Auto Body as an Art Form

Combine a career interest of auto body work and love of cars to meet the graduation requirements for art and half of an English course. This ELO is structured with separate essential questions, competencies and activities for Career Exploration, Art, and English.


  • Essential Questions:
    • Is auto-body work a good career option for me?
    • Should auto-body repair be considered an art form?
    • Based upon past and present technology, what will be the best car of the future?
  • Areas of study: Career Exploration, Art, English
  • Type and amount of credit earned: 1/2 Career Exploration (elective), 1/2  Art (Core), 1/2 English (Core)
  • Community partner: Auto-body mechanic


Career/ELO Competencies

  • Research: generate relevant questions and gather information from appropriate, reliable sources
  • Reflection: reflect upon actions, outcomes, processes, and learn to develop and enhance skills
  • Project: design and create an original artifact/project that synthesizes newly gained information and knowledge as well as reflects personal learning style
  • Presentation:  present learning through relevant artifacts, clear and concise explanations of key ideas, and connections linking the key ideas
  • Professionalism:  understand workplace behaviors such as punctuality, responsibility, producing quality work, and appropriately responding to feedback 

Art Competencies

  • Self expression:  understand that the creation of art is built upon engaging in self or group expression
  • Communicate through art:  communicate in the language of art forms through the intentional use of materials, tools and techniques
  • Interpret art:  analyze, interpret and evaluate art
  • Connections:  make connections between the visual arts and the other discipline

English Competencies

  • Informational text: comprehend, critique and analyze increasingly complex informational texts
  • Writing:  write effectively for a variety of purposes and audiences
  • Grammar:  skillfully interpret and apply conventions of the English language to communicate clearly and effectively across content areas
  • Listening and speaking:  listen and view critically, and speak purposefully and effectively
  • Research:  engage in research/inquiry to investigate topics and to analyze, integrate and present information.

See the detailed ELO description for the full text of these competencies.

Student activities

Career/ELO Activities

  • Research and compile education requirements and career statistics
  • Create a video of completing work at the shop

Art Activities

  • Write a repair plan: identify flaws and how to fix
  • Keep portfolio of before and after photos, materials used
  • Minimum of 7 completed artifacts including one or more of the following;
    • Alignment of body lines
    • Refinishing
    • Rework/repair body panel- bumper, door panel
    • Welding

English Activities

    • Read and summarize texts on auto history (see ELO details for recommendations)
    • Independent Research with summaries and cited sources including history of automobiles, best care for an automobile today, history and trends in the mechanics and bodywork
    • Write repair plans that include cost and methods used for repairs
    • Reflection journal entries
    • Summaries of research and books
    • Draft essays


Student is assessed throughout the ELO process to ensure understanding of the material. Student creates seven artifacts and explains how they are an art form to make a portfolio of artwork, researches the history and care of the automobile, writes informational and argumentative essays, and researches career and education options in the automotive field.  Student will complete a sixty minute presentation of learning to connect artifacts to the course competencies. The purpose of the presentation is to demonstrate a full understanding of the competencies and explain how the work is evidence of mastery for those competencies.

This ELO was submitted by Anne Banks, Pittsfield Middle High School

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