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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

From Agriculture to Industry

Students will become familiar with prominent works of art located in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston as they examine different shifts in the work force over the course of the countries long and rich history. The different waves of work begin with the need to survive in the new world but grow and change as people move past survival and strive to earn money and power. Students will examine the shift from agriculture to the specialized jobs of artisans. They will then examine the change to Industrialization brought on by the desire for wealth and the birth of the factory. They will examine the shifts and the skills needed to complete the tasks as part of the work force in each.

• Students will observe the composition of a work of art and learn how the details within a picture add meaning to the composition.
• Students will identify several shifts in the work force and define a few key terms.
• Students will reflect on the skills needed to work in each phase of the labor force.
• Students will use their powers of observation and prior knowledge to answer directed questions throughout the gallery.

• Students will work in pairs and scroll through the 13 slides of the gallery at their own pace.
• They will examine the art and read the Authors Note found at the bottom of each work of art. They should discuss the questions asked and jot down reflections on a piece of paper.
• Once the pairings have finished the teacher should facilitate a whole class discussion using a projector / smart board to show a large image of the art. Students should be encouraged to share their reflections with the class.

• The teacher will evaluate the quality of the information shared in the discussion and collect the reflection sheets of each pairing of students.
• Students should write a robust paragraph based on the questions asked on the last slide.

Created By

Deb Manning


History/Social Studies

Grade Level