Art Appreciation Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What is art appreciation? A video lesson outlines key facts while in-class opportunities for analysis increase comprehension. To take instruction further, take advantage of our suggestions for related lessons and extensions.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain what art appreciation is
  • use the three principles of art appreciation to analyze a work of art


1 to 2 hours


  • A full color photocopy or a digital image of a well-known work of art

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.


  • Display the piece of artwork for all students to see.
  • Ask students to take turns explaining to the class what they see when they look at the piece.
  • Now play the video lesson Experiencing and Interpreting the Arts: Looking at Process & Product, pausing at 00:53.
  • Based on what they learned in the video lesson about 'experiencing' versus 'interpreting' art, which position did each of the students take? Discuss this as a class.
  • Play the video lesson again and pause at 3:35.
  • Using the material delivered in the video lesson regarding context and the same work of art that was used earlier, have the students take turns assessing the context of the piece and discuss as a class.
  • Play the video lesson for the class now and pause at 5:02.
  • Have the students take turns assessing the process used in the work of art on display.
  • Play the rest of the video lesson now.
  • Have the students take turns interpreting the work of art on display. Discuss this as a class.

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