What Makes a New York Building Art Deco?
Part One: Structure
Materials provided:
  • Activity one lesson plan

  • What Makes a New York Building Art Deco: Structure Video Recording

  • What Makes a New York Building Art Deco: Structure PowerPoint

  • What Makes a New York Building Art Deco: Structure Script

As it is likely that most of the students will not have any working knowledge of the Art Deco era, nor the features of Art Deco architecture and design, this lesson provides basic knowledge, basic Art Deco vocabulary, and tools to recognize some of the most identifiable features of Art Deco architecture and design.

Documenting Deco Online: K – 2

What Makes a New York Building Art Deco: Structure Video Recording

You can preview the video recording for this lesson below. However, when implementing the lesson as a group with your students or as an individual activity, we recommend using the video page at ArtDeco.org/documenting-deco-k-2-structure, as that page contains just the video and not your lesson plans.

Part Two: Design
Materials provided:
  • Activity two lesson plan

  • What Makes a New York Building Art Deco: Design Video Recording

  • What Makes a New York Building Art Deco: Design PowerPoint

  • What Makes a New York Building Art Deco: Design Script

To continue building students’ understanding of Art Deco architecture and design, this lesson picks up where activity one left off with the introduction of additional  Art Deco vocabulary terms, and tools to recognize some of the most identifiable features of Art Deco architecture and design.

What Makes a New York Building Art Deco: Design Video Recording

You can preview the video recording for this lesson below. However, when implementing the lesson as a group with your students or as an individual activity, we recommend using the video page at ArtDeco.org/documenting-deco-k-2-design, as that page contains just the video and not your lesson plans.

Materials provided:
  • Arts Activity lesson plan

  • Six Art Deco building Templates

  • Suggestions of arts and crafts materials

  • Inspiration video

  • Recap video of features that make a New York building Art Deco

  • Four example videos showing artistic methods that students can use to create their own Art Deco buildings

  • Video showing how you can combine your students' work into the class Deco Dream City

Suggested Arts Materials and Supplies:

Students don't have to have all of the materials and supplies listed below to make their Art Deco buildings. These are just some of the materials that we use in our video examples. Feel free to encourage students to use other arts and crafts materials that you think they may have. 

  • Printed building template(s) or drawing paper if students prefer to draw their own buildings

  • Coloring supplies such as pencils, markers, crayons, pastels, pens, and/or whatever materials they like to use when drawing and coloring

  • Colored construction paper, wrapping paper, old magazines or newspapers, and/or whatever collage materials they wish to use

  • Scissors

  • A ruler or straight edge to help draw straight lines, Art Deco patterns, and/or geometric shapes

  • Liquid glue, a glue stick, and/or clear tape

  • Materials that sparkle, like loose glitter, glitter tape, glitter glue, rhinestones, or even extra buttons

  • Shiny materials like aluminum foil, chewing gum wrappers, or metallic foil papers

Downloadable Materials​

Click the image below to open the full-size, printable PDF of the Art Deco building templates

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Arts Activity: Deco Dream City
Now that students have a good understanding of Art Deco design, the goal of this lesson is to encourage students to apply these visual elements to their own creative processes.

If students choose to make a 3-D building, they can use any empty box or carton waiting to be recycled, such as cereal boxes, shipping boxes, milk or egg cartons, even empty paper towel or toilet paper tubes.

Recap of What Makes a New York Building Art Deco

If you would like students to have a refresher on the design elements that make a New York building Art Deco, you can have them watch this short recap video. You can preview the video recording for this lesson below. However, when implementing the lesson as a group with your students or as an individual activity, we recommend using the video page at ArtDeco.org/Documenting-Deco-k-2-Dream-City, as that page contains just the activity videos and information without your lesson plans.

Example Videos

Students can look at 4 example videos that each use a different artistic method to create Art Deco buildings. These videos are not step-by-step how-to tutorials, they are just examples meant to inspire your students. You can preview the video recording for this lesson below. However, when implementing the lesson as a group with your students or as an individual activity, we recommend using the video page at ArtDeco.org/Documenting-Deco-k-2-Dream-City, as that page contains just the activity videos and information without your lesson plans.

Drawing and Coloring an Art Deco Building
Collaging an Art Deco Building
Making a 3-D Art Deco Building
Making an Art Deco Building Digitally
Making your Deco Dream City

You can make your class Deco Dream City using a simple, free online tool, called Canva. We recommend watching the full Canva video below to get an idea how it works. Once you have finished watching the video, click here to be taken to the Canva website to create your own Deco Dream City. This video includes a step-by-step how-to tutorial on ways to import your students' buildings so all of the buildings can be grouped together. You will find tips on the many creative tools you can use in Canva to decorate your group’s Deco Dream City. You should decorate your Deco Dream City using the colors, patterns, and words, that you like.

We'd love to see your Deco Dream City!
If you'd like to share your creation, please email it to us at Info@ArtDeco.org.
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Acknowledgements

The Documenting Deco online program is provided with funding and support from a generous contributor in addition to:

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This program would not have happened without the assistance of many individuals who contributed their time, talents, and knowledge to make it possible. Many thanks to architect and photographer Richard Berenholtz, who inspired Documenting Deco and shares his vast experience with students participating in the program; Judith Spokony, who brings more than thirty years as a New York City educator to creating the teaching guide and student materials; television producer Pamela Kawi who has contributed her talents overseeing all our media; Damian Cavalo for videotaping Richard Berenholtz’s interview; Sandra Tansky for her careful editing and helpful suggestions; Christine Stoddard for her exceptional development and implementation of this program; and David Fuchs for his assistance.