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TeachNet NYC  |  Lesson Plans  |  Teachnet
Senescence of Ca10 (POH) 6 (OH) 2 - Documenting ourselves in the learning about aging process.

Purpose of the Project

Our 10th grade class explored connections of chemistry and aging. Each student created a digital self-portrait montage documenting themselves in the learning/aging process.

Teacher Steps To Prepare

Note: This was a long term, 9 month collaboration with the New Museum artist. The artist came once a week for a double period class.

  1. The New Museum Artist, Chemistry Teacher and Computer Art Teacher met on several occassions outside of school hours to discuss goals of the collaboration
  2. The three collaborators attended at least six professional staff development meetings with the New Museum education department to develop a year long chemistry/art curriculum
  3. The teachers decided that it would be important for the students to document themselves through this learning process with a digital camera.

Student Activities

  1. Computer art teacher demonstrates use of the digital camera.
  2. Throughout the collaboration of the I.C.E. chemistry class with the New Museum, the students take turns using the digital camera to document the learning process.
  3. After every session, students down load the images from the digital camera into the computer hard drive.
  4. Student volunteer open images and use PhotoShop to change them into PICT file format.
  5. Each image is adjusted (cropped, increase or decrease contrast etc.)
  6. Each image is labeled according to subject and activity documented in the image.
  7. A digital archive of the class' activity is created. 8. Each student receives a duplicate copy of any digital photograph that they are represented within.
  8. Students edit their own images, deciding which they will use in their self-portrait montage.
  9. Computer art teacher demonstrates use of PhotoShop to edit and layer digital images.
  10. Student use Adobe PhotoShop to create a their self-portrait for studio. The self-portraits are uploaded the New Museum's virtual gallery.
  11. The color laser printer is used to make a copy of the self-portrait for inclusion in each student's chemistry journal.

Assessment Methods

Peer review was used to critique the students' self-portraits. The self-portraits were included in the students' chemistry journals as well as in the on-line virtual gallery. The journals were exhibited as part of their installation at The Time of Our Lives exhibit at the New Museum of Contemporary art.

Standards Addressed by This Unit

  • Creating, Performing, and Participating in the Arts- Students will actively engage in the processes that constitute creation and performance in the arts and participate in various roles in the arts.
  • Knowing and Using Arts Materials and Resources
  • Students will know about and make use of the materials and resources available for participation in the arts in various roles.
  • Responding to and Analyzing Works of Art- Students will respond critically to a variety of works in the arts, connecting the individual work to other works and to aspects of human endeavor and thought. (chemistry and aging)

Teacher Technology Skills Required

  • administration/creation
  • e-mail
  • picture scanning
  • digital imaging

Student Technology Skills Required

  • e-mail
  • picture scanning
  • digital imaging
  • web authoring

Software Materials Used

  • digital camera
  • scanner
  • Adobe PhotoShop
  • Microsoft Word
Project URLs:
Art Class

Related Links

Meryl Meisler http://vkp.org/index.cfm?goto=studio.cfm&kid=65
Sarah Oswald (Phoebe the mold) http://vkp.org/index.cfm?goto=studio.cfm&kid=80
Crystal Koomsalingh (Chunkin the mad scientist) http://vkp.org/index.cfm?goto=studio.cfm&kid=87
Charles Muamba (coordinator) http://vkp.org/index.cfm?goto=studio.cfm&kid=100
Ari (The Shadow) http://vkp.org/index.cfm?goto=studio.cfm&kid=91
Karissa (Mr. Drop) http://vkp.org/index.cfm?goto=studio.cfm&kid=99
Jason (killer) http://vkp.org/index.cfm?goto=studio.cfm&kid=78


Step by step, day by day, week by week, month by month, you can accomplish great things with your students. When collaborating with other adults NEVER criticize each other in front of the students. Work together. You are a model for the kids.

Copyright © 2000 Meryl Meisler

About The Teachers

Meryl Meisler (computer art teacher), Marjike Hecht (chemistry teacher) and Juan Robles (New Museum artist) collaborated with the 10th grade class at I.C.E.

Email Contact: Meryl@teachersnetwork.org The Institute for Collaborative Education (I.C.E.)

Estimated Class Periods To Complete: 10 or more



Beginning Grade Level: 10
Ending Grade Level: 10
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