Vincent van Gogh Lesson Plan

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson plan will outline the important discussion questions regarding Vincent van Gogh's biography and artwork, key vocab words students should remember, as well as three activities to help students understand van Gogh's life and work a bit more.

Learning Objectives

Once students have finished this lesson, they should be able to

  • Describe the varied careers of Vincent van Gogh
  • Understand his painting style(s)
  • Explain what may have led to his death
  • Identify visually and by name some of his most famous works


30-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.7

Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.6

Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.8

Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.

Key Vocabulary

  • Impressionist
  • The Starry Night
  • Bedroom in Arles
  • The Night Cafe

Instructions & Discussion Questions

  • Have students read the lesson Vincent van Gogh: Biography & Artwork. Once they have read this as a class or individually, ensure they understand the material by asking questions such as:
    • Besides art, what other jobs and opportunities did Vincent van Gogh seek out throughout his life?
    • What psychological and physiological problems afflicted van Gogh? Discuss how this may have impacted his work and untimely death.
    • How did van Gogh begin and end his career (in terms of artistic styles)? Discuss why this switch may have occurred.
    • What were some of his famous works and why are they considered to be important?

Once you have discussed these and other questions with the students, have them complete the lesson quiz in the classroom or at home to check their understanding.

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