Formal Elements of Design

This assignment is given in my Concepts and Criticism class in the first quarter. The class has 9th and 10th grade students, all have been identified as gifted in the Visual Arts. The introduction to the assignment will take 1 class, 1 class studio work day, and 2-3 classes for critique, depending on number of students. Allow for in-depth critique. (classes are 1 hour)

Cloud Identification

Students will recognize and name the various types of clouds and understand their relationship in earth’s atmosphere and how they affect weather.

Materials & Resources

Unit Organizer: The Atmosphere

Power Point class notes: Clouds and Precipitation (Clouds I, 2, 3)

Chart/Textbook showing types of clouds

Set of 20 laminated cloud pictures- one set per group of 2 or 3 students

Area large enough to spread pictures out into groups

Colored pencils, pencils

School Yard Study

Students will plan and conduct an investigation that will correlate temperature, moisture and light to plant species growing in an area.

Materials & Resources

A school yard plot or other suitable area accessible from your school, Vernier LabQuest equipment with probes for temperature, soil moisture and light sensor, plant identification keys….. trees, woodland plants, grasses, a meter stick

Rocks and The Rock Cycle

To understand the processes by which rocks are formed define the 3 major groups of rocks.

The Rock Cycle is the process by which all rocks are formed and how basic Earth materials are recycled through time.

To illustrate the rock cycle and the 3 main types of rocks with crayons.

To demonstrate knowledge of the vocabulary associated with the formation of rocks.

Phases of the Moon Lab

Understand: The moon revolves around Earth creating the moon phases (and eclipses). From earth, we see only one side. I

Students should be able to identify and name the phases of the moon.


Meteorology: Weather Watch Activity, Graph and Analyze Data

Students will graph and analyze weather data.              Materials & Resources

Unit Organizer: Meteorology: The scientific study of weather.

Vocabulary Words: completed using Linking Strategy

Slot Outline Notes from power point presentations.


Pencil, colored pencils

Weather report page from local newspaper: all the same (one paper per group) &/or Data from Internet with one computer per group or information projected on screen in front of room

Worksheets with assignments




The student will investigate and understand how to read and interpret a road map of Virginia. (direction & measurements of distance; location of latitude & longitude; scales; diagrams). The student will identify that a road map is one of the types of specialized maps used today.

Constant Acceleration: Model Development

  1. To introduce photogates as a tool for experimentation and data collection.
  2. To begin development of a Constant Acceleration Model with an emphasis on the relationship between

    acceleration, displacement, and time.

Physical Education: Colony Ball

I can use communication strategies to achieve a goal as a team. 

Lesson Notes/materials: – Gym Suit (shirt, shorts)

  • Tennis Shoes
  • Kickball

5 poly-bases and 1 poly-home plate

Modeling and Physics Thinking Strategies

  1. The student will plan and conduct investigations using experimental design processes. (PH.1b, c, d, f)
    1. Instruments are selected and used to extend observations and make measurements.
    2. Information is recorded and presented in an organized format.
    3. The limitations of the experimental apparatus and design are recognized.
    4. Models and simulations are used to visualize and explain phenomena, to make predictions from hypotheses, and to interpret data.
  2. Students will construct a Particle Model.