Cancer Banner Art Installation
Waterloo MS

Students will demonstrate their understanding of Installation Art by creating one at their school. In preparation for creating their art installation, students observe, study, discuss and read about the work of installation artists Jeanne Claude and Christo, and Pepon Osorio. Throughout the process, students utilize specific character traits they are taught in our character education program. They design felt banners using heart shapes as a symbol for people that are cancer survivors, have died from the disease, or are currently fighting the disease. Students work cooperatively with each other to create the banners. As they do so, they understand a Principle of Art (Movement) by using it in the banners. Students write a comparative essay on Installation Art and the more standard forms of artwork such as drawings, paintings and sculptures. Finally, students experience their installation by walking through it when it is completed.

Students will be able to:
  • create a site installation that incorporates character traits taught through the character education program.
  • raise money for a very needy cause (cancer - Relay for Life) and create a visual expression for the community to see (public art).
  • Materials that will teach students about public art such as Scholastic Magazine on Jean Claude and Christo, DVD on The Gates by JC and C in NYC, and posters of installation art
  • felt banners, smaller pieces of felt
  • heart template
  • scissors
    hot glue and guns
  • black permanent (Sharpie) markers
  • school flyers, order forms
Kindling Activity:
Write the essential question for each class based on the objectives.

Day 1:

  1. Teach the definition of installation art. Have students write the definition in their notebooks.
  2. Introduce Pepon Osorio – show video of his installations (if possible).
  3. Provide a short discussion time with the students about what they saw.
  4. Introduce “The Gates” by Jeanne Claude and Christo – show pictures.
  5. Distribute the Scholastic Art magazine about Jeanne Claude and Christo. Begin to read the first article on pp. 2-3 together as a class.



Day 2:

  1. Quick review.
  2. Distribute the Scholastic Art magazine about Jeanne Claude and Christo. Complete the first article started on Day 1.
  3. Students to review articles and pictures on pp. 4-5, 6-7 in small discussion groups.
  4. Introduce cancer banner project to class.
  5. Arrange for administrators to come the classroom so students can introduce the project and get permission.
  6. Break students into small cooperative groups. Assign groups to:  hang flyers, write announcements, trace hearts on smaller pieces of felt, and a group to cut out the hearts.

Day 3 and until completion of project:

  1. Students break into collaborative groups and work on the project. Tracing and cutting hearts and starting to write names on them with a permanent marker.
  2. Take a quiz on specific vocabulary used for installation art.
  3. As hearts are sold ($1 per heart), students will write names of people the hearts represent with permanent markers, one name per heart.
  4. Students will hot glue the color hearts to the front and back of each banner.
  5. Students work on installation until completion. Students will start next project while working to finish the installation because there will be some classes when there is no work to complete.
  6. When all banners are done, twine will be attached to the two corners of each banner.  Students will hang the banners from the branches of the trees, at different lengths, with help.
  7. Students will walk through the installation to get the full experience and then while still outside, complete a free-write expresses their feelings about the project and finished project.

Informal – Class work, participation and discussions – especially with peers, cooperative work
Formal – Essential Questions, Comparative Paragraph, Quiz, Installation