Reaching for the Gold Medal! Futurism in the Olympics

Michael McCue, Art Teacher

Lesson Goals

Students will understand that…
Artists capture a new way of seeing things. (Why do you think this art style was called futurism?)
Artists are often inspired by science and make connections to science in their work. (What position is the athlete showing in the artwork?)
Artists will understand that patterns and math can create movement. (Why does it appear that these athletes are moving?)

Students will analyze the meaning of the art form of futurism as they create drawing compositions of athletes playing sports inspired by the Winter Olympics. They will connect science as they understand motion and movement and how the body works and enhance their ELA skills as they create writing compositions using the five senses as they reflect on their artwork and why their athletes should win the gold medal.


9×12 white drawing paper, powerpoint of Futurism art prints, colored pencils and markers, large easel paper cut into geometric shapes to attach to a student volunteer to simplify the human figure into simple shapes


Using the essential question “how can artists show movement?” the art teacher will present a slideshow of Futurism examples and students will analyze the works stating how the artworks appear blurry because the artists wanted to capture motion. The teacher will use large paper-cut-outs that will be placed over a student volunteer to identify what shapes create a body. (The torso is a rectangle, the head is an oval, etc). Through a class demonstration learning about science through anatomy and motion, students will create their own drawings of athletes playing a sport in the Olympics inspired by the art style of futurism. As closure, students will create writing reflections as their artist statements. These will be in the form of ELA persuasive writing as they explain why their athlete worked to deserve the gold medal and using the five senses for detail.

Differentiation Approaches

1. Students may practice on scrap paper before starting their final piece.
2. The teacher may distribute handouts that illustrate a technique that students can use as a guide if they choose.
3. Students can choose their own medium to work.
4. Some may want a medium that shows immediacy and quickness such as marker as opposed to shading with colored pencils.


Name_____________________________________ Project___________________________
1 = Improvement needed. 2 = Looks good. 3 = Excellent!
All projects can be resubmitted for a higher grade.
• IDEA – My artwork looks very original and creative.
1 point 2 points 3 points
• CRAFT – My artwork looks very neat and has detail.
1 point 2 points 3 points
• EFFORT – I spent time and worked hard on my project.
1 point 2 points 3 points
What was your favorite thing about the project and why?
What could you improve on or do differently next time and why?
What problem did you have and how did you solve it?
How does this project connect to ________?

Follow Up and Extension Ideas

Students could integrate how social studies into future units as they explore more about cultures from around the world. The objective could be how art relates to many different cultures as analyzing artwork gives us ideas about the lifestyles of certain cultures.

Additional Details

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