, experiences, and imagination in order to expand personal themes that demonstrate artistic intent;
      •  create original artwork to communicate thoughts, feelings, ideas, or impressions;
      • select from a variety of art media and tools to communicate specific ideas in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, fiber art, jewelry, mixed media, photography, and digital art and media.
  • §117.303.c.3.A / B
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • examine selected historical periods or styles of art to identify general themes and trends;
      • analyze specific characteristics in artwork from a variety of cultures;
  • §117.303.c.4.A / B / C
    • Critical Evaluation and Response:
      • interpret, evaluate, and justify artistic decisions in artwork by self, peers, and other artists such as that in museums, local galleries, art exhibits, and websites;
      • evaluate and analyze artwork using a method of critique such as describing the artwork, analyzing the way it is organized, interpreting the artist’s intention, and evaluating the success of the artwork;
      • use responses to artwork critiques to make decisions about future directions in personal work;

Level III:

  • §117.304.c.1.A / B / C / D
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • analyze visual characteristics of sources to illustrate concepts, demonstrate flexibility in solving problems, create multiple solutions, and think imaginatively;
      • compare and contrast the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, as the fundamentals of art in personal artwork;
      • compare and contrast the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity, in personal artwork;
      • explore the suitability of art media and processes and select those appropriate to express specific ideas such as content, meaning, message, and metaphor relating to visual themes to interpret the expressive qualities of artwork.
  • §117.304.c.2.A / D / F
    • Creative Expression:
      • create original artwork using multiple solutions from direct observation, original sources, experiences, and imagination in order to expand personal themes that demonstrate artistic intent; 
      • create original artwork to communicate thoughts, feelings, ideas, or impressions;
      • select from a variety of art media and tools to express intent in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, fiber art, design, digital art and media, photography, jewelry, and mixed media.
  • §117.304.c.3.A / B
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • research selected historical periods, artists, general themes, trends, and styles of art;
      • distinguish the correlation between specific characteristics and influences of various cultures and contemporary artwork;
  • §117.304.c.4.A / B / C / D
    • Critical Evaluation and Response:
      • interpret, evaluate, and justify artistic decisions in artwork such as that in museums, local galleries, art exhibits, and websites based on evaluation of developmental progress, competency in problem solving, and a variety of visual ideas;
      • evaluate and analyze artwork using a method of critique such as describing the artwork, analyzing the way it is organized, interpreting the artist’s intention, and evaluating the success of the artwork;
      • analyze personal artwork in order to create a written response such as an artist’s statement reflecting intent, inspiration, the elements of art and principles of design within the artwork, and measure of uniqueness;
      • use responses to artwork critiques to make decisions about future directions in personal work;

Level IV:

  • §117.305.c.1.A / B / C / D
    • Foundations: Observation and Perception:
      • consider concepts and themes for personal artwork that integrate an extensive range of visual observations, experiences, and imagination;
      • compare and contrast the elements of art, including line, shape, color, texture, form, space, and value, as the fundamentals of art in personal artwork;
      • compare and contrast the principles of design, including emphasis, repetition/pattern, movement/rhythm, contrast/variety, balance, proportion, and unity, in personal artwork;
      • discriminate between art media and processes to express complex visual relationships such as content, meaning, message, and metaphor using extensive art vocabulary.
  • §117.305.c.2.A / D / F
    • Creative Expression:
      • produce an original body of artwork that integrates information from a variety of sources, including original sources, and demonstrates sustained self-directed investigations into specific themes such as a series or concentration of works;
      • create original artwork to communicate thoughts, feelings, ideas, or impressions;
      • create artwork, singularly and in a series, by selecting from a variety of art materials and tools appropriate to course work in drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, fiber art, design, digital art and media, photography, jewelry, and mixed media.
  • §117.305.c.3.A / B
    • Historical and Cultural Relevance:
      • research and report on selected historical periods, artists, general themes, trends, and styles of art;
      • analyze and evaluate the influence of contemporary cultures on artwork;
  • §117.305.c.4.A / B / C / D
    • Critical Evaluation and Response:
      • develop evaluative criteria to justify artistic decisions in artwork such as that in museums, local galleries, art exhibits, and websites based on a high level of creativity and expertise in one or more art areas;
      • evaluate and analyze artwork using a method of critique such as describing the artwork, analyzing the way it is organized, interpreting the artist’s intention, and evaluating the success of the artwork;
      • analyze personal artwork in order to create a written response such as an artist’s statement reflecting intent, inspiration, the elements of art and principles of design within the artwork, and the measure of uniqueness;
      • use responses to artwork critiques to make decisions about future directions in personal work;

High School Art Activities


Questions for High School Students:

  1. Examine Irene Aguilar’s Angel, Playing Horn. Identify where each element of art is located in the folk art.
  2. Examine Irene Aguilar’s Angel, Playing Horn. Identify where each principle of art is located in the folk art.
  3. Why is Folk Art important in Mexico?
  4. What are some traditions and holidays in Mexico that use Folk Art?
  5. How do you identify Folk Art?
  6. Discuss how to work with clay.
    • How do you connect two different pieces of clay?
    • How do you fire clay?
    • What is a kiln?
    • What are the safety measures to ensure the students and teacher are safe around the kiln?
  7. Discuss fire safety with the students and the importance of safety around the kiln.

Activity: High School Fine Arts

  • Activity Setting: Classroom and/or outdoor location
  • Materials: Clay, Pencil, Paper, Acrylic Paint
  • Subject: Sculpting, Painting
  • Texas TEKS: Art Level I, Level II, Level III, and Level IV
  • Duration: Single Day Project or an Extended Project

Students will discuss Irene Aguilar’s Angel, Playing Horn and the traditional and artistic aspects of Folk Art. Then, the students will create their interpretation of Folk Art using clay.

The students will pick a holiday that is culturally, traditionally, or personally important to them. Then, they will draw themselves celebrating the chosen holiday in the style of Aguilar’s sculpture: a figure holding an object that symbolizes their chosen holiday. For example: if they pick Día de los Muertos, they can draw a decorated skull with their figure. 

Once the student decides how the final sculpture will look, they will begin working with clay. The students will create a clay sculpture of their planned drawing. When the sculpture is done, the teacher will go through the process of firing the clay.

When the clay sculpture is fired, the student will paint their sculpture using acrylic paint.


Activity: High School Art History

  • Activity Setting: Classroom
  • Materials: Pencil/ Pen on Paper or Word Document
  • Subject: Research, Artwork Analysis
  • Texas TEKS: Art Level I, Level II, Level III, and Level IV
  • Duration: Single Day Assignment or a Research Paper

After the student creates their artwork, the student will make an artist statement. It can consist of a paragraph or more. The student will explain what holiday they selected, why it was chosen, why it is important to them, and why their figure is paired with the selected holiday object. The goal is for the student to explain their reason for creating the artwork. Additionally, it allows the student to draw a comparison between their interpretation of folk art and Irene Aguilar’s Angel, Playing Horn. The teacher can decide if the student will read their artist’s statements in a presentation to the class.


You can see this artwork in-person in the Tyler Museum of Art’s Lobby case. The current selection of Folk Art is celebrating the history, culture, and festivities of the holidays in Mexico.

For more educational resources created by the Tyler Museum of Art, visit our YouTube page by clicking on the YouTube button or clicking the link below.

If you use or references this lesson plan, please leave a comment with your feedback.

Thank you for visiting the Tyler Museum of Art’s Education Blog!

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