Making Connections Activity: Seeing Connections Among Works of Art
Purpose : to help the student learn to make connections in theme, mood, or emotional expression among
works of art.
Objectives : While viewing the works of art in the six Web galleries of the Illinois State Museum's
Museumlink Illinois (, students will practice the skill
of looking at art works with an interpretive eye in order to make connections among them regarding
theme, mood, or emotional expression by choosing three works of art in which they can see or make a
connection and communicating that connection to others.
Grade levels: 5-10
Time Required: one class period
Illinois State Museum Web site used: Museumlink Illinois Art Web site
Materials : computer
printer, preferably color
pencil or pen
writing paper
Motivation : The class will view and discuss the four themes and their art works in the Making
Connections Galleries of the Museum's Museumlink Illinois Web site (
muslink/art/htmls/mc.html).The main discussion point is that the viewers, not the artists, makes
theconnections. The viewers do this by bringing their own experiences and feelings to the art works they
see. Each person sees something different in each work of art. That said, there are some universal ideas
that artists sometimes address in their work - hope, patriotism, love, war, power. Have the students
name some other universal ideas and write them on the board. Do an example search with them: one can
make connections about rural life in Illinois by comparing work by photographer Frank Sadorus to the
WPA paintings.
Procedure : Students will
divide into pairs or small groups (to save time on the computer).
browse through images from the various fine- and decorative-art galleries in the
Museumlink Illinois site.
look for similarities in ideas or emotions among works of art.
find three images that make a connection and then print out those images.
compose a written description of their connection and how each image relates to the
connections or chosen theme.
Making Connections: Exploring Four themes through Art
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