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Grade Level

9-10, 11-12


5-7 (45 min) class periods


Computer, Photoshop, OR magazines and x-acto knife, glue, and scrap board


Digital, Mixed media

Lesson Objectives

Students will be able to…
Recognize well known surrealist work, artists and understand what makes it surreal
Create an original surrealist insired work
Execute using appropriate collaging skills by hand or using Adobe Photoshop skills (depending on what is available).
create an artwork that incorporates all three of these into a single cohesive work that shows technical skill
Combine seemingly unrelated elements into one cohesive composition that suggests in intriguing narrative.

Introductory Activity

Introduce students to Surrealism. Look at work by famous surrealists like Salvador Dalí and René Magritte and identify how the works shown display surealist concepts such as scale, levitation, juxtaposition, dislocation, transparency, and transformation.
In my class we would spend a few classes practicing these skills in Photoshop. we would cut out a shape like found in René Magritte’s La Décalcomanie, We would juxtapose a head of one animal on top of another like found in Vladimir Kush’s African Sonata or Rene Magritte’s Reverse Mermaid. We would practice with photoshop tools to play with scale, repetition, removing backgrounds and inserting them, etc.
If collaging by hand, show students how to use an xacto knife to cut out the images and how to combine with good craft.

Lesson Process

From there, students are asked to use all the concepts and technical skills to create an image. Usually a couple days in students would share work for suggestions and feedback and use that feedback in completing the image.


Scale, levitation, juxtaposition, dislocation, transparency, and transformation

Scholastic Art Rene Magritte, Working with Surrealism, Sept/Oct 1993

Author & Website/Blog

Supporting Images