Arts-integrated Lesson Plans from
Inspiring Minds Through Art: An Introduction to Object-based Learning CD-ROM

Ten years ago the Fitchburg Art Museum produced a CD-ROM about object-based learning, which grew out of its work with teachers in the Fitchburg Public Schools (specifically, the Museum Partnership School) and Anne Rhodes, an arts-integration specialist.  Included on the CD-ROM were three sections:  Curriculum Framework, Art Library, and Lesson Plans.

As we all know, technology changes at a breath-taking pace.  My MacBook Pro can no longer access the sections about the Curriculum Framework and the Art Library, but luckily the Lesson Plans were in PDF format and able to be transferred to our website.

Art objects work well at the center of inquiry-based learning since they naturally arouse curiosity and invite investigation.  From “What is it?” to “What does it signify?,” students questions about art work can motivate meaninful learning in a single lesson or an entire unit.  The rich layers of meaning inherent in artworks give students opportunties to exercise higher-order thinking such as reasoning, taking different perspectives, finding problems and puzzles, interpreting, evaluating and summarizing.

There are many ways to integrate looking at, studying, and making art into your curricula.  The lessons here present three different ways:

     1.  Thematic Connections – Relating through cross-curricula themes such as “Transformation” or “Our relationship with nature”
     2.  Information Linkages – Artworks representing a particular culture or time period reinforce knowledge about the culture or time period
     3.  Essential Skills –  Artworks stimulate basic skills such as writing, figuring ratios and percentages, and reasoning (supporting a hypothesis with evidence).

You can find out more details about each of these by looking at the three PDFs called Information Linkages, Essential Skills List, and Thematic Connections.  The Lessons Chart will also help you connect specific lessons to curriculum subject areas.

Please note:  Although many of the artowrks included in the lesson plans may not be on view at the Museum currently, in the classroom you can substitute similar ones from other resources.  And, of course, feel free to adapt these lessons to suit your needs.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Laura Howick, Director of Education
978.345.4207 ext. 305 or lhowick@fitchburgartmuseum

Fitchburg Art Museum
185 Elm Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420
Phone 978.345.4207