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Lesson Plans

These lesson plans help you integrate learning about works of art in your classroom. Select an option below to browse lesson plans by grade, or continue scrolling to see all lesson plans.

Lesson plans for elementary school students

Lesson plans for middle school students

Lesson plans for high school students

Elementary School

Figurine of a camel carrying transport amphorae

Ancient Animals at Work

Identify ways animals (past and present) enhance daily life through a close look at an ancient figurine and art making.

An African mask made of carved and painted wood, fabric, and plant fibers

Animal-Inspired Masks and Masquerades

Help students understand the connections between art and the environment of Guinea, animal anatomy, and the cultural context of the Banda mask with the help of viewing questions and a dance activity in the Museum's African Art galleries.

A suit of armor highly decorated with geometrical and floral patterns, blackened and gilded

Armor—Function and Design

Identify moveable and static features of armor as well as functional and symbolic surface details and examine similarities and differences between human and animal "armor" through classroom viewing questions. Enhance the lesson with a sketching activity based on an English suit of armor in The Met collection.

An interior courtyard with pagodas, plantings, ornamental rocks, and a fish pond

The Astor Chinese Garden Court

Explore the Museum's Astor Chinese Garden Court and enhance students' understanding of how traditional Chinese gardens reflect the concept of yin and yang and how material selection and design can convey ideas about the human and natural worlds. Use viewing questions and a storytelling or drawing activity in the Museum's Chinese galleries.

An over-life size bronze sculpture of a group of men chained together in a group, walking in a circle

The Burghers of Calais

Convey the interpretive significance of pose and expression in the visual arts—in the Museum or the classroom—with viewing questions and a story-writing activity inspired by a nineteenth-century French sculpture by Auguste Rodin.

A stone arched doorway with seven fantastic animals carved in relief bordering the arch

Medieval Beasts and Bestiaries

Explore the use of animals as symbols in medieval art with viewing questions and a group drawing activity at The Met Cloisters or in the classroom.

A close-up of a large stone relief panels depicting a long-haired bearded king in a conical cap with a small peak and a long diadem (the royal crown); he holds a bow, and a ceremonial bowl; facing him, is a beardless man carrying a fly whisk and a ladle

Power in Ancient Mesopotamia

Examine how a great ancient Mesopotamian king conveyed power and leadership in a monumental wall relief in the Museum's Ancient Near Eastern art collection and consider how leaders today express the same attributes through viewing questions and an activity.

A close-up of a dark brown, burgundy, olive-green and white carpet decorated in a repeating pattern of geometric motifs

The Nomads of Central Asia—Turkmen Traditions

Students will be able to identify ways art of the Turkmen people of Central Asia reflects nomadic life and understand the functional and symbolic role objects play in their lives.

A hollow, wooden Oceanic sculpture with a bird-like face, large round eyes, sharp down-turned beak, and pointed head

Voices of the Past

Focus on a slit gong in the Museum's Oceanic collection to illustrate the impact of scale in works of art, and consider objects' functions in their original contexts and ways different communities engage with their elders and ancestors. Classroom viewing questions and an oral history activity enhance the lesson.

Middle School

A painting by Claude Lorrain of The Trojan Women Setting Fire to Their Fleet

Aeneas, Art, and Storytelling

Virgil's epic poem, The Aeneid , has inspired generations of artists and writers. Create your own artwork inspired by the text and consider how artists draw upon and reinterpret stories from the past.

The Temple of Dendur, Roman Period, reign of Augustus Caesar, ca. 15 B.C. Egypt, Nubia, Dendur, west bank of the Nile River, 50 miles south of Aswan. Aeolian Sandstone; L. from gate to rear of temple 24 m 60 cm (82 ft.). Given to the United States by Egypt in 1965, awarded to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1967, and installed in The Sackler Wing in 1978 (68.154)

Architecture and the Natural World

How can buildings reflect the relationship between people and the environment? Explore possibilities in this lesson plan featuring an ancient Egyptian temple.

A highly ornate calligraphic Arabic signature in blue and decorated profusely with tiny painted and gilded flowers in blue and white

Art and Empire—The Ottoman Court

Students will be able to recognize ways a tughra functioned as a symbol of power and authority within a culturally diverse and geographically expansive empire.

A large silver plate decorated in relief of two armies engaged in battle

The Battle of David and Goliath

Illuminate strategies for conveying stories through images in the classroom with viewing questions about a large silver plate in the Museum's Medieval collection and an illustrating activity.

A painting with close-up and distant views of the figure 5 in the foreground, middleground, and background

Beyond the Figure

Consider how artists convey personality in nonfigural portraits and the relationship between visual and verbal expression by looking at a painting by Charles Demuth in the Museum's Modern and Contemporary galleries and through a portrait-making activity in the classroom.

Emanuel Leutze's 1851 painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware River

Bravery Stands Tall

Examine a major turning point in the American Revolution through a close look at this depiction of General Washington and his troops crossing the Delaware River.

A landscape with a large snow-covered mountain in the distant background, large rocky mountains in the near background, open plains in the middle ground and a lush forest with a raging river and waterfall in the foreground

Composing a Landscape

Study the relationship between the human and natural worlds in art, as well as the techniques artists use to convey ideas, by exploring a painting by Frederic Edwin Church in the Museum's American Wing. Extend the lesson through a writing and drawing activity in the classroom, or a sketching activity outdoors.

A colorful Islamic manuscript page decorated with caligraphic writing and figures in a landscape around a campfire

The Making of a Persian Royal Manuscript

Students will be able to identify some of the key events and figures presented in the Persian national epic, the Shahnama (Book of Kings); make connections between the text and the illustrated pages of the manuscript produced for Shah Tahmasp; and create a historical record of their community.

A highly detailed Islamic manuscript painting of two vultures: one black with a red head and the other light gray with a dark gray head

The Mughal Court and the Art of Observation

Students will be able to recognize ways works of art reflect an intense interest in observation of the human and natural world among Mughal leaders; and understand ways works of art from the past and present communicate ideas about the natural world.

A white stone high relief carved sarcophogus depicting a group of women in classical dress holding various artistic or musical instruments, triumphing over three women with mermaid tails and wings, who have been pushed to the ground

Muses vs. Sirens

Through movement and storytelling, uncover the layers of meaning embedded in a Roman sarcophagus.

A prisoner in arm cuffs exiting the front door of a house, leaning down to kiss a baby in the arms of a woman; on the street, armed guards line the entrance to the stoop of the house

Point of View in Print and Paint

Explore ways that viewpoint shapes the way we picture the past in this lesson plan featuring a depiction of the abolitionist John Brown.

A dark wood African side chair decorated with seated figures and animals on the chair back, and on the rungs between the legs

The Power behind the Throne

Bring the Museum's African collection into the classroom with viewing questions and an art-making activity that cultivate visual analysis and an understanding of how surface detail and composition can express themes of power and leadership.

A wooden sculpture of a bird with a long neck, square wings, and a long, curved sharp beak

A Rite of Passage

Explore the ways rituals, ceremonies, and rites of passage play an important role in communities around the world through an investigation of related objects.

A scientific instrument constructed of brass circular plates placed one on top of the other, which can be slid and rotated; the brass is intricately pierced and engraved with Arabic calligraphy and floral motifs

Science and the Art of the Islamic World

Students will be able to identify similarities and differences between scientific tools used now and long ago; and use research findings to support observations and interpretations.

An oxidized copper sculpture of an Indian deity with four arms, standing on one leg dancing, encircled by a ring of stylized fire

Shiva—Creator, Protector, and Destroyer

Inspire students to interpret, communicate through, and personally connect with art through an in-classroom examination of a powerful sculpture in the Museum's Indian art collection and a self-portrait activity.

High School

Cuneiform tablet: administrative account of barley distribution with cylinder seal impression of a male figure, hunting dogs, and boars

Ancient Mesopotamia—Literacy, Now and Then

From cuneiform inscriptions to digital tablets, this lesson highlights changes and continuity in written communications across the ages.

A brass candle stick engraved wtih a zigzag pattern and decorated in inlaid black and red pigment

Arabic Script and the Art of Calligraphy

Students will be able to identify visual qualities of several calligraphic scripts; recognize ways artists from the Islamic world engage various scripts to enhance works of art supporting a range of functions; and assess the merits of several computer-generated fonts in supporting specific uses.

A hyper-realistic modern and austere painting of an industrial building with a cluster of huge white pipes that pierce tall stone towers

The Art of Industry

Use viewing questions and a debate activity to investigate the relationship between art and community values, techniques artists use to convey ideas, and strategies for interpreting an American painting in the Museum's Modern and Contemporary galleries.

Above: Writing board (detail), ca. 1981–1802 B.C. Middle Kingdom. Dynasty 12. From Egypt; Said to be from Upper Egypt, Thebes or Northern Upper Egypt, Akhmim (Khemmis, Panopolis). Wood, gesso, paint, 16 15/16 x 7 1/2 in. (43 x 19 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Edward S. Harkness, 1928 (28.9.4)


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Art history.

art history assignments for high school

Art history, also called art historiography, historical study of the visual arts, being concerned with identifying, classifying, describing, evaluating, interpreting, and understanding the art products and historic development of the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, the decorative arts, drawing, printmaking, photography, interior design, etc.

Studying the art of the past teaches us how people have seen themselves and their world, and how they want to show this to others. Art history provides a means by which we can understand our human past and its relationship to our present, because the act of making art is one of humanity's most ubiquitous activities.

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A Fun New Way to Teach Art History!

Trying to sneak vegetables into my son’s diet is like trying to sneak art history into my visual arts curriculum. Sometimes it’s not as easy as it seems, and he gets bored of the same old vegetable, much like my students get bored when I teach art history the same way. Therefore, I frequently try to find new, unique, and hidden ways to incorporate more art history into my curriculum . The more art history the better.

A couple of years ago, I needed a lesson or activity to use on the last day of the quarter. If you’re like me, you prefer the last day of art class to be as stress and mess free as possible. I wanted the activity to include art history and to be fun for my students.

I browsed the internet and my art supply catalogs for ideas.

After finding an art BINGO game that was out of my budget, it occurred to me, I should make my own BINGO set! So that’s exactly what I did.

First, i created a blank bingo sheet using microsoft excel..


On a separate spreadsheet, I pasted images of famous works of art with the artists names below.

This second spreadsheet served as the bank of images used for the blank BINGO cards. (If you decided to try this, be sure to include extra images so the games last a little longer. I had a bank of 48 different images.)

I created a few examples and then I handed the project over to a couple of my students.

They copied and pasted the images randomly into the blank BINGO spreadsheet and created a classroom set of 30 Art History BINGO cards. Here is one example.


The best part about this project is that now since I have the blank template created, I can create a variety of art themed BINGO games!

If you’d like, you can download a free BINGO template right here !

What are your favorite activities or games to use to teach art history?

What kind of BINGO would you create for your classroom? 

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.

art history assignments for high school

Cassidy Reinken

Cassidy Reinken, an art educator, is a former AOEU Writer. She enjoys helping students solve problems and reach their potential.

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How to Use Art to Teach History

A piece of art can provide a window into a historical time period for students.

People view Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Art is an important and perhaps unexpected tool in teaching history. Photos, drawings, and paintings can communicate an abundance of information about historical events. Students can analyze pieces of art to assist them in digging deeper into investigating an artist’s perspective and decision-making.

Provide students with the knowledge and time to learn how an artist’s techniques impact how we interpret historical events to help students become better historical thinkers and create deeper civil discourse. By making observations, asking questions, and sharing connections between art and history, students gain knowledge about history.

Select Works of Art

When choosing art for students to examine, first decide how the art will be incorporated in the lesson. For example, a piece of art can be an exciting way to introduce a new historical topic to students. When choosing which art to use, assess the degree of familiarity that students may have with the content of the work. Consider whether the art expresses a reaction to a historical decision and ways it might be used to frame a discussion about why people had those reactions and their responses.

Explore a range of media types. For example, a political cartoon can be a useful entry point for students who are less familiar with formal art. Three-dimensional work, such as a sculpture, offers variety. Avoid work that is too abstract, as it may be difficult for beginning students to comprehend. Consider works from artists of varying backgrounds.

Don’t limit the work to one piece. Multiple pieces may be beneficial in helping students investigate how a person or event was perceived in the historical period and today. Look for pieces that represent multiple perspectives so that students have the opportunity to grapple with the artists’ decisions. Selecting works that use several artistic techniques will allow for a more robust discussion of the connections that students can make between the work and history.

In making decisions about what art to use, consider supplemental materials that may help bring the work to life. Texts about interpretations of the work can be a helpful tool to scaffold learning. Lesson plans, supportive texts, and accompanying guided questions are readily available online through organizations such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art to support integration of art history into classrooms.

Model the Process

Model how to study art in detail to convey expectations for how students should approach the same practice.

For example, I walk students through an interpretation of the painting Washington Crossing the Delaware , by Emanuel Leutze. In this painting, George Washington is leading the Continental Army across the Delaware River to carry out an attack on Hessians. Leutze used various compositional techniques to define Washington as a leader while also allowing observers to interpret the painting for themselves.

Point out techniques in the work of art. Students will have their own opportunity to interpret the painting for themselves and reach their own conclusions, not only about the artist’s perspective but also about how it relates to the study of history.

Offer several elements for students to consider to analyze the visual composition of a painting:

  • Color: Using different colors, especially those that contrast, can communicate how one may feel about a person, event, or idea.
  • Framing: Ask students to examine how surrounding features create a frame around the main focus of the picture. In the Washington Crossing the Delaware example, Washington is surrounded by his soldiers, ice, and the flag, encouraging viewers to remain focused on his depiction.
  • Symbolism: Encourage students to think about what something stands for more than what it just appears to be.
  • Body language: Positioning and facial expression can communicate how a subject feels within the photo, drawing, or painting.
  • Lighting and shadow: Amounts of light and dark can present information regarding something that occurred or will happen in the future.

Connect to History

After students understand the specific techniques used in a piece of art, explain how it may relate to historical events. Outline the learning goal for students at the outset. Be prepared to share pieces of information about the historical event as the students begin their task. Some students will be able to take the discussion in the direction you want, while others can benefit from guided questions to help focus their observations.

Begin with the basics by asking students to assess what the artwork tells them about the time period or individual. Then ask them to evaluate the artist’s choices in how they created the image. What techniques did they use to convey different points of view? What do the techniques used reveal about the historical period? Are there omissions in the artist’s work that reveal information about the time period?

For example, once students understand the technique of framing, they can consider what surrounds the main subject of the picture to create a frame instead of looking at these parts independently without any connection to one another. After students evaluate the artist’s choices, they can begin to interrogate the artist’s motive, the perspectives expressed, and the facts and omissions about the event itself. In Washington Crossing the Delaware , framing brings the flag to the viewer’s attention. Students can use that observation to respond to the prompts to gain insight on the historical significance of the work.

Once students have assessed the individual piece of art and the artist, ask them to consider the piece in the context of other works at the time. Providing other contrasting examples of art from the time period can help reinforce learning about the time period. 

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Art history

Special topics in art history, the seeing america project, prehistoric art, ancient mediterranean + europe, medieval europe + byzantine, art of the islamic world 640 to now, europe 1300 - 1800, art of the americas to world war i, europe 1800 - 1900, modernisms 1900-1980, global cultures 1980–now, art of asia, art of africa, art of oceania, for teachers, a brief introduction to art history, explore art from around the world.

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Creative Assessments for Creative Art History Teaching

Leah McCurdy

August 23, 2019

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Pedagogical evolution and innovation in art history increase student engagement and ‘buy-in.’ Innovations also keep instruction from feeling stale for both the students and instructors. Innovation also can remind us why we keep walking into the classroom.  An AHTR Weekly post by Cara Smulevitz from April 2018 about her move from the traditional “high-stakes exams + research paper model” to a structure focused on “multi-option creative assessments” helped to bring me out of an existential teaching spiral of doom last spring. 

A couple years earlier, I had found myself googling something like ‘how do I teach nonwestern art history.’ As a recent PhD in anthropological archaeology, I felt unprepared returning to the arena of my undergraduate art history degree. Through that search, I found AHTR. The lesson plans were invaluable as a starting point and gave me confidence to design an introductory nonwestern survey that wouldn’t just sound like an anthropological tour of cultures. In exploring AHTR further, I found a platform focused on the types of pedagogical innovation that I had been striving for since I started teaching anthropology and archaeology as a grad student. 

Addressing students’ needs

Like many in the AHTR community, I’ve tried to shake things up. Most of my students are studio or graphic design majors, required to take art history courses by their degree plans. (They often phrase it as being “forced” to learn art history.) I’ve been increasingly dissatisfied with what value traditional slide identification assessments offer for student learning. In my experience, they serve the grade much more than they serve insight, practice, or engagement. Adhering to a learner-centered approach, I regularly assign a participatory activity I call #hints for which students create hypothetical social media hashtags about artworks that they submit on index cards with brief explanations. They continually surprise me with their wit and creativity. I highlight some the best #hints when reviewing previous material and as actual hints on assessments. This gives the students a sense of ownership over the course and we always get a good laugh. I’ve also found that students make connections to contemporary media that I would not have considered. For example, I learned about the interesting appropriation of ancient Jomon flame rim vessels of Japan in the video game Zelda: Breath of the Wild . These #hints are one of the inspirations for my newly developed course entitled “Ancient Art in Contemporary Visual Culture.”

In terms of assessment, several semesters ago I implemented what I call VIZ IDs , or visual identifications, as an option on traditional slide ID tests. Students sketch an artwork and label facets of its significance according to a series of ‘landmarks’ highlighted in lecture. Visually minded students often struggle with the text-based memorization requirements of the slide ID but excel at recalling and visualizing important aesthetic or compositional qualities that relate to meaning. For studio and graphic design majors, the VIZ ID option helps them to visually engage with historic artworks in ways that can impact their own art making and increase the relevance they attribute to art history.

As an alternative to writing a final paper, I’ve offered art majors the option of producing an artwork and an academically written artist statement inspired by their experience in the class. It took me several semesters to situate the guidelines and rubrics for these projects comfortably. But since the beginning, I have been blown away by how students can represent their learning to such a better degree when given the opportunity to follow their preferred mode of expression. Students are still required to meet academic writing standards, such as citing sources and presenting a point of view, but this alternative allows them to focus on the type of writing that will be most relevant to them in the future. I started an online project exhibition called UTA Art History Matters to show off many of these projects with excerpts from artist statements. Glass arts, digital illustrations, research papers, and educational activities mingle in that exhibition to demonstrate the positive impact art history education can have for all students who make their way into our classrooms. 

License to experiment 

Fast forward to last spring and the existential spiral. I had just finished grading the first test for an intermediate course on ancient Egypt and the Near East. That class was engaged and participatory, but, inevitably, memorization-based assessments bring out the worst in many students (anxiety, apathy, anger, etc.). I sought help from AHTR and found Cara’s post. She described the creative options she offered to her students and the types of submissions she received. Following Cara’s lead, I offered my students four application project options that they could submit as a replacement of the last exam of the semester. In addition to the remix (or mashup), brief research essay, and documentary video options presented by Cara, I also offered an exhibition design option. All options required an academic document discussing their project with references to class discussions and external sources.  

About half the class chose to submit a project replacement. Those who chose to stick with the exam said that it was easier, and they were more familiar with the expectations. The challenge to be creative and apply one’s understanding can be daunting. For many students, it seems more straightforward to memorize titles, artists, period, etc. But learning outcomes can be superficial and fleeting. Memorized detail often doesn’t stick long term. 

Almost all who submitted project replacements chose the remix/mashup option. Many of them submitted creative, well-considered, and contextualized applications of class discussions, demonstrating that their experience in the course reached beyond surface learning. Some students struggled with articulating their ideas and others with following directions. These are larger issues that I don’t think undermine the success of the assessment strategy. The students that chose the application challenge found an opportunity to combine their art-making skills with class content that increased the likelihood they could be successful and earn a grade they would be happy with. 

Results and reflections

Since first using Cara’s strategy in the spring, I’ve also implemented it in a 5-week upper level summer course. I assigned students a series of application projects of increasing difficulty and a final project ‘exhibition,’ where students present an improved and expanded version of a previously submitted project and present it to the class. In addition to the options described above, students could also choose to write public blog posts, create physical art objects and artist statements, or develop an art education activity for a target grade level. For each option, students submitted an academic paper with references to demonstrate their understanding of course themes and relevant artworks. Most studio or graphic design majors chose to make art objects or write blog posts. Most art history majors chose to write research papers or create exhibition designs. These projects allowed them to practice, demonstrate, and hone skills that are directly relevant to their interests, while upholding academic art history standards of writing and attribution. 

In terms of course grades, the projects are weighted to encourage improvement, based on formative feedback, and to not overly penalize students with less experience in art making or writing. To ensure that grades reflect learning outcomes relevant to art history, I try to develop rubrics that do not focus on artistic merit but on the demonstration of understanding of course content and improvement. Thus, feedback is crucial and consumes most of my grading time.  

Students in this recent course have once again blown me away. They have pursued themes of cultural appropriation, authenticity in art, and art world ethics  through their own lens. Their perspective and creative interpretations have also allowed me to continue to learn more about these topics, and I plan to use artworks created by students of this semester as examples for discussion the next time I teach this course.. That is one of the most satisfying and valuable results of my move to creative assessment.  This cycle makes the course itself a creative endeavor.

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4 responses to “Creative Assessments for Creative Art History Teaching”

Wonderful ideas here! Thanks so much. I’d love to know more about the #hints activity. Could you give a few examples of what the students came up with? And is this all done just by writing on the index cards, or done online? Thanks again!

Thanks, Elise. #hints is one of my students’ favorites. They love seeing their #hint on the review and quiz slides. I experimented with having them submit on a social media site or online but it just encouraged students to be on their devices in class (which I find exceedingly annoying, though I know others are less irritated by it). I use the index cards as a way to take attendance and to assess participation each class session (thus, why I don’t use an LMS discussion board type submission). So when it is a #hints day, I ask them to provide the #hint, the artwork details that it relates to (as a way to practice remembering that info), and a brief explanation of why the hashtag works for that artwork. I started asking for the explanation because they pull from song lyrics, movies, and games that I’m not familiar with. I choose those that hit the mark the best to share with the rest of the class. I’ve found this works for me but I know there are many other ways to incorporate the #hints idea.

There are so many great examples. The ones that I have on my mind right now relate to early African arts from my large nonwestern survey.

Running Woman Rock Art Painting from Tassili N’ajjer, Algeria: #WWForestD?(as a hint to the title of “running”); #footloose (because it probably depicts dancing more than running); #simbasuncle (because it depicts SCARification).

Benin Kingdom Bronze Plaque depicting Warrior Chief and Attendants: #squad (based on the visual qualities of the chief and attendants, linking to the title of the work); #largerthanlife (because it is one of our first examples to highlight hierarchy of scale); #cameandtookit (because I highlight the British Punitive Expedition that resulted in these plaques and other Benin artifacts being in the British Museum collection).

Other examples from my Egyptian and Near East class:

Neo-Assyrian Stele of Ashurnasirpal II: #slampoetry (because he is depicted doing the Assyrian snapping gesture of worship)

Throne of King Tutankhamun: #laz-e-boy (referring to the armchair style and King Tut’s posture and the relevance of his medical condition to the history of the 18th Dynasty).

I hope those examples offer a picture of the variability and fun that can comes from #hints. As I mention in the post, several students submitted #breathofthewild for a hint about the early Japanese Jomon vessels. When I brought it up the next class, almost everyone knew the reference.

Great idea, Leah, and I love what your students came up with!

So glad my post was helpful Leah! I love your ideas here– particularly the VizID option, which is such a great way to make the memorization element of art history assessments more meaningful. I’m definitely going to think about ways I can integrate that into some of my courses. Thanks for sharing these valuable ideas and reflections!

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Art Class Curator

Hands-on and Minds-curious Art Learning

Experience Art Book and Card Deck on Kickstarter!

Art printables, worksheets, and powerpoints.

Inside: A collection of printable art worksheets, PowerPoints, and lesson plans to use in art class. (Most of them are FREE!)

art history assignments for high school

Art class should be about more than just making art! Art lessons should introduce students to a variety of works of art and allow them to explore the process, the history, and their own personal connections to the artworks they encounter.

Keeping a class full of students engaged while looking at art takes practice, confidence, inventive activities , and a variety of approaches. But most of us weren’t taught how to talk about art with kids . That’s why I’ve gathered some of my best printable art worksheets and downloads in one place! Most of these art lesson plans can be used for any grade level and there’s enough variety to keep elementary, middle, and high school students interested and intrigued.

Free Art Worksheets Bundle-FB

Free Printable Art Worksheets

My favorite go-to art lessons come from the Art Appreciation Worksheet Bundle .

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! 1. Pick an artwork 2. Print one of the Art Appreciation Worksheets 3. Watch with joy as your students connect with and interpret art

The bundle includes 25 printable art worksheets, but everyone who signs up for Your Weekly Art Break , my email newsletter full of art inspiration, gets six FREE art appreciation worksheets . Fill out the form below to receive your free art worksheets and weekly art inspiration.

art history assignments for high school

Free Worksheets!

Art Appreciation Worksheets

In this free bundle of art worksheets, you receive six ready-to-use art worksheets with looking activities designed to work with almost any work of art.

Below, you’ll find a collection of the Art Class Curator posts that include art printables and downloads. These brains-on art activities will jump-start students’ critical thinking skills and breath new life into their  art projects . All of these art lesson plans are all free unless otherwise marked. Most are printable PDFs, but the ones containing PowerPoints are marked.

Free Elements and Principles Printable Pack

art history assignments for high school

This pack of printables was designed to work in a variety of ways in your classroom when teaching the elements and principles of art. You can print and hang in your classroom as posters/anchor charts or you can cut each element and principle of art in its own individual card to use as a lesson manipulative. Click here to download the Elements and Principles Printable Pack.

art history assignments for high school

Free Resource!

Elements & Principles Printable Pack

The Elements & Principles of Art are the foundation of every artwork, but teaching them can be a bore. Wake your students up and engage them with full color artworks, easy to understand definitions, and thought-provoking higher level thinking questions. This versatile resource can be hung in the classroom or used as an art manipulative.

Art Appreciation Printables

  • Free Art Appreciation Printable Worksheet Bundle
  • Art Appreciation Worksheet Bundle 25-Pack  
  • I am… Dorothea Lange: Exploring Empathy
  • Character Analysis Art Activity: Twitter Perspectives
  • Haikus about Art
  • I See, I Think, I Wonder
  • “I Feel” Word Wheel: Learning Emotional Literacy in Art Education

Art Appreciation Activities & Art Appreciation Lessons

  • Art Description and Drawing Activity
  • Virtual Art Museum Field Trip
  • Complete the Picture: An Easy Art Appreciation Game for Kids
  • Interpreting the Power of the Kongo Nkisi N’Kondi

Artworks Printables

art class activities

Artworks Worksheets & Artworks Activities

  • Art, Horror, and The Sublime: Symbolism in Pablo Picasso’s Guernica
  • Kollwitz & Cassatt: Two Views of Motherhood in Art
  • Rosa Rolanda Jigsaw Art Learning Activity

Artworks Lessons

  • Elements of Art Examples & Definitions
  • Principles of Design Examples & Definitions
  • Frida Kahlo’s The Two Fridas  Art Discussion Lesson
  • Art Analysis Activity for John Gast’s American Progress
  • Art Around the World in 30 Days – China
  • Masterpiece Monday: Manifest Destiny Art

Art Criticism Printables

Art criticism worksheets.

  • SPARK: 5 Art Criticism Steps for Inspired Art Connections and Conversations
  • Art History Student Study Guide Worksheets

Art Criticism Activities

  • 82 Questions to Ask About Art
  • Photograph Analysis Learning Activities

Art Criticism Lessons

  • 4 Steps of Art Criticism Lesson
  • What is Art? – Aesthetics Lesson Bundle
  • Classical Sculpture Analysis Lesson  
  • Decoding Style: How to Teach Students to Read an Artwork  

Puzzles About Art Printables

art puzzles

Teaching students about  art and aesthetics  is a great way to make them think about art in a new way. Aesthetics puzzles ignite exciting, meaningful classroom art discussions  and flex students’ philosophical and critical thinking skills.

  • Puzzles About Art: The Chimpanzee Painter
  • Puzzles About Art: Call it Driftwood

More Art Printables

You can find more art lesson plans in the Art Class Curator store and on Teachers Pay Teachers . Sign up for  Your Weekly Art Break   to get six free art art worksheets and weekly art inspiration delivered to your inbox!

art history assignments for high school

Get Art Inspiration To Your Inbox!

*free bundle of art appreciation worksheets*.


*Grades 9-12

We’ve listed all of our High School (Secondary School) art lesson plans here. These activities are best suited for Grades 9-12 – or – ages 14 and up years.

art history assignments for high school

Drawing with Glue

by Andrea Mulder-Slater If you are looking for a sure fire way to get a great response from your students, walk into the art room and tell them they will …

art history assignments for high school

6 Ways to Make Sketchbooks

by Andrea Mulder-Slater When I was a student at art school, my drawing professor had one rule and that was to draw, every single day. From her I learned there …

art history assignments for high school

Glue Flowers

K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

art history assignments for high school

Negative Space Plant Drawings

Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, High School

art history assignments for high school

Criss Cross Doodles

by Andrea Mulder-Slater Using materials found in every art room, students will draw criss cross lines to create shapes for doodles to live! Then, by following a few basic prompts, …

art history assignments for high school

Architecture Mood Board

Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

art history assignments for high school

Draw and Paint a Sea Turtle

art history assignments for high school

Go With the Flow Watercolor Trees

art history assignments for high school

Printed Fall Trees

art history assignments for high school

Pumpkin Swirls

PreK, K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

Abstract Squares Art Lesson Plan

Abstract Squares

art history assignments for high school

Artist Trading Cards

art history assignments for high school

Paper Butterflies

Cereal Box Collage with Michael Albert

Cerealism (Cereal Box Collage) with Michael Albert

art history assignments for high school

Roll a Harvest Basket

Teaching Art at Home

Teaching Art at Home

Creative Cursive Art Lesson Plan for Middle School

Creative Cursive

art history assignments for high school

Name Color Wheels

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Architectural Renderings

Many of my students are coming to school with the feeling that they failed out of art in middle school. Students stepping into the studio for the first time assume that their inability to draw a stick figure makes it inappropriate for them to be there. That’s why I’ve made it my priority in the first month of drawing class to inspire confidence. The project that really convinces my students they are artists and designers who are truly thinking in two and three dimensions is the architectural rendering. The final result changes over the years, but the application of precise lines, use of geometrical terms, and the project’s flexibility to be inclusive in skill level and comprehension are topped off with a pinch of surrealism.

View this article in the digital edition.

Related Articles

Co-editor’s letter: choice, tab from the heart, the art lesson that changed me, read more like this in schoolarts magazine.


Art teachers present a variety of lessons that emphasize student choice and the Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB) approach. Students work in groups to create a project using unfinished artwork; participate in an afterschool TAB program based on the Studio Habits of Mind; use the concept of the lighthouse to create personal pieces that honor who or what inspires them; embrace brainstorming and media exploration through sketchbook art journals; and more.

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Chris Kerr was 12 when he first observed a deathbed vision. His memory of that summer in 1974 is blurred, but not the sense of mystery he felt at the bedside of his dying father. Throughout Kerr’s childhood in Toronto, his father, a surgeon, was too busy to spend much time with his son, except for an annual fishing trip they took, just the two of them, to the Canadian wilderness. Gaunt and weakened by cancer at 42, his father reached for the buttons on Kerr’s shirt, fiddled with them and said something about getting ready to catch the plane to their cabin in the woods. “I knew intuitively, I knew wherever he was, must be a good place because we were going fishing,” Kerr told me.

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  1. Art History Worksheets For High School

    art history assignments for high school

  2. Art History Lessons

    art history assignments for high school

  3. *Art History Workbook for Middle School; Art History Biography Units

    art history assignments for high school

  4. Art History Writing Assignment 2

    art history assignments for high school

  5. An Entire Year of Advanced High School Art Curriculum or AP Art

    art history assignments for high school

  6. Pin by Mary Smith on teaching

    art history assignments for high school


  1. Learn art history #arthistory101 #historicalart #history #arthistory #arthistorian

  2. History Assignment/Project File Front Page Design

  3. my art BEFORE vs AFTER art school. 😳🙀😍 #art #artist #shorts #drawing

  4. Art School Advice I’d Give to My Freshman Self

  5. ⏳HISTORY 🧭 Front page design for school project #art #shorts #youtubeshorts #rap #frontpage

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  1. Art History Teaching Resources

    Art History Teaching Resources (AHTR) is a peer-populated platform for art history teachers. AHTR is home to a constantly evolving and collectively authored online repository of art history teaching content including, but not limited to, lesson plans, video introductions to museums, book reviews, image clusters, and classroom and museum activities.

  2. Lesson Plans

    Lesson Plans. These lesson plans help you integrate learning about works of art in your classroom. Select an option below to browse lesson plans by grade, or continue scrolling to see all lesson plans. Lesson plans for elementary school students. Lesson plans for middle school students. Lesson plans for high school students.

  3. High School Art History I Curriculum

    In addition to providing a comprehensive art history curriculum, below are additional reasons to choose Time4Learning's high school art history course. Yearlong course with 7 chapters and over 300 lesson activities offers an in-depth overview of art throughout history.

  4. Art History Lessons, Worksheets and Activities

    Art History. Art history, also called art historiography, historical study of the visual arts, being concerned with identifying, classifying, describing, evaluating, interpreting, and understanding the art products and historic development of the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, the decorative arts, drawing, printmaking, photography ...

  5. A Fun New Way to Teach Art History!

    The more art history the better. A couple of years ago, I needed a lesson or activity to use on the last day of the quarter. If you're like me, you prefer the last day of art class to be as stress and mess free as possible. I wanted the activity to include art history and to be fun for my students. I browsed the internet and my art supply ...

  6. High School Art lessons

    Seven Ages Tattoos. Quick Lessons Using a Camera. Aluminum and Glue Texture. Your Eye From a Mirror. 1, 2, and 3-Point Perspective. Gesture Drawing. Watercolor Techniques. Exercise the Right Side of the Brain. Transfer Enriched Self-Portrait.

  7. Art History & Appreciation Activities for High School

    To begin, divide your students into small groups of 3-5. Now have them prepare index cards by researching to find 15-25 periods of art. Your students' timelines should start with the two periods ...

  8. Art History Lesson Plans & Projects

    Lesson 40 - Art History & Appreciation Activities for High School Art History & Appreciation Activities for High School: Text Lesson Ch 2. Impressionist Painters Lesson Plans Course Progress ...

  9. How to Use Art to Teach History

    October 1, 2020. Xinhua / Alamy Stock Photo. Art is an important and perhaps unexpected tool in teaching history. Photos, drawings, and paintings can communicate an abundance of information about historical events. Students can analyze pieces of art to assist them in digging deeper into investigating an artist's perspective and decision-making.

  10. Art history

    American and European Pop art. We understand the history of humanity through art. From prehistoric depictions of woolly mammoths to contemporary abstraction, artists have addressed their time and place in history and have expressed universal human truths for tens of thousands of years.

  11. Art Lesson: Art History Timeline

    Day 1. 1. Students pick a partner to work with. 2. Hand out worksheet, 1 per person. 3. Each student will have to collect facts for three art movements so each set of partners will have a total of 6 when done. (If using the lesson for a week you could easily do more than 6.) 4.

  12. How to Make Art History Fun

    The students set up there background and props then pose for 5 minutes as a curtain is lifted to show them. One student is picked to narrate the history of the artists and explain why the artist created the work. We entered a contest at a museum for middle school and high school students. My favorite rendition was the Three Musicians by Pablo ...

  13. Art History Worksheets & Free Printables

    Art history worksheets work well for art or history lessons and encourage young learners to explore their own creativity. Read about Pablo Picasso or try replicating early Egyptian art. Share the gift of imagination with art history worksheets. Art history worksheets help kids learn about the past and present of visual art.

  14. PDF Art History Curriculum Guide Unit 1- THE MEANING OF ART ...

    CARLSTADT-EAST RUTHERFORD REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS DEPARTMENT ART HISTORY Henry P. Becton Regional High School July 2018 Page 1 of 12 Art History Curriculum Guide Pacing Guide: Art History is a full year course that meets on a rotating basis for three (3) 55-minute blocks and one (1) 40-minute block for every

  15. Lessons and Activities

    Grades 9-12. College/University. Find lesson plans for pre-kindergarten, grades 1-2, grades 3-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12, as well as college/university classrooms. Also, explore new resources to support your teaching during the pandemic.

  16. Introduction to Art History for High School Part I (Ancient, Medieval

    Completed by 146 learners. Ages 13-18. Group class. In-depth, ten week art history class for middle and high school students, exploring the arts and artists of the ancient world, medieval world, and the Renaissance! Taught by a College Professor! #creative. Molly McGill, M.A. Star Educator.

  17. Creative Assessments for Creative Art History Teaching

    Northern Renaissance Art (1400-1600) Sixteenth-Century Northern Europe and Iberia. Italian Renaissance Art (1400-1600) Southern Baroque: Italy and Spain. Buddhist Art and Architecture in Southeast Asia After 1200. Chinese Art After 1279. Japanese Art After 1392. Art of the Americas After 1300.

  18. Art Printables, Worksheets, and PowerPoints

    My favorite go-to art lessons come from the Art Appreciation Worksheet Bundle. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3! 1. Pick an artwork. 2. Print one of the Art Appreciation Worksheets. 3. Watch with joy as your students connect with and interpret art. The bundle includes 25 printable art worksheets, but everyone who signs up for Your Weekly Art Break, my ...

  19. High School Art Lessons

    This is the high school level art lessons category for subject area. See lessons on this page categorized by subject. ... Art History Timeline Mimbres Potter Red Hat Show Ceramics Art History Research Coiled Candle Holder & Japanese Lanterns Mycenaean masks Ceramic Relief Sculpture Sculpture and Problem Solving Sharing Feelings from Slides ...

  20. High school art lesson plans. Grades 9-12 (ages 14 years). Secondary

    We are daughter/mother artists/teachers Andrea and Jantje and we've been leading the way in art education on the Internet since 1997. For 25 years, our goal has been to make art lessons accessible to those who need them. More than 80 million visitors have used our free collection of ideas in their homes and classrooms and hundreds have joined our premium art lesson membership club.

  21. High School Art Lesson: Architecture

    Architectural Renderings. High School. By Cristina Pinton, posted on Mar 12, 2024. Many of my students are coming to school with the feeling that they failed out of art in middle school. Students stepping into the studio for the first time assume that their inability to draw a stick figure makes it inappropriate for them to be there.

  22. Why School Absences Have 'Exploded' Almost Everywhere

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  23. High School Art Lessons

    High School Art Lessons By Artist. Kim Abeles Tints and Shades Hanging. Giuseppe Arcimboldo Arcimboldo Style Self-Portraits. Romare Bearden Romare Bearden Collage. Constantin Brancusi Figure in Motion Subtractive Plaster Sculpture. Georges Braque Cubism Collage Shattered Values. Filippo Brunelleschi. 1, 2, and 3-Point Perspective.

  24. The Sunday Read: 'What Deathbed Visions Teach Us About Living'

    The Sunday Read: 'My Goldendoodle Spent a Week at Some Luxury Dog 'Hotels.' I Tagged Along.'