1. Abstract Expressionism combined ideas and innovations from Europeans and Americans.

A. The Surrealists were fascinated by the effects of accident. Some of these artists developed a game that utilized "chance" for creative interest.
Assign a section of a body to each of four players. Each of the players will draw his/her assigned body part.
a. The Head
b. From the Neck to the Waist
c. From the Waist to the Knees
d. From the Knees to the Ground
When the first person finishes, he/she folds the paper to conceal all but the bottom points of the drawing and passes it to the next person. That person makes his/her addition, conceals the work, and passes it on. When the drawing is finished, have the group choose a title.

B. Artists like Jackson Pollock were much admired for their confident approach to making art and their willingness to take chances. When Jackson Pollock painted Cathedral, he spread out the canvas on the ground and moved all around the painting. As he moved, he dripped his colors in response to an inner feeling of creative release.
Using water-based tempera and a large piece of brown paper spread on the ground outdoors, try to recreate what you think Pollock's gestures might have been as he painted. Before you begin painting, try to clear your mind of rational control, much like you would if you were doodling.

2. VISUALLY COMPARE AND VISUALLY CONTRAST. Divide your class into two groups. Have one group list as many points of similarity as possible between David Smith's Cubi XVII and Franz Kline's Slate Cross. Have the second group list as many dissimilarities as they can find. Have a representative from each group present their findings.

3. Draw a face that might match Tom Wesselmann's Mouth # 11. Click here for a printable outline of the mouth.

4. A MODULE is a basic unit. Many artists create works of art using modules. When they do, the dimensions of the major parts of the work are multiples of the basic module.

Using crayons, markers, or colored pencils, make your own image of Frank Stella's Factory Sketch # 1. Cut the different colored sections apart and then arrange them to form a new work of art with a "shaped-canvas." You may want to glue your arrangement to a rigid piece of cardboard to make it more permanent. Or you may want to attempt putting the sections back together in order to reform a rectangle.

As you rework Stella's painting, see if he has used a module. If so, use that basic unit to enlarge, elaborate, or envelope his work.

5. Here is a list of popular American songs with the years they were released:
"Almost Like Being in Love" 1947,
"Exodus" 1961,
"Blowin' in the Wind" 1962,
"From Russia with Love" 1964,
"Born Free" 1966.
Find the paintings in the teaching materials that were made in the same years. Perhaps you can find recordings of these hits. As you listen, see if the songs connect to the paintings.

Instead of using music from the period, make a selection of your own choice. Play the music while the class looks at the images and decide which selections go together best.