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Portraiture and Technology Lesson Plan

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Lesson Plan #: AELP-ARH001
Submitted by: June McLeavey and Jimi Emery
Email: bartlett@ncia.net
School/University/Affiliation: Josiah Bartlett School Date: August 27, 1998 

Grade Level(s): 6, 7, 8, 9


  • Arts/History

Duration: Six 45-minute sessions (technology equipment dependent)

Description: Students learn about portraiture in art history through the use of technology tools


  • Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and culture
  • Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others
  • Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
  • Integrating technology into the curriculum
  • Relating technology to real life experiences

Objectives: The student will:

  • demonstrate an understanding of portraiture in art history.
  • gain insight into the life and works of a chosen artist
  • relate and communicate personal experiences to historical artwork
  • input digital images using peripherals
  • manipulate images utilizing appropriate software
  • create a word processing document based on research data


  • Variety of portrait reproductions from art history
  • student photos (camera or digital)
  • scanner
  • computers
  • digital camera (not required; images can be scanned)
  • Internet access (not required; may use library resources)
  • software (Paint; comes with most computers)
  • 12×18 construction paper for mounting


In the Art Room…

1. Students were introduced to portraiture throughout art history using a wide range of reproductions.
We discussed the various ways artists have used symbolism to reveal more about their subjects.

2. Students looked through reproductions and books to locate a portrait which was somehow meaningful to them.

In the Media Room…

3. Using an outline of requirements from the Art Room students conducted research over the Internet on their chosen
artist’s life and works. Students then created a word processing document using the data. The artist’s name was done in WordArt.

4. Students input images of their own faces into the computer with scanned photos or the digital camera. The saved images were placed in a shared folder. Scanned art reproductions were also put into shared folders.

5. Then the fun really began! Students superimposed their faces over the scanned art reproductions using the Paint program.

6. Blending the photo into the reproduction was done with the eyedropper tool in the paint program.

7. The final product was centered through the page setup under the File menu in Paint.

8. Completed images were mounted next to the word processing documents and displayed throughout the school. We also took examples of the students work to the New England League of Middle School conference, where they were very well received.


Students were assessed using the following criteria:

  • Successful integration of personal image into reproduction
  • Articulation of symbolism to personal lives
  • Effective use of research skills, including citing sources
  • Responsible use of equipment and materials
  • Observation of student’s efforts

(Ongoing dialog between students and teachers was essential to the assessment process) Useful Internet Resources:

We reviewed use of search tool on the Internet which became a part of the whole unit….Alta Vista, Hotbot, Mamma, Excite and Lycos were used.

Art History Theme Page

ArtSeek – Internet Art Resources

Museums Index at World Wide Arts Resources