Planning Backwards Model*

Teaching Artist Practicum

Name of Project:  Paint a Tile: Playing With Found Objects

Grade Level or Age of Participant:  Adult

School, Teacher and Classroom:  Spectrum Artworks with artist Jes Reyes

Teaching Artist:  Abigail Engle

Overview of Project

Using ceramic tiles that will serve as found objects, the class begins with a short presentation on artists both past and present artwork that have utilized found or “reclaimed” objects to help their practice.  Next, the class moves onto a  short (10-15 minute) demonstration on methods and materials that can be used.  The  remainder of the time encouragea “play” and work time.  At the end artists reflect on their work and how the lesson went.

“Big Ideas”/ Essential QUESTION(s)

As artists, how can we use found objects in artmaking?

Do the artists find trends in the objects they choose?

Student Outcome Objectives

Students will:

1. Learn and analyze different artists who utilized found objects.

2. Create art based on ‘play’ with found objects

3. Apply both new and previous art making experiences to the studio project.

Prior Knowledge

No need of any prior knowledge to be involved with this

Lesson Preparation Timeline

  1. Finish Prepping Tiles as Surface & continue collecting found objects

  2. Final Preparations/Getting Materials

  3. Refine Planning Backwards Model (Lesson Plan) Draft

Examples of Artwork

Robert Rauschenberg (Ready-Mades)

Various Dada Artists

Larry Rivers

Kurt Schwitters

Ellen Gallager

Eva Hesse

Lousie Nevelson

Tony Cragg: Menschenmenge Broooklyn Museum

Niki de Saint Phalle

Additional Resources 

Books on Dada Art

Jim Dine Works


At the conclusion of the workshop there will be a small review of how the pieces turned out, and comments about the lesson format. You will want to prepare a short list of questions to start the reflection.


- Substrate (for this lesson, ceramic tiles were used as another form of found object)

- Felt to put on the backs of the tiles.

- Various Found Objects collected by instructor /artists can bring in their own objects Give a list of these so that anyone looking at this lesson plan can think about what objects they might choose for a similar lesson

  • Fabric Scraps that can be cut up

  • Paper magazines/other paper materials that can be cut up

  • Hard objects like wood, metal, glass or other 3D elements

  • Ink

  • Acrylic Paint

  • Tar Gel, Drying Mediums, Pumice Gel, Gel Mediums

  • Various glue, Gorilla Glue, strong adhesive for heavier projects

Learning Activities and Timing

  1. Presentation on Found Objects as Artwork - image sharing (10-15 Minutes)

  2. Demonstration of ways to incorporate Found Objects with different materials and mediums (20 Minutes)

  3. Encouraged time to create and play with found objects and materials (1.5 Hours)

  4. The group will meet back together to talk about their pieces and do closing thoughts on the lesson. (10-15 Minutes)

  5. Installed in the trophy case, it has shelves for display

Teaching Artist Reflection

I anticipate some problems with different levels of interest in the subject and in art in general.  I also anticipate some problems getting started, with there being so many materials and so much time.

The artists’ work will be installed somewhere in the Spectrum Lighthouse building, and all of the members that come in will be able to see it.