Grades/Level: Middle School (6–8)
Subjects: Visual Arts, English–Language Arts, History–Social Science
Time Required: 3–5–Part Lesson
3-4 class periods, plus independent research
Author: J. Paul Getty Museum Education Staff

For the Classroom

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Print and Web Resources (PDF, 191KB)
Standards Charts (PDF, 724KB)

Lesson Overview

Students will compare and contrast artworks depicting different viewpoints about war and will write captions that describe works of art in different media. They will also manipulate the image depicted in a photograph of a war in recent history.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:
• compare and contrast works of art depicting different viewpoints about war and speculate about how each artwork reflects society's values at the time;
• write captions describing works of art in different media;
• analyze an ancient Greek gravestone and its historical context, especially the Persian Wars;
• manipulate a photograph of a recent war in recent history for a different effect than in the original.


• Reproduction of The Father's Curse: The Ungrateful Son by Jean-Baptiste Greuze
• Reproduction of Gravestone of Pollis by Unknown Artist
• Reproduction of Alexander Fights in the Town of the Sudracae, attributed to the Master of the Jardin de vertueuse consolation
• Reproduction of A Harvest of Death by Timothy H. O'Sullivan, photographer, and Alexander Gardner, printer
• Background Information and Questions for Teaching about the works of art (click on the thumbnails of the works below)
• Photocopies of a reproduction of The Father's Curse
• Photocopies of a reproduction of Gravestone of Pollis
• Student Handout: Background about the Battle of Gettysburg
• Video: Evolution on the Campaign for Real Beauty Web site (optional)
• Newspapers and history books containing wartime images
• Adobe® Photoshop®, Adobe® Photoshop® Elements, or another digital-imaging software, such as the free program GIMP; alternatively, use materials for a mixed media work—paint, paintbrushes, colored pencils, glue, and assorted magazines (National Geographic would work well)

Lesson Steps

Download the complete lesson by clicking on the "download this lesson" icon above.

Additional Resource:
Zoom in on The Father's Curse: The Ungrateful Son by Jean-Baptsite Greuze and learn about the story depicted in the drawing.

Zoom in and explore Alexander Fights in the Town of the Sudracae, attributed to the Master of the Jardin de verteuse consolation.

Glossary Terms:
Words in bold on these pages and in the lesson are defined in the glossary for this curriculum (see "For the Classroom" links above).

Harvest of Death / O'Sullivan
A Harvest of Death, Timothy H. O'Sullivan, July 4, 1863

Standards Addressed

Common Core Standards for English Language Arts

Grades 6–8

Key Ideas and Details
1. Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

Comprehension and Collaboration
1. Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
2. Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

For more national and California state standards for this curriculum, refer to the charts found in the links at the top right of this page.