Constructing a Character

Students will study the visual art element of form to make a figurative sculpture. Students will write dialogue to explain a character.


Additive: refers to the process of joining a series of parts together to create a sculpture. 

Form: a three-dimensional volume or the illusion of three dimensions (related to shape, which is two-dimensional) 

Sculpture: a three-dimensional work of art either in the round (to be viewed from all sides) or in bas relief (low relief in which figures protrude slightly from the background).


Begin the lesson with a class discussion on art. Ask the students the following questions:

  • Do you see any art in your environment? If so what and where?
  • Have you ever created any artwork yourself? How did that feel?
  • What reasons might an artist have for creating art?
  • Why do you think that every society, even if they didn’t have written language, has art in some form?
  • Why do societies/cultures create art?

Show the students the focus artwork, Equestrian Black Samson. Have the students answer the following questions (Note: students can answer either orally or in written form):

What is the artist telling you about this person?

  • How does he feel? How can you tell?
  • What is the body language in the sculpture?
  • Can you tell anything about the personality of the figure?
  • What gives clues to what the artist is saying about the sculpture?
  • Would you feel differently about the sculpture if it was made out of some other material (i.e.: wood, bronze, paper)?


Part ONE: Sculpture

Tell the students that they will be making their own sculpture. To prepare them for this have the students discuss the form of Equestrian Black Samson. 

Have the students describe what types of shapes they see (oval, rectangle, triangle, square, and circle). Explain to the students that by looking closely at objects, any knowledge learned can be transferred to creating their own object.

Hand out a 12 inch by 12 inch piece of foil to each student. Allow time for students to experiment with the foil. Encourage students to discover as many ways as possible to manipulate the foil, without using any other materials.

Hand out two more pieces of 12 inch by 12 inch foil to each student. Tell the students to create a figure using the foil. Students can bend, tear, crumple, fold, etc. but may not use any other materials to create the figure. They do not have to use both pieces of foil, but students cannot use any more than the two pieces given. Student must create a figure; however, the figure does not have to be human.

Part TWO: Character 

Have the students create a character for their sculpture. Have students respond in writing to the following questions:

  • Who are they? Young? Old? Rich? Poor? Human? Non-human? Kind? Miserable? Joyful? Wise? Foolish?
  • What do they want?
  • Where are they?

Pair students together. Student A goes first and poses his/her foil sculpture. Student B then poses his/her sculpture in response. Each student creates 3 poses/counter poses with their sculpture. Each pose needs to be consistent with the character just created.

Part THREE: Writing

Have the students create a six line dialogue between their two foil


  • Aluminum foil: (2) 12 x 12 inch squares per student
  • Paper
  • Pens/pencils


60 – 90 minutes

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Grade Level



  • English
  • Visual Art


  • Black Artists
  • Collaborative
  • Local Artists
  • People
  • Sculpture
  • Shape / Form
  • Simple


  • Household materials





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