Wood Landscape Construction

Lesson submitted by Carolyn Olson (Art teacher) of South Ridge School.

Scale and proportion are difficult to use correctly. Ojibwe visual artist George Morrison creates much of his work based on seasonal observations of Lake Superior as seen from Grand Portage using the proportion of one-quarter sky to three-quarter land or water. Students will work through the problem of taking natural materials - driftwood - and building a wood assemblage in the style of Morrison.


Students will:

  1. Create a landscape inspired by the work of George Morrison.
  2. Fit driftwood pieces together to fit in a 9" square box by half inch.
  3. Proportioned one-third sky, two-thirds land.
  4. Exhibit and critique work verbally and in writing.

Image retrieved from Minnesota Artists.

Materials Needed


Art Materials

Activity Process


Show images of George Morrison's driftwood landscapes.


Demonstrate use of tools safely when students resizing wood.



Once landscapes are completed students will display them. Write a reflection on tools for problem-solving and coping with difficult situations.


  1. The student participated in gathering and resizing wood.
  2. The student completed their landscape using the one-third/two-third landscape rule.
  3. The student completed two reflections in their journal - one on the video and one on the art process of building the landscape.
  4. The student exhibited their landscape.

Vocabulary Words


Securing the wood was not as important to me as the process of hunting for the right piece, resizing it if needed and building the piece. The wood is smooth and calming.

Grade Level


Primary Content Area

American Indian Learner Outcomes

Content Standards


Language Arts