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Photo by Jeremy Bishop via Unsplash

Database Provider

Author

Mandy van Leeuwen

Grades

3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th

Subjects

Science, Visual and Performing Arts

Resource Type

  • Artwork

Regional Focus

North America, Polar Regions

"Footprint"

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Synopsis
  • This mural by Mandy van Leeuwen uses "footprint" both metaphorically and literally by showing various pairs of human shoes as well as polar bear tracks going into the distance.
  • Her artist statement for this mural opens a discussion about the importance of solidarity, as humans take responsible action for the preservation of our home.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • Students bring their own ideas and interpretations to the artwork that add to the artist's intention.
  • This mural focuses on the idea that even though people have cultural differences, represented by the various types of shoes, in the end we're all people and share the common goal of survival. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Exploring the map that is included on the webpage will prompt students to connect to the visual metaphor the artist uses of people standing on the edge of wilderness in Churchill, Canada.

Differentiation

  • The metaphor of humans standing at the edge of wilderness that bears live in is worth exploration for science classes when discussing habitat loss.
  • A discussion about putting aside differences in the interest of the preservation of our collective habitat is an easy subject to launch into for social studies classes.
  • The artist's choice of the sun on the horizon can be interpreted as the dawn of a new human movement, the setting of an era when humans flourish, or simply marking the time of year when the sun crosses the horizon and the bears take to the ice.
  • Other resources related to these topics include this mural about marine animals' anger towards human's impact on the environment and this lesson about polar climates.
Scientist Notes
The art piece presents a connection between humans and nature and highlights the importance to conserve biodiversity and wildlife. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Visual & Performing Arts
    • Visual Arts: Standard 7 - Perceiving and analyzing products.
      • 1.5.5.Re7b: Analyze visual arts including cultural associations.
    • Visual Arts: Standard 8 - Interpreting intent and meaning.
      • 1.5.5.Re8a: Interpret ideas and mood in artworks by analyzing form, structure, context, subject, and visual elements.
      • 1.5.8.Re8a: Interpret art by analyzing how the interaction of subject matter, characteristics of form and structure, use of media, art making approaches, and relevant contextual information contributes to understanding messages or ideas and mood conveyed.
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