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at Moravian College


A Keith Haring Unit Lesson

Updated March 23, 2005


Teacher: Kristin Roberts (art student teacher)
Unit/Title: Keith Haring-- things that fly and things that swim
Students: Second Grade Students at Sheridan Elementary School, ASD
Time and Sessions: Four sessions of about 45 minutes
Standards Addressed / Assessed:

Arts and Humanities 9.1.3 A- Know and use the elements and principles of each art form to create works in the arts and humanities.

Arts and Humanities 9.1.3 E - Demonstrate the ability to define objects, express emotions, illustrate an action or relate an experience through creation of works in the arts.

Arts and Humanities
9.1.3 F – Identify works of others through a performance or exhibition.

Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking
1.6.3 B- Listen to a selection of literature.


The goal of this listen is to educate the students about the life and works of artist Keith Haring. The students will be knowledgeable about the life of Keith Haring and will be able to identify works in his style. Students will be challenged to think about line as an element of art. Students will use line to illustrate a swimming or flying action in their own work of art. In order to assess the students’ knowledge of Keith Haring’s style, the students will create basic line drawings illustrating movement, as Haring often did in his own works. During this lesson, the students will become familiar with wax resist watercolor painting.


Students completing this lesson should be familiar with art room policies and procedures. In order to complete this lesson, students will also need to be able to listen attentively to a presentation of new information. Students will also need to be able to work cooperatively in groups for certain aspects of this lesson. To create their projects students will need to be able to lightly sketch with a pencil and be able to outline with crayon. Students will also need to be familiar with the process of water color painting.


To accommodate students with special needs, I will provide these students with visual materials. Visual materials, such as examples of Haring’s work or other line drawings, will hopefully allow these students to see the direction of the lesson, if they are not able to see it abstractly. I will also make it a point to conference with these students each class period to gage their levels of understanding. These students may also benefit from a buddy, who could help them with details of the project and answer questions for them. If preferential seating seems beneficial, I would allow these students to sit closer to the board or other visuals.


Session One
I will introduce this lesson to the second graders by telling them a little bit about Keith Haring, his life, and his works. I will use a Bulletin Board to emphasize the important aspects of his life such as his birth, his childhood, his schooling, and his artwork. I especially want to emphasize to the students Haring’s use of line to represent action. After introducing Haring, the children and I will explore I specifically want to show the students FAQ by children, snapshots of Haring painting, Haring morphs, picture puzzles, and other children’s artwork. I will finish the website exploration by introducing the students to the book I wish I didn’t have to sleep by Keith Haring. I will then read portions of this book to my students and listen to them as they interpret Haring’s artwork. After my presentation, the students will be allowed time to color a picture based on Haring’s artwork.

Session Two
I will begin session two by reviewing with the students the information we talked about last week. I will use my Bulletin Board to lead the review in the right direction. Once I reviewed the key information about Haring’s life and works with the students, I will introduce the next project. I will show the students my samples for the project and explain to the students that they will each be creating a drawing in the style of Haring depicting an action, either flying or swimming. The students and I will then create two lists. The first list will concentrate on things that swim and the second list will concentrate on things that fly. I will then have the tables’ color captains choose pieces of paper from a hat that read either fly or swim. There will be three tables drawing things that fly and three tables drawing things that swim. As a group the students will work cooperatively creating different drawings on their particular theme. The tables may decide to draw five different things that fly or to simply draw all draw birds.

During this class period, I will have the table captains pass out the supply bins as I distribute paper. The students will write their name on their paper and begin drawing. As clean up, the table captains will be responsible for collecting their tables’ bins. I will collect the students’ drawings by table.

Session Three
During the third session the students will continue working on their Haring drawings. The table captains will be responsible for distributing and collecting supplies. After a sufficient amount of students have finished their pencil drawings, I will demonstrate to the entire class how to outline their drawings in black crayon. I will explain how to use the black crayon only to outline and that we will be adding color to the drawings next week. As students finish their drawings, they will be allowed to explore or work on another drawing.

Session Four
I will begin the fourth class session by demonstrating to the students how they will be adding watercolor paint to their projects. I will show the students how I will finish my drawing similar to how I color a coloring book page. I will paint large areas solid colors of paint. I will also show the students the "magic" of the wax crayon resisting the watercolor paint. After my demonstration, the students will be allowed to paint their drawings. Table captains will help me pass out supplies and will also be responsible for cleaning them up. All of the students should be able to finish their watercolor painting in one class period.

* After the paintings have dried, they will be mounted on black construction paper. I plan on creating large paper quilts of the students work by hanging them together in the hallway on large pieces of paper. Each class will have their own quilt.


I wish I didn’t have to sleep by Keith Haring
My First Coloring Book
by Keith Haring
Keith Haring Bulletin Board
white drawing paper (8 x 8")
black crayons
watercolor paint
water buckets
paper towels
colored construction paper (9 x 9")


Keith Haring


I will evaluate the students’ finished paintings as well as their ability to follow instructions and their work ethic throughout the project using the following rubric.

Techniques and Behavior




Directions and use of materials Followed few directions and did not handle materials properly Followed most directions and handled materials well Followed directions and handled materials with care
Worth ethic and participation


Did not work well with teachers and fellow students, was uninvolved in the class Mostly worked well with teachers and fellow students, typically participated in class Worked cooperatively with teachers and fellow students, participated in class
Painting Painting does not illustrate an action and does not reflect Haring’s style Painting attempts to illustrate an action and reflects aspects of Haring’s style Painting does illustrate an action and uniquely reflects Haring’s style
Understanding of Lesson Demonstrates little understanding of Keith Haring’s artistic style and line Demonstrates some understanding of Keith Haring’s artistic style and line Demonstrates a clear understanding of Keith Haring’s artistic style and line


What were the strengths of this lesson?
What were the weaknesses of this lesson?
How did the children react to this lesson?
Analyze the difference between the original objective of this lesson and what the students actually attained?
What modifications need to be made to this lesson?

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