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American Democracy in Word and Deed

MDUSD/UCB H-SSP
8th Grade Lesson: Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper

Developed by: Kathe Welch & Sue Kunich

Teaching American History Grant Focus Question:


How have the words and deeds of people and institutions shaped democracy in the U.S.?
th
8 Grade Year-long Focus Question:
How have the words and deeds of people and institutions shaped democracy in the U.S.?
Unit Focus:
Early-American republic art and literature
Lesson Focus Question:
How do Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper reflect and influence American writing
and artists in the new republic?
Lesson Working Thesis:
Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper created and inspired new forms of literature and
art.
Reading and Writing Strategies:
READING Strategy: Cause and Effect
WRITING Strategy: Analyzing Art
Suggested Amount of Time:
1-2 hours
Textbook:
Deverell, William and White, Deborah Gray. United States History: Independence to 1914. Orlando,
Florida: Holt, Rinehart and Winston., 2006, Chapter 8:(A New National Identity) Section 3, pp270-272

Primary Source Citation:


The Last of the Mohicans c.1827 art collection by Thomas Cole
The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane, 1858 oil painting by John Quidor
Context of the lesson in the unit (and its connection to American Democracy in Word and Deed):
This lesson will take place after The War of 1812 during a unit on the development of early
American culture.
Lesson Procedure:
During this lesson, students will:
read a passage derived from the textbook that explains traditions of art and literature during the
early 1800s,
create a Cause and Effect graphic organizer to prove understanding of the passage,
look at paintings created in response to The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Last of the Mohicans,
analyze the painting The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane, and
create a relief print of one of the illustrations from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
1. Introduction
Step One (Reading Strategy)
Distribute the reading passage to students. Read aloud as a class. Discuss. Show Thomas
Cole collection during this step.
Step Two
Distribute Cause and Effect Chart and have students complete in pairs. Discuss.
Step Three (Writing Strategy)

Show Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane and guide students through completion
of Analyzing Art. After activity, show corresponding passage from Washington Irvings
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and read aloud.
Step Four
Using Arthur Rackham illustrations from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, students will create
a relief print to understand printing traditions of the time period.
*Note: World-renowned illustrator Arthur Rackman is considered by many to be the definitive
illustrator for Washington Irvings high spirited tale.

Homework: Explore other paintings from the Hudson River School


Standards
Visual Arts Grades Nine Through Twelve
1.0 ARTISTIC PERCEPTION
1.3 Research and analyze the work of an artist and write about the artist's distinctive style and its contribution to the meaning of
the work.
4.0 AESTHETIC VALUING
4.1 Articulate how personal beliefs, cultural traditions, and current social, economic, and political contexts influence the
interpretation of the meaning or message in a work of art.
Grade 8 History-Social Science Content Standards:
8.4
8.4.4

Students analyze the aspirations and ideals of the people of the new nation.
Discuss daily life, including traditions in art, music, and literature, of early national America (e.g., through writings by
Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper).

Reading/Language Arts Content Standards:


1.0 Writing Strategies
Students write clear, coherent, and focused essays. The writing exhibits students' awareness of audience and purpose. Essays
contain formal introductions, supporting evidence, and conclusions. Students progress through the stages of the writing process
as needed.
Organization and Focus
1.1
Create compositions that establish a controlling impression, have a coherent thesis, and end with a clear and wellsupported conclusion.
1.3
Support theses or conclusions with analogies, paraphrases, quotations, opinions from authorities, comparisons, and
similar devices.
Evaluation and Revision
1.6
Revise writing for word choice; appropriate organization; consistent point of view; and transitions between
paragraphs, passages, and ideas.
Written and Oral English Language Conventions
The standards for written and oral English language conventions have been placed between those for writing and for listening
and speaking because these conventions are essential to both sets of skills.
1.0 Written and Oral English Language Conventions

Students write and speak with a command of standard English conventions appropriate to this grade level.
Sentence Structure
1.1
Use correct and varied sentence types and sentence openings to present a lively and effective personal style.
1.3
Use subordination, coordination, apposition, and other devices to indicate clearly the relationship between ideas.
Grammar
1.4
Edit written manuscripts to ensure that correct grammar is used.
Punctuation and Capitalization
1.5
Use correct punctuation and capitalization.
Spelling
1.6
Use correct spelling conventions.

American Culture
Until the early 1800s, Americans took most of their cultural ideas from Great Britain and Europe. But as
American politics and the economy developed, so too did a new national culture. Writers and artists were
inspired by American history and the American landscape.
Like many people the world over, Americans expressed their thoughts and feelings in literature and
art One of the first American writers to gain international fame was
Washington Irving. Born in 1783, he was named after George
Washington. Irvings works often told about American history. Through a
humorous form of writing called satire, Irving warned that Americans
should learn from the past and be cautious about the future.
Irving shared this idea in one of his best-known short stories, Rip
Van Winkle. This story describes a man who falls asleep during the time
of the American Revolution. He wakes up 20 years later to a society he
does not recognize. Irving published this and another well-known tale,
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, in an 1819-20 collection.
In some of his most popular works, Irving combined European
influences with American settings and characters. His work served as a
bridge between European literary traditions and a new type of writer who
Washington Irving
focused on authentically American characters and society.
Perhaps the best known of these new writers was James Fenimore Cooper [pictured at left] Stories
about the West and the Native Americans who lived on the frontier fascinated him Coopers novels told of
settling the western frontier and included historical events. For example, his novel, The Last of the Mohicans
takes place during the French and Indian War. By placing fictional characters in a real historical setting, Cooper
popularized a type of writing called historical fiction
The writings of Irving and Cooper inspired painters. These artists began to
paint landscapes that showed the history of America and the beauty of the land.
Earlier American painters had mainly painted portraits. By the 1830s the
Hudson River school had emerged. The artists of the Hudson River School
created paintings that reflected national pride and an appreciation of the
American landscapeLandscape painter Thomas Cole was a founder of the
Hudson River school [He painted four scenes inspired by The Last of the
Mohicans.]
By the 1840s, the style of American paintings was changing. More artists were
trying to combine images of the American landscape with scenes from peoples daily lives. [The Legend of
Sleepy Hollow inspired Irvings friend and artist John Quidor to paint the storys climactic scene in 1958.
Though The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane hangs in the Smithsonian American Art Museum
today, Quidor was little appreciated in his own time, and was obliged to support himself by painting the panels
of stage coaches and fire engines.]

The Last of the Mohicans collection, c.1826, Thomas Cole

Teacher Key

Cause and Effect


Cause

Effect

When _______, then _______

Mixed verbs (led to), caused, made,


inspired
Signal words: thus, so that, since,
therefore, then, consequently, as a result,
due to, because of

[Because]
As American politics and the economy
developed

so too did a new national culture. Writers


and artists were inspired by American history
and the American landscape.

[Because]
Irving combined European influences with
American settings and characters.

His work served as a bridge between European


literary traditions and a new type of writer who
focused on authentically American characters
and society.

[Because]
The writings of Irving and Cooper inspired
painters.

These artists began to paint landscapes that


showed the history of America and the beauty
of the land.

Lesson Questions:
What type of literature did James Fenimore Cooper popularize? historical fiction
What type of painting preceded landscape art?

portrait art

What development in landscape art occurred in the 1840s?


By the 1840s, artists began to combine images of the American landscape with scenes from
peoples daily lives.

NAME_________________________

Cause and Effect


Cause

Effect

When _______, then _______

Mixed verbs (led to), caused, made,


inspired
Signal words: thus, so that, since,
therefore, then, consequently, as a result,
due to, because of

[Because]

[Because]

[Because]

Lesson Question:
What type of literature did James Fenimore Cooper popularize?
What type of painting preceded landscape art?
What development in landscape art occurred in the 1840s?

The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane, 1858. John Quidor

As yet the panic of the steed had given his unskilful rider an apparent advantage in the chase, but just as
he had got half way through the hollow, the girths of the saddle gave way, and he felt it slipping from
under him. He seized it by the pommel, and endeavored to hold it firm, but in vain; and had just time to
save himself by clasping old Gunpowder round the neck, when the saddle fell to the earth, and he heard it
trampled under foot by his pursuer. For a moment the terror of Hans Van Ripper's wrath passed across his
mind,--for it was his Sunday saddle; but this was no time for petty fears; the goblin was hard on his
haunches; and (unskilful rider that he was!) he had much ado to maintain his seat; sometimes slipping on
one side, sometimes on another, and sometimes jolted on the high ridge of his horse's backbone, with a
violence that he verily feared would cleave him asunder.
An opening in the trees now cheered him with the hopes that the church bridge was at hand. The wavering
reflection of a silver star in the bosom of the brook told him that he was not mistaken. He saw the walls of
the church dimly glaring under the trees beyond. He recollected the place where Brom Bones's ghostly
competitor had disappeared. "If I can but reach that bridge," thought Ichabod, "I am safe." Just then he
heard the black steed panting and blowing close behind him; he even fancied that he felt his hot breath.
Another convulsive kick in the ribs, and old Gunpowder sprang upon the bridge; he thundered over the
resounding planks; he gained the opposite side; and now Ichabod cast a look behind to see if his pursuer
should vanish, according to rule, in a flash of fire and brimstone. Just then he saw the goblin rising in his
stirrups, and in the very act of hurling his head at him

ANALYZING ART

Name:

Title of Image: The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane

Artist: John Quidor

Visual Analysis Worksheet


I see .

It tells me ..

I wonder ..

Men (Ichabod Crane and


One of the men is chasing

the Headless Horseman)


the other
on horses, moving fast
The man on the white

Man on white horse looks


horse is trying to get away
scared & his horse looks
Landscape is an important

scared
part of the painting and
Man on dark horse is
was important to the artists
holding a pumpkin
The dark shadows are to
looks like he is going to
make the painting seem
throw it cant see his

scarier.
head
Trees lots of color, moss
all over trees
Dead trees in the

foreground
A lot of dark shadows
Mountains in the
background
Small town in the
background
The Landscape is very
detailed.
Use the sentence starters below to discuss the image.

I noticed
It looks like
Media: Oil Painting

It shows
The painting describes

What did the guy on the


white horse do?
I wonder if he will get
away or get caught?
If the guy on the dark
horse is really headless
or just trying to scare the
other guy into leaving
town?
What happens to the guy
on the white horse? Will
he make it to safety in
the town?
How long it took to
paint?

I think that

WHY: Analysis
This painting tells me part of the story of the Headless Horseman. It shows the Headless Horseman
chasing Ichabod Crane. The viewer sees an active chase scene and is able to root for one of the horsemen.
The artist made the landscape a big part of the painting in order to create drama.
From the Text: The writings of Irving and Cooper inspired painters. These artists began to paint
landscapes and the beauty of the land. Early American painters had mainly painted portraits. By the
1830s the Hudson River School had emerged. The Hudson River School created paintings that reflected
national pride and an appreciation for the natural landscape. (Deverell, 271-2)
TEACHER NOTE: Give the students time to study the image, first on their own then with peers. Have
students discuss and then share out what they see. Encourage students to add items their peer have seen
they did not originally see. Ask leading questions to help students see things they may have missed.

Writing about art

Name:

The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane shows that John Quidor thought that
(Name, title of image)
(WHO? Artist)
Ichabod crane was scared. Ichabod believed the Headless Horseman was real and he
(WHAT? message regarding event)
wanted to get away from him. John Quidor shows the fear on Ichabods face
because he is being chased. Ichabod could still get away! Will he?
(details of the image)

8 /10 points

Writing about art

Name:

The Headless Horseman Pursuing Ichabod Crane shows that John Quidor
(Name, title of image)
(WHO? Artist)
thought that Ichabod crane was scared. Ichabod believed the Headless Horseman was real and
(WHAT? message regarding event)
he wanted to get away from him. John Quidor shows the fear on Ichabods face
because he is being chased. John Quidor uses light and shading to focus the viewers attention
(details of the image)
on the horsemen in the center of the image. He shows shadows in the trees and the safety of a
brightly lit town in the background.

10 /10 points

ANALYZING ART

Name: ___________________

Title of Image: _____________________________ Artist: ___________________________________

Visual Analysis Worksheet

I see .

It tells me ..

I wonder ..

Use the sentence starters below to discuss the image.


I noticed
It looks like

It shows
The painting describes

Media:____________________________________
WHY: Analysis

I think that

This painting tells me that

Writing about art

Name: ________________

_________________________________ shows that __________________________________


(Name, title of image)
(WHO? Artist)
thought ______________________________________________________________________
(WHAT? message regarding event)
_____________________________________________________________________________
because ______________________________________________________________________
(details of the image)
_____________________________________________________________________________

_____/10 points

Writing about art

Name: ________________

_________________________________ shows that __________________________________


(Name, title of image)
(WHO? Artist)
thought ______________________________________________________________________
(WHAT? message regarding event)
_____________________________________________________________________________
because ______________________________________________________________________
(details of the image)
_____________________________________________________________________________

_____/10 points

Relief Printing
Relief Printing is a process used to create multiple copies of an image.
Relief printing originated in China during the 5th century. Chinese artisans used wood blocks to create an
image and then print multiple copies by rolling ink over the surface of the woodblock, laying a sheet of
clean paper onto the inked block, applying pressure, and pulling the print off the block.
Relief printing came into wide use as an art form in Europe in the 1400s. Beginning in the 1500s with the
advent of movable type, relief printing was used in the production of books using a Letterpress. Printing
could be done by hand in small sets or on a Letterpress for great quantities. Rather than having to hand
letter each page, more books could now be made, making books accessible to a larger audience. Invented
by Johannes Gutenberg, Letterpress was the main form of printing text in the mid-15th century until the
19th century and remained in wide use for books, broadsheets (posters), and works of art until the second
half of the 20th century.
In America, this type of printing was used as early as 1638, when Stephen Daye printed The Freeman's
Oath, a broadsheet on the Letterpress he brought over from England. Benjamin Franklins The NewEngland Courant, one of the oldest American newspapers, was completely printed by Letterpress. When
images were needed to illustrate the text, publishers inserted a wood block with the image carved on to it.
In modern printmaking, many materials, such as linoleum or card stock, can be used in place of the wood
block or Matrix.

How to make a relief print:


Artists can create multiple images using relief printing. A wood block, linoleum or card stock can be used
to create a matrix. Ink is rolled evenly onto the matrix, a sheet of clean paper is laid on top of the inked
matrix, and pressure is applied evenly to the back of the sheet. The finished print is then pulled off
showing a reverse image of the original matrix.
You will need:
Card Stock
Brayer [hard rubber paint roller]
Pens & Pencils
Glue stick or white Glue

Plexiglas or wax-Paper
Scissors or Ex-acto Knives
Cardboard Scraps

Create a Matrix:
Draw an image onto one sheet of card stock.
Decide what parts of the image need to be black and what parts should be white. Cut away all the
parts that need to be white. Tip: Place cardboard under your card stock to protect the surface of the
table while cutting.
Carefully glue this piece of card stock to another sheet of card stock for strength. [The image will
print backwards, if your image needs to be reversed, glue it down backwards.]
Let the glued matrix dry.
Printing the Matrix:
Set up a work area with a large sheet of butcher paper covering the table. Have scraps of paper ready to
place under the matrix while you are inking. Keep the main table surface keep so that you can keep the
edges of you prints clean.
Prepare the ink by rolling out a line of ink on the edge of the Plexiglas or wax-paper. Use the Brayer to
roll the ink out in both directions to provide a nice flat ink surface of ink on the Plexiglas and the surface
of the Brayer.
Roll the inked up brayer onto the surface of the matrix transferring the ink. You will need to roll the brayer
over the matrix 2 or 3 times to get a even layer. You may need to pick up more ink from the Plexiglas.
Look at the surface of your matrix to make sure you have coated it evenly.
Place the Matrix inked side up - on to a clean sheet of paper so that you can insure a clean background.
Place a clean sheet of paper on top of the inked Matrix. Apply even pressure with the palm of your hand
over the entire surface of the paper. Check the print by pulling up one corner of the top sheet to see that
the ink has transferred evenly. If it appears solid carefully pull the whole sheet up. If the ink has not
transferred all of the way apply more pressure. Typically the first print is light. Print as many as you like
Notes: Some images are provided with this lesson for the students who may need more inspiration. If
students are more comfortable with their own drawing skills let them create their own image. Be sure the
students know that their final image will be only one color, so if they want to show detail the must show it
by cutting something away.

Title: Battle of Lexington


Artist: Unknown
Media: Wood Block Print
Year: Unknown
From Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540
USA
Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-51813

Quiz Key
1. Washington Irving, one of the first American writers to gain international fame, wrote about
American history using a humorous style called satire.
2. James Fenimore Cooper began a new style of literature that combined American characters in real
historical settings. This style is called historical fiction.
3. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Last of the Mohicans inspired artists to paint landscapes.
4. Before this new style of art, artists had mainly painted portraits.
5. Begun by Thomas Cole, the Hudson River School produced artists who created paintings that
reflected national pride.
Bonus Question: If you were a painter during the 1800s and you couldnt sell your fantastic artwork,
how else might you earn a living? by painting stage coaches and fire engines

Quiz
1. Washington Irving, one of the first American writers to gain international fame, wrote about
American history using a humorous style called _______________.
2. James Fenimore Cooper began a new style of literature that combined American characters in real
historical settings. This style is called ______________ ______________ .
3. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and The Last of the Mohicans inspired artists to paint ___________ .
4. Before this new style of art, artists had mainly painted _________________ .
5. Begun by Thomas Cole, the _______________ ________________ School produced artists who
created paintings that reflected national pride.
Bonus Question: If you were a painter during the 1800s and you couldnt sell your fantastic artwork,
how else might you earn a living?