Let's Look at Art Lesson Plans

Please share your artwork with us by emailing education@sjmusart.org. We will highlight the community’s work weekly on our Education Page on Facebook.


LLAA Prints in the Spotlight

What are some of the docents’ favorite artworks? Together with LLAA docent Tony Misch we look closely at two works by Rousseau and discover how they bring magic to the classroom!

Backyard Gallery

What if your backyard was an art museum? Have you ever imagined this? Let's Look at Art docents like to look at artworks very attentively. Try to do the same with objects in your backyard! Try this communication activity with your family and friends. One of you should select an image and describe it to the other to draw, and then compare the result with the original! Come closer, take a step back, look from different angles to discover new details and features of the familiar things. Go to your ''gallery'' at different times of the day and note the changes.

Do you notice other ''visitors''? How do they like the display?

Draw from what you have seen or experienced. It can be your favorite corner of the yard, or memory of the event, or just your favorite plant.

Artworks shown in video:

  • Lisa Keaney, Afternoon Nap, 1994.
  • Carmen Lomas Garza, Cumpleaños de Lali Y Tudi, 1989.
  • Georgia O'Keeffe, Petunias, 1925.
  • I Spy with LLAA

    Discover everything Let's Look at Art docents miss from visiting the classroom in this image! Where is the Let’s Look at Art docent in this digital classroom presentation? Where are the students and what do you think the docent is learning from them? What lines, colors, shapes, textures can you find?

    We spy:

  • two sculptures
  • a tiger’s head
  • a pair of unusual shoes
  • a mysterious smile
  • zigzag lines
  • silhouettes of birds
  • a savory cylinder
  • What more can you find?

    Movement in Art

    Let's Look at Art docents love to bring art to life through movements. We can try this technique together! First, we will show you an example, and then you can freely explore the selection of works using movements. What was your experience like? What did you notice while being 'inside' these images?

    Artworks shown in video:

  • Edgar Degas, Ballet Class, the Dance Hall, 1880.
  • Winslow Homer, Snap the Whip, 1872.
  • Bernard Hoyes, Thanks and Praises, 1980.
  • Diego Rivera, Baile en Tehauntepec, 1935.
  • Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night, 1889.
  • Keith Haring, Untitled (Dance), 1987.
  • Drawing from Description

    You are probably familiar with observational drawing (drawing what you see). But how about drawing from description? Create your version of the one or both oceanic images from the SJMA collection based on their descriptions. You can draw, photograph or paint a scene or object(s) that this text reminds you of. There are no restrictions. We already asked the Let’s Look at Art docents to try their hands at this, and if you want to be inspired, you can peep at their works.

    Try this communication activity with your family and friends. One of you should select an image and describe it to the other to draw, and then compare the result with the original!


    Let's see how artists depict textures in their works! In this video, Susan Curtin, Let's Look at Art docent, shows you how to look for and describe textures in art. Artworks shown in video:

  • Three Rivers Petroglyph Site, Three Rivers, New Mexico, Petroglyphs, 900–1400.
  • Emanuel Leutze, Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851.
  • Gordon Parks, American Gothic, 1942.
  • Richard Shaw, Little French Girl, 1996.
  • Tell Your Story with Simple Shapes


    When it comes to shapes and colors, Let's Look at Art docents bring out their props! Let's Look at Art docents find props everywhere or simply make them, especially in a good company of other docents. You can try making one too using your favorite shapes and telling a story about you, your family, or your house.

    Color Experiment

    Explore colors with this fun activity! Choose your favorite artwork, look at its colors, try to memorize their position, and recreate it in your drawing.

    It’s Fun to Write About Art!

    Let’s Look at Art docent Susan McGowan shows you how to compose beautiful poems about any artwork in no time! Watch the video if you want to learn more about this exciting writing activity. It’s perfect for 2nd–8th graders, but everyone is encouraged to try!

    Click HERE for the writing prompts which you can print out or re-create.