Grades/Level: Lower Elementary (K–2), Upper Elementary (3–5), Middle School (6–8), High School (9–12)
Subjects: Visual Arts, English–Language Arts, History–Social Science, Science, Mathematics
Time Required: Short Activity
1 to 1 1/2 hours
Author: J. Paul Getty Museum Education Staff
Step 1: Select a theme from ancient history and art
Stories in Art—quest stories (Trojan War, The Odyssey), love stories (Venus and Adonis, Perseus and Andromeda), tales of retribution (Niobe, Medusa)
Mythological Heroes—Hercules, Achilles
People—portraits, daily life, children, families
Animals/Creatures—composite creatures, symbolic animals
Nature/Environments—landscape, weather, plants, habitats, architecture, interiors
Time Period/Culture—Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, Etruscan civilization
Elements of Art—color, line, shape, texture, form, positive and negative space
Mediums/Techniques—sculpture, vase painting, mosaics, glass, bronze working, conservation
Step 2: Pick galleries or artworks.
Pick a limited number of galleries or artworks for students to visit during a 1 or 1 1/2 hour period. Use the Itinerary Sheet to schedule a rotation of chaperoned groups of students.
Use Getty Bookmarks to collect and save a list of objects on our Web site.
Step 3: Plan activities.
Students should do one activity per gallery, or at each selected artwork, with their teacher or chaperone.
Choose artworks for your students to explore from different parts of the collection. Consider using the architecture and gardens in addition to works in the galleries.
Try varying the format at each stop. Have students work alone, in pairs, or as a group.
Challenge students with different types of activities at each artwork. Ask students to:
- do creative, critical, or analytical writing.
- sketch from an artwork, looking carefully at the details.
- work in pairs to compare artworks, noting their similarities and differences.
- divide into two groups and hold a debate (for example: each side looks at a work of art and takes a position based on visual evidence).
Create a workbook for your students and chaperones. Include instructions for your chaperones so they can facilitate a successful activity at each stop.
Assess your students' work based on the activities and objectives you develop for each activity.