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Special Exhibition Learning Tools

 
Use these lesson plans specifically developed to deepen students’ thinking about the artwork in both the exhibition, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit, and the permanent collection to support your visit to the DIA. Each lesson plan includes a pre-visit activity, an activity for use in the exhibition, a permanent collection self-guide activity, and a post-visit activity. Each thematic lesson may be used as one complete lesson or modularly so that educators may customize their students’ learning experiences. All lessons support and encourage development of skills highlighted by the Common Core State Standards. Lessons are designed for high school students, but may be easily adapted for middle school students.

Please contact DIA Education Programs staff with any questions, concerns or feedback at educatorinfo@dia.org
 
 
PORTRAIT OF INDUSTRY: ART TO SELL A MESSAGE 
 
Students will
Understand the roles of patron and artist in creating a work of art.
Explore how art has been used to “sell” a message through time.
Analyze the circumstances surrounding the commission and creation of Diego Rivera’s
Detroit Industry murals and the messages that they communicate 
 
 
ART AS A FORM OF CREATIVE NONFICTION
 
Students will
Become familiar with literary devices as they are used by authors to develop personal
voice and style and the elements of art and principles of design as used by artists to
express style and develop narrative within works of art.
Understand that art can be “read” similarly to written accounts of creative nonfiction.
Identify examples of art that demonstrate the variety of ways artists use the elements of
art and principles of design to tell a story in both the exhibition and permanent collection.
Demonstrate their new understanding of the parallels between literary devices, elements
of art, and principles of design through a writing assignment inspired by a work of art. 
 
 
ART OF THE TIMES: ART AS HISTORICAL SNAPSHOT
 
Students will
● Explore how historical events can add meaning to a work of art.
● Discuss how art can reflect the artist’s views and the time in which it was created.
● Analyze the circumstances surrounding the creation of Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry murals and how they relate to the historical environment of Detroit in the 1930s.
 
 
IDENTITY AND PLACE IN ART 
 
Students will
Explore what identity means to them and how the world around them informs the way they construct that identity.
Identify works of art in Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit that are examples of the artists communicating ideas about their identity and exploring the role that place plays in their construction of identity.
Discover works of art in areas of the permanent collection that link identity and place.
Revise their thinking about what makes up one’s identity, why and how identity might change over time, and understand the learning process that took place during their exploration of identity.