Visual and Performing Arts Teacher Resources

Visual and Performing Arts resources foster different forms of creative expression, whether through drama, music, film, dance, or visual art, and teach students to value aesthetics. In addition, they provide learners with the historical and cultural contexts for events.       

Hands-on activities can be used to introduce young learners to the concept of symmetry while an activity for middle schoolers connects art, advertising, and nutrition. Other lessons, activities, and videos permit students to discover the themes, values, and traditions of world cultures.       

The arts have long been used to draw attention to and encourage response to important social issues, environmental concerns, and even the horrors of war. Here’s an article packed with suggestions for how to integrate the arts into science classes and this lesson connects science, math, and art.

No matter your subject area, Lesson Planet has teacher-curated resources designed to spark the interest of your students in the visual and performing arts.

Showing 10,737 resources
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Social Issues and Art Inquiry Project

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Connect art to social issues with a extended inquiry project. Individuals or small groups select a social issue and a type of art to explore. They complete a KWL chart for both the social issue and the art strand and take time to create...
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4:50
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How Ancient Art Influenced Modern Art

For Students 7th - 12th
What do Picasso, Matisse, and Gauguin have in common? They are all considered modern artists, a movement that began over 150 years ago. And despite the label, their work was influenced by artists much, much, older. Check out this video...
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Pop Art Sculpture: Food

For Teachers 9th
Pop art food sculptures may look good enough to eat, but don't bite into them! Paying close attention to detail, ninth-graders use modeling clay to sculpt then paint a realistic item of food, reflecting the American popular culture of...
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Painted Story Quilt

For Teachers K - 12th
Creating story quilts is a great way to combine art, social studies and literature. Kids select a story, a published one or one of their own, to illustrate, paint on a canvas square, embellish, and mount on a felt backing.
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The Birth of an Icon: Learning and Performing the Origins of the Drum Set and Early Jazz Drumming in New Orleans, Louisiana

For Teachers 5th - 12th
Bass drum, snare drum, tom-toms, cymbals. Perched behind their drum sets, wielding their drum sticks and wire brushes, drummers lay the grove and are the heartbeat of a band's performance. A dynamic lesson introduces young musicians to...
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Stitch It Up!

For Teachers 4th - 12th
Ever think about combining the art forms of painting and embroidery? Then this art lesson is right up your alley! Given a piece of white cloth, young artists first create a grayscale painting and then highlight certain features by...
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Water, Art, and The Canadian Identity

For Teachers 3rd - 8th
Have your class explore the representation of water in Canadian art. This lesson has learners investigate the representation of water in a variety of art forms. They focus on their personal feelings about art and the topic of water. What...
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Islamic Art; Exploring the Visual Arts of the Middle East

For Teachers 5th - 8th
The intent of this unit is to demonstrate some of the traditional arts of the Middle East. Extensive background information on the religion, culture, and nature of Islamic art found throughout the Middle East is provided. Each of the...
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Northern Renaissance Art

For Teachers 12th - Higher Ed
The 15th and 16th centuries marked one of the most interesting periods in European art history. The deep symbolism, allegory, rich imagery, and iconography can be found in this extensive and well-organized slideshow. From El Greco to...
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Early Medieval Art

For Teachers 11th - Higher Ed
The early Medieval period began around the 6th century and went until about the year 1100. This image-driven presentation covers those years in terms of art and architecture. From churches to the Book of Kells, this functional,...
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Cinquecento Italian Art

For Teachers 12th - Higher Ed
The Cinquecento period was a span of approximately 100 years of Italian art and architecture. This extensive slideshow provides wonderful images of the art and architecture of the time. It focuses on masters such as Da Vinci, Raphael,...
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Places of Performance

For Teachers 4th - 12th
Students explore and analyze the architecture of performing arts facilities to create a replica of a theater. They identify the interior and exterior characteristics of these types of facilities and create a replica of a real or imagined...
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1920s Variety Show

For Students 6th - 8th Standards
To better understand the cultural achievements of the Harlem Renaissance and become familiar with its major figures, class members examine a painting by Aaron Douglas and a poem by Langston Hughes and compare how the artists develop...
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Thrilling Information: Music and Reading

For Teachers 2nd - 4th Standards
Here’s a cross-curricular program music activity that uses Peer Gynt to engage class members. Groups take one section of “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” choreograph their section of the tune to represent the story as they imagine it,...
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Gothic Art

For Teachers 12th - Higher Ed
The Middle Ages were an extensive period in European history. Discover the beautiful Gothic art and architecture that developed in France during this time period. Gorgeous and visually rich, this resource would nicely accompany any...
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Arts of the Americas

For Teachers 12th - Higher Ed
From deep in the jungles of Mesoamerica to the mound builders of North America, this presentation showcases the art of the Americas. It covers ancient American art, depicting architecture, ceremonial objects, art, and sculpture that span...
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Portraits, Pears, And Perfect Landscapes: Investigating Genre in the Visual Arts

For Teachers 9th - 12th
Differentiate between the various genres in the visual arts world, particularly in Western painting. Your class can view and discuss, in small groups, paintings published on the National Galleries website. Then each student individually...
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Our Client Is The Cincinnat Art Museum

For Teachers K - 12th
Students design various commercial products for the Cincinnati Art Museum using on-line sources, past designs, and creative educational software. This lesson has excellent project ideas for various student levels including: K-2, 3-5,...
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Reading Art

For Teachers 7th - 8th
Can you read a painting the way you would a book? The curator of the Philadelphia Museum of Art says you can. Follow along as she takes three families on a private tour of the museum. As they stop to discuss each painting, they gain...
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Art Journal

For Teachers K - 12th
What a wonderfully creative way to have your class create a class journal. Learners use a variety of materials to design an art journal using collages, drawings, and paintings. An interesting and motivating variation on traditional...
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Community Through Northwest Coast Art & Traditions

For Teachers 4th - 5th
Learners view video and watch an artist create a potlatch (gift necklace).  In this community and resources lesson, students understand the culture of Northwest Coast Art & Traditions  .  Learners create their own necklaces and bent...
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Form (Art)

For Teachers 3rd - 6th
Form is an important aspect of art to consider. The student in this video shares real life examples of form, as well as all different types a form can be.
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4:52
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Introduction to the Elements of Art

For Teachers 3rd - 6th
Watch this introductory video to learn about the different elements of art. The young artist does a fantastic job at describing and demonstrating various examples of elements in art.
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Lines (Art)

For Teachers 3rd - 6th
The young artist in this video demonstrates lines in art. She also describes the three different properties of lines. What a great video to watch when learning the basics of art.