Organized by the Springville Museum of Art, the Evenings for Educators series is one of the longest-running programs of the StateWide Art Partnership (SWAP). These events are held on average once a month during the academic year at locations across the state of Utah.

Below is an archive of previous lesson plans presented during Evenings for Educators at UMOCA. See the current workshop>



OCT 30, 2019
Abstraction is Just a Word, But I Use it.

Abstract art developed as a visual language that existed outside of representational art-one that relied on color, shape, form, and composition to evoke a response. UMOCA’s exhibition Abstraction is Just a Word, But I Use it. shows how abstraction has evolved over decades, and how artists have, in a way, created their own coded language within the broader use of the term abstraction, in their own individualized dialect.

Lesson Plan:


SEPT 7, 2018
Working Hard to be Useless

Working Hard to be Useless explores how humans interact with urban architecture and public spaces. How can we design city spaces that will nurture healthy and inclusive communities?

Lesson Plans:

  • Defensive Architecture – Lesson Plans by Phebe Tanner
    Use the Working Hard to be Useless exhibition to talk about defensive architecture with your students. This lesson provides activities for before, during and after a field trip to the museum, outlining how defensive architecture influences communities and how to combat it to bring communities together.

GRADES K-5 LESSON                GRADES 6-12 LESSON


OCT 26, 2017
Cities of Conviction

The Cities of Conviction exhibition presents contemporary artworks from Saudi Arabia that engage in issues of ideology, government, and commerce. Join us for an opportunity to explore transformation in Saudi society through two teacher-led art workshops and a guided gallery tour.

Lesson Plans:

  • Stereotypes – Lesson Plan by Ana Antunes
    Use the Cities of Conviction and The Hijab Project exhibitions to talk about stereotypes with your students. This lesson provides activities for before, during and after a field trip to the museum, outlining an instructional scaffolding technique that builds on what students know about stereotyping and labeling.
  • Lotus Flower Drawings – Lesson Plan by Fahimeh Amiri
    The lotus flower is a stylized motif in Islamic Art. Comprised of plant-inspired, arabesque lines that form symmetric patterns as they grow from a single point, the lotus is an important element of Islamic design and ornamentation. This lesson includes instructions, templates and visual examples to help your students draw a unique lotus design while learning about symmetry.


OCT 26, 2016
Object[ed]: Shaping Sculpture in Contemporary Art

The sculptures of UMOCA’s exhibition, Object[ed], challenge concepts of objecthood by considering gendered experiences as they relate to art history. Join us for a guided tour and hands-on workshops that demonstrate how K-12 educators can use these art objects to teach social equity and history in the classroom.

Lesson Plans:

  • On The Surface (Visual Arts Grades 3-12; Math Grades 3-4, 6)
    Students combine their knowledge of geometry and value to create depth in a 2D paper collage that they develop into a 3D paper relief sculpture.
  • Binary in Balance (Visual Arts Grades 3-12; Social Studies U.S. History I & II; Health Education Grades 4-6)
    Students learn about sculptural materials and gender inequality in art, and then use wood and fabric as contrasting materials to create a sculpture that undermines stereotypes.
  • Where is the Art? (Visual Arts Grades 9-12)
    Students engage in an interactive approach to exploring theoretical questions posed by found object sculpture.


OCT 21, 2015
Americana: Word and Image

Kate Ericson and Mel Ziegler examined community, social, and political issues in America through public art and social practice during their decade-long collaboration. Join UMOCA staff for a tour of the exhibition, Grandma’s Cupboard, as well as hands-on opportunities to preview lessons connecting art-making to U.S. history and the language arts.

Lesson Plans:

  • Changing Landscapes, Changing Communities (Visual Arts Grades 3-8; Social Studies Grades 3, 5, 7, 8; English Language Arts Grades 3-8)
    Students create a collage in which they layer a fictional network of roadways and structures onto landscapes in the West.
  • Conceptual Art Maps (Visual Arts Grades 9-12; Social Studies Grades 9-12; English Language Arts Grades 9-12)
    Students explore mapping and identity while creating a web of colorful yarn that connects students in the class together.
  • Identifying with Monuments and National Parks (Visual Arts Grades K-3; Social Studies Grades K-3; English Language Arts Grades K-3 )
    Just like a postcard gives a quick synopsis of a monument or national park, students decide how to give a synopsis of their unique characteristics by creating a personal postcard that monumentalizes their strengths.
  • Mapping Personal Landmarks (Visual Arts Grades K-12; Social Studies Grades K-12; Integrated Core Grades K-2; Information Technology Education Grades 9-12)
    Students use computer mapping resources, collage and hand-drawn elements to create a map of their neighborhood from their own creative point of view.
  • Getting to Know You (Visual Arts Grades 3-12; Social Studies Grades 3, 4, 6-12)
    Students will learn about community and diversity by selecting one non-educator who works at their school to highlight per month through traditional art techniques dealing with portraiture and contemporary art movements.


OCT 28, 2014
Push and Pull: Ideas of Migration in the Beehive State

UMOCA’s exhibition Bikuben examined Utah heritage and ideas of migration through the lens of Danish contemporary art. This Evening for Educators included hands-on workshops and lesson plans that explore how to use art to teach relationships between Utah’s history, geography, and diverse cultural influences.

Lesson Plans:

  • Symbols of People and Places: Mobiles (Visual Arts Grades K-12; Social Studies Grades 1-4, 6-7 and Utah Studies)
    Students learn about symbols as representations of people and places before creating a hanging sculpture that symbolizes a person who filled an important role in Utah’s history.
  • Symbols of People and Places: Flags (Visual Arts Grades K-12; Social Studies Grades 1-8 and Utah Studies)
    Students explore the use of symbolism in flags as visual representations of cultures or places before creating an illustration of their own flag.
  • Now and Then: Flip Book (Visual Arts Grades K-12; Social Studies Grades 2-4 and Utah Studies)
    Students create a flip book using photographs they take over time to explore transformation in themselves or their surroundings.
  • Now and Then: Recording Perceptions Over Time (Visual Arts Grades K-12; Social Studies Grades 1-4 and Utah Studies)
    Students create a compilation of voice recordings that show change in themselves, an object, their perspective, or their environment over time.
  • Art Meets Science: Self-Assembling Salt Sculptures (Visual Arts Grades K-12; Science Grades 3-5, 7-8 and Chemistry)
    Students gain inspiration from William Lamson’s Hydrologies Archaea to create their own self-assembling salt crystal sculpture as a collaboration between artist and nature.
  • A Different Kind of Photograph (Visual Arts Grades K-12; Science Grade 6 and Physics)
    Students learn about what defines a photograph and explore different kinds of image-making with light before creating their own sun-exposure print.


OCT 3, 2013
Utah Biennial: The Present as Influenced by the Past

This Evening for Educators took inspiration from UMOCA’s main exhibition, Utah Biennial: Mondo Utah. Keynote speaker Rebecca Maksym discussed how moments from art history, internationally and regionally, have influenced the way artists operating in Utah create their work. Workshops covered new ways to look at photography, the Internet, process and performance that can be used to introduce topics like geography and science.

Lesson Plans:

  • We See the Same Things Differently (Visual Arts Grades 9-12; Educational Technology Grades 9-12; Social Studies U.S. History I)
    Using local Utah artist Adam Bateman’s work as a starting point, students collaboratively create their own photo-collage artworks as a way to understand how we look at, document, and share our ideas of monuments and the landscape. Students learn about the history of landscape photography and how it has influenced the way we take pictures today.
  • Patching Identity (Visual Arts Grades 9-12)
    Students create a color drawing that depicts their own ’72-hour Survival Kit’ rendered like a patch-quilt design, integrating symbolic shapes and patterns to illustrate a sequence or story about the artist’s identity for the viewer to understand.
  • Building a Hive (Visual Arts Grades 3-5)
    Students create individual hexagon shaped artworks that, when attached to the wall, create a collective wall sculpture in the form of a beehive honeycomb.
  • Create Your Own Advertisement (Visual Arts Grades 3-12; Library Media/Information Literacy Grades 7-12; Educational Technology Grades 9-12)
    Students research a chosen topic and study advertisements in order to form an opinion about a complex issue and create their own public service announcement (PSA).
  • Changed by the Elements: A Collaboration between Architecture and Nature (Visual Arts Grades 9-12)
    Using Italian Architect Gianni Pettena’s work as a starting point, students create their own outdoor architectural form/sculpture for their backyard to help them understand the interactions of man-made and natural elements. They will see how the sculpture changes over time based on where they place it and during what season.
  • Mapping Experience (Visual Arts Grades 3-12; English Language Arts: Writing Grades K-12)
    Students create a conceptual map of their experience traveling from home to school.
  • Performance and Process (Visual Arts Grades 3-12; Theater Grades 3-12; Dance Grades 3-6)
    Students create their own process-based artwork by repeating a performative action over time.
  • Photography and Abstract Painting (Visual Arts Grades 3-12; Educational Technology Grades 3-6, 9-12)
    Students create a large-scale drawing from a zoomed-in portion of a photograph that they have found online that depicts ‘natural beauty’ in the environment. Students produce artworks that depict only a few small details of their photograph enlarged to become abstract marks without any clear indication of the original image.


SEP 8, 2011
Planting the Seed: Gardens, Growing, and Agriculture in Art

This event featured a tour of the exhibition, Fallen Fruit of Utah, with L.A.-based artist collective Fallen Fruit, two break-out workshops, and a keynote lecture with Hikmet Sidney Loe of Westminster College about the ways in which artists use a wide variety of living media in their works – including example projects in which schools and institutions have tried their hand at planting, gardening, and growing as a form of art.

Lesson Plans:

  • A Lemony Story (Social Studies Grades K-6; Language Arts Grades K-6; Character Education Grades K-6)
    Students become familiar with the history of the Great Depression and write about a challenging event in their own lives using the axiom “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
  • Making an Impression (Visual Arts Grades K-6; Science Grades K-6)
    Students learn about fossils and create an art print that reinforces the concept of impression fossil formation.
  • Plants to Dye For (Visual Arts Grades K-6; Social Studies Grades K-6)
    Students learn about ancient Egyptian methods for coloring clothing, understand that fruits and vegetables can be used to make dye, and gain a respect for organic materials and an increased awareness regarding our need to support and protect our world around us.
  • Seed Mail (Visual Arts Grades K-6; Language Arts Grades K-6; Science Grades K-6)
    Students learn about seeds and plant growth before making paper from recyclable materials and drafting a personal letter to a friend.