Lesson Ideas

Unit Plan

This lesson can be adapted to a number of courses, yet the example given here would be used in an art class. It would be ideal at the beginning of the year to allow students to get acquainted with themselves and one another. The main element to discuss is the ideas of personality traits, perspective, and accuracy of these tests. Other topics of discussion include margin of error, observer and subject bias, and labels. While this test is said to be the most accurate reading of personality traits, how does this affect someone administering or taking the test.

This topic could be completed over several courses. The first class would discuss the Big 5 personality traits: Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, Openness. Students would learn about what each of these mean and perhaps begin brainstorming how these fit into their own personalities, or their peers.

In follow-up classes have students complete the test at the following link http://www.outofservice.com/bigfive/. They can either compete it using their own electronic device, one at a time on a computer in the classroom, or complete a printed version. Depending on the class, the teacher can calculate their results, or the students can rate themselves.

With the personality traits in mind, as well as the many positive influences and aspects in their lives, students can work on the following project in the course, ending with a presentation of their artwork:


Student Profiles – Behind the Scenes – What is Perspective?

Students need to feel a sense of belonging, to be welcome in the classroom, and need a way to bring their own personal skills and attributes to their classroom and community. With curriculum, social, and family expectations, students can feel overwhelmed with responsibilities. It is important to allow them time to reflect on their strengths, so they can move forward with them and embrace their differences.

This lesson can be adapted as a multidisciplinary project, incorporating social studies, English, art, music, and has elements of history and culture.

Overall Expectations (Grade 8): Ontario Ministry of Education (2010). The Arts: The Ontario Curriculum. (p. 154-155).

  • Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process to produce art works in a variety of traditional two- and three-dimensional forms, as well as multimedia art works, that communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings, using elements, principles, and techniques of visual arts as well as current media technologies.

Specific Expectations

  • D1.1 create art works, using a variety of traditional forms and current media technologies, that express feelings, ideas, and issues and that demonstrate an awareness of multiple points of view.

Essential Question – What is perspective?


  • Create a piece of artwork using mixed media (collage, painting, photographs, objects, pencil crayons etc..).
  • Reflect on the Big 5 Personality test and demonstrate how our personality has many layers
  • The piece must be a self-portrait focusing on the background elements.
  • Guiding questions:
    • What are your interests?
    • What are your most prominent skills?
    • What does your life outside of school look like?
    • What is your perspective of your own culture?

Achievement Categories

  • Knowledge/Understanding: Understand what mixed media can include. Understand the definition of the big 5 personality traits – Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, Openness.
  • Thinking/inquiry – Explore different aspects of perspective – our own, others, personality tests, and how that creates how we see ourselves in relation to the world.
  • Communication – Develop the ability to connect your personal perspective and your artwork and convey these ideas to your peers.
  • Application – Connect different layers of perspective and personality and apply it to your own creative work of art.