Grades/Level: Lower Elementary (K–2), Upper Elementary (3–5)
Subjects: Visual Arts, English–Language Arts, History–Social Science, Science
Time Required: Single Class Lesson
One short pre-visit activity, a one-hour activity for your visit to the Getty Villa, and ideas for post-visit activities
Author: J. Paul Getty Museum Education staff

Activity Overview

antefixes on the roof of the Getty Villa

Use this activity for a visit to the Getty Villa's grounds and gardens, and Galleries 201C and 207. Students learn about architectural details in an ancient Roman villa and look for these features throughout the Getty Villa's grounds, gardens, and galleries.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:
• identify selected functional and decorative architectural details of a Roman villa.
• examine color, shape, material, and location of ancient architectural elements.
• understand the connection between the characteristics of ancient architectural elements, their locations at the Getty Villa, and their architectural functions.


Download the documents below to use for your pre-visit activity, visit to the Villa (student worksheet), and post-visit activity. Links to images of works of art that students will see at the Villa are also provided.

Activity Steps

Follow the steps below to make the most of your Villa visit.

  1. Download the pre-visit activity, above, and use it in the classroom to help prepare your students for their Villa visit.
  2. Before coming to the Villa, download and make copies for each student of the appropriate student worksheet (see Materials section above). At the Villa, students will use these sheets to investigate the Museum collection and site. An instruction sheet is included with this to guide you and your chaperones at the Villa.
  3. Follow your visit up with the post-visit activity, which your students can complete in the classroom or as a homework assignment.

Below is a summary of the activities contained in the downloadable materials above.

Pre-Visit Activity: Using images from the slideshow Architecture and Gardens at the Getty Villa, introduce students to architectural elements from Antiquity.

Student Worksheet (Grades K–2): At the Villa, students follow instructions on the student worksheet to find architectural elements outside, noting the locations and answering some basic questions. They then find one of these architectural elements inside the Museum.

Student Worksheet (Grades 2–3): At the Villa, students find examples of waterspouts and frescoes, both inside and outside the Museum.

Post-Visit Activity: Students design an antefix (an ancient roof ornament).

Lion's-Head Waterspout / Greek
Lion's-Head Waterspout, Greek, about 450 B.C.