Group Art Project Lesson Plan

Collaborative Group Art Project

Content Area: Art

Grades 10-12

Content Standards to be Addressed:

Standard 1: Students will understand and use visual arts as a means for creative self-expression and interpersonal communication.


Standard 2: Students will understand the media, techniques and processes used in the production of visual arts.


Standard 3: Students will understand the relationship between visual arts and history, culture and society.


Standard 4: Students will demonstrate a capacity for critical and sensitive response to various visual arts experiences.


Guiding Question:

What is collaborative art?  What is the argument between individualism and collaborative efforts?  What are the benefits and disadvantages?  How can we determine authorship?


Learning Outcomes:

Students will create a group reactionary art collaboration project.  Students will work together in groups to successfully present a professional visual depiction of the collaborative art process.  Students will understand the collaborative process and will complete a written critical assessment about authorship of collaborative artwork.





Tempera Paints

Watercolor paints



Colored pencils


Multimedia box



Author:   Any creator, or originator of works in any art form.

Collaboration:  Two or more artists working together in a joint effort to produce artworks.

Theme: A unifying topic, and might be a subject or an idea.

Technique: Any method of working with art materials to produce an art object.



Who created this piece of art?  (Show Julie Mehretu’s “Stadia II”)  Julie Mehretu.  Who created this piece of art? (Show Salvador Dali and Philippe Halsman’s “Atomic Dali”) Who created this artwork?   Remember the discussion we had about collaboration and authorship?  How do you think collaboration be helpful as an artistic technique?  What difficulties do you think you might have as an artist?




This lesson is designed to give students a working perspective of the collaboration concept. Each student will contribute to three complete visual artworks in a collaborative way.   Each 3 person group will create a professional presentation that shows the evolution of the project.  The students will demonstrate the ability to think critically on the question of authorship and identify the pros and cons of collaboration.  They will also get practice in visually communicating a thematic idea in a unique way.  This lesson will teach students to react to a certain theme visually but also to each other.



  1. Have a discussion that brainstorms possible benefits and pitfalls of collaboration.  Are there conflicting concept ideas, is there a benefit to that?  Who “owns” it?  What is the difference between inspiration/influence and active collaboration?  Write these on the board.
  2. Have students get into their assigned groups.
  3. Outline the assignment in detail by power point.
  4. Students will have three work days to complete the project.



Consider the discussion on possible benefits and pitfalls of collaboration. Where they different in practice or similar? Were there problems dividing the responsibilities of a group project even while working individually?  What did you like or not like?  How do you think this might be useful in the future?  Do your pieces show a strong thematic idea?  Do you think the thematic element is strengthened by collaboration or hindered?  Are there elements that become the focal point or an individual artistic technique?



Collaboration is a group effort to create artworks.  There are pros and cons to this method of visual expression but it can be a powerful tool that creates expressive art.  Having many artists can contribute to an exciting visual piece with a strong thematic element.



Students should be able to work together to complete a collaborative art project with a specific thematic element.  They will be responsible for organizing and presenting a group portfolio and will be expected to participate in the following ways:


  1. Students will have three work days to complete a collaborative project.
  2. I can provide some materials but they will be encouraged to bring in extra materials if desired.
  3. Each day they will get into assigned groups and work on one of three collective art works, however the group must first pick three themes (one for each piece) and contribute to the major theme of each work.  Try to have open-ended themes such as environment, time, family, ect…
  4. Students will rotate artworks each day (each student will contribute one full day to each work.)  I will visit with students for mini-conferences each day.
  5. Each day, the student must use at least one different technique for the project.  For example, they may use watercolor on day one.  They may use watercolor the next day, but must also use colored pencil or collage.
  6. At the end of each class, we will take individual pictures of each project while students clean up.
  7. After the three work days, students will again group up and I will hand out the pictures for each group.  There should be three pictures for each piece showing the evolution and what each student contributed.
  8. The professional presentation will show the evolution of the artwork by theme and days in a column format.  Students will label their contribution to each work as appropriate.
  9. Students will be asked to give their opinion about the question of ownership by reflection writing.

10.  Each students work will be posted on


Rubric is attached.


Modifications:  Students needing extra help with art materials and writing will be assisted or their participation will be modified.  Additional study materials and examples can be arranged.

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