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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.

ART + HISTORY CONNECT: A Collaborative Curriculum


This lesson (Collection Set) forms an integral part of the Art + History Connect curriculum, integrating art history into a 4th grade US history (Columbus to contemporary) curriculum.


Project consists of 30 weekly units, each based around one theme and one artwork. Lessons divide each unit into parts 1 & 2, intended for being taught in two, 30-minute sessions each week.


Students will be exposed to American masterpiece artwork.Students will use critical thinking strategies to learn how to read visual imagery as primary source documentation of historic events.Students will demonstrate aptitude in expressing their own ideas via art-making opportunities.

How to Use this Art Collection:

Teacher should be familiar with the artwork presented. Each weekly unit includes one artwork for students to use as a primary source for better understanding of the historical context. Teachers should be prepared to display the artwork for students to view during the lessons (projected, online, or printed). It is suggested that the teacher display the artwork throughout the week, so students become familiar with it.

Materials Needed:

This Collection Set of images, available for display (depending upon technology available, via projector, digital display or hand outs).Weekly Units (each consisting of Lessons 1 & 2)Handling objects (as suggested in individual lessons)Art supplies (as indicated in individual lessons)

Standards Addressed:

California Dept. of Education Visual Arts

2.4 Use fibers or other materials to create a simple weaving.

3.1 Describe how art plays a role in reflecting life

3.2 Identify and discuss the content of works of art in the past and present, focusing on the different cultures that have contributed to California's history and art heritage.

4.1 Describe how using the language of the visual arts helps to clarify personal responses to works of art.

4.2 Identify and describe how a person's own cultural context influences individual responses to works of art.

4.4 Identify and describe how various cultures define and value art differently.

4.5 Describe how the individual experiences of an artist may influence the development of specific works of art.

5.3 Construct diagrams, maps, graphs, timelines, and illustrations to communicate ideas or tell a story about a historical event.

5.4 Tell how the artists mirrored or affected their time period or culture.

US History

5.2 Students trace the routes of early explorers and describe the early explorations of the Americas.

5.3 Students describe the cooperation and conflict that existed among the American Indians and between the Indian nations and the new settlers.

5.4 Students understand the political, religious, social, and economic institutions that evolved in the colonial era.

5.5 Students explain the causes of the American Revolution.

5.6 Students understand the course and consequences of the American Revolution.

5.7 Students describe the people and events associated with the development of the U.S. Constitution and analyze the Constitution's significance as the foundation of the American republic.