• Demolition (Ping’an Avenue Beijing)

    Zhang Dali, Demolition (Ping’an Avenue Beijing). C-Print, 35 3/8 x 23 5/8 inches. Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

  • Motorcycle Riders

    Henry Clay Anderson, Motorcycle Riders. Gelatin silver print, 14 1/8 x 11 1/8 inches. Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

  • Lovely Six Foota

    Mickalene Thomas, Lovely Six Foota. Chromogenic print, 56 5/16 x 67 3/8 inches. Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

Photographic Alphabet Book

Visual Arts

Grade 1

1: Alphabet Books and Children Who Read Them

3 30-minute lessons


How do artists take pictures?
What will be used to illustrate a letter?
How do we arrange objects to create the letter?

I can work with my classmates to make art.
I can make an art project about the alphabet.
I can use my imagination to make art.

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

Day 1

Direct Instruction

Assign each student a letter of the alphabet. In small groups, have students brainstorm ideas for a found object sculpture that represents their individual letters.

Guided Practice /Application

After finishing the brainstorming activity in small groups, have students work individually to generate a sentence or two describing their idea for the sculpture and draw an illustration to go with it.

Day 2

Direct Instruction

Assist small groups in locating the appropriate found objects and constructing their individual letter sculptures.

The student group will work as a team to construct each student’s letter with the student who generated the idea working as the team’s leader.

Document student work by taking photos.

Guided Practice /Application

Have students work in small groups to construct their letter sculptures.

Day 3

Direct Instruction

Assist students in constructing their class alphabet book using the photographs taken of their sculptures.

Model how to write a short statement about their artwork.

Guided Practice /Application

Students will write a caption to go with their photo.

Differentiation and Modifications:

Modification: Students may illustrate the same letter more than once with various solutions/materials. Selected students may take their own photos of their work. Some may create their own alphabet book.


Students’ work illustrates a letter.

Art Rubric

Materials Needed

digital cameras, found objects, photo paper


sculpture, photography

Artwork in this Lesson

  • Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
    • Henry Clay Anderson | Motorcycle Riders
    • Mickalene Thomas | Lovely Six Foota