Adirondack Art & Literature Project
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Grade: 11th Grade
Class: English
Author: Terri Smith
Newcomb Central School
NYS Content Area Standard:
English Language Arts:
Standard 1: Language for Information and Understanding
Standard 2: Language for Literary Response and Expression
Standard 3: Language for Critical Analysis and Evaluation
NYS Interdisciplinary Standard:
The Arts:
Standard 3: Responding to and Analyzing Works of Art
Adirondack Curriculum Content Area:
Culture & The Arts
Performance Indicators:

ELA 1: Interpret and evaluate data, facts and ideas

ELA 2: Read literature published in a given era; Write imaginative (original) literature

ELA 3: Write a critical essay comparing and contrasting two works of art

ART 3: Explain the visual and other sensory qualities in art & nature & their relationship to the social environment • Analyze & interpret the ways in which political, cultural, social religious and psychological concepts and themes have been explored in visual art.

Keywords: Adirondack art, Adirondack literature, Hudson River School, art analysis
The Challenge:
Investigative Question or Issue: How can an exhibition book reflect our appreciation and interpretation of Adirondack, Catskill and Hudson Valley art and writing within the historical milieu in which they were created?

The students will be analyzing and writing about regional art and literature of their choice (based on specific teacher directions) and will each contribute pages to a class “exhibition book”. The author was able to have a local artist give a presentation to her class on historic as well as contemporary artists whose work focused on this region. The guest artist also modeled the process of analyzing art (see supplementary Analyzing Art Worksheet). Artists of the Hudson River School created works in the 19th century inspired by a much broader region than the name implies, including much of the Adirondacks. Many contemporary artists are also inspired by the forests, rivers, lakes and mountains and this project provides an opportunity to learn about local artists and craftspeople. Area arts councils or arts in education organizations may be able to provide funding for an “artist-inresidence”. Teaming up with an art teacher might also be useful.

The Challenge:

Create a class "exhibition book"

Distribute and discuss hand-out, preferably after a presentation by an artist. Provide a list of appropriate regional literature, art history resources, and a list of contemporary regional artists. Allow students to come to consensus on format, size, font, and design of the “exhibition book” that they will collectively produce. One or more students may elect to function as book “editors” and/or design the cover. Review Product Quality Checklist.

Student Handout Reference Page for Adirondack Artists Student Book Example

Product Quality Checklist
Print This Checklist
Standard/Criteria: Points Possible: Points Awarded:

 Exhibit Book                  

  • Uniform font and format    
  • Attractive, neat, appealing    
  • Cover reflects theme of contents    
  • Cover attractive, neat, appealing    
  • Edited for no errors


 Creative Literature            

  • Typed    
  • Process writing used (pre-write, draft, revise, edit)    
  • Poetic devices effective    
  • Description/imagery    
  • Interesting word choice    


Compare/Contrast Critical Essay          

  •  Evidence of understanding of artist    
  • Evidence of using research    
  • Thoughtful personal interpretation    
  • Interprets all 5 elements of analyzing art    


 Companion Pieces            

  • Good choices   
  •  Historical period or movement aligned    
  • Connection evident and insightful


Individual Contributions       

  • Stay focused    
  • Work diligently    
  • Meet deadlines



  •  Consider others’ choices    
  • Meet deadlines    
  • Work for the good of the team



  • Keep Working Bibliography    
  • Take notes    
  • Include all sources   
  •  Cite all pictures   
  • Use proper MLA Format


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