In my first year of college I took a Art History class about early American artists. My favorite was the landscape artist of the 1800's painting the American wilderness.
Thomas Moran, is one of my favorites. After people had heard wild stories of boiling water and shooting geysers in the Yellowstone region an expedition was sent to find out the truth. Among the expedition was artist, Thomas Moran. With his watercolor sketchbook he recorded the marvels of Yellowstone. After he returned to the East he turned many images into large paintings. People marveled at the western wonders and because of him, Yellowstone was set aside as America's first National Park. (which lead to over 50 more)
I was very excited to visit the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and visit Thomas Moran's inspiration.
Since my visit I have created an art unit for my students teaching them about Thomas Moran and the expedition combining Social studies and art, and then creating their own landscape painting.