Lesson Plans: Elementary

Education

Lesson Plans & Classroom Materials: Elementary

The 1920s: The Migrants Arrive and Cast Their Ballots

Teach American history through art & explore democracy through this print from the Great Migration series by Jacob Lawrence.

See also Art Alive: Summer Street Scene in Harlem and Jacob Lawrence’s Summer Street Scene in Harlem, 1948.

Curriculum Connections: Art, Civics, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Jacob Lawrence, The 1920's... The Migrants Arrive and Cast Their Ballots

Jacob Lawrence
The 1920’s… The Migrants Arrive and Cast Their Ballots


About Face: Copley’s Portrait of a Colonial Silversmith

About Face: Copley’s Portrait of a Colonial Silversmith explores the lives and work of two artists within colonial Boston prior to the outbreak of the American Revolution: portrait painter John Singleton Copley and silversmith Nathaniel Hurd.

See also John Singleton Copley’s Unfinished Portrait of Nathaniel Hurd, ca. 1765.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary

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Copley, John Singleton, Unfinished Portrait of Nathaniel Hurd (1729-1777)

Copley, John Singleton
Unfinished Portrait of Nathaniel Hurd (1729-1777)


American Impressionism: Paintings from The Phillips Collection

Explore American Impressionism from this 2008 exhibition. Lesson plans include Capturing an Impression (Art), Impressionism in Literature (ELA) and The Landscape Architecture Movement (Social Studies).

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Ancient Egypt for Young Children

Mummies and more! Activities for pre-school to 3rd grade. Art, Math, Music, Literacy, Science, Social Studies lessons inspired by the coffins of Pa-debehu-Aset.

See also Egypt in the Art Room.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Music, Science, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary

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Egyptian mummy on loan from the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts

Egyptian mummy on loan from the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts


Animals in Art

Using objects in the Gallery’s collection, explore animals as pets, animals that work, animals in the wild, animal habitats, animals in fables, animals in myths, animals as symbols, and animals as teachers. Can be used as a pre-visit with the Animals in Art tour.

Standards: Art, ELA, Science, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary

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Attributed to M. W. Hopkins, Pierrepont Edward Lacey  (1832 - after 1860) and His Dog, Gun

Attributed to M. W. Hopkins
Pierrepont Edward Lacey (1832 – after 1860) and His Dog, Gun


Art Alive: Back from the Orchard

Interactive activities—looking, imagining, questioning and reflecting—based on Eastman Johnson’s painting Back from the Orchard.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary

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Eastman Johnson, Back from the Orchard

Eastman Johnson
Back from the Orchard


Art Alive: Beach at Blue Point

Interactive activities—looking, imagining, questioning and reflecting—based on William Glacken’s painting Beach at Blue Point.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Music, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary

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William Glackens, Beach at Blue Point

William Glackens
Beach at Blue Point


Art Alive: Boomtown

Interactive activities—looking, imagining, questioning and reflecting—based on Thomas Hart Benton’s painting Boomtown.

See also Thomas Hart Benton’s Boomtown, 1928.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Music, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary

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Thomas Hart Benton, Boomtown

Thomas Hart Benton
Boomtown


Art Alive: Genesee Oaks

Interactive activities—looking, imagining, questioning and reflecting—based on Asher Brown Durand’s painting Genesee Oaks.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary

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Asher Brown Durand, Genesee Oaks

Asher Brown Durand
Genesee Oaks


Art Alive: Ice Cream Cones

Interactive activities—looking, imagining, questioning and reflecting—based on Reginald Marsh’s painting Ice Cream Cones.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA

Grade Level: Elementary

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Reginald Marsh
Ice Cream Cones


Art Alive: Pittsford on the Erie Canal

Interactive activities—looking, imagining, questioning and reflecting—based on George Harvey’s Pittsford on the Erie Canal.

See also George Harvey’s Pittsford on the Erie Canal: A Sultry Calm, 1837.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Music, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary

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George Harvey, Pittsford on the Erie Canal

George Harvey
Pittsford on the Erie Canal


Art Alive: Summer Street Scene in Harlem

Interactive activities—looking, imagining, questioning and reflecting—based on Jacob Lawrence’s Summer Street Scene in Harlem.

See also The 1920s: The Migrants Arrive and Cast Their Ballots and Jacob Lawrence’s Summer Street Scene in Harlem, 1948.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA

Grade Level: Elementary

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Jacob Lawrence, Summer Street Scene in Harlem

Jacob Lawrence
Summer Street Scene in Harlem


Art Alive: Sunday Morning

Interactive activities—looking, imagining, questioning and reflecting—based on Jerome Myers’ painting Sunday Morning.

See also Jerome Myers’s Sunday Morning, 1907 and Learning to Look, Looking to Learn: Sunday Morning model lesson plan.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary

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Jerome Myers, Sunday Morning

Jerome Myers
Sunday Morning


Art Alive: The Fox and the Heron

Interactive activities—looking, imagining, questioning and reflecting—based on Frans Snyders’ painting Aesop’s Fable of The Fox and the Heron.

See also Picturing the Story: Narrative Arts and the Stories they Tell.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA

Grade Level: Elementary

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Frans Snyders, The Fox and the Heron

Frans Snyders
The Fox and the Heron


Art Alive: Towing a Boat, Honfleur

Interactive activities—looking, imagining, questioning and reflecting—based on Claude Monet’s painting Towing a Boat, Honfleur.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary

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Claude Monet, Towing a Boat, Honfleur

Claude Monet
Towing a Boat, Honfleur


The Art of Science; the Science of Art

Explore the interconnections between art & science. Includes questions for discussion.

Curriculum Connections: Art, Science

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Art Speaks: Reading, Re-interpreting and Re-creating Works of Art

Student and Teacher Guide to MAG’s 2004 exhibition Better Things, featuring photographic readings of the collection by Douglas Holleley.

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The Articulate Object: Chart and Worksheet

Visual literacy model lesson that may be used with any object. See also Peeling Onions and Sunday Morning model lesson plans.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Thomas V. Brooks, Cigar Store Indian

Thomas V. Brooks
Cigar Store Indian


Calling Every Man, Woman and Child!: American World War I Posters

Explore the political power of the poster, from MAG’s 2006 exhibition.

Curriculum Connections: Art, Civics, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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James Montgomery Flagg, Wake Up, America! Civilization Calls Every Man, Woman and Child!

James Montgomery Flagg
Wake Up, America! Civilization Calls Every Man, Woman and Child!


Chimú Burial Mask

Full-size image with discussion question that introduces students to the culture of the Chimú people of northern Peru.

Curriculum Connections: Art, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Chimú  Burial Mask

Chimú
Burial Mask


The County Election

Teach American history through art and explore democracy in America through this print after George Caleb Bingham’s painting The County Election.

Curriculum Connections: Art, Civics, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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John Sartain, The County Election

John Sartain

The County Election, lithograph


Edgar Degas: Figures in Motion

Lesson plan to accompany MAG’s 2002 exhibition of the same title. Includes artwork in MAG’s collection.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Edgar Degas, Dancers

Edgar Degas
Dancers


Egypt in the Art Room

Multiple lessons making art & exploring Egyptian art using objects in MAG’s collection.

See also Ancient Art for Young Children.

Curriculum Connections: Art

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Inner Coffin of Pa-debehu-Aset

Inner Coffin of Pa-debehu-Aset


Extreme Materials & Extreme Materials 2

Includes a bibliography of resources in the Teacher Resource Center on artwork made out of unusual materials, from MAG’s popular 2006 & 2011 exhibitions.

Curriculum Connections: Art

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Marietta Ganapin, Sarcophagus Collage

Marietta Ganapin
Sarcophagus Collage


Finger-Lakes/Genesee River Valley Heritage
The Finger Lakes/Genesee River Valley Heritage website provides a glimpse at the history and culture of the Finger Lakes and Genesee River Valley areas of upstate New York. A project of the Rochester Regional Library Council, images are contributed by libraries, colleges, museums, archives, and historical and cultural organizations in a five-county area which includes Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Wayne and Wyoming Counties. Images from the Memorial Art Gallery’s archival collections are included in this website.

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Finger Lakes & Genesee Heritage Logo

Genesee Oaks

Teach American history through American art using Asher B. Durand’s painting of Genesee Oaks. Local geography/history connection!

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Asher Brown Durand, Genesee Oaks

Asher Brown Durand
Genesee Oaks


Georgia O’Keeffe

One Artist—Many Classroom Connections! Explore the art of Georgia O’Keeffe and her interest in the preservation of her paintings. From MAG’s 2006 exhibition Georgia O’Keeffe: Color and Conservation.

See also The Making of Small World Poems Inspired by the Art of Georgia O’Keeffe.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Georgia O'Keeffe, Jawbone and Fungus

Georgia O’Keeffe
Jawbone and Fungus


Guidelines for Leading a Guided Looking Process in the Classroom

Use these guidelines to create visual literacy lesson plans using any object. Try the Learning to Look, Looking to learn model lesson plans to see the guidelines in use.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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students working with art materials in the classroom

Photo by Ria Casartelli


The Indian Hunter

One Painting—Four Art Standards! Explore DeWitt Clinton Boutelle’s painting of The Indian Hunter, comparing it with 19th century American landscapes and sculpture from the Memorial Art Gallery’s collection. This is a model lesson that can be applied to other works in the Gallery’s collection.

See also DeWitt Clinton Boutelle’s The Indian Hunter, 1846.

Curriculum Connections: Art

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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DeWitt Clinton Boutelle, The Indian Hunter

DeWitt Clinton Boutelle
The Indian Hunter


Learning to Look, Looking to Learn: Genesee Oaks model lesson plan

Visual literacy model lesson plan includes worksheets guiding students through the process of looking at an art object and understanding its story.

See also Genesee Oaks, Art Alive: Genesee Oaks.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Asher Brown Durand, Genesee Oaks

Asher Brown Durand
Genesee Oaks


Learning to Look, Looking to Learn: Peeling Onions model lesson plan

Visual literacy model lesson plan includes worksheets guiding students through the process of looking at an art object and understanding its story.

See also Lilly Martin Spencer’s Peeling Onions, ca. 1852.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Lily Martin Spencer, Peeling Onions

Lily Martin Spencer
Peeling Onions


Learning to Look, Looking to Learn: Sunday Morning model lesson plan

Visual literacy model lesson plan includes worksheets guiding students through the process of looking at an art object and understanding its story.

See also Art Alive: Sunday Morning and Jerome Myers’s Sunday Morning, 1907

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Jerome Myers, Sunday Morning

Jerome Myers
Sunday Morning


Leaving for the Country: George Bellows at Woodstock

Explore the world of the Woodstock artist colony through George Bellows’ paintings Autumn Brook and Evening Group. From MAG’s 2003 exhibition.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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George Bellows, Autumn Brook

George Bellows
Autumn Brook


The Making of Small World Poems inspired by the art of Georgia O’Keeffe

Local educator M.J. Iuppa explores the technique of making Small World Poems inspired by art.

See also Georgia O’Keeffe lesson plan.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA,

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Georgia O'Keeffe, Over Blue

Georgia O’Keeffe
Over Blue


Modern Art: Who, What, and Why?

Using the Memorial Art Gallery’s collection, addresses the historical context for the development of abstraction, exploring a wide range of works of art in the context of hands-on activities and discussion. Includes a quilt inspired by a MAG artwork.

Curriculum Connections: Art

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Jackson Pollock, Red

Jackson Pollock
Red


Museum Careers

Explore careers in the museum.

Standards: Career Development, ELA

Grade Level: Elementary

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Gallery staff moving a statue

Odyssey Online

An interactive journey for students through the art and culture of the ancient world, the ancient Americas and sub-Saharan Africa, from the collections of the Memorial Art Gallery & the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University.

Curriculum Connections: Art, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary

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screenshot of Odyssey Online homepage

The Opposition

Explores William Gropper’s unflattering view of democracy in mid-20th century America.

See also Teaching American History Through American Art: Politically Aware Artists and William Gropper’s The Opposition, 1942.

Curriculum Connections: Art, Civics, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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William Gropper, The Opposition

William Gropper
The Opposition


Paper Sculpture

Explore paper making and paper sculpture activities including vessel making & paper play. From MAG’s 2005 exhibition.

Curriculum Connections: Art

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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image of paper sculpture from 2005 exhibition

Participation in Government: The Role of the Artist in a Democratic Society

Create a visual product that will convince others to act on an issue of social and political importance.

Curriculum Connections: Art, Civics

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Passport to the Past

Introduces students to the Memorial Art Gallery’s popular tour of cultures of the past through 14 images from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Asia, and Medieval & Renaissance Europe in the Gallery’s permanent collection. Use the Passport to the Past Image Set as:

  • pre-tour preparation for classes planning a Gallery visit
  • post-Gallery tour discussions or activities
  • a stand-alone cultural highlights resource

Curriculum Connections: Art, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Roman Togatus statue

Roman Togatus statue


Picturing My America

Explore immigration and the complex communities we live in. Includes art making, art analysis, and a link to the The Rochester Homelands Exhibition.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Jerome Myers, Sunday Morning

Jerome Myers
Sunday Morning


Picturing Ourselves: Teaching with Visual Documents

Peter Pappas uses art & photographs to analyze & discuss American history.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Thomas Hart Benton, Boomtown

Thomas Hart Benton
Boomtown


Picturing the Story: Narrative Arts and the Stories they Tell

An interactive website that uses works of art as a springboard for an interdisciplinary approach to culture, environment, language, and learning. It was developed for classroom use, using selected narrative works of world art from the permanent collection of the Memorial Art Gallery.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Science, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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screenshot from Picturing the Story website

The Renaissance

A Sixth Grade Interdisciplinary Unit on the Renaissance created by Pittsford Middle School.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Music, Science, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary

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Rochester Images Project

This image database hosted by Rochester Public Library is the first place to look for historic images of Rochester.

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The Story of Things: Writing about Art

Explore strategies that enable students to:

  • Investigate visual materials
  • Make inferences on their observations
  • Develop critiques that reflect understanding

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Frans Snyders, The Fox and the Heron

Frans Snyders
The Fox and the Heron


A Studio Art Experience: Painting Landscapes in Watercolor

Notes from a teacher inservice with noted local artist Dick Kane.

Curriculum Connections: Art

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Dick Kane teaching a watercolor class

Dick Kane teaching a watercolor class


Teaching American History Through American Art: Politically Aware Artists

Explore artwork between WWI & WWII as artists critique American society. Includes 5 artists from MAG collections.

See also The Opposition and William Gropper’s The Opposition, 1942.

Curriculum Connections: Art, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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William Gropper, The Opposition, lithograph

William Gropper
The Opposition, lithograph


Teaching American History through American Art:
Rochester and the Genesee Valley

Explore art of Rochester, the Genesee River Valley and the Erie Canal.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Music, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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Colin Campbell Cooper, Main Street Bridge

Colin Campbell Cooper
Main Street Bridge


Visual Literacy: “Learning to Look, Looking to Learn”

Use these resources to create visual literacy lesson plans using any object.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA, Science, Social Studies

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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students working with art materials in the classroom

Photo by Ria Casartelli


Voices in the Gallery

Inspire writing by looking at John Sloan’s painting Chinese Restaurant and Lily Martin Spencer’s Peeling Onions. A model lesson that can be used with any object.

Curriculum Connections: Art, ELA

Grade Level: Elementary

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John Sloan, Chinese Restaurant

John Sloan
Chinese Restaurant


Who Lives in You? The Lion King

Art activities to coordinate with performances of The Lion King.

Standards: Art

Grade Level: Elementary, Secondary

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3 masks

Summer Breezes, by 2006 Rochester Biennial artist Carol Taylor, was inspired by Tiffany Studio's Sunset Scene.

Summer Breezes, by 2006 Rochester Biennial artist Carol Taylor, was inspired by Tiffany Studio’s Sunset Scene.


Some offsite links in these lesson plans may become outdated. They can often be found by plugging the url into the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.