Cave Painting 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 can cave drawings tell us? A text lesson provides facts about cave drawings and an activity gives students the chance to create their own version of a cave drawing. Extensions and related lessons may help you continue the discussion.

Learning Objectives

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

  • explain a brief history of cave drawings
  • identify areas in the world where cave drawings have been located
  • use environmental materials to create their own cave drawing


1 to 2 hours

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.


Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).


  • Photocopies of the cave painting images featured in the text lesson
  • World map
  • Plastic spoons
  • Paper cups
  • Large craft paper or brown bags


  • Begin by displaying the photocopies of the images for the class.
  • Ask them what they see in the images. Is there a blatant message? What materials might have been used? How old do they think these images are?
  • Now have them read the introduction, Cave Paintings, and The Aurignacian Culture sections of the text lesson Cave Painting: History & Pictures.
  • Did anyone correctly identify the images as cave paintings? How about the approximate age of the images? Discuss these as a class.
  • Now have the students locate the countries mentioned on the world map.
  • Ask the class to read the rest of the text lesson now.

Discussion Questions

  • Are there common themes in the images on display?
  • What materials might cave dwellers have used to create these images?

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