Lesson Plan

Teaching Art Through Historical Events

This App Flow features a lesson that connects Social Studies and Historical Events to the arts as inspiration and preservation of important dates and events through recording them as an artist.
Jessica M.
Classroom teacher
Hite Saunders Elementary School
Huntington, United States
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects Arts

Students will be able to...

Identify current events that could become more pertinent historical events.

Research historical events of the past 50 years as a basis for possible artistic inspiration.

Create an original piece of art to represent history.

Grades 3 – 5
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/Attention Getter

Activity: Reading

Read the book The Survivor Tree to students. Have them look at the ways that the artist/illustrator emphasized the conditions before and after the historical events relayed in the story. Have students analyze how this book and its illustrations help to preserve and build historical awareness. Discuss how they could become historians through their artistic depictions of events, times, and places.

Student Instructions

Listen as I read this book to you. Pick out what you think are important events. Did the author and illustrators work together to create artwork that helps people remember history?

2 Direct Instruction

Using the MetKids website, instruct students on how to search for historical events by "Hopping in the time machine" and visiting other periods of time that have recorded historical battles, events, important inventions and technology and more.

Using the Time for Kids website, instruct students on how to search for news articles that could possibly turn into historical events. Look for battles, events, important inventions and technology, politics, and more.

Student Instructions

Watch as I demonstrate how to explore the MetKids website. We will be looking at historical events, inventions, and more. Keep in mind that you are an artist and we will be watching for historical events as they happen so that we can record them.

Watch as I demonstrate how to explore the Time for Kids website. Watch for interesting news topics as they may be historical events for the future. Search the news for a topic you can use to create art.

3 Independent Practice

Activity: Drawing

Have students draw/sketch an idea and present it to a classmate for feedback. The sketch should contain some aspect of the current news media that they feel will become a part of history.

Student Instructions

Draw/sketch an idea and present it to a classmate for feedback.  Remember your sketch should depict some aspect of the current news media that you think will become a part of history that is significant.

4 Independent Work/Wrap-Up

Have students turn their sketches into artwork. They may choose to use physical forms of creating artwork or use digital forms to create their artwork. Do a quick demo using Canva to show how students can use imagery and edit imagery to create original art. 

Student Instructions

Think about how you would like to create your masterpiece. You may choose to paint, photograph, draw and color (using available mediums), or graphically render the historical event you have chosen to sketch. Canva is an app that helps transform photos and more into graphic representations that capture what we would like to present to the public as art. Please watch as I demonstrate how to use this app and then begin working on your final project.