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Cultural Museum

Main Core Tie

Social Studies - 2nd Grade
Standard 1


Utah LessonPlans


These activities will provide students an opportunity to reflect their culture through art.



  • Sample of an art print from an artist that depicts family/ community life (i.e. Grandma Moses, Norman Rockwell, Diego Rivera, Amado Pena, Paul Gauguin, Lisa Cain)
  • butcher paper approximately three feet long
  • Colored pencils, crayons, markers, paint, or watercolor
  • masking tape
  • 7 x 9 white paper for each student


  • Pictures or samples of different weaving
  • Supplies for yarn or paper weaving


  • 6 x 6 piece of cardstock per student
  • Assorted rolls of colored masking tape
  • Samples or pictures of mosaics


  • Quilt or blanket that has a story or history
  • Tar Beach, by Faith Ringgold
  • The Keeping Quilt, by Patricia Polacco
  • The Quilt Story, by Tony Johnston
  • Cardstock paper 8 1⁄2 x 8 1⁄2
  • Assorted pieces of wrapping paper or scrapbook paper cut into one inch squares
  • Yarn
  • Hole punch or large blunt needles

Pop Art

  • Art samples of Roy Lichtenstein
  • Newspaper comics
  • Student hand lens
  • White art paper (1/4 sheet) for each student
  • Markers
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes

Pop Art Continued

  • Art samples from Andy Warhol
  • 4 x 5 piece of wire mesh per student
  • 4 x 5 piece of contact paper per student
  • White art paper
  • Markers
  • Paint
  • Sponge brushes
  • Assorted product labels

Additional Resources


  • Artists And Their Art, by Michael Medearis; ISBN 0-7398-0867-2
  • Diego Rivera: An Artist's Life, by Sarah Vazquez; ISBN 0-8172-7287-9
  • Tar Beach, by Faith Ringgold; ISBN 0-590-46381-0
  • The Keeping Quilt, by Patricia Polacco; ISBN 0-590-06213-1
  • The Quilt Story, by Tony Johnston and Tomie dePaola; ISBN 0-590-43890-5
  • Roy Lichtenstein, by Mike Venezia; ISBN 0-516-25963-6
  • Andy Warhol: The Life of an Artist, by Carin T. Ford; ISBN 0-7660-1880-6
  • Artists in their Time: Andy Warhol, by Linda Bolton; ISBN 0-531-16618-X

Background for Teachers

Artists are influenced by they world around them. Their culture, families, environment, and experiences are often evident in their completed work. Art is an excellent way for children to see the world from a different perspective. Consider the cultures in your classroom when selecting art prints and art forms to study. The emphasis on the lessons is for students to reflect their culture through art. As young children are exposed to a variety of art forms not only will their appreciation for fine art grow but their willingness to experiment with different techniques and styles will develop as well.

Intended Learning Outcomes

6. Communicate clearly in oral, artistic, written, and nonverbal form.

Instructional Procedures


Invitation to Learn

Show the class art prints from an artist that depicts family/ community life (e.g., Norman Rockwell, Grandma Moses, Diego Rivera, Paul Gauguin, Lisa Cain, Amado Pena). Ask the class to predict something about the artist and write it in their journal. Discuss student responses. (Is the artist a man or a woman? Are they from the United States? Are they from Utah? What from the painting makes you think that? What is important to the artist? What is their community like? What is their family like?)

Instructional Procedures


  1. Point out to students that many artists reflect their culture and their traditions in their artwork. They create images they care about and are meaningful to them. We can learn a lot about people and cultures by studying their artwork.
  2. Explain to the class that they are going to be creating a classroom cultural museum. Everyone will have the opportunity to create art pieces that depict their individual culture and the art pieces will be on display for everyone to see.
  3. The first art form students will have the opportunity to create is a mural. A mural is a painting created on a wall. The scene often tells a story or depicts an event from history. Diego Rivera is an artist from Mexico who enjoyed creating murals. When Diego was little he loved to draw everywhere. He even drew on the walls in his bedroom so his parents decided to hang paper all over his walls so he could draw without ruining anything. Diego's murals can be found all over the world.
  4. Give the students a sheet of scratch paper. Ask them to sketch a scene from their life, (e.g., eating breakfast in the morning, playing a soccer game, going to school, or loosing a tooth.) When they have a sketch, give students a large sheet of art paper and tape it to the wall or the chalkboard. Allow them to draw their mural using colored pencils or crayons to add color. When they are finished have them cut out their scene and glue it to a large sheet of butcher paper so everyone in the class has a scene on the butcher paper. Hang the mural.


  1. Explain to students that weaving is a functional art form that can be seen in many cultures. Show examples of different kinds of weaving (i.e., Pacific Island baskets and hats; Native American rugs; South American clothing). Compare and contrast the items. Ask, "why do you think they make these items? What is the function? What materials are used? Why? What colors are used?"
  2. Brainstorm things the students see in their own environment (home, school, stores) that are woven. Make a list. Talk about where the items possibly came from. What is the function of the item? Does it remind them of a specific culture?
  3. Have students choose something they can weave that will be functional for their own culture, (i.e., potholder, doll rug/blanket, paper placemat, paper basket, scarf)
  4. Display their weaving in the classroom.


  1. Mosaic is an art form that can be found in many cultures. Diego Rivera also created several mosaic murals. Mosaics are created using small pieces of colored glass or stone. All the colored pieces create a larger form.
  2. Students will sketch an object that is important to them. Tell them to choose a simple design.
  3. Students will cut or tear the tape to fit the shape of their drawing. They can stick it on their picture without overlapping any of the other pieces of tape. (If colored masking tape is not available use permanent markers and regular masking tape. Students can place the piece of masking tape on wax paper and color the tape with the permanent marker. It will need to dry completely before student can use it.
  4. Give the finished mosaic a title and hang it in the classroom.


  1. Share your quilt/blanket and the memory or history that goes with it. Explain to students that quilts can tell a story about a family and their culture by the memory attached to it.
  2. Faith Ringgold is an artist who expresses her culture in her artwork. She likes to combine fabric and painting to create her finished pieces. Read Tar Beach. Share the story quilt found on the last page with the class. Ask the class what they might be able to tell about Faith Ringgold after viewing the quilt. What from the quilt makes them think the way they do?
  3. Tell students that other authors/artists have also used quilts to tell a story. Patricia Polacco and Tomie dePaola write and draw about a quilt being passed down from generation to generation in The Keeping Quilt and The Quilt Story. Share a page or two from each of the stories.
  4. Ask students to share a story or memory they have about a quilt or blanket.
  5. Give students a sheet of cardstock, 8 1/2 x 8 1/2. Tell them to draw a favorite memory in the center of their paper. Once they have drawn their memory, use squares of wrapping paper to create a quilt border along the edge of the picture. Students can then "sew" their quilt together by making stitch marks around the squares or using a simple whip stitch or blanket stitch to sew yarn around the outside edge.

Pop Art

  1. Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein are two of the most famous Pop Artists of all time. Pop art is a style of art in which everyday objects, such as soda cans and light bulbs are painted or sculpted. Andy Warhol may be best known for his silkscreened paintings of soup cans. Roy Lichtenstein is famous for his use of printer Benday dots to create large-scale paintings that resemble comic strips or advertisements.
  2. Show students a color comic strip from the newspaper. Allow them to look at the comic strip with a magnifying glass. Tell students that in order for color to show on a newspaper, the color sections are really made up of tiny dots. These are called Benday dots.
  3. Roy Lichtenstein used Benday dots when he created his artwork. Some of his most famous paintings include a picture of a baked potato and a Mickey Mouse drawing.
  4. Using thick markers allow students to practice making Benday dots. Allow them to experiment by drawing dots close together and far apart. Allow them to look at their dots from a distance. What happens when they combine two colors of dots?
  5. Ask students to draw a simple object that they might see everyday (e.g. a telephone, a pencil, an eraser). Draw the outline of the object so that it fills a large portion of a piece of art paper. Use markers to fill in the color using Benday dots. The lighted side of the object should have fewer dots while the shaded side of the object should have many dots close together and possibly more than one color.
  6. Once students have completed the dots allow them to fill in the background area with a solid color or paint. Ask students to title their picture and explain why they chose the subject.

Pop Art Continued

  1. Andy Warhol liked to take objects and repeat them again and again using a process called silk screening. Some of his subject matter included soup cans, laundry soap, coke bottles, shoes, pictures of famous people, and flowers. Tell students that today they are going to have the chance to do two examples of pop art patterned after Andy Warhol's style.
  2. The first example is to create a simple "silk screen" using a 4 x 5 piece of contact paper and 4 x 5 piece of wire mesh. Tell students to draw on the contact paper a simple object that they see in their culture. Once they have drawn their flower they can cut the shape out being very careful not to throw away the outside border. Peel the backing off the border and adhere the border to the wire mesh.
  3. Now students have their screen. In small groups call students to paint their screened flowers. Using a small amount of washable paint and a sponge brush, drag the paint over the screen. Students can then lift their screen, clean the paint and create another flower using a different color. The screen process can be used again and again.
  4. While students are coming back to paint their screened flowers, allow students to look at common labels such as soup cans or soda bottles. Allow them to try and draw the image on another sheet of paper. They can choose to use the same color scheme as the original or play with color and change the image. (e.g. Instead of the soup can being red and white make it purple and yellow.)
  5. Display the finished products around the room.


Curriculum Extensions/Adaptations/ Integration

  • Explore different art forms and their origins and let students reflect their own culture through that art form, (mosaics, mud cloths, Chinese brush painting, masks, origami, totems, petroglyphs, etc...).
  • Invite a local artisan to talk to the students about their art and how their culture is reflected in their own art.
  • Take a digital photo of each student and import it into a computer document. Copy the photo so that there are four of the same photos on a page. Print the page using black and white ink. Allow the students to use watercolor to paint each photo using a different color like Andy Warhol commonly did with his subjects. The final effect has the student photo appearing four different times on the same page in four different colors.
  • Students may have different levels of art experience. Point out that each of the artists we studied created their own style. They worked hard to study but eventually their own style emerged. Students do not have to have pictures that look exactly like their neighbors. Celebrate differences and encourage free expression.
  • If a student is struggling, sometimes changing the material they are working with will help them get past a roadblock. Changing the size of a paintbrush or allowing a student to work with a different medium can help them develop confidence.

Family Connections

  • Invite parents to come and visit the classroom museum.
  • Encourage students to look for examples of art in their homes and community. Allow them to share some of their findings.

Assessment Plan

  • Ask students to complete a gallery walk. Tell them they will need to select three pieces of classroom art and describe the artists based on what they see in the artwork. (e.g. I know the artist likes soccer. They probably enjoy being outdoors because most of their art subjects can be found outside and they like to use a lot of green in their artwork.)
  • Ask students to create their own art portfolio. For each piece of art ask them to write on an index card why they chose the subject they did and how it relates to their individual culture.


Research Basis

Anderson, Tom. A rational for multicultural art education focused on the Florida model. Ed 467- 607. Retrieved February 13, 2006 from ERIC website.

A primary way societies construct and transmit their cultures from one generation to the next includes ways of making, perceiving, interpreting and valuing the arts. Because they are constructed and agreed upon, not given, the arts--like other cultural institutions, must be learned from generation to generation. This is, or should be one of the primary purposes of art education. In this context, from a multi/intercultural perspective, the point to made here is that one can and should learn not only about oneself and one's own cultural heritage through art, but also that of others.

Stewart, Rhon. The REACH Center and multicultural (multi-ethnic) art education. ED 365 618. Retrieved February 13, 2006 from ERIC website.

Multicultural education is not based on the melting pot theory of assimilation that aimed at eradicating cultural differences; but, it is based on the social theory of acculturation. Acculturation is a dynamic process of intercultural exchange that blends diverse people into a socially unified culture. It affirms the principle that each ethnic group possesses a genre of ideas that has enhanced and enriched the U.S society.

Created: 06/26/2006
Updated: 02/05/2018