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Museum Home Education Search Lesson Plans All Curricula Looking at Illuminated Manuscripts: Lessons and Ideas for Discussion Lesson Plans
Lesson Plans

These lessons about illuminated manuscripts were designed for elementary and secondary teachers and include related visual arts and language arts content standards. In the Image Bank you will find additional suggested questions and activities for use with the images that can be adapted to different grade levels and particular classrooms.

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About Illuminated Manuscripts
Brief History of Illuminated Manuscripts

Lessons 1–4 of 4

Looking at Illuminated Manuscripts: Exploring an Illuminated Manuscript Page
Grades/Level: Upper Elementary (3–5), Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: Visual Arts
Lesson Overview: The books that were created in the medieval period are the forerunners of modern printed books and have many of the same components. Use the image Initial A: Two Men before a King and a Man Speaking to a Family to learn about the different elements of a manuscript page and as a way of beginning to explore and create illuminated manuscripts with your class.

Men before King / Unknown

Looking at Illuminated Manuscripts: Illuminating Fables
Grades/Level: Lower Elementary (K–2)
Subjects: Visual Arts, English—Language Arts
Lesson Overview: Students will examine a manuscript page from a Flemish bestiary and discuss how it was used to teach ideas about Christianity. Students will then compare the stories from the bestiary to the fables of Aesop, and culminate with the creation of their own manuscript based on a fable by Aesop.

Fishermen / Unknown

Looking at Illuminated Manuscripts: A Book of Modern Astronomy
Grades/Level: Upper Elementary (3–5)
Subjects: Visual Arts, Science
Lesson Overview: Students will examine a medieval manuscript on astronomy and create their own books based on modern discoveries in astronomy.

Alchandreus / Virgil Master

Looking at Illuminated Manuscripts: An Illuminated Day Planner
Grades/Level: Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: Visual Arts
Lesson Overview: Students will examine the contents of a book of hours and then compare it to the modern day-planner. They will then create class day-planners/calendars with illuminations that correspond to modern holidays and seasons.

Annunciation / M James IV

Lessons 1–4 of 4

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