Students will examine two landscape paintings by John Horace Hooper and Lewis Cohen and compare the artists’ portrayal of the natural world and people interacting with it. Students will participate in a game that simulates society’s use of renewable and nonrenewable resources and identify renewable and nonrenewable resources portrayed in the focus artworks.
Time Alloted1 - 2 Class Periods
State Content Standards
6b. Students know different natural energy and material resources, including air, soil, rocks, minerals, petroleum, fresh water, wildlife, and forests, and know how to classify them as renewable or nonrenewable.
6c. Students know the natural origin of the materials used to make common objects.
Visual and Performing Arts Standards
1.2 Discuss works of art as to theme, genre, style, idea, and differences in media.
4.1 Construct and describe plausible interpretations of what they perceive in works of art.
- For the Teacher: Images (color printout, overhead transparency or computer-projection) of Harvest Time, Shiplake-on-Thames and The Quarry for display and for classroom instruction. These images are accessible on Digital Crocker at crockerartmuseum.org, on the Striking Gold CD ROM, and slides and overheads available for purchase through School Services.
- Reproductions of the focus pieces of artwork for each pair of student if possible
- Worksheets or transparencies to present the discussion and writing prompts
- Large amount of popcorn (or nuts or small candies)
- Small bowls or cups (one for each group of students)
- Large jar or other container
- 14 slips of paper
- 15 paper or plastic bags
1. Students will be divided into small groups of 4-5 members. Each group will be responsible for responding to one of the two focus artworks.
2. Each student will first look carefully and silently at a reproduction of this work of art, for a short period of time. During this time, each student will record his/her observations and responses to specific questions on a worksheet or from an overhead transparency prepared by the teacher:
• What do you see in this painting?
• Why do you think the artist chose to paint this scene?
• Look at the people in this painting. How does the artist portray the people in the picture? What do you think his feelings are towards them?
• Look at the natural elements (animals, landscape, plants, and trees) in this painting. How does the artist portray them? What do you think his feelings are towards them?
3. Students will discuss these observations within their small groups. One member of the group will serve as a recorder and write out the group's collective responses. Each recorder will report a summary of his/her group's responses.
4. Lead a class discussion comparing and contrasting the artists’ portrayal of the natural world and people interacting with it. Record students’ responses on a Venn diagram on chart paper or an overhead transparency.
5. Point out to students that both of the focus works of art portray people interacting with the natural world and that one way humans interact with their environment is to extract and use natural resources. Review the idea of renewable and nonrenewable resources with the students. What does it mean if a resource is renewable? What does it mean if it is nonrenewable?
• Renewable resources are materials or energy sources that can be replenished through natural and/or human processes. For example, even though trees die or are cut down, they can either reseed themselves or be replanted by humans.
• Even renewable resources need careful management in order to be sustained. People can use a renewable resource in a way that it cannot recover itself. For example, groundwater supplies may be pumped out of the ground faster than rainwater can trickle down to replenish them.
• The maximum rate at which people can use a renewable resource without reducing the ability of the resource to renew itself is called sustainable yield.
• Nonrenewable resources are materials or energy sources that exist in fixed amounts. Once nonrenewable resources are used up, they are gone forever. Fossil fuels and metals are examples of nonrenewable resources.
6. Do the following demonstrations with the class to give them a better understanding of sustainable use, renewable and nonrenewable resources.
• Demonstration 1: renewable resources and sustainable yield:
1. Divide the class into teams of four. Give each team 16 pieces of popcorn, nuts, or small candies in a small bowl or cup.
2. Explain to the class that they will play a game in which the popcorn in the bowl represents the team’s supply of a renewable resource. Explain to the class that during each round, group members will have ten seconds to take as much popcorn as they like from their team’s bowl to keep for themselves and that whatever popcorn is left in the team’s bowl after ten seconds will be increased by 50% as long as there is enough popcorn left in the team’s bowl for each team member to take one piece of popcorn on the next turn. If a team does not have enough popcorn left in its bowl, then it will not “survive” for the next round. Give teams a few minutes to discuss strategy before starting the game.
3. Give students ten seconds to take freely from their team’s popcorn pile. Students should record how many pieces each group member took and how many pieces are left in the team’s pile.
4. Find out how many pieces each group has in its central pile. Increase each group’s supply of popcorn by 50%. For example, if a team has 4 pieces of popcorn left in its bowl after the first round, give them 2 more pieces. If any team has fewer pieces of popcorn left in its supply bowl than there are team members, tell that team “I’m sorry, but you did not survive.” Remove that team’s supply bowl from the table.
5. Play three or four more rounds, giving teams time to record information about their individual and team supplies of popcorn and checking to see if any team didn’t survive. Increase each team’s supply of popcorn by 50% after each round.
6. After four or five rounds, have the students share what happened in their teams. Which students had the most popcorn in their personal supplies? Which team had the most popcorn in its collective pile? Which teams think they would be able to keep eating popcorn forever as long as the resource kept renewing itself? On these teams, how many pieces were these students taking each round? Which teams didn’t survive and why?
7. Discuss the following topics and questions with the class:
1. Some groups may have run out of resources right away or after only two rounds. We might say that their way of gathering the popcorn was “nonsustainable” because they weren’t able to keep up their practices for a long time. One or more groups may have figured out a way to collect at least one piece of popcorn each round and still have leftovers in their collective pile to be “renewed” each round. We might say that this way of gathering the popcorn was “sustainable” because they could keep doing it over a long period of time. During the discussion, be sure to revisit the topic of “sustainable yield.”
2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a resource in a sustainable way?
3. What advantages and disadvantages are there to using a resource in a nonsustainable way?
4. In this demonstration, the population of each group stayed the same. In reality, the human population is increasing rapidly. What would have happened if one or more people would have been added to your group every round?
• Demonstration 2: Nonrenewable resources over time
1. Fill a large jar or other container with popcorn, nuts, or small candies. Mark 14 slips of paper as follows: Two “1st generation,” four “2nd generation,” and eight “3rd generation.” Put the slips into a sack.
Note: You should have extra popcorn available after the demonstration is over for students that don’t participate directly in the demonstration.
2. Have 14 students each draw a slip of paper from the sack. They should not tell anyone what the paper says. Give these students a lunch bag and explain that they will be part of a demonstration.
3. Ask the two 1st Generation students to come up to the big jar of popcorn. Explain that the food in the jar represents the world’s supply of a nonrenewable resource. Tell them they can take as much of it as they want. Let them fill their bags while the rest of the group watches.
4. When the 1st Generation students have gotten their fill, invite the four 2nd Generation students to go up and take as much of the remaining popcorn as they want. After they’ve finished, have the 3rd Generation students come up and take what’s left.
5. Discuss with the students what is happening to the world’s popcorn supply. What happened to the total amount of the resource? How much was left for each successive generation? Was anything left for a 4th generation? Did any of the students who were part of the demonstration think about those who might be eating after them, or were they only trying to get as much popcorn as they could?
6. What parallels do the students see between what happened in the demonstration and what happens in the real world?
7. Have each student record his/her observations and responses to specific questions on a worksheet or from an overhead transparency prepared by the teacher. Prompt:
1. Define renewable resource and nonrenewable resource in your own words.
2. If a resource is renewable, does that mean it will continue to exist no matter what people do? Explain your answer.
3. Think about the two demonstrations we did. What two factors are most important in determining how fast natural resources are used? (Answer: The number of people using a resource and the amount each person uses.)
7. Revisit the two focus works with the class. Divide the class into groups of three or four students. Have students examine both works to find and list examples of people using renewable and nonrenewable resources. Students will discuss these observations within their small groups. One member of the group will serve as a recorder and write out the group's collective responses. Each recorder will report a summary of his/her group's responses.
8. Each group recorder will report out his/her group's responses. Did all groups come to the same conclusions? The teacher will facilitate a classroom discussion focused on the areas that generated multiple or diverse responses.
Possible extensions or homework:
1. Have students pick a renewable or nonrenewable resource to research from the class list generated during the class discussion in step 6 of the lesson. Have students search in books, magazines and on the internet for information about their resource. Have them answer the following questions in a short report:
• What is your resource?
• Is it renewable or nonrenewable? How can you tell?
• Where does your resource come from? How do people gather it in order to use it? Has this process changed over time? How?
• How is it changed in the manufacturing process?
• What kind of products is it used in?
• What are the advantages in using this resource? What are the disadvantages?
2. Have students research modern quarries and farms. Have them find a picture of a modern farm or quarry from a book or the Internet and compare the modern image with the target artwork. They could write a short report comparing the two images.
3. Have students brainstorm examples of renewable and nonrenewable resources they use on a regular basis. Have students choose one resource and research where it comes from and draw a picture depicting its extraction and/or use.
JOHN HORACE HOOPER (1850 – 1899)
British artist John Horace Hooper was a painter of landscapes and marines. He became a recognized artist in 1877 and made an important place for himself among English painters of the time. He exhibited at the Royal Academy between the years 1885 and 1899, and also made appearances at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.
ABOUT HARVEST TIME, SHIPLAKE-ON-THAMES (C.1880 – 1890)
Lesson adapted from:
American Forest Foundation. (1997). Project Learning Tree: Environmental Education PreK-8 Activity Guide. Washington, DC: American Forest Foundation.