Visual Arts: Wayne Thiebaud Desserts

Lesson Plan: Wayne Thiebaud Desserts
Grade level: 4-12
Duration: 5 class periods
Media Type: clay
National Standards for Visual Arts: (see bottom of page)
Objectives: To create a pop-art type dessert made from clay inspired by artist Wayne Thiebaud.

(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 (Visual Arts Elements/Principles):

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

Materials and Procedure:

Day 1:
Present information about famous artist, Wayne Thiebaud (pronounced tee-bo) (1920-present).

Show artworkby Thiebaud and start discussion about his work and what his works depicts.

Discussion Questions:

Important questions to ask students: “What do you see?” “How does this artwork make you feel?” “What was the artist trying to show/tell/express to you?”

Show Sunday Morning Show video about Wayne Thiebaud and his artwork. Sunday Morning Show: Wayne Thiebaud (7:32)

Show PlayList video about Duluth artist Patricia Canelake. The PlayList: Patricia Canelake (5:37)

Continue discussion: “What did you notice about these two artists?” “What did you see in Patricia’s work? Wayne’s work?” “What are the similarities / differences?” “Is Patricia’s love for creating real candies/desserts creative / artistic? Why or why not?”

After class discussion, have students start sketches of desserts for clay building ideas.

Day 2: Continue with dessert sketches.
Day 3: Students start building clay desserts. Steps in a process for building clay dessert pieces are given.
Day 4-6: Clay desserts created.
Day 5: Depending on type of clay used, students will paint or glaze their final clay pieces.



National Standards for Visual Arts:

Sample National Visual Arts Standards: More could be covered. See link above.

VA:Cr2.1.6a: Demonstrate openness in trying new ideas, materials, methods, and approaches in making works of art and design.
VA:Cr3.1.6a: Reflect on whether personal artwork conveys the intended meaning and revise accordingly.
VA:Re.7.2.8a: Compare and contrast contexts and media in which viewers encounter images that influence ideas, emotions, and actions.

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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