Lesson Plan

William Bernard Schade, Carman Miranda’s Fruit Eating Chick-a-Boom, 1981, drypoint

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

Grade Level


Summary of Activity

Using William Bernard Schade’s etching, Carman Miranda’s Fruit Eating Chick A Boom, as an introductory piece and baseline, students will investigate animal adaptations over the course of time. In particular, students will make connections between how changing environmental factors have necessitated adaptations in various species. Students will then identify a species that is/will be impacted by current and future changes in our environment. They will create a model of a necessary adaptation required for the species of study to thrive in a changing landscape. This model will emulate Carman Miranda’s Fruit Eating Chick A Boom.

Learning Objectives

Students will learn how species have adapted over time and create a hypothesis regarding what adaptations will be needed in a changing world. Students will utilize fiction and nonfiction resources and skills to share their understanding.

Guiding Question

What is an adaptation you think animals will have to make in the future, taking into consideration our changing environment?

Curriculum Connections

  • Science
  • Nonfiction Reading and Writing
  • Social Studies
  • Fiction reading and writing
  • Fine Arts


William Bernard Schade, Carman Miranda’s Fruit Eating Chick A Boom, MMoCA Art on Tour exhibition, MMoCA staff, Display area, Smart Board and/or LCD projector, albany.eu/museum/www/museum/schade, www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERYKzez971, youtube.com/watch?v=230SxqZnfY&feature=related, Art supplies, Zoologist(s)


Present students with a video clip of a Carmen Miranda performance, which may be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERYKzez97l or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23OSxqZnyfY&feature=related. Then share William Bernard Shade's 1981 drypoint etching, Carman Miranda's Fruit Eating Chick A Boom. Group discussion should include the parallels between Miranda's performance(s) of the 1940's and Schade's work.

Begin to focus more heavily on the intricacies of Carman Miranda's Fruit Eating Chick a Boom. Pay special attention to the cotter pins at the bird’s joints, the measurements, and the overall composition of Schade's piece. Discuss what a fruit helmet would do for a bird. Discuss how an adaptation of this sort could benefit a bird and when might such a device be needed.

Share with students that they will be selecting a species to study. They will determine what adaptations were made by that species in the past and hypothesize what adaptations will be needed in the future to survive in an ever-changing environment. Select several species for students to choose from. Place students in groups based on the animal they select.


After the introduction ask students to work together in groups that are based on the animals they select to study. Ask students to research the adaptations their animal has made over time. Students should then research how environmental changes (current and anticipated) will impact their animal in the future. Key elements will include location, human/environment interaction, and expected changes in the environment.

Groups will need to compile research into one document for each member to utilize during the individual portion of the work. A group hypothesis should be created about how the species of study will need to adapt in order to survive in the future.

Individual students will use the research and hypothesis from the group work to create an adaptation that will benefit their animal. They must base this adaptation upon the research regarding how the environment will change and the hypothesis their group created concerning the necessary adaptations for their species. Students will need to keep track of their work in a journal (either electronic or traditional).

Students will emulate William Bernard Schade’s work with the adaptation their animal will have to make to survive or thrive in the future. Their emulation should include measurements, a detail of the adaptation(s), and a title. 

Students will share their research, reasons for the necessary adaptation(s), and emulation with their research group. Feedback will be provided by their peers and time will be given for students to alter their designs.

Last, students will share their final work with the larger classroom group and other classes. Then a collection of student emulations will be displayed in the community.

Common Core Standards

(4th grade standards have been used)
4.RI.5, 4.RI.7, 4.RI.9, 4.RI.10, 4.W.7, 4.W.8, 4.W.9, 4.SL.1, 4.SL.3, 4.L.1, 4.L.6

William Bernard Schade (American, 1943-2008), Carman Miranda's Fruit Eating Chick-a-Boom, 1981, drypoint, 26 x 32 inches. Purchase, through gift from Walter Frautschi. Collection of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.

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