Artwork and Single Celled Organisms

Thousand Word Projects (Ideas and Content), Allyson White, Lewiston Middle School, 7th Grade


I believe students benefit from the integration of multiple subjects. My class, STEM Lab, is designed to integrate science, technology, engineering and math around a central project. I see the Thousand Words Project as an opportunity to integrate Art and English Language Arts into the mix. The opportunity to design a lesson around a central work of art or artistic theme would both appeal to students while increasing their exposure to the creative process. The written communication of their process will strengthen their communication skills.

During the lesson I propose students would be introduced to the microscopic world as inspiration for an artistic piece. I would introduce the lesson with a viewing of pieces            such as Ronald C. Bechtle’s, Sketch for Kissing Machine, 1971. I immediately thought of      single-celled organisms when I first saw the piece. The title intrigued me to wonder about    the connection between those organisms and the “Kissing Machine” After exploring their own interpretations, students would make use of a compound microscope that connects to their laptops to research images form natural specimens, lichens, cells, woven fibers, etc. to create a sketch of their own living machine. The student artist would the  communicate their process in a descriptive statement.

Ronald C. Bechtle’s
Sketch for Kissing Machine, 1971

 Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts:

  • W.CCR.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • W.CCR.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
  • W.CCR.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
  • W.CCR.10 Write routinely over an extended time frames(time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
  • E2 The Arts and Other Disciplines


7.RP Ratios and Proportional Relationships: Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world and mathematical problems.

Teach It:

Technology Integration:

  • Compound microscope that will interface with the students laptops
  • Motic imaging software
  • Student laptops
  • Internet

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