Playing like Pollock

Playing like Pollock.pdf

Dublin Core


Playing like Pollock




The coach called a play during the game. I played my clarinet this afternoon. He is going to the studio to play with his new paint…
Play can be an activity, an action or an event. It can be free form and relaxed or highly structured and rigorous. It can be social or independent, imaginative or rule based. These acts of play are also associated with a wide variety of value. It is not uncommon to hear an individual state “I’m just playing” implying that the activity they are engaged in is not very valuable or serious. In fact, most individuals associate the term “play” to something not serious, something light hearted and free from work or stress. However, is play not valuable to an individual playing in an NFL game? Is the experimentation and practice that goes into playing an instrument not a serious event? Is all play just “fun and games”? In this unit, learners will further their understanding of the term “play”. Learners will explore various perspectives while interpreting the term by creating art based on movement. Learners will also create an artwork that explores the importance of process over the actual finished work.


Molly D. Chance


1. CMA 1997.21
- Action Photo 1, After Hans Namuth (Pictures of Chocolate Series), Vic Muniz, 1991, cibachrome print
2. CMA 1999.20.8.4
- Untitled, Alexander Liberman, 1973, embossed lithograph
3. CMA 2001.13.1
- Girl with Cello, Milton Avery, 1958, oil on board


Handheld Art


Columbia Museum of Art

Unit Plan Item Type Metadata


7 classes


Visual Arts Standards:
1. VA5-1.5 Use all art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner.
2. VA5-3.1 Identify and describe the content in a work of visual art.
3. VA5-4.2 Write an analysis of the ways in which his or her artwork was influenced by another artist and conduct research on that artist to support his or her analysis.

Integrated CCSS:
Physical Education
1. 5-1.1 Demonstrate mature form for all fundamental manipulative skills (for example catching, striking, and kicking)
2. 5-1.2 Demonstrate mature form for combinations of fundamental locomotor skills (for example running, walking, skipping, galloping)
3. 5-6.1 Seek to engage in physical activities that are personally enjoyable.


1. The learner will use a variety of movements to define and express the various definitions of play.
2. The learner will analyze the works of Jackson Pollock, as well as a variety of abstract artworks.
3. The learner will create an abstract artwork, exploring the process by generating a written record of the event.
4. The learner will participate in both a self and group critique reflecting on how their image visually represents play.


- Notebook paper or small notepads
- Tempera or acrylic paints
- Paintbrushes
- Paper towels
- Variety of tools for mark making
- Large canvas or paper

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