Lesson Plans

Striking Gold is the Crocker's online home of lesson plans for teachers. Access images, learn how to read works of art and find curricular connections between art and other subject areas. Search lesson plans by grade, subject area or artwork.

By Subject (56)

By Grade (56)

The Impact of Cultural Values in Early Industrial England: Industry and Idleness

Students will learn how the cultural values of England , which are reflected in art of the period, contributed to the Industrial Revolution in England.

Abraham and Isaac, early 16th century

Students will compare various artists’ interpretation of the Abraham and Isaac story.  They will create artwork based on other key figures in the history of the Jewish religion (i.e. Moses, Naomi, Ruth, or David) or on an important story from another ancient culture they have studied.

Adaptability of Buddhism

Students will learn that Buddhism adapted to the indigenous religions of the countries, into which it was introduced.

American Impressionism

Students will characterize how technology and current events influenced the way in which artists worked. Students will learn how Romantics, Realists, and Impressionists reacted against the traditional Academy in their break from Classicism.

American Revolution: Sybil Ludington's Ride, April 26, 1777

Describe the contributions of France and other nations and of individuals to the outcome of the Revolution. Identify the different roles women played during the Revolution. Understand the personal impact and economic hardship of the war on families, problems of financing the war, wartime inflation, and laws against hoarding goods and materials and profiteering.

Ancient Languages: Sumerian Cuneiform Tablet

Students explore the oldest form of the written language by creating their own system of Symbols to communicate.

Art and the Counter-Reformation

Analyze how the Counter Reformation revitalized the Catholic Church and the forces that fostered the movement.

Artists Teach Us to See the World Through Visual Symbols

Students will learn how an artist can use personal images, symbols and contemporary references to address both universal and specific social and political issues in a pluralistic society, and put that learning into practice by creating a work of art themselves.

Balance and Symmetry

Students will have an opportunity to refine their use of expository writing.

Barn and Shed of Farm

Students will analyze how photographers depicted the effects of the Depression on Dust Bowl refugees in the United States during the late 1930s.

Characterization: Robert Arneson's Overcooked

Students will learn the technique of writing dialogue to explain a character. Students will learn about the visual art element of form.

Colonial India: British Imperialism in India

Students will learn how the differences between Indian and British cultural perspectives, as seen in works of art, reinforced the British policy of imperialism in India.

Design a Descriptive Still-Life

Students make descriptive observations about a still-life. Using primary and secondary-colors, they make their own still-life.

Documenting the Great Depression

Students will analyze how photographers depicted the effects of the Depression on Dust Bowl refugees in the United States during the late 1930s.

Doing Without

Students will gain a perceptive of how different California was during the Gold Rush and how the residents of San Francisco coped with the growing population and changing economy.


Students will examine two landscape paintings by John Horace Hooper and Lewis Cohen and compare the artists’ portrayal of the natural world and people interacting with it.  Students will participate in a game that simulates society’s use of renewable and nonrenewable resources and identify renewable and nonrenewable resources portrayed in the focus artworks.

Equality of Rank

Small groups of students will first speculate on a chronology for these three selected paintings. Then each group will explore one of these three paintings, looking closely at the artwork, discussing it and finding out about the artist and its context. Students next speculate about what the painting tells about the past and how people lived at this time. After small groups present what they discovered and speculated, class as a whole returns to the original speculated chronology and corrects it if needed. To conclude lesson, each student selects two of the three artworks about which to write. Each student will compare and contrast and reveal what each tells the viewer about the past and how people lived at that time.

Fantasy/Art Map: Map #3

Students will learn about Jeremy Anderson's fantasy / art map, will create a fantasy / art map, based on Sacramento, explore other visual maps, and students will develop a definition for a map, which is broad enough to include fantasy / art and visual maps.

Finding Story Elements in Art

Students will learn about warm and cool-colors and understand how artwork can portray common experiences. Students will learn how to write a short narrative using setting, characters, objects, and events based on an artwork.

Fisherman’s Family

Artists can show strong feelings in their art by the way they use colors and exaggerate and distort shapes. Students will discuss how Hartley’s life experiences, and the world around him, influenced his art process, to further understand “expressive” art.

Girl with Chocolate Pot, 18th century

On the Internet, find the museum and search its online database for Jean-Étienne Liotard and find the work as Das Schokoladenmädchen.

Going to California: Crossing the Isthmus

Through careful looking and reading a painting for information, students will better understand the journey out to California via the Isthmus of Panama during the California Gold Rush.

Great Greek Myths

Students will learn about Greek mythology and the pantheon of gods by creating a class book of Great Greek Myths.

Interpreting Abstract Art

Students will analyze the visual art principles and refine their use of expository writing.

Journey to America: Immigration Increase from 1789 to 1910

Through discussion and reflection, student will explore the experience of immigrants to the United States , drawing conclusions about their motivations and challenges they may have faced.

La Manifestation (The Demonstration), 1893

Examine how scientific and technological changes and new forms of energy brought about massive social, economic, and cultural change.

Learning Landscapes: Great Canyon of the Sierra

Students will connect 19th century perceptions of the “Wild West” with Hill's representation of Yosemite. Students will learn the basic components of a landscape and will create a landscape using atmospheric perspective.

Lines, Shapes and Colors

Students use artwork to make observations about shapes, colors, patterns, the main subject, and setting, and observe patterns in their own environment.

Monuments of Rome: Italian Mosaic Table

Students will learn about the government, religion and history of ancient Rome by researching and writing about different Roman monuments.

Mother and Child

Students will gain an awareness of the diversity of the student population to foster sensitivity in the student population, and our community. Allow student to tell you what they know, what they see and how people of different races, religions, cultures, are really the same, and want the same things for their children, and families.


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