Madonna & Saints (detail) / Daddi

Grades: Middle School (6–8)
Subject: Visual Arts, History—Social Science
Prerequisites: For teachers with any level of proficiency in teaching with works of art, and students of all skill levels.

Throughout history, virtually every world culture has expressed its spiritual beliefs in visual form. Artists have used their craft to explore their own personal beliefs, to visualize the ideology of an organized religion, and to examine and understand the spiritual beliefs of others.

The two lessons in this unit encourage students to think about how artists engage with religion in two very different ways—as participants in the creation of organized religious spaces, and as observers and documenters of the religious rituals of another culture. Connections to California State content standards for visual arts, English—language arts, and history—social science are listed in each lesson plan.

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