S.T.E.A.M. Art 1

Brief Summary of the Unit

STEAM Art 1: An Artistic Exploration of Weather


In Steam Art 1, students will develop a simple understanding that artists use their natural surroundings to develop ideas for creative inspiration and expression. As artists, we communicate visually that which surrounds us. The beauty of nature can be calm (breathing gently with our breath) but also severe like we see in stormy weather. In STEAM Art 1, students will be introduced to simple science concepts of sun, air, wind, rain and storms. Each lesson builds towards a greater understanding of the physical and natural world while exploring the visual arts and science.

STEAM Design Process:

The STEAM Design Process used in STEAM Art 1 was designed by the Museum of Science ©Engineering is Elementary Process. The process involves asking questions, imagining the possibilities, planning by sketching, creating an artwork, improving or modifying projects, and students sharing and reflecting on their work. In STEAM Art 1, there is an investigation component to ask questions and brainstorm ideas; an activity component to develop understanding of the science concept as it relates to art; and, a reflection component to assess student understanding of art and STEAM concepts.


In STEAM Art 1, students will also learn to collaborate in the planning and the creation of artwork. Students will work as individual artists and work collaboratively in small and/or large groups exploring art concepts like color, movement, printing and painting. Students will learn to to reflect and share their ideas throughout the process of creating artwork.

Unit Duration:

The STEAM Art 1 unit is developed as an eight week unit. The unit can be adapted if the STEAM rotation is shorter or longer than eight weeks. For example, the rain lesson can be removed if the rotation is shorter; or, the air or wind lesson can be extended for an additional session if the rotation is longer. Throughout the unit, students will explore science concepts (sun, air, wind, rain and storms) and art concepts (color, printing, painting, and expression) to create beautiful artwork. These artworks will be stapled into a book during the last STEAM session. However, if lessons focused on collaboration, artwork may need to be cut in half or students will need to understand that there is only one artwork to be taken home by one person.

Essential Questions:

  • What can we learn about art from our natural surroundings?

  • How does learning about weather influence how we create art?

  • How do visual artists create works of art that communicate weather?

  • How do visual artists learn from exploration, trial and error?

  • How does the presenting and sharing of artworks shape ideas and experiences?


  • Demonstrate an understanding of simple science concepts and connect them to the arts.

  • Demonstrate confidence and comfort with open-ended creative art process.

  • Use problem solving skills while working with the STEAM Design Process.

  • Work collaboratively and share work in small and large groups.

  • Create artworks that shows and uses elements of nature.

An Artistic Exploration of Nature - Lesson #1 & Lesson #2 Sun