Lesson Plan

Julian Otto Trevelyan, Bulldozer, 1973, aquatint and etching

Lesson plan developed by Luke Kloberdanz, Ouisconsing School of Collaboration, Lodi, Wisconsin

Grade Level


Summary of Activity

One of the main themes of geography is Human/Environment Interaction. This theme is all around us, all the time. In order for students to understand their contribution to this relationship they must delve into the particulars that occur whenever we interact with the environment. Julian Otto Trevelyan's etching, Bulldozer, depicts multiple instances of Human/Environment Interaction ranging from the airplanes to the ever prominent bulldozer. Students will use Bulldozer and list all of the interactions they notice in the piece. They will make comparisons to similar interactions they see taking place all around them. From this discussion, students will create a plan to document Human/Environment Interaction(s) that they notice. In particular, students will look for ways these interactions impact the area and develop a web of implications―both positive and negative. After research, students will create a work of art representing the interaction they documented taking place. Students will include a written description of their findings with the art. Students' completed works will be brought together in a group collage that includes each student’s work, representing a broader web of connected Human/Environment Interactions. The total timeframe for the project is subject to student/teacher requirements; however, at least one week should be set aside for the project.

Learning Objectives

Students will locate and document examples of Human/Environment Interaction in their community. They will use multimedia platforms to document and share this interaction.

Guiding Question

How are Human/Environment Interactions a necessary part of our world and how do these interactions impact others?

Curriculum Connections

Social Studies, nonfiction reading and writing, fine arts


Julian Otto Trevelyan, Bulldozer, MMoCA staff, display area, Smart Board and/or LCD projector, indiana.edu/~geog/research/hei.shtmlbatesville.k12.in.us/bms/Staff/garrett/geogweb/geog/realwebpage.htm, non-fiction literature regarding Human/Environment Interaction(s) and their implications, computers for research, materials for student artwork


Share with students images of Human/Environment Interaction such as strip mining, agricultural practices, clear-cut logging, prairie restoration, levee construction, etc. Talk about how these events might impact the areas in which they occur. Develop a group consensus on a definition for Human/Environment Interaction. Then share Julian Otto Trevelyan’s etching, Bulldozer, with the group. Observe and list all of the examples of interactions noticeable in his piece.

Share with students that they are to find and research an example of Human/Environment Interaction in their community. Tell them that they will create an individual work of art representing their research that will become part of a group collage.


Brainstorm as a class all the forms of Human/Environment Interaction represented in Trevelyan's work. Make a list of these interactions including how these events positively and negatively impact the surrounding environment. Discuss some of the Human/Environment Interactions that are taking place in the students' community and surrounding area. Discuss how the students might document these interactions and others in the community. 

Students will work together at the end of the project to place individual artworks in a collage. This step is described below.

The individual portion of the project follows. Students will select a Human/Environment Interaction currently taking place in their community (road construction, a new building, agricultural practices, logging operations, etc.) to research and document. They will use multimedia to capture images of the interaction and document potential impacts. Students will have to make daily observations of how the interaction changes the area in which it is occurring. They will use these observations and research concerning the interaction to create a list of implications for the surrounding community. These implications will be put into a final presentation format to be included with the artwork that depicts the impacts.

Once students have finished documenting the event and researching implications they should start working on a final art piece representing the interaction that they have studied. Collaboration with the art teacher will be important. If possible, lessons related to aquatint and etching will enhance student work and connection to Trevelyan's work.

Students will then combine their research and art into a final display. Students will share the final piece with their classmates, during which time they will have a critique of both the research and the art.

Last, students will bring all of their artworks together in a group collage. They will need to determine how their individual works of art connect and can be formed into one final work of art that includes everyone’s ideas. This final piece will be a group representation of various examples of Human/Environment Interaction occurring in their community. Discuss with students the ways in which all of the events they studied are interrelated and how putting together their artwork into one collage is representative of this idea. The collage and associated research should be displayed in the school to inform students and community members about the Human/Environment Interactions taking place in their community.

Common Core Standards

4.RI.2, 4.RI.3, 4.RI.4, 4.RI.5, 4.RI.6, 4.RI.7, 4.RF.3, 4.RF.4, 4.W.1, 4.W.2, 4.W.4, 4.W.6, 4.W.7, 4.W.8, 4.SL.1, 4.SL.4, 4.L.1, 4.L.2, 4.L.3, 4.L.6

Julian Otto Trevelyan (British, 1910-1988), Bulldozer, 1973, aquatint and etching, 26 x 32 inches. Gift of Saul Steinberg. Collection of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

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