Lesson Plans

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  • 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.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: Materials and Meaning

    Contemporary artist El Anatsui draws upon diverse sources of information and inspiration to create his art. Explore how his artistic choices convey meaning and collaborate with others to express your interpretations through poetry.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: Muses vs. Sirens

    Through movement and storytelling, uncover the layers of meaning embedded in a Roman sarcophagus.

  • Lesson Plan: Point of View in
    Print and Paint

    Explore ways that viewpoint shapes the way we picture the past in this lesson plan featuring a depiction of the abolitionist John Brown.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.


  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: Stained Glass and Social Class in Medieval Europe

    Discover evidence of social class and belief systems in medieval Europe by looking closely at this stained-glass window.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: The Astor 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.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

  • Lesson Plan: 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.

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