Parody Fun

Art History Computers Imaginations

I love this lesson for sixth grade.  We watch a complete introduction on parody examples which always sends the kids into stitches of laughter.  I  have shared it here for you to use.  We have a great time blending detailed conversations of The American Gothic, Mona Lisa, and The Scream with the rich and humorous parodies that others have created - poking fun at these greats.  I ad-lib through the presentation and discuss key points I feel are important to know.  I ask the kids to find the "hidden pitchfork" image in the farmers overalls...among other mirrored images throughout the work.  They are impressed to know that the farmers were really his dentist Byron McKeeby and his sister Nan.  (not really farmers at all)
We discuss the Gothic window and how unusual that was to see during this time.  With Ms.Mona....who was she? The wife of a rich merchant or a secret image of Leonardo himself?  The slide share has these images to explore and more. 

In the end, we go to the computer lab and create their art parodies from a shared file of about 35 different famous images. We use Photo Impact 10 because I find it to be far more "kid proof" and easy to navigate for the students.  It has all that I need to teach kids simple concepts of computer design. 
We have another folder of our teachers (kind enough to be used) that they can use as well as images off of the google image page.

Here are some of the results!



  1. These are great! I wonder if I could do this with my 5th graders. What was the basic concept, cutting, cropping, and pasting? Did you have the students find their own images to put into the artwork using google images? My school has very limited access to images and sites on the net. Anyways I love the idea.

  2. They are worth it...but slow internet access could drive you crazy. This will all depend on your lab set up, etc. The kids do go on Google images as well as access a shared folder that I have our teacher photos in. I try to encourage them to be different than just copying and pasting heads. We learn about selecting items, cut, paste- but also some easy stamp tools and color changing methods, etc. I will walk kids through individual steps they might need that others do not. I always have kids who surprise me in giant ways.

  3. What a great lesson! These images made my day (especially the golden retriever Monroe print!)

    thanks for sharing,


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