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Grade: Elementary
Subject: Art

#2006. Art - Gothic Architecture - The Cathedral

Art, level: Elementary
Posted Mon Nov 13 23:49:11 PST 2000 by Blake (
Pennsylvania State University - Student, University Park, PA
Materials Required: Internet Access or Color Printer
Activity Time: Single Block, Every Activity Optional
Concepts Taught: Architecture Appreciation Art Cathedral

Lesson Activity #1 (Introduction):
Goals: Define a Cathedral and Define the Gothic Period.
Materials: Pictures of Gothic Architecture.
Activity: Distribute pictures of Gothic Cathedrals for the students to look at. Make sure that the pictures are both exterior and interior. Allow students to simply look at the pictures. Explain the size of the Cathedrals.
Lesson/Point: Simple familiarity with Gothic Architecture.

Websites for Photographs of Cathedrals:

Lesson Activity #2:
Goals: Show students the basic design of the Gothic Cathedral.
Materials: Picture or Overhead with some simple Cathedral floor plans.
Activity: Draw basic Cathedral Designs on board or show with overhead. Have students guess at symbolism (for example, all the cross shapes) of the Cathedral and guess about layout decisions (for example, long hallways for moving many people).
Lesson/Point: Functionality and style are the most important parts of any Building.

Supporting Web Information, Floor Plans:

Lesson Activity #3:
Goals: Demonstrate Link between Architecture and Art.
Materials: Paper and pencil for each student.
Activity: Group discussion about Science and Art. Have class create definition for science and definition for art. Have each student then use these to definitions together to create a single definition for architecture.
Activity: Each student makes a list of skills needed to be an engineer. Break into groups and combine the list. Try to see how many disciplines can be combined, like Math, Ecology, Ergonomics, Physics, Law, Art, History, Computer Science, and majors that appear in everyone's list.
Lesson/Point: An engineer/architect is an Artist and a Scientist.

Supporting Web Information, Differing Cathedral Designs:

Lesson Activity #4:
Goal: Demonstrate what it's like to be an Engineer/Architect.
Materials: Paper, pencils, markers, construction paper, building blocks.
Activity: Have each student draw a floor plan for the room on a piece of paper. Now, have them design one floor of a building of their choice. Put some options for buildings on the board, like Office Building, School, Cathedral, House, and Place of Worship. Encourage creativity and practicality, like asking, "Where's the bathroom?"
Lesson/Point: Architecture design is both difficult and rewarding, because there is art even though it is very rigid.

Supporting Web Information, Sketches:

Lesson Activity #5 (Wrap-Up):
Goals: Summary of Lessons.
Materials: Modern Pictures of Cathedrals.
Activity: Show pictures and then surprise the students by telling them that the buildings they are looking at are being newly constructed. Explain how influential Gothic Architecture was.
Activity: Group discussion, do the students enjoy the Gothic look?
Lesson/Point: Gothic Art is part of toady.