Picturins America
About This Project   Introductory section   Lessons Plans   Extras
Picturing America Comes to Russia
Picturing America in Russia—Goals and Objectives
Preparing to Use the Picturing America Companion

Picturing America In Russia - Goals and Objectives


American Abstract Expressionist Robert Motherwell said, “Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it.” The project is based on this idea that life without art is inadequate. While American art history is not an essential subject for Russian students, exposure to notable works of American art will certainly enhance their educational experience. Moreover, the project encourages the students to find parallels between Russian and American art, thereby building bridges between the two cultures.

Through the artworks the students will gain cultural knowledge about the United States and the historical and cultural information gleaned from the lessons will allow students to then form an impression of the country. In addition to the presentation of cultural knowledge, the project seeks to foster linguistic enrichment as American art is explored via the English language. The combination of language enrichment and cultural exploration leads to dynamic and interactive lesson plans that promote visual literacy. Finally, the lesson plans, which are tailored to suit students' needs and interests, encourage critical thinking and collaboration among peers.

The overarching goals of this project may be expressed as follows:

  • To help students understand American culture and history through the critical and comparative analyses of artworks.
  • To help students develop their English language skills by encouraging them to express their opinions and ideas about the artworks.
These goals will be met through the following specific objectives:

The objectives are:
    1. To expose students to forty work of American art;
    2. To help students visualize significant events in American history;
    3. To allow students to explore American cultural values;
    4. To help students understand the cultural context that fostered the     artworks;
    5. To expose students to periods and events in American history through     paintings and the music, poetry, literature, and cinema related to them.
The objectives are:
    1. To allow students to productively use English through integrated skill     activities;
    2. To develop students’ reading and writing abilities through textual     analysis commentary, and project work;
    3. To enhance the students’ speaking and listening abilities through     discussion, debate and presentations;
    4. To enrich students’ vocabulary by introducing and reinforcing art     related terms;
    5. To allow students to practice and produce grammatical structures     through analysis of the artworks.

Comments about the Lessons

The lessons have been designed with a student-centered approach in mind. Consequently, students are encouraged to actively engage with the artworks and subject matter. The activities are interactive; they include discussion, debate, and guided inquiry. Moreover, they can be easily adjusted to the latest trends in information technology thus addressing the interests of young people exposed to a rapidly changing digital world.

As individual teachers have created the lesson plans, the project contains a number of unique ideas. We invite you to explore these ideas with your students. We hope you will enjoy this journey through American culture via the English language.

Lesson Plan Features

  • Each lesson is designed for a 40- 50 minute class; some can be extended to two class periods
  • All of the lesson plans contain instructional objectives and step-by-step procedures
  • All of the lesson plans contain the necessary handouts, worksheets, and answer keys
  • All of the lesson plans contain extension activities