Structure of the Art Module
The structure of the units in this Web module is based on museum-based methods of teaching, that
is, the use of objects for the basis of activities and lessons.
The objects in the collection of a museum are the basis for the teaching of art production, art
history, art criticism, and aesthetics. There are seven sub-modules on different media and
The Web is an apt medium for the publication of this educational approach because it offers
the opportunity for viewers to see and study images of the museum objects from afar.
Its interactivity affords the viewer the ability to communicate with the objects through the
thought- and discussion- provoking questions and offline activities that accompany the
images. Teachers should not attempt to cover all images or all questions at once. This mate-
rial is enough to cover easily a year's lessons. Images, themes and modules can be returned
to for different purposes. The Art Module is a resource to be mined.
Teachers can adjust the grade level of the discussion by choosing the number and the topic of
the questions and encouraging students to initiate questions.
1. The teacher can choose one question with which to lead a lesson and have the class
look at several images to compare how the questions may be explored with different
artworks. (Ex: A question for Sunday on the Farm (WPA) is "What details in the
painting are very realistic?" The class could compare the `realistic' details of it with
those of "outskirts of Galena" in the same module)
2. The teacher could choose one work of art and ask several questions about it. Better
still, the students could ask and answer questions about it. (Ex: While viewing Julia
Thecla's Self-Portrait, teacher or students might wonder what she is looking at, how
she feels, why she painted herself so pale, what the brown leaves might mean, what
mood the colors create, what the temperature might be around
3. We have provided a glossary for each sub-module for teachers to use as a vocabulary
list or other activity.
The online and print resource lists and the hands-on and discussion activities sections give
viewers access to more information and experiences. The activity descriptions were written
for a broad grade level that teachers can adapt for the age and number of students they have,
and the time they have in which to do the activities. Art teachers often see students once a
week for 45 minutes, while classroom teachers may make available a half hour each day for
a week or more by integrating the activity into another subject's content and form. Students
who are exploring the modules independently may want to explore the links provided to add
depth to the subject at hand. Teachers could use the links for background information or as
part of a class activity.