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Comparing People and Places
The Grand Canyon

Be amazed by the impressive geography of the Grand Canyon in Arizona in the United States. Explore how the Colorado River along with debris flows and weather, continue to shape the landscape. Learn about the people who live there and see the region through the photography of Ansel Adams. Capture some of the wonder of this place through your own art and set up a visitor centre for another class to explore the Grand Canyon region in comparison to your local area.

Session 1 Carving out the Grand Canyon and exploring the human footprint

Objectives

Geography

  • Use maps to locate North America, identifying its environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries and major cities.
  • Understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography in the Grand Canyon region of North America.
  • Describe and understand key aspects of human and physical geography.

Art

  • Record observations in sketchbooks and use them to review and revisit ideas; improve mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing and painting with a range of materials.

Teaching and Activities

Take a journey back through time to learn about how The Grand Canyon was formed. Discover the human impact on the region and create your own homage to this spectacular region through a piece of art.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To discover how the Grand Canyon was formed and learn about the Havasupai and the Hualapai people.
  • Create an abstract piece of art using original geographical symbols.

Children will:

  • Watch a series of videos about how the Grand Canyon was formed, looking at plate tectonics, river flow and debris flow.
  • Learn about the Havasupai and Hualapai people living in the Grand Canyon region.
  • Identify modern land-use, settlement and tourism in the Grand Canyon.
  • Create a symbolic abstract piece of art that reflects the three key geological events that carve/d out the Canyon and human and cultural features of the region.

You Will Need

  • Paints and brushes
  • Different sizes of paper

Session 2 Topographic design - mapping the Grand Canyon through art

Objectives

Geography

  • Use maps to locate North America, concentrating on its environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries and major cities.
  • Understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography in the Grand Canyon region of North America.
  • Describe and understand key aspects of human and physical geography.

Art

  • Record observations in sketchbooks and use them to review and revisit ideas.
  • Improve mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing, and painting with a range of materials.
  • Learn about great artists in history.

Teaching and Activities

Interpret topographical maps of the Grand Canyon region and explore the natural processes that help us predict the future form of the region. Create your own piece of art that shows the topographic nature of the region.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To relate maps to real life and predict the effects of erosion.
  • To create a piece of 2D art that reflects/represents a 3D topographic nature.

Children will

  • Examine topographical maps of the Grand Canyon and learn about the 3D forms these represent.
  • Speculate about future changes to the Grand Canyon from erosion.
  • Create a piece of 2D art that reflects/represents the 3D topographic nature of the Grand Canyon today and that of the future.

You Will Need

  • Painting/drawing materials

Session 3 Photographing the Grand Canyon: Ansel Adams

Objectives

Geography

  • Understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography in the Grand Canyon region of North America.
  • Describe and understand key aspects of human and physical geography.

Art

  • Record observations in sketchbooks and use them to review and revisit ideas.
  • Improve mastery of art and design techniques with a range of materials; Learn about great artists in history.

Teaching and Activities

Meet the great photographer, Ansel Adams, and explore the geological and aesthetic beauty of his Grand Canyon shots. Create your own interpretations of his photographic art and set up a visitor’s centre.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To identify geological features from photographs for a visitor centre exhibition.
  • To create a piece of photographic collage art work.

Children will:

  • Explore the photographic work of Ansel Adams for the Grand Canyon region.
  • Become geology curators and identify geological features from some of Ansel Adams’ photographs for exhibition in a visitor’s centre.
  • Create a piece of art work using some of Ansel Adams’ photographs that shows the beauty and dramatic nature of the Grand Canyon’s features.
  • Set up a visitor’s centre that exhibits all their art work and links it to the geography of the region.

You Will Need

  • Digital cameras or camera enabled devices
  • Glue

Session 4 Comparative photography: the Grand Canyon and your local area

Objectives

Geography

  • Describe and understand key aspects of human and physical geography.

Art

  • Record observations in sketchbooks and use them to review and revisit ideas.
  • Improve mastery of art and design techniques including drawing and painting with a range of materials.

Teaching and Activities

Take a fieldtrip to a local geographic feature and explore the geological and aesthetic beauty of it through your own photographic shots. Develop your own ideas of how to exhibit your photographs in order to create a complementary exhibition to your Grand Canyon exhibit.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To identify geographic features from photographs.
  • To create a mixed media piece of art that highlights contrasting local geographic features.

Children will:

  • Visit a local natural feature and take a range of geographic photographs and make sketches
  • Identify geographic features from the photographs they have taken
  • Create a mixed media (photography and drawing/painting) piece of art that highlights contrasting local geographic features

You Will Need

  • Range of art materials and paper
  • Digital cameras or camera enabled devices
  • Sketch books and pencils

Weblinks

There are no weblinks needed for this session.