Surrealism Year 8 Visual Arts

Today I have uploaded 6 lesson plans on Surrealism for year 8 students. Along with these lesson plans are an assessment sheet, powerpoint presentation, examples of activities, elements and principles help cards and notes on surrealism.

These are part of a university assessment. Feel free to use these lesson plans in your own classroom.



Surrealism Lesson Notes

Surrealism Lesson Notes

What is Surrealism?

Surrealism first began around 1910, though it really took off in the 1920’s. Surrealism followed on from the post World War 1 art movements of Cubism and Futurism. Surrealism took on a whole new thinking of art and really pushed the boundaries of ‘what is art?’ Surrealism was really an anti-establishment movement, which harnessed the power of the unconscious. Many Surrealist artists tried to display a dream like state in their artworks.


Surrealist Artists

Of course there were many artists associated with the Surrealist movement, but today I will only mention a few. Most of you would have heard of the artist Salvador Dali. Can anyone name one of his artworks? (Melting clocks – ‘The Persistence of Memory’. Salvador Dali was a Spanish artist and very well known for his ‘weird’ personality. He was the guy who made the curly mustache popular. Dali was very much influenced by the work of Sigmund Freud the inventor of psychoanalysis. Freud’s theories related to the power of the unconscious mind and this is what Dali focused on in his works.

Another Surrealist artist which you may have heard of is Marcel Duchamp, who seemed to push the boundaries of art to a whole new level at that point in time. Duchamp is famous for his ‘readymade’ works, such as his work ‘L.H.O.O.Q’ which is an appropriated image of the Mona Lisa where he has drawn a mustache onto the image, ideally changing the entire nature of the work.


Surrealist Techniques

There are various techniques, which are important to Surrealism. Some of these techniques include; automatic writing (where you would write continuously without stopping), collage (I believe everyone would have an understanding of what a collage is), cut- up technique (where words from a text are individually cut up and then rearranged to form a different sentence), frottage (where place paper over a surface and rub over the paper with a pencil or something to get an imprint of the surface), Exquisite corpse (where various images are cut up and rearranged to create a new image), and there are many more techniques. The exquisite corpse technique is what we will be doing as an activity today.


Surrealism Year 8 Visual Arts Assessment Sheet

Surrealism Assessment

Year 8 – Visual Art


– Create an A3 sized Surrealist artwork.

– You must include all three of the Surrealist techniques used in class. These include: Exquisite Corpse, Bulletism and Frottage.

– You may use a variety of materials. These materials include: inks, watercolour pencils, watercolour paint, grey lead pencils, pencils and collage.

– Use the elements and principles of design to construct your artwork.

Visual Diaries

– Your visual diaries are included in your assessment.

– You must record your progress in your visual diary and submit it along with your Surrealist artwork.

Questions to answer in your visual diary once your artwork is complete.

– What is the title of my work?

– How did I create this artwork?

– What materials were used?

– How is this a Surrealist artwork?

– What artists inspired me?

– What elements and principles did I use?

– Point out your favourite part of the work.

Due: At the start of lesson 7.

Surrealism Lesson Plan 6

YEAR LEVEL & SUBJECT:     Year 8, Visual Arts                 DATE: 100 mins
TOPIC/FOCUS: Surrealism

SEQUENCE: Lesson 6 of 6


Creating and Making

– Use a range of starting points including observation, experience and research to represent, generate, develop and communicate real, imaginary and abstract ideas.

– Students, independently and collaboratively, plan, design, improvise, interpret, evaluate, refine, make and present arts works that represent and communicate ideas and purpose.

– They experiment with, select and use appropriate skills, techniques, processes, media, materials, equipment and technologies across a range of arts forms and styles.

– They combine and manipulate arts elements, principles and/or conventions to represent and communicate ideas and develop imaginative solutions to set tasks.

– They maintain a record of the creating and making of their arts works and explain their decisions about how they present arts works for specific purposes and audiences.


The students will be able to:

– Finalise their Surrealist artworks and make a decision as to whether it is finished or needs more development.

– Use the elements and principles of design to extend and further develop their individual work.

– Use a variety of art materials.

SUMMARY OF RESOURCES REQUIRED: Grey leads, Watercolour pencils, Watercolour paint, Coloured Pencils, Ink, Paint Brushes

(key activities and key questions)


(including consideration of the need to adapt, reteach or extend)


(including specific informal and/or formal assessment links to AusVELS)

10 mins   Opening:

– Firstly the teacher will reiterate the importance of the student’s visual diaries, as they will make up part of the assessment for this practical task.

– For any students who were away the teacher will go over the assessment task from last lesson. They are to create an A3 Surrealist artwork using the three Surrealist techniques of Bulletism, Frottage and Exquisite Corpse.

80 mins – Grey leads

– Watercolour pencils

– Watercolour paint

– Coloured Pencils

– Ink

– Paint Brushes

Lesson Development:

– Students are to work on their practical assessment task for the remained of the lesson.

– The teacher will set up the materials onto a separate table for students to use as they feel. Students will be informed of the classroom expectations.

– During the lesson the teacher will walk around the room and speak to each student individually in relation to their work.


– It is the student’s responsibility to care for the materials they use. This includes abiding by the safety requirements of the material, clean up and using the material in a non- wasteful manner.




– While the teacher speaks individually to each student they will be able to give advice and help out any student who is taking trouble with the task.

– Use a variety of art materials.

– Use the elements and principles of design to extend and further develop their individual work.

– Finalise their Surrealist artworks and make a decision as to whether it is finished or needs more development.



10 mins   Closure:

– With 10 minutes to go students will be directed to pack up materials. They will then be directed by the teacher to leave the classroom once the bell has rung.

– They will be asked to submit their final works at the start of next lesson to be marked. Each student is required to write their name on the back of their work (the teacher will need to reiterate this to students).

    – The goal for students is to have their Surrealist work finished by the end of this lesson. This is the last lesson they have to work on this assessment.

– Students are to submit their assessment next lesson along with their visual diary.