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Museum Home Education Search Lesson Plans All Curricula Art & Science: A Curriculum for K-12 Teachers Lesson Plans
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These lessons address the science of art production, conservation, and scholarship using the Getty's artworks and conservation practices.

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Lessons 1-10 of 12

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Capturing Light: The Science of Photography
Grades/Level: Upper Elementary (3–5), Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: Visual Arts, Science
Lesson Overview: Students will create their own simple cameras to understand how artists use and manipulate light to capture images in photographs.

Emperor's Mosque / Murray

The Chemistry of Ceramics
Grades/Level: Lower Elementary (K–2), Upper Elementary (3–5), Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: Visual Arts, Science
Lesson Overview: Students will study a porcelain sculpture to understand how heat can transform clay into a hard ceramic. Students will then make their own ceramic sculptures to understand the artistic and scientific processes of drying clay.

Mercury & Perseus / Ginori Porcelain Factory

Clearly Classified
Grades/Level: Lower Elementary (K–2), Upper Elementary (3–5), High School (9–12)
Subjects: Visual Arts, Science
Lesson Overview: Students will classify the plants and insects depicted in a painting.

Flower Still Life / Bosschaert the Elder

Combatting Corrosion
Grades/Level: Upper Elementary (3–5), Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: Visual Arts, Science
Lesson Overview: Students study an object from antiquity to understand how conservators remove and prevent corrosion on bronze statues, caused by exposure to humidity.

Victorious Youth / Unknown

Constellation Companions
Grades/Level: Upper Elementary (3–5), Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: Visual Arts, Science
Lesson Overview: Students will chart constellations and identify the characteristics of the stars that compose them.

Constellation Diagrams from Astronomical Miscellany, detail

Finding Balance
Grades/Level: Lower Elementary (K–2), Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: Visual Arts, Science
Lesson Overview: Students will study how an artist must consider the weight of material and the force of gravity to create balance in a sculpture. They will then create their own sculpture applying the principles they learned about balance and gravity.

Juggling Man / de Vries

Insect Anatomy
Grades/Level: Lower Elementary (K–2), Upper Elementary (3–5), Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: Visual Arts, Science
Lesson Overview: Students will observe a variety of insects and identify characteristics common to all insects, and characteristics unique to the various species.

Butterflies, Insects, and Currants / Jan van Kessel

Magnificent Microscope
Grades/Level: Lower Elementary (K–2), Upper Elementary (3–5), Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: Visual Arts, Science
Lesson Overview: Students will study an ornately decorated microscope from the 18th century to understand how it works, what it was used for, and how the tool has developed over time into contemporary microscopes. Students will create their own decorated microscope based on this historical model and use it to record their observations of different biological specimens.

Compound Microscope and Case / Caffieri

Marshland Ecosystems
Grades/Level: Lower Elementary (K–2), Upper Elementary (3–5), Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: Visual Arts, Science
Lesson Overview: Students will classify the plants and animals depicted on a 16th-century ceramic basin made in Paris and determine what ecosystem the artist represented in this artwork.

Oval Basin / Palissy

Medieval Natural Resources
Grades/Level: Lower Elementary (K–2), Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: Visual Arts, Science
Lesson Overview: Students will identify the natural resources that were used to make an illuminated manuscript during the Renaissance. They will research the origins of these materials to determine which are renewable resources, and which are available in California.

French King at Court / French

Lessons 1-10 of 12

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