Teach 'Mining the West'

Reclaimed Art, Reclaimed Land
Lesson Plan, 3rd Grade
Kimberly Andrade
This lesson focuses on the problems that come with mining the west and how there are potential ways to stop these problems maintaining everyday needs with more sustainable solutions. 3rd graders will learn about mining and reclaimed land, create a collage, and then will look at different ways to conserve Earth's environment. The lesson will culminate with a painting that reflects reclaimed lands over their collages.

The Big Idea Generator: Improve the Future
Lesson Plan, 4th Grade, Adaptable for Other Levels
Sheree Freeze Birrell
A collaborative mixed media collage using expressive, colors, textures, and mark making that generates ideas to improve how we manage our land and natural resources in the future.

Pushing the Bounds on Landscape and Mining
Lesson Plan, 8th - 12th Grades, Adaptable for Lower Levels
Janell Heck
In this lesson, students will be pushing the bounds when it comes to landscapes and how we view mining. Students will be referring to artist Patrick Nagatani and UMFA's "Mining in the West online show to create a new landscape altered by mining. This word "mining" can be taken in different situations whether it be literally or data mining. Information mining. This lesson is designed it push the bounds of the word mining. Students will be looking at Patrick as inspiration, he uses a collection of collage materials that have to do with mining aspects in different areas. Students will use these techniques when painting their landscapes.

Ghosts and What is Left with Technology’s Progress
Lesson Plan, 6th Grade
Melissa Howell
Students will learn about mining in Utah- a brief local history and how the process works and has impacted our community in the past as well as now. Students will select two images of mines from the Mining the West collection and will make photocopies of the images and create photo-transfers. They will visually express what is lost in our communities due to mining and technology through utilizing a stippling technique inspired by Sandy Brunvand's ink trail style.

The Human Element
Lesson Plan, 7th - 12th Grades
Shae Howell
Students will create a physical representation of the assigned body part/body function, using only their own bodies and movement within the group. The movement will take place in front of a sheet, with a light behind the group. The silhouette will be captured on video. There will be several available roles for the production ensuring that all students have an opportunity to participate. The final art piece is a collaborative effort that will reflect the various physical and mental impacts of coal mining on the human body.

Creating Graphic Histories
Lesson Plan, 7th Grade
Reilly Jensen
Students will compare and contrast primary references (in support of UT Standard 2.2 and 2.3; U.S. 1 Strand 6.2; 6.3--such as personal journal accounts of Immigrants and Settlers in Utah Territory; popular songs about their journeys; historic and contemporary photo records, etc.) to assemble a narrative from a chosen perspective (i.e. from the perspective of an individual). After studying examples of comics that relate historical events (such as the Buffalo Soldiers Comic from Sema Hadithi), and studying visual narrative and comic-book fundamentals, students will create an original narrative (using historic resources to inform the narrative) and draw their own comics that relay the perspective and story of a person or a group of people in history (UT CREATE Standard 7-8.E.CR.2; 3; 4; 5; 6).

What's 'Mine' is Bought
Lesson Plan, 8th - 12th Grades, American History 11+ AP + IB
Nate Milch
This lesson is meant to have students think deeper about how the economy influences the ways we live and perceive the importance of certain things, specifically with the example of mining in the West and the worth we give the land in terms of monetary value. Through using collage as a medium to explore the themes of mining and the economic influences of it, students can draw parallels between the extraction of their collage materials from their sources to the extraction of materials from the earth and consider how the ways they manipulate those materials change their value.

Mining the West: Before and After
Lesson Plan, 4th - 8th Grades
Kate Sherrill
During this lesson, we will explore how artists have used photography to document the impacts of mining and natural resource extraction on the American Southwest and the people who live there. Students will then create their own photographic collage to document changes to their environment by combining historic images with current drawings or photos of the student’s making.

Accidental Art (Warm Up)
Warm Up Exercise, 8th - 12th Grades
Sydney Porter Williams
A warm-up activity about intentional land art and prominent human-made features.

The Bigger Picture
Lesson Plan, 6th - 8th Grades
Sydney Porter Williams
A lesson plan that explores context and perspective through the lens of photography.

Research and the Artivist
Lesson Plan, 8th - 12th Grades, Adaptable for Younger Audiences
Sydney Porter Williams
A lesson plan where students research Salt Lake City’s Inland Port, a relevant Utah issue. Students will evaluate the port as a design solution, choose a stance on whether or not they support the port, and create protest signs to back their decision.

Curricula Contributors

Kimberly Andrade: I am a senior at the University of Utah. I am studying art education with a minor in Art History and Portuguese. I grew up in Salt Lake and I worked at a non-profit for some time where I taught lessons at a number of schools around Salt Lake County. I love to encourage kids to follow their imagination and create works of art from the world around them.

Sheree Freeze Birrrell is an artist and art educator born in Salt Lake City, UT. She will graduate from the University of Utah with an Art Teaching BFA degree in 2022. She has worked as an educator at Salt Lake Community College and Woodrow Wilson Elementary. Sheree has enjoyed being an art educator for all age groups including the wonderful community that meets at the Murray Senior Recreation Center. Sheree is currently working at The Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts, engaging in community art education, visitor services, tours, and digital art exhibitions. She is interested in the way art can communicate the narratives and ideas of diverse individuals and communities living in Utah. Sheree enjoys art exploration and experimentation. She intends to continue her own art practice with medium experimentation as she explores how narratives and memories can be captured and embedded into her artwork. @sheree.birrell

Janell Heck

Melissa Howell: I am an art teaching and history teaching student at the U. I am super excited to help kids create and learn. I love to create art and eat good food. My favorite foods are shrimp fajitas, cold smoked salmon and cinnamon rolls. I believe life is made up of enjoying the small things while working towards big dreams."

Shae Howell: "Hello! My name is Shae Howell. I am a senior in the Art Teaching Program at the University of Utah. I was born and raised in Utah, and grew up dancing and performing on stage. In my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with my husband, cooking, exercising, walking, and traveling. I’m inspired by people who have built beautiful lives out of ashes from their broken past, and people to defy the odds. I hope you enjoyed the lesson and feel inspired to move and create in new ways!"

Reilly Jensen serves as Director of the Charlie Bethel Legacy Project, an Associate Director of the Bat Archaeological Project, as the Section 106 And Stewardship Coordinator for the Nine Mile Canyon Coalition, and researcher for Sema Hadithi African American Heritage and Culture Foundation. She has an M.A. in Middle East Studies, History and Archaeology. She is working towards an MFA in Community-Based Arts Education (anticipated graduation 2022) at the University of Utah.

Nate Milch is an undergraduate student at the University of Utah working toward his degree in Art teaching. He hopes to create a classroom environment that effectively combines his passion for the arts with his desire to participate in social change and liberation. To him, the arts can provide as revolutionary an education as any text can, and he hopes to share this insight with his future students. When he isn’t studying or creating art, Nate also enjoys playing video games, finding funny knick knacks at thrift stores for his friends, and eating leftovers.

Kate Sherrill is a photographer, printmaker, and retired arts educator based out of Hood River, Oregon. She loves finding ways to use artwork to inspire students to make discoveries about the world and their place in it. As an outdoor recreationalist, Kate is fascinated by the complex issues of land use and the human impact on sensitive watersheds and desert ecosystems of the American West. She hopes to encourage others to contribute their perspectives and voices to the debate.

Sydney Porter Williams is a Salt Lake City-based teaching artist. Currently earning an MFA in Community-Based Art Education, she works to address issues facing Utah and the world today, including environmental problems, mental health struggles, and other difficulties our society is working through. Sydney is passionate about education and building community through artistic means and believes we can improve our world through conversation and collaboration.