Ten Art Questions

Grade Levels: 3 - 6


  • Students will identify basic elements in a piece of art through speaking and writing.
  • Students will enhance their observation skills.


  • Art work (reproductions, or their own works)
  • Journals


  1. This lesson works wonderfully with young children; simply hold a discussion. With older students, hold a discussion or ask them to write responses to the following questions:
    • Look carefully at the work of art in front of you. What colors do you see in it? List the specific colors that you see.

    • What objects do you see in the work of art in front of you? List the objects that you see.

    • What is going on in this work of art? Mention whatever you see happening, no matter how small.

    • Does anything you have noticed in this work of art so far (colors, objects, or events) remind you of something in your own life?

    • Is this work of art true-to-life? How real has the artist made things look?

    • What ideas and emotions do you think this work of art expresses?

    • Do you have a sense of how the artist might have felt when he or she made this work of art? Does it make you feel one way or another?

  2. If the class is looking at more than one piece, you can ask:
    • Take a look at the other works of art displayed around this one. Do they look alike? What is similar about the way they look( e.g. objects, events, feelings, the way they are made)? What is different?

    • What would you have called this work of art if you had made it yourself? Does the title of the work, if there is one, make sense to you?

  3. Have students reflect on their observations.
    • Think back on your previous observations. What have you discovered from looking at this work of art? Have you learned anything about yourself or others?

    • Do you like this work of art? Why or why not? Has your reaction to the work changed? Do you like it more or less than you did in the beginning? Why?

The Generic Art Game was created by Project Muse (Museums Uniting with Schools in Education), at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Original copyright 1991, Davis. Copyright 1993, Harvard Project Zero. Reprinted with permission from the MUSE Book, Davis, 1996.

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