Men before King / Unknown

Engage your students in the investigation of illuminated manuscripts, books written and decorated entirely by hand. Discussion questions and lessons in this curriculum offer an in-depth exploration of how these books were made, who made them, and why they were made.

The J. Paul Getty Museum's collection of manuscripts spans the eighth through the 16th century and constitutes a veritable history of medieval and Renaissance manuscript illumination. Four objects from the collection are highlighted in this material and were chosen for their potential as teaching tools in the classroom. Together they represent different styles of illuminated manuscripts from the 12th through the 16th century.

These lesson plans connect to visual arts, language arts, and science content areas for elementary and secondary students. Connections to California state standards are listed in the lesson plans. "Questions for Teaching" and background information about each object are available in the Image Bank and can be used to prompt examination and conversation about each piece.