Chinese Painting Lesson Plan

Instructor: Caitlin Ferraiolo Brady

Caitlin is a sixth grade geography teacher in Connecticut. She holds a Master's Degree in Educational Techonology.

In this lesson, students will explore the art of Ancient Chinese scroll painting. They will also learn how to identify its style characteristics and then create their own scroll story painting.

Lesson Objectives

At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify examples of ancient Chinese scroll painting.
  • Demonstrate their understating of the characteristics of scroll painting in their own scroll painting.

Common Core Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

Time Length

Three 40-minute class periods. Two for the introduction and creation of the scroll paintings, and one for the Gallery Walk showcase of student work.


  • Guiding question sheet
  • Drawing or painting materials
  • Copies of well known stories (Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, etc.)
  • Drawing paper long enough to be rolled into scrolls
  • Enlarged copies of Chinese scroll painting examples (laminate for durability)
  • Index cards
  • Note paper


  • Create a short guided question sheet for students to use while analyzing the examples of Ancient Chinese scroll paintings. Some questions might be:
    • What part of the scroll draws your eye first?
    • Do you recognize any specific art techniques used in this work?
    • What do we not see in this scroll that you might typically find in a story?
    • What is happening in the scene?
    • Is there a main character? How do you know? What is he/she/it doing?
    • How does this represent the Ancient Chinese style of painting?
  • Display an example of an Ancient Chinese scroll painting. Have students share initial observations about the work. Explain that scroll paintings were meant to be viewed in sections, like pages in a story book.

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