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High School

Cardboard Building Unit Plan 


High School Students at Stuyvesant High School learned about form, space, scale, and texture, to create cardboard buildings using the L-brace, slot & tab, and score techniques. They were inspired by the works of Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, and Rem Koolhaas, and analyzed how these architects planned for an audience walking into their constructed space. Based on a prompt, students sketched three different ideas for their cardboard building and chose one that they felt most confident about. Students understood the concept of architectural balance by incorporating a base and a backbone in their process. They reflected on their own work and responded to their peer’s work during class critique.

Self-Portrait Painting


Pratt Young Scholars at Pratt Institute created water-based oil paintings and learned how to create skin tones by mixing warm and cool colors. Students worked on a canvas board with a black and white photo of their image. Students were given a color image of their portrait as a reference, and the black and white photograph served as a guide for students to start from close observation of their skin palette. They first used oil pastel to experiment with color blending before they moved on to oil paint. They looked at portrait painters such as Alice Neel, Lucian Freud, Vincent Van Gogh, and other contemporary artists whose work show vibrancy and luminosity in color. Students were challenged to mix warm and cool colors to create black and were encouraged to explore and invent a wide range of colors to enhance the effect of their portraits. The goal of this lesson was to help students understand that painting itself is a layering process that is highly visual. They were constantly being reminded to observe carefully instead of what they know, and practice mixing colors based on the color image of their portrait.

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