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Lesson Plans

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  • Lesson Plan: A Rite of Passage

    Explore the ways rituals, ceremonies, and rites of passage play an important role in communities around the world through an investigation of related objects.

  • Lesson Plan: Ancient Animals at Work

    Identify ways animals (past and present) enhance daily life through a close look at an ancient figurine and art making.

  • Lesson Plan: Ancient Mesopotamia—Literacy, Now and Then

    From cuneiform inscriptions to digital tablets, this lesson highlights changes and continuity in written communications across the ages.

  • Lesson Plan: Animal-Inspired Masks and Masquerades

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    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.

  • Lesson Plan: Arabic Script and the Art of Calligraphy

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    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.

  • Lesson Plan: Architecture and the Natural World

    How can buildings reflect the relationship between people and the environment? Explore possibilities in this lesson plan featuring an ancient Egyptian temple.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: Bravery Stands Tall

    Examine a major turning point in the American Revolution through a close look at this depiction of General Washington and his troops crossing the Delaware River.

  • Lesson Plan: Buddhist and Hindu Art from India—A Comparative Look

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

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: 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).

  • Lesson Plan: Degas—Understanding Art through Nonverbal Means

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

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

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