Lesson Plan: City or Country
William-Adolphe Bouguereau, France
Students will examine the artistic characteristics of Childhood Idyll, describe the characteristics of a city and of the countryside, and classify pictures as being from a city/urban area or from a countryside/rural area.
21st Century Learning Skills Addressed:
- Critical Thinking and Reasoning
- Information Literacy
2009 Colorado Academic Standards Primary Area Addressed:
- Develop spatial understanding, perspectives and connections to the world
Additional 2009 Colorado Academic Standards Addressed:
- Oral Expression and Listening
- Reading for All Purposes
- Observe and Learn to Comprehend
Length of Lesson
Examining the characteristics and identifying pictures of cities and the countryside helps students develop their classification abilities and make connections to the world.
Students will be able to:
- examine the artistic characteristics of Childhood Idyll;
- locate France on a map of the world and identify some defining features of the country;
- describe the characteristics of a city and of the countryside; and
- classify pictures as being from a city or a countryside
- Cut-out magazine pictures or images of cities and countryside areas downloaded from the Internet
- Map of the world, visible to all students in the classroom
- Copy of Aesop's fable, "The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse" (many compilations of Aesop’s fables are readily available at libraries)
- About the Art sheet on Childhood Idyll (found at the end of the lesson plan)
- One color copy of the painting for every four students, or the ability to project the image onto a wall or screen
- Read aloud Aesop's fable, "The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse" with the class. Prompt students to think about the similarities and differences between the two mice and where they are from. When you have finished, make a chart of characteristics of the city and the country. What do they look like? What kinds of activities can people do in each of those settings?
- Display Childhood Idyll and share with the children that the painting was created by William-Adolphe Bouguereau of France in 1900. What is in the painting? What colors do they see? What are the girls doing? Who do the children think the girls in the painting might be? Where do they think the girls are? Why do they think this?
- Ask students: What do they notice about the background in the painting? What does it look like? Think back to discussion from the book—is the background in the city or the country? What makes them think that? If the painting were of city girls, what would be different? Are there any other characteristics that we can add to our chart?
- Show the children several different pictures of cities and countryside settings cut out from magazines or downloaded and printed from the Internet. As you hold up and show each picture to the class, have the children tell whether the picture is from a city or from the countryside.
- If time allows, provide partner groups a pile of pictures of the country and cities. Challenge students to sort the different pictures into two groups—city or country.
- Post all the city and country pictures on your characteristic chart. To close the lesson, talk through the characteristic lists and develop definitions for both city and country, based on your observations and descriptions.