Introduction: What is the hook, the attention grabber, the interesting beginning?
Begin with a discussion of what a heritage site is. Introduce students to Mount Rushmore as an American heritage site. Look at the before and after photos of the Mountain. The students should be able to have a discussion about the significance of human design and how we shape the world around us. Explain Gutzon Borglum’s design as the “ideal” choice of four figures to be sculpted. Discuss how the word “symbolism” can be used to describe Gutzon’s intent. Use the quote from the Hall of Records plaque as a part of the discussion, as well as the longevity of the sculpture and its far-reaching influence. This provides a challenge to students to choose their own four figures that they would have carved into the Black Hills.
After completing the introduction, begin looking closer at the sculpture by using the provided Measurable 3D PDF of the model, or the 3D Viewer on the CyArk website. In both the 3D PDF and online 3D Viewer, the teacher can cut sections through the model to give the students a better understanding of the 3-dimensional volumes of the mountain.
Hands-on activity: Through the resources available in the art classroom (like traditional mediums of sculpture or drawing/painting), students are to create their own representation of Mount Rushmore. Students choose to either recreate the Mount Rushmore sculpture as it is or design their own version where they choose four alternate figures from history. Once the art pieces are complete, the students are to create a poster to present their creation and reasoning to the rest of the class. The poster should incorporate the created art piece along with support materials for explaining their choices of figures in the sculpture as well as any challenges they may have faced in creating the sculpture or drawing.
(Optional) If the student chooses to use sculpture as their medium, they may experiment with transposing their creation into a 3D digital model using free software like 123D Catch by Autodesk. For a CyArk lesson plan on using this technology, click here.
Alternate Option: think of using a different local sculpture as the starting point for this activity.
Summary and Conclusion of Lesson: What helps set a course of action or leaves them thinking?
Summarize the concepts covered through the activities.
Theme Statement: (The "big picture," the final result, the "so what?!")
Art can influence/impact generations of society. The design and intent of one person can live on for decades. Think of other examples of artists who influenced their generation and future ones.