Title of Lesson:

Youth Art Month: Drawing for the *YAM Contest and Writing Stories about the "Wild West" for fun.

Grade Level:

Collaborative Project:

Grades 7th/8th art class will create "Wild West" Drawings

7th/8th creative writing class will write a story using the student's art as an illustration for the story. (Or creative stories can be written by Texas History classes and critiqued by the creative writing classes.) The stories can be combined to create a Texas Wild West Story Book.

Subject Area:

Art/Creative Writing/Texas History

Instructional Goal:

Students will create a "Wild West" illustration celebrating Youth Art Month and creative writing classes will write a story using correct writing elements using the story as an illustration.

Submitted By:

Bobette Lovinggood Guillory and Trudy Driskell

*student examples


Rationale Supply List Learning Strategies Communicate Results
Performance Objectives Computer Hardware and Software Required Prerequisite Student Skills Evaluation Procedures
Instructional Strategies Resources Time Frame Set New Challenge
Preparation Related WWW Sites Career Connections


Youth Art Month celebration can involve all the students in the art classes. In addition to the celebration, students can work on writing skills in the creative writing classes.

Performance Objectives:

Students will explore their drawing skills both using a pencil and using a computer.

Other students will use the illustrations by the art class to write a story about the "Wild West".

Instructional Strategies:

Art Class:

Several examples of "Wild West" art should be shown to the students such as Frederic Remington. Topics should be brain stormed by the students and teacher. The art competition for the past Youth Art Month winners should be displayed in the class and/or some examples of western art should be displayed for the students to discuss.


A review of the requirements should be discussed. Each student should be asked to contribute to the competition. The class should make a list on the blackboard of the images that come to their mind about the "Wild West". Resources to find actual examples of "Wild West" art should be listed on another area of the blackboard. The resources should be displayed for the students. A creative combination of images should be discussed as a possibility for the students to draw or students may want to work on a "Wild West" mural.


Students will be instructed to draw a sketch that relates to Texas "Wild West". The students work may not be larger than 20" x 26" to meet the contest rules. The students MUST create their own image, not one that is copied from a book. After students get an image design they can begin drawing or painting the image in ClarisWorks. The teachers should encourage students to critique each other's designs.


1. Students will use books, magazines various materials to complete preliminary sketches.

2. Students will finish preliminary sketches in the art room.

3. Students will print out their sketches so that they can enlarge them to appropriate size.

4. Next week students will complete their drawings using a computer and print the drawings. Some students may use pastels or tempera paints to add color to the drawings.

5. After the designs are completed, students should print one for the art teachers and one to send to the creative writing classes or the Texas History class for a creative writing exercise.

See Student's Art Work

Creative Writing Class:

Students will be making a Texas Short Story Book with the illustrations drawing by the art class and stories written by the creative writing class.

The illustrations drawn by the art classes are passed out to the members of the creative writing class. Students are to get into groups of twos to brainstorm what the illustration could be about. Each is helping brainstorm their illustration for the topics that could be written about the illustration.

The creative writing teachers will give the students instructions:

a. brainstorm the illustration and a story idea with their partner

b. students will make a list of characters to be in the story, categorize ideas and/or cluster ideas together

c. students will make a list of adjectives to describe the actions and characters and discuss dialogue for the story

d. students create an outline and write a rough draft of the story

e. students then write the story for a final draft

f. students exchange stories with their partners and correct/make suggestions for the content as well as punctuation/grammar. (Correct final draft)

A final copy of the story will be written in ClarisWorks (using margins that are wider on the left for binding), read the stories to the class and compiled with the illustrations to create the volume of the "Texas Wild West Stories by the ________ Junior High School.


Teacher should gather as many resources as possible to stimulate students creativity. Web sites with tall tales from the World Wide Web sites can be read and distributed to the class.

Supply List:

Newsprint paper, drawing pencils

Computer Hardware and Software Required:

Computers, printer, scanner and ClarisWorks


Books on Texas and the Wild West- stories and biographies of "Wild West" characters.

Related WWW Sites

Storytellers Weave the Web: Beginning Storytelling with Children http://gopher.libraries. wayne.edu/LISP/storytel.html This site has good information for teachers and students on storytelling. Many links to other related sites are available.
Children's Literature - Resources for Storytellers http://www.ucalgary.ca/!dkbrown/rstory.html  

Great resources for children's storytelling here.



Tall Tales



Lots of stories are listed here.
Armadillo http://chico.rice.edu/armadillo/ The Armadillo site is a vast resource for information about Texas with information about everything from the environment, to maps, the Texas State Seal and the Texas Constitution.
Texas HomePage http://www.texas.gov/ Texas government homepage


Welcome to Texas http://www.gms1.com/Texas/  

Everything about the cities of Texas! Great reference site for students.

Frederic Remington Art Museum http://www.1000islands.com/ogdensburg/remington/fredrem.htm This is site about the western artist and includes some of his paintings and sculptors.
Cowboy Poetry Gathering http://www.english.upenn.edu/7Eafilreis/88/cowboy-poets.html Examples of Cowboy Poetry
Cowboy Poetry Page Two http://agricomm.com/cp2.html More examples of Cowboy Poetry
American West - Frederic Remington Bronze http://www.americanwest.com/products/bronze/ Students can view Frederic Remington bronze at this site.

Learning Strategies:

The art teacher begins this project. She is working with the students to generate excitement about the Wild West. Displayed around the room are some examples of past art, fine art prints, web sites with western art can be viewed and even western music listened to (some of the older tunes are fun like The Sons of the Pioneers). Students are working independently and collaboratively in this project. The ultimate goal is to compile the stories that have been written by the creative writing class with the illustrations created by the art class to create a Texas Wild West Story Book. Writing skills are improved and students have drawn creative illustrations to be judged in the youth art contest for Youth Art Month.

Teachers in the art, creative writing class and the history class must work together and with their students to make this idea work. The illustrations are carefully designed by art student who have reviewed many images offered by the teacher as examples of "Wild West" art. Student's art is critiqued by their peers as well as the teacher who is constantly giving feedback to the students about their art as it is being drawn.

Once the art is successfully drawn then reproduced in ClarisWorks, the students are pleased with their illustration, the illustrations are printed then given to the creative writing teacher, or the Texas History teacher.

The creative writing teacher or the Texas History teacher passes the illustrations out to students in the class. The teacher then begins to help the students in the class with their story writing using the illustration drawn in the art class to motivate the story. Creatively written tall tales and fold stories are provided by the teacher and can be downloaded from World Wide Web sites. The stories are discussed in class. The writing process is reviewed with the students and the students are divided into groups of two for brainstorming the illustrations to be used to write the stories. The groups will work together, with the constant feedback from the teacher, to come up with a creative plot for the short story and help to brainstorm characters for the story. Actual Texas history events and fact can be incorporated with the story as well as some "tall telling". This project should be fun for students, help improve their art and writing skills as well as their self-esteem by being a part of a great successful short story book by the combined classes. Some students need to create an index for the "book" and all students should write at the end of their story "About the Author" and "About the Illustrator".

Prerequisite Student Skills:

Students need to have some experience using ClarisWorks word processing, draw and paint.

Time Frame:

This project may take 2 weeks or more.

Career Connections:

Artist and Writer

Communicate Results:

Art is displayed and book is shared with the teachers and students at the school.

Evaluation Procedures:

Students art is displayed and teacher should allow the student to evaluate his/her own work. The stories are evaluated by the students themselves, other students in the class and ultimately by the teacher who evaluated for completion and content.

Set New Challenge:

Student my want to enter the online tall tale contest that are on the WWW.

There are areas on the WWW where students can be published and these illustrated stories can be published at KidsCom (http://www.kidscom.com) or at KidPub (http://www.en.garde.com.kidpub).

Students may want to connect with foreign penpals and exchange stories with them.

Email Classroom Connections site: http://www.stolaf.edu/network/lecc/

Writing cowboy poetry: see web sites suggested for examples.

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