Lesson Plan: Cause and Effect
Artist not known, Mexico
Students will critically examine and discuss the image of St. Ferdinand, King of Spain and use what they learn to demonstrate an understanding of the concept of cause and effect. Students will work collaboratively to create a cause-and-effect chart relating to both the artistic style of the object and the historical significance of the subject represented.
21st Century Learning Skills Addressed:
- Critical Thinking and Reasoning
- Information Literacy
2009 Colorado Academic Standards Primary Area Addressed:
- Analyze historical sources using tools of a historian
- Become familiar with Colorado historical eras, groups, individuals and themes
- Ask questions, share information and discuss ideas about the past
- Recognize similarities and differences about regions and people using geographic tools
- Become familiar with World geography
Additional 2009 Colorado Academic Standards Addressed:
- Observe and Learn to Comprehend
- Relate and Connect to Transfer
- Oral Expression and Listening
- Reading for All Purposes
- Writing and Composition
Length of Lesson
Viewing and learning about works of art such as St. Ferdinand, King of Spain provides students the opportunity to examine a primary source of historical information. This artistic primary source can be helpful in investigating and explaining cause-and-effect relationships in interactions among people and cultures, artists and materials, and objects of art and the viewer.
Students will be able to:
- describe and analyze what they see in the image of St. Ferdinand, King of Spain;
- discuss symbolic representations of ideas; and
- collaborate in groups to identify cause-and-effect relationships.
- World map
- Note-taking paper for each student
- Paper, chart, or white board to display cause-and-effect charts
- Variety of pencils, markers, or other writing implements
- About the Art sheet on St. Ferdinand, King of Spain (found at the end of the lesson plan) or student access to this part of Creativity Resource online
- Color copies of the image for students to share, or the ability to project the image onto a wall or screen
- Show students the image of St. Ferdinand, King of Spain. Ask students to describe what they see, interpret any clues, and determine what they can infer from the image. What things catch their eyes and generate questions? What is the man holding in his hand? Is the robe real?
- Share the information from the About the Art sheet with students and tell the students that this is a sculpture depicting St. Ferdinand, a King of Spain.
- Ask students to locate Spain on a map. Now locate Mexico where the sculpture was made. Notice the distance.
- Go over the “Things to Look For” information from the About the Art sheet and discuss the realism of the sculpture. You might point out that the statue was made before photography was invented and artists tried to make things look as real as possible.
- Explain the history of King Ferdinand available in the About the Art sheet. If time allows you could use other sources of information from the “Find Out More” section of this object’s Creativity Resource webpage. King Ferdinand was named a saint by the Catholic Church for his deeds.
- Make a chart with “Cause” written on one side and “Effect” written on the other. Using what students have learned about the life of King Ferdinand and the sculpture St. Ferdinand, King of Spain, ask the students to list as many causes and effects as they can find.
- Examples: Cause—He conquered most of Spain; Effect—Catholicism became the dominant religion and culture of Spain. Cause—Catholicism is dominant in Spain; Effect—the church names King Ferdinand a saint; Cause—Ferdinand was considered a good leader and planner; Effect—he was named patron saint of persons in authority, the poor, prisoners, engineers, and the Spanish Army.
- Prompt students to think also about the cause and effect of how the artist chose to create the work of art, for example: Cause—the artist applied an encarnación technique on St. Ferdinand’s face and hands; Effect—the skin of the sculpture looks like it glows. Do they think the artist did a good job making the skin look real? Keep going with other causes and effects that students can identify.