Guernica Lesson Plan

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Use this lesson plan to introduce students to the artwork 'Guernica' by Pablo Picasso. Students will read a text lesson, discuss the artwork and its context, and create a modern take on the piece.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe the artwork Guernica by Pablo Picasso.
  • explain the importance of Guernica in its specific context.


60 - 90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.


Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.


  • Art supplies


  • Begin the lesson by displaying Pablo Picasso's Guernica on the board. Ask students to react to the piece. What do they see? What do they feel? How do they think Picasso intended for his audience to react to this piece?
  • Distribute the text lesson Picasso's Guernica: Definition, Symbolism & Analysis. Have students read the introduction and 'Background' section. Discuss the following questions as a class:
    • What was the historical context for Picasso's Guernica?
    • What happened in the town of Guernica?
    • Why do you think Picasso chose this event to depict? What were his intentions?
  • Have students read the 'Symbolism and Analysis' section. Discuss the following questions:
    • Why did Picasso choose to complete this piece in grayscale?
    • What do some of the figures in the piece symbolize?
    • Do you agree with all of the interpretations given in the text lesson? Why or why not?
  • Have students finish reading the text lesson. Discuss:
    • What impact did Picasso's piece have on the events of the time?
    • Do you think artists have this impact on modern history? Why or why not?
    • Is it appropriate to use art in this way? Why or why not?

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account