User Menu

MFA for Educators

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

Minerals in Art and History

This presentation was created to integrate the seventh grade mineralogy science standards set by the State of Arizona (Strand 6, Concept 1) with the art standards for seventh grade students (Articulation in Middle/High School) by examining the uses of minerals in art.  The content will also reinforce the ancient history social studies standards taught in sixth grade (Strand 2, Concept 2) by examining the cultures in which these works of art are found.  Students will be able to identify the global, historical, and cultural impact of minerals in the visual arts and music, as well as recognize that minerals identical to those found in Bisbee are deposited throughout the world.

While visiting the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum (BM&HM), students learned about the diverse mineralogy that occurs at Bisbee.  However, hundreds of the minerals that have developed in Bisbee are also found in various localities in the world.  Just as the people who lived in the Bisbee area exploited these mineral resources, so did individuals from other regions.  One of the uses for minerals is creating works of art.  Minerals have had important roles in the realms of artistic expression, as these have been used to create visual and musical works of art around the globe for thousands of years.  Through connecting works of art comprised from identical mineral species that occur in Bisbee, students are provided with a regional, as well as larger global, cultural, and historical context for the study of geology and can link the subjects of science, art, and social studies together. 

This presentation is designed to be a post-museum lesson for students who visited the BM&HM and encourages the children to recognize the various uses of minerals in art.  It provides written, audio, and visual references to accommodate students with varied learning styles and can be presented to students in class or as an individual assignment.  Once completed, ask the students to examine their environment, both at home and in public, and document examples of minerals used in art, by writing, drawing, or photographing what they discover. 

Arizona Department of Education.  (2006). Arizona academic standards in the arts:  Articulation middle/high school.  Retrieved from

Arizona Department of Education.  (2006). Social studies standard articulated by grade level.  Retrieved from

Arizona Department of Education.  (2005). Science standards articulated by grade level.  Retrieved from

Created By

Annie Larkin


History/Social Studies, Science, The Arts

Grade Level