Visual Arts: Abstract Glass Chandelier

Lesson Plan: Abstract Glass Chandelier
Grade level: 5
Duration: 2+classes
Media Type: acrylic plexiglass
Subject Integration: Science
National Standards for Visual Arts: (see below)
Objectives: To allow students to learn about glass artists, such as local glass artist Nancy Seaton, and world renowned artist Dale Chihuly.

(website for help with writing rubrics)


4 - Standards are exceeded
3 - Standards are met
2 - Standards may be met at a very low quality or with some exceptions
1 - Standards are not met

Vocabulary (elements/principles):

  • color
  • shape
  • line
  • texture
  • balance
  • unity
  • proportion
  • form
  • value
  • space
  • contrast
  • emphasis
  • movement
  • pattern
  • rhythm

Materials and Procedure:

Day 1:
Introduce students to artists Dale Chihuly and Nancy Seaton. Discuss their work and how they came to be glass artists. Show The PlayList video about Nancy Seaton and her work. Show Dale Chihuly’s work from website provided. Start a conversation with students: “What do you see?” “How does their work make you feel?” “Does anyone know how glass is made?” Briefly discuss the process of making glass from sand.

Give each student a piece of plexiglass, approximately 1” by 6” with a hole drilled into the top for hanging. Have students trace their piece of plexiglass on a piece of scrap paper to allow for planning of design. Have students complete a rough draft of a design on paper with a pencil. The design can be abstract in nature, allowing for different types of lines and shapes. When students are happy with their plan, they can transfer their design onto their plexiglass with a black Sharpie marker. Don’t forget to have them write their name somewhere on the edge of the glass.

Day 2:
Students will paint inside of their lines and shapes onto the plexiglass with acrylic paint. The paint must be acrylic, otherwise it won’t adhere to the glass.

When the glass pieces are dry, students will add a piece of string or wire to the hole of their glass to enable the glass to be hung as part of a group effort chandelier. The finished chandelier is amazing! The colors are vibrant and your students will be very proud of their work.



Nancy Seaton websites:

National Standards for Visual Arts:

VA: Cr1.1.5a - I can combine ideas to generate an innovative idea for art-making.
VA: Cr1.2.5a - I can identify and demonstrate diverse methods of artistic investigation to choose an approach for beginning a work of art.
VA: Cr2.2.5a - I can demonstrate quality craftsmanship through care for and use of materials, tools, and equipment.
VA: Pr6.1.5a - I can cite evidence about how an exhibition in a museum or other venue presents ideas and provides information about a specific concept or topic.
VA: Re8.1.5a - I can interpret art by analyzing characteristics of form and structure, contextual information, subject matter, visual elements, and use of media to identify ideas and mood conveyed.
VA: Cn10.1.5a - I can apply formal and conceptual vocabularies of art and design to view surroundings in new ways through art-making.

National Visual Arts Standards link:

Funding for this program is provided by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Click here for more information or visit the Minnesota Legacy website.

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