Henri Rousseau Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Use this lesson plan to teach your students about artist Henri Rousseau. A text lesson provides a biography of his life and work, followed by a video lesson that explores the subject, style and technique used in his work 'The Dream.' Hands-on learning, discussions and a quiz make content stick.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • provide a brief biography of Henri Rousseau
  • analyze style, technique and subject in The Dream by Henri Rousseau
  • discuss and analyze work by Rousseau


1 - 1.5 hours


Key Vocabulary

  • Post-Impressionist
  • Naïve

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.2

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.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.3

Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.4

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.


  • Give students ten minutes to journal to the prompt 'Why are artists often underappreciated during their lifetimes? What artists (of any genre) do you know who are or have been underappreciated?'
  • After writing, divide students into small groups and have them share their thoughts.
  • Next, discuss as a whole group, allowing students to share their ideas and discuss how the artists are similar and different.

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