Wire Sculpture Horse (Calder) | Lesson Plan
from the Lesson Zone Index

Students will be introduced to the art of American artist Alexander Calder, and will create a work of their own after his style. This free lesson plan is in fulfillment of Standard #4: K-4 and Standard #4: 5-8 of the National Standards for Art Education: Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures.

Medium Gauge Wire
Wire Sculpture Horse Pattern
Wire Cutter

Step 1
Tell students, "We will be learning about the art of American artist Alexander Calder. This modern artist became successful as an artist through his sculpture."

Step 2
Show students images of Calder's circus.

Step 3
Tell students, "In 1923 Calder spent two weeks sketching scenes from the Ringling Brother's and Barnum & Bailey Circus. This project marked the beginning of his fascination with the circus. In 1926 Calder moved to Paris where he began to build toys that moved. Eventually his collection of toys became a miniature circus which he performed in the USA and Europe."

Step 5
Tell students, "Our art project will be to create a wire sculpture, like the wire people and animals Calder created for his circus."

Step 6
Tell students, "At your tables you will find wire, plyers and a wire sculpture horse pattern. Use the pattern to shape your sculpture. Carefully check each bend to make sure it is perfect before trying the next one. If you work on your sculpture with careful attention to details it will be fantastic."

Step 7
Quiz students on what they learned about Alexander Calder as they work on their project.

Have Fun!






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