The Walters Art Museum

Common Core Connections

Each month we add new classroom activities. These classroom activities connect the artwork from the Walters Art Museum to the Common Core Standards. Check out these ideas and bring the museum collection to your classroom. You may also be interested in the collection of lesson plans developed by Maryland state teachers, as part of the Integrating the Arts program.

Everyday Objects

What is a still life? What can a still life teach us about the past? Students will analyze and discuss still life paintings.

Download "Everyday Objects" →

Ancient Portraits

Students will explore portraits from Ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Mesopotamia.

Download "Ancient Portraits" →

The Science of Egg Tempera

Before the invention of oil paint, artists created paintings with powdered colored pigments mixed with egg yolk as a binding agent. In this activity, students will examine a Renaissance painting and explore the use of egg tempera painting materials and techniques..

Download "The Science of Egg Tempera" →

Dancing Dragons

In this lesson seed, students will explore traditional Chinese dragon dances by making their own Chinese dragon! This lesson seed can be used in conjunction with the Integrating the Arts Dragon Story Interactive.

Download "Dancing Dragons" →

Refraction and Repair

In this lesson, students will practice using protractors to measure angle of refraction of light as it passes through possible repair materials. Students will then choose a material that would best replace missing glass in the damaged 700-year-old original. This brief lesson can be used in conjunction with the Integrating the Arts Islamic Glass Beakers Activity.

Download "Refraction and Repair" →

Imaginary and Hybrid Creatures

In consideration of diverse learners and with the inclusive efforts of our Sensory Morning workshops in mind, this lesson has been written to engage multiple learning styles. Through exploration of the artworks Statuettes of the Four Evangelists from a Lectern, this lesson provides suggestions for engaging students through hands-on learning opportunities. We encourage you to make modifications to better meet the needs of your students!

Download "Imaginary and Hybrid Creatures" →

Collaborative Figure Modeling

Creating a stone sculpture required the collaboration of many different artists. In this lesson, students will use background information about William Henry Rinehart and pieces from the Walters’ exhibition Rinehart’s Studio: Rough Stone to Living Marble to help them to work collaboratively to create a clay sketch from a live model.

Download "Collaborative Figure Modeling" →

Canon of Proportions in Egyptian Art

By following stylized principles, Egyptians created an idealized human form that was pleasing to the eye and reflected a sense of order, even if it was not realistic. This resulted in art that is readily identifiable throughout a span of more than 3000 years. In this lesson, students will examine and attempt to discern the rules that Egyptian artists employed, both mathematical and aesthetic.

Download "Canon of Proportions in Egyptian Art" →

Understanding Timelines Using Art

This lesson focuses on understanding BCE and CE dates on timelines using the creation dates of various artworks as data points. Students will be able to sequence the creation of artworks as well as determine the amount of time between dates.

Download "Understanding Timelines Using Art" →

Descriptive Language and Lost Illusions

In this lesson, students will identify sight and sound sensory imagery in a primary-source document, artist Charles Gleyre's diary, about a painting called Lost Illusions. Then, students will match descriptive language in Gleyre's diary to images in the artwork.


Problematic Metals

Students will learn about the problem of tarnishing of museum objects as well as the Walters' conservation work through a video clip and/or article. Then, students will experiment with various metals in solutions to theorize which metals might prove challenging to museum conservators and why.


Designing an Art Exhibition

This activity starts with a portrait of the founder of the Walters Art Museum, Henry Walters. Henry Walters collected objects and arranged them in interesting and meaningful ways when designing his museum. In this activity, students will create an exhibition by grouping works of art in meaningful and deliberate ways.



Students will understand and apply the concepts of allegory in art. Students will analyze four allegorical bronze sculptures created by Francesco Bertos that represent Africa, America, Europe, and Asia.

Download "ALLEGORY" →

Painting and Poetry in Japan

Students will use two Japanese paintings from the Walters Art Museum as the basis for ekphrastic poems—that is, poems inspired by art. Using the paintings' visual appearance as well as their own emotional responses to the paintings, students will write prose responses and brainstorm descriptive verbs and adjectives before condensing their thoughts into a series of evocative three-line poems.


The Art Of War

Students will compare and contrast the visual and material elements of two suits of armor from Japan and Germany. They will use their creativity to design their own suits of armor, which will be drawn to scale to fit their own bodies. Precision will be vital in recording measurements, making the correct mathematical conversions, and drawing their armor in the correct scale.

Download "THE ART OF WAR" →

Family Ties

In small groups, students will analyze how each artist chose to portray the idea of “family.” Students will support their analyses by referencing specific details observed in the artwork. Students will then orally compare and contrast the portrayal of “family” in the four images. After class discussion, students will produce written compositions on their personal definition of “family,” including details from the artworks when appropriate.

Download "Family Ties" →

Show and Tell

Students will practice their communication skills as both speakers and listeners by completing this partner- based activity. Each student will choose a work of art from the Walters Art Museum at One student will describe her artwork to the other student, who will attempt to draw the artwork, based on the student's verbal description, and without seeing it for himself. The partners will have to be articulate and patient in order to accurately recreate each artwork.

Download "Show and Tell" →

Papyrus Production

Students will learn about the ancient Egyptian Book of the Faiyum, a papyrus scroll that details the religious customs and environment of the Faiyum region along the Nile River. With the Book of the Faiyum as a model, students will learn about the processes that Egyptian scribes used to create written works. Stressing precision, creativity, and group collaboration, students will work in a similar assembly-line structure to create their own "scrolls" that include both text and illustration.

Download "Papyrus Production" →

Mathematical Landscapes

In this math and art activity, students will use the skills of estimation and measurement to better understand the composition of 19th-century landscape painting.

Download "Mathematical Landscapes" →

Precise Patterns

Challenged when trying to integrate math and art? This activity encourages students to calculate how to draw patterns on an ancient Greek vase.

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Read all about it!

What was the news like in 1848? Download this activity, which examines the painting Politics in an Oyster House by Richard Caton Woodville . After conducting research and examining the painting Politics in an Oyster House, students will write an article for a 19th-century newspaper. Students will develop their topic with facts, definitions, concrete details and other examples related to the image and the time period.

Download "Read all about it!" →

From Your Point of View

Stories can be examined from many perspectives. Download this activity, which tells the story of the painting An Accident by Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan-Bouveret , 1879. Students will read a story from the perspective of the hurt child in the painting. Using their creativity and analytic skills, they will construct their own story from the perspective of a character in the painting.

Download "From Your Point of View" →

What's the Drama All About?

Who doesn't love a good story? Download this activity and use your imagination to discover what happened before, during and after this scene.

Download "What's the Drama All About?" →

Who is this Little Girl?

When the Walters Family purchased this painting in 1902 it looked very different than it does today. The child in the painting wasn't there. Download this activity and discover the secrets behind the painting while making links to the Common Core Standards for Reading.

Download "Who is this Little Girl?" →

Restoration or Destruction

Download this science, language arts and visual arts integrated activity to reveal the mysteries behind this Renaissance painting. Students will use the skills of the Integration of Knowledge and Ideas while learning about conservation in an art museum.

Download "Restoration or Destruction" →