Overview: This lesson focuses on the elements of visual art through the masterworks of Degas and developing analysis skills in writing.

Today, we’re providing you with another Common Core-aligned arts integration lesson plan.  Today’s lesson plan is for grades 9-12. It incorporates writing and art seamlessly by way of analysis, artistic statements and blogging. Truly a lesson designed for the 21st century student.  Best of all, it doesn’t require much in the way of resources.  So if you’re looking for a way to engage your high school students in critical thinking and analysis, this is the lesson for you.



Review the elements of line, spacing, shading and use of light in a variety of different pieces of artwork. Use the thinking strategy of “Color, Shapes, Lines” by having students answer and describe these questions: What colors do you see? What kind of shapes do you see? What kind of lines do you see?


Share out and chart the list of descriptions from the pre-assessment. Circle words/phrases that overlap for bigger themes and ideas.


Step 1: Study the variety of artistic sketchbooks of Edgar Degas. Analyze his use of line, subject and light in his work using the “Color, Shapes, Lines” thinking strategy from pre-assessment.

Step 2: Have students choose an object or a theme and pick two words from each category (color, shape, and line) to focus on. Incorporate this information into an original work in the style of Edgar Degas using student sketchbooks and either a charcoal medium or pencil sketches.


Each student will complete an artist statement to describe their work. These statements should address the following questions:

1. Why did you create this work?

2. What does this work signify?

3. How did you create this piece/solution?

4. What is the work made of (if applicable)?

5. What does this work mean to you?