Quantcast
Parent Page/Current Page

Lesson Plan: Ancient Animals at Work

Figurine of a camel carrying transport amphorae. Dated late 2nd–early 3rd century A.D.; Mid-Imperial Roman, Egyptian Terracotta; H. 4 5/8 in. (11.8 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mrs. Lucy W. Drexel, 1889 (89.2.2093)

Figurine of a camel carrying transport amphorae
Dated late 2nd–early 3rd century a.d.; Mid-Imperial
Roman, Egyptian
Terracotta; H. 4 5/8 in. (11.8 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mrs. Lucy W. Drexel, 1889 (89.2.2093)

Collection Area: Greek and Roman Art
Subject Areas: English Language Arts, Science and Technology, Visual Arts, World History
Grades: Elementary School
Topic/Theme: Animals in Art


Goals

Students will be able to:
  • learn about trade in ancient society through a close reading of a work of art and related text;
  • identify ways the artist conveys the camel's role in this community; and
  • create a clay sculpture of an animal at work.

National Learning Standards

English Language Arts
NL-ENG.K-12.4 Communication Skills
NL-ENG.K-12.5 Communication Strategies
NL-ENG.K-12.6 Applying Knowledge

Science
NS.K-4.3 Life Science

Visual Arts
NA-VA.K-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
NA-VA.K-8.4 Understanding the Visual Arts in Relation to History and Cultures
NA-VA.K-8.6 Making Connections between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines

World History
NSS-WH.5-12.3 Era 3: Classical Traditions, Major Religions, and Giant Empires, 1000 bce–300 bce


Common Core State Standards

English Language Arts
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.


Questions for Viewing

  • Describe the animal featured in this artwork. What might you infer about its role in the community?
  • What are some roles animals play in your community? What makes each animal well suited for this role?
  • Read this short informational text about camels [provide a print out of this text]. What did you find most interesting or surprising?
  • Long-distance trade between Asia and Europe was quite challenging in ancient times due to the harsh climate and terrain. Describe one attribute that made the camel a great vehicle for trade in the ancient world.
  • What animal attributes does this work of art seem to emphasize? What do you see that makes you say that?

Activity

Activity Setting: Classroom
Materials: Images of a range of animals at work (see examples in the Objects in the Museum's Collection Related to this Lesson section), research materials (books, articles, and/or Internet access), clay
Subject Areas: English Language Arts, Science and Technology, Visual Arts, World History
Duration: 60 minutes

Create a figurine highlighting ways an animal from your community contributes to daily life. Research the animal you selected and identify attributes that make it well suited for its role(s). As you plan, consider how you will visually convey this information. Present your finished sculpture to your classmates along with a gallery label highlighting how the finished piece reflects the role of this animal in the community.


Resources

Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art. "Trade between Arabia and the Empires of Rome and Asia." In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (October 2000)

Department of Ancient Near Eastern Art. "Trade Routes between Europe and Asia during Antiquity." In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–.(October 2000)

Eadweard Muybridge. Animal locomotion: an electro-photographic investigation of consecutive phases of animal movements. 1872–1885. (To view the short video clip, select the "Video File" thumbnail image on the right-hand menu.) USC Digital Library, 2010. 

Traveling the Silk Road. New York: The American Museum of Natural History, 2010.


Objects in the Museum's Collection Related to this Lesson

Bronze statuette of Cybele on a cart drawn by lions
Dated second half of 2nd century a.d.
Roman
Bronze; 12 x 54 3/4 in. (30.5 x 139.1 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Henry G. Marquand, 1897 (97.22.24)

Figure of a Horse
Tang dynasty (618–907), late 7th–first half of the 8th century
China
Earthenware with three-color (sancai) glaze and pigment; H. 29 3/4 in. (75.6 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Stanley Herzman, in memory of Adele Herzman, 1991
(1991.253.12)

Kunz Lochner (German, 1510–1567) 
Horse Armor
1548 
German, Nuremberg
Etched steel, leather, copper alloy, textile; Wt. (including saddle), 92 lb. (41.73 kg) 
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1932 (32.69)


Author: Adapted from a lesson by Marjorie Wainfan
Affiliation: New York City substitute teacher
Date: 2014

Detail of a stone face

The Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History pairs essays and works of art with chronologies, telling the story of art and global culture through The Met collection.

Artist in the galleries for The Artist Project

The Artist Project asks artists to reflect on what art is and what inspires them from across 5,000 years of art. Their unique and passionate ways of seeing and experiencing art reveal the power of a museum and encourage all visitors to look in a personal way.

A small family creating art

Look, learn, and create together during fun, interactive programs for kids of all ages and their parents/caregivers. Program times and topics vary.

A teen with blue hair and a blue flower in her hair

The Met is the place to be for teens. Check out classes, workshops, and special events designed especially for teens to develop their skills, and connect with art, ideas, and other young people! Program times and topics vary.