Going Green

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Green revolution
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By Mary Erickson, Ph.D.

Going Green is a three-lesson unit plan designed for use with Green Revolution, an exhibition at the Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts. This exhibition is a version of Green Revolution based on an exhibition originally created by the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry and its Black Creativity Council and is made available by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The Tempe exhibition is a collaborative project that combines the arts and sciences while teaching community members about “going green” in Arizona.

Green Revolution Exhibition Preview PowerPoint


  • Theme in Life: We all make decisions based on deeply-held values. For example, many people value “green” practices to help preserve the earth’s natural environment.
  • Theme in Art: Across cultures and times, artists and others have made artworks and other special objects that express or declare their values.

Key Questions
Lessons approach these themes through two key questions.


   What materials can be used to construct fabric or decorate with fibers?




   How do artists use cool colors symbolically?



Community Connections
Most communities in the Valley of the Sun are increasingly committed to developing policies and practices to conserve resources and protect the natural environment. Some cities have set aside nature preserves. Most encourage and facilitate recycling. Several cities are cooperating to extend the light rail to serve more communities. High-Occupancy-Vehicle (HOV) lanes reward people who carpool. The federal government and regional electrical companies have given financial incentives to homeowners and businesses to exploit Arizona’s abundant sunlight to generate electricity. Some people grow their own vegetables and buy food products produced locally to reduce shipping distances. Desert dwellers have a history of of concern for conserving and using water wisely, which is expanding to a global concern for preserving the natural resources of the whole planet.

Lesson One
Pre Visit Lesson: The Web of Life

The Web of Life PowerPoint
Green Revolution PowerPoint
OPTIONAL: sample objects that express ideas such as political posters, religious jewelry, school pennants, ribbons for causes and flags.


Lesson Two
TCA Visit: Exploring Transformations at the Tempe Center for the Arts

“Questor Questions about Transformation: New Meaning from Old Materials” worksheet (pdf)


Lesson Three
Post Visit Lesson: Eco Flags

Symbols in Cloth and Color PowerPoint
Eco Flags PowerPoint 
Paper and pencils
Recycled cotton cloth (large pieces and two-inch torn strips)
Fabric markers
Tapestry needles and embroidery floss (OPTIONAL)  


Laurie Lunquist
Dan Dallins
Sherrie Zeitlin
Bill Timmerma
Jerry and Mary Ann DeBusk
Grace Erickson
Kris Swisher
Linda Crain
Rhoda Imhoff
Lena Hubin

Estimated Time
Previsit Lesson = 30-50 minutes
TCA Visit Lesson = Field Trip
Post Visit Lesson = 180-270 minutes

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