Chinese Scroll Art Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Teach students about the beautiful art of Chinese scroll painting with this lesson plan. Students will read a text lesson that explains key facts about scroll painting, analyze samples, then create an original scroll painting.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain Chinese scroll painting
  • describe themes and content of Chinese scroll paintings
  • create an original scroll painting


1 - 1.5 hours

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.3

Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.


  • Copies of the lesson Ancient Chinese Scroll Painting, one for each student
  • Images of Chinese scrolls printed on legal-size paper or longer for students to observe and analyze
  • Paper
  • Paint brushes
  • Paint
  • Water
  • Paper bags
  • Wooden dowels
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Key Vocabulary

  • Scroll painting
  • Hand scrolls
  • Hanging
  • Wash
  • Pigments
  • Colophons
  • Seals
  • Vermillion

Warm-Up and Preparation

  • Before class, hang the images of Chinese scrolls on the wall.
  • Start class by having students take a gallery walk, observing the scrolls and taking notes on what they see.
  • Come together after five minutes to share observations. What did students notice about the scrolls?
  • Look closely at a few scrolls with students if necessary to prompt discussions. Ask:
    • Have you seen this type of art work before? Where?
    • Which scrolls do you like best? Why?

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