American Gothic pop-up scenes

Second graders and multiagers spent weeks working on these 3-d wonders. After studying Grant Wood’s American Gothic, they discovered that artists can tell a story through a picture. The people in Wood’s painting look like farmers, based on their clothing, props, and the farm in the background, so they created their own scenes with unique people, animals, and houses in their setting. They learned how to create a watercolor wash with clouds, and explored foreground, middle, and background.

Fun facts about American Gothic:

  • Grant Wood LOVED farms. He raised animals and did chores around his own farm starting when he was a little boy.
  • Later in life, he was driving around his home state of Iowa and saw the house that is in American Gothic. He loved its Gothic architectural style, and decided to paint it. He needed some people in his painting, though, so…
  • Grant Wood loved sugar almost as much as he loved farms. He was said to put a half cup in his coffee every morning, and even went so far as to put it on his lettuce. As one could imagine, he had terrible teeth, and spent a lot of time gazing up at his dentist from the dental chair. He thought his dentist would make a fine subject for a painting, so that is the man in American Gothic!
  • The woman in the painting was supposed to be Grant Wood’s mom, but she was too elderly to pose for that long, so he used his sister as a stand-in.