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Museum Home Education Search Lesson Plans All Curricula Art & Language Arts: Ideas for the Classroom Lesson Plans
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Each lesson below was written by an elementary teacher from the Los Angeles area. Developed through the Getty Education Department's one-year professional-development program, Art & Language Arts, these lessons were designed to meet California content standards for English-language arts and visual arts.

For more information about the program, please e-mail teacherprograms@getty.edu.

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Lessons 1–10 of 27

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In Depth with Pearblossom Highway
Grades/Level: Upper Elementary (3–5)
Subjects: Visual Arts, English—Language Arts
Lesson Overview: Students compare and contrast a photograph and a photo-collage depicting the same highway and write a descriptive composition of both images. They identify one-point perspective in works of art then draw a desert landscape using one-point perspective.

Pearblossom Hwy. / Hockney

Take a Trip on the Chandelier
Grades/Level: Lower Elementary (K–2)
Subjects: Visual Arts, English—Language Arts
Lesson Overview: Students will discuss the lines, shapes, and patterns used to decorate a 19th century chandelier that was made to look like a hot air balloon. They will create a papier-mâché sculpture of a hot air balloon and decorate it with a pattern. They will write about where they would go on a hot air balloon.

Chandelier / Galle

Decorating Objects...and Re-decorating
Grades/Level: Upper Elementary (3–5)
Subjects: Visual Arts, English—Language Arts
Lesson Overview: Students will discuss the form and function of Chinese porcelain with gilt-bronze mounts that were added by French artists. They will decorate cups or bowls with thematic designs then "sell" these works to partners role-playing as French tourists. Partners will add decorations to the original designs. Each student will also write an account of his or her object's journey.

Pair of Ewers / Unknown

And Then What Happened?
Grades/Level: Upper Elementary (3–5)
Subjects: Visual Arts, English—Language Arts
Lesson Overview: Students will identify nouns, verbs, and adjectives visible in two paintings depicting a stormy and calm landscape, respectively. They will write a narrative inspired by the paintings, paying attention to transitional phrases and sensory details. Students will use color and line to create their own calm or stormy landscape.

A Storm / Vernet

Once Upon a Time in the 1800s
Grades/Level: Upper Elementary (3–5)
Subjects: Visual Arts, English—Language Arts
Lesson Overview: Students will examine the details and color in an 1821 painting by Jacques-Louis David depicting two sisters who are exiled princesses. Students will read a tale about the Brothers Grimm, who were writing fairy tales during the same time period that these sisters were exiled. Students will then write and illustrate a fairy tale inspired by the painting.

Bonaparte Sisters / David

Remembering Waiting
Grades/Level: Lower Elementary (K–2)
Subjects: Visual Arts, English—Language Arts
Lesson Overview: Students will study the pastel drawing Waiting by Edgar Degas and discuss the story Degas may be telling through the body language and clothing of the people in the work of art. They will then create a pastel drawing depicting a time when they had to wait for something and compose a brief narrative based on this memory.

Waiting / Degas

Finding the Animals: A Visual Exploration of Art
Grades/Level: Lower Elementary (K–2)
Subjects: Visual Arts, English—Language Arts
Lesson Overview: Students participate in a "thirty-second look," followed by a class discussion about Jan Brueghel's painting The Entry of the Animals into Noah's Ark. Students then use description words and complete sentences to write about their favorite animal in the painting; draw the animal using line, color, and shape; and present their work to the class.

Noah's Ark / Brueghel the Elder

Transforming Negatives into Positives
Grades/Level: Upper Elementary (3–5)
Subjects: Visual Arts, English—Language Arts
Lesson Overview: Students create double-exposed photographs, poetry, and multimedia presentations to celebrate their Open Court "City Wildlife" unit.

Facade Chicago / Teske

Flora and Fauna as Figures of Speech
Grades/Level: Upper Elementary (3–5)
Subjects: Visual Arts, English—Language Arts
Lesson Overview: Students will view artwork in manuscripts pages depicting insects, animals, plants, flowers, and ornate writing, such as those found in the Mira calligraphiae monumenta in the Getty Museum. They will create a work of art that illustrates a figurative saying with a drawing of flora and/or fauna, and text written in ornate script.

Orange, Mollusk / Hoefnagel

Giants of the Past
Grades/Level: Upper Elementary (3–5)
Subjects: Visual Arts, English—Language Arts
Lesson Overview: After reading The Mysterious Giant of Barletta by Tomie DePaola, about an ancient Roman statue that comes to life, students create a paper sculpture based on ancient Greek and Roman statues in the Getty Museum. They then write a narrative story told from the viewpoint of their sculpture.

Aphrodite / Unknown

Lessons 1–10 of 27

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