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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.

Native American Basketry

Basketry is one of the oldest human crafts on earth and one of the great American Indian cultural art traditions, a source of pride for the makers and their communities past and present. Baskets can tell us a lot about what kinds of food the people gathered, stored and ate; where they gathered resources; what they wore; how homes were furnished; how they expressed themselves creatively and spiritually; and many other details of their lives. No two cultures produce basketry with the same technical skill, detail, or design. Examining baskets closely can provide tremendous information about its maker.

About the Art + History Connect Curriculum

Native American Basketry Collection Set is one unit from the Art + History Connect curriculum, integrating art history into a 3rd-5th grade US history curriculum (written and intended for use by classroom teachers and/or homeschool families). Art + History Connect consists of 30 units, each approximately 1 hour, with its own collection set and lesson outline. Each unit collection set will include the artwork and resources necessary for the lesson. Support materials and background information aid understanding of the historical context.

Objectives of Program:

- 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 Collection:

The slides presented here are for use by the classroom teacher in preparing for the lesson. Slide 1 (and the attached documents "Weaving" and "Lesson Outline") provides lesson planning information for the teacher.  The other slides should be presented to students, either individually by students via a computer or projected to the entire class.

For additional information:

The Heard Museum, Phoenix (

Arizona State Museum, Tucson (

Burke Museum, Seattle (

Created By

Michelle Sparks


History/Social Studies

Grade Level


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