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Lesson Plans

Browse all lesson plans below, or search by subject area, grade, collection or theme using our Find an Educator Resource feature.

Animal-Inspired Masks and Masquerades

Help students understand the connections between art and the environment of Guinea, animal anatomy, and the cultural context of the Banda mask with the help of viewing questions and a dance activity in the Museum's African Art galleries.

Arabic Script and the Art of Calligraphy

Students will be able to identify visual qualities of several calligraphic scripts; recognize ways artists from the Islamic world engage various scripts to enhance works of art supporting a range of functions; and assess the merits of several computer-generated fonts in supporting specific uses.

Armor—Function and Design

Identify moveable and static features of armor as well as functional and symbolic surface details and examine similarities and differences between human and animal "armor" through classroom viewing questions. Enhance the lesson with a sketching activity based on an English suit of armor in the Museum's collection.

Art and Empire—The Ottoman Court

Students will be able to recognize ways a tughra functioned as a symbol of power and authority within a culturally diverse and geographically expansive empire.

The Art of Industry

Use viewing questions and a debate activity to investigate the relationship between art and community values, techniques artists use to convey ideas, and strategies for interpreting an American painting in the Museum's Modern and Contemporary galleries.

The Chinese Garden Court

Explore the Museum's Astor Chinese Garden Court and enhance students' understanding of how traditional Chinese gardens reflect the concept of yin and yang and how material selection and design can convey ideas about the human and natural worlds. Use viewing questions and a storytelling or drawing activity in the Museum's Chinese galleries.

The Battle of David and Goliath

Illuminate strategies for conveying stories through images in the classroom with viewing questions about a large silver plate in the Museum's Medieval collection and an illustrating activity.

Beyond the Figure

Consider how artists convey personality in nonfigural portraits and the relationship between visual and verbal expression by looking at a painting by Charles Demuth in the Museum's Modern and Contemporary galleries and through a portrait-making activity in the classroom.

Buddha, Gupta Period

Use visual evidence as a means to identify similarities and differences between Hindu and Buddhist sculpture from India.

The Burghers of Calais

Convey the interpretive significance of pose and expression in the visual arts—in the Museum or the classroom—with viewing questions and a story-writing activity inspired by a nineteenth-century French sculpture by Auguste Rodin.

Ceramics in China and the Near East

Students will be able to identify ways works of art reflect exchange between Chinese and Near Eastern civilizations; recognize ways animals act as symbols in various cultures; and create a tile that highlights the qualities and traits commonly associated with an animal.

Composing a Landscape

Study the relationship between the human and natural worlds in art, as well as the techniques artists use to convey ideas, by exploring a painting by Frederic Edwin Church in the Museum's American Wing. Extend the lesson through a writing and drawing activity in the classroom, or a sketching activity outdoors.

Court Arts of Islamic Spain

Students will be able to identify shared visual characteristics among several works of art from Islamic Spain; recognize ways designs are adapted across a range of media; and cite strengths and limitations of various materials.

Daily Life in Medieval Nishapur

Students will be able to recognize ways works of art reflect medieval Nishapur's status as an important center of trade; use visual evidence to support inferences; and apply an original two-dimensional design to a three-dimensional form (in alternative activity).

Degas Dancer

Use writing, drawing, or movement as a means to share evidence-based inferences about this sculpture of a dancer by Degas.

Domestic Life in Eighteenth-Century Damascus

Students will be able to understand how a reception room from the house of an affluent family in eighteenth-century Damascus reflects the tastes, interests, and life of the urban elite in a provincial city of the Ottoman empire; and recognize ways interiors from different time periods and places (including their own) reflect the personal tastes, interests, and values of their inhabitants.

Engaging the Elements

Engage students' interest in the relationships between the human and natural worlds, and art and the environment through a mask-making activity and viewing questions for the classroom about a mask from Alaska in the Museum's Native North American collection.

Geometric Design in Islamic Art

Students will be able to use a compass and straightedge to construct regular polygons; and recognize ways works of art from the Islamic world utilize geometric forms and relationships.

Gods, Goddesses, and the Supernatural

Enrich students' understanding of how the ancient Assyrians used art to convey messages through a classroom writing and art-making activity and viewing questions related to a monumental sculpture in the Museum's Ancient Near East collection.

Haremhab—General and Scribe

Capture students' imaginations in the Egyptian galleries with viewing questions about a sculpture portrait and an observation activity about analyzing portraits, relationships between art and cultural values, and the ways different communities communicate through images and text.

Islam and Religious Art

Students will be able to identify important figures and events in early Islamic history; recognize ways works of art reflect and support religious beliefs and practices; and use visual evidence to support inferences.

The Making of a Persian Royal Manuscript

Students will be able to identify some of the key events and figures presented in the Persian national epic, the Shahnama (Book of Kings); make connections between the text and the illustrated pages of the manuscript produced for Shah Tahmasp; and create a historical record of their community.

Manet—Critics and Champions

Exercise students' sensory and descriptive powers in the Museum or the classroom with an imaginative activity and viewing questions focused on a painting by Édouard Manet. Examine the ways artists are inspired by the past and help students understand the context of Manet's career.

Medieval Beasts and Bestiaries

Explore the use of animals as symbols in medieval art with viewing questions and a group drawing activity at The Cloisters or in the classroom.

The Mughal Court and the Art of Observation

Students will be able to recognize ways works of art reflect an intense interest in observation of the human and natural world among Mughal leaders; and understand ways works of art from the past and present communicate ideas about the natural world.

The Nomads of Central Asia--Turkmen Traditions

Students will be able to identify ways art of the Turkmen people of Central Asia reflects nomadic life and understand the functional and symbolic role objects play in their lives.

The Power Behind the Throne

Bring the Museum's African collection into the classroom with viewing questions and an art-making activity that cultivate visual analysis and an understanding of how surface detail and composition can express themes of power and leadership.

Power in Ancient Mesopotamia

Examine how a great ancient Mesopotamian king conveyed power and leadership in a monumental wall relief in the Museum's Ancient Near Eastern art collection and consider how leaders today express the same attributes through viewing questions and an activity.

The Power in Portraits

Examine the Met's Roman collection at the Museum or in the classroom with viewing questions and a writing and self-portrait activity that explore the ways leaders communicate their power and values through portraiture.

Science and the Art of the Islamic World

Students will be able to identify similarities and differences between scientific tools used now and long ago; and use research findings to support observations and interpretations.

Shiva—Creator, Protector, and Destroyer

Inspire students to interpret, communicate through, and personally connect with art through an in-classroom examination of a powerful sculpture in the Museum's Indian art collection and a self-portrait activity.

The Story in Art

Develop students' abilities to analyze and employ narrative elements in art with in-classroom viewing questions about a work in the Museum's European paintings collection and a story-writing and illustrating activity.

Take It to the Afterlife

Delve into daily life and the afterlife in ancient Egypt, as well as strategies for visual analysis and interpretation of art, through viewing questions and a sketching activity in the Museum's Egyptian galleries.

Urban Life and the Natural World

Engage students regarding the strengths and limitations of artistic mediums and 1920s rural and urban life in the United States with viewing questions about a stained-glass window and a compare-and-contrast activity in the Museum's American Wing.

Venice and the Islamic World

Students will be able to recognize evidence of artistic exchange and mutual influence between Venice and the Islamic world in works of art and use informational texts as a resource to substantiate inferences.

Voices of the Past

Focus on a slit gong in the Museum's Oceanic collection to illustrate the impact of scale in works of art, and consider objects' functions in their original contexts and ways different communities engage with their elders and ancestors. Classroom viewing questions and an oral history activity enhance the lesson.

K–12 Educator Program

Join us on September 12 for gallery conversations and activities, free resources, and more.

Spring K–12 Educator Programs

Refresh and recharge at an educator workshop this fall! View a list of upcoming programs and register online.