Easy Lesson for High School Art Curriculum Using Social Studies

Easy Lesson for High School Art Curriculum by Suzanne Marie- abstract image of painting on table with blue ball and yellow ball within and green splashes representing earth on white background on top of wooden table


Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

High school art curriculum should strive to equip students with the knowledge to successfully develop their creative thinking, problem-solving skills, and social-emotional learning. Including subjects like social studies is one way to bring activities to life.

This blog post includes a lesson plan integrating social studies and art for high school language learners.

Bring out the inner artist in your high school students! This high school art lesson plan is engaging and fun.


High school art curriculum fosters creativity and critical thinking skills in students.

By providing art courses emphasizing communication, cultural appreciation, and problem-solving, students become more self-aware and capable of expressing their thoughts and feelings.

In addition, high school art classes help teens develop the skills necessary for success beyond their educational career, such as the ability to think critically and debate thoughtfully on social issues.

I am passionate about expressing social issues through art.

For more than two decades, I have used art in lessons to bring ideas, history, and social issues to life.

High School Art Curriculum

Core components of high school art curriculums should involve providing students adequate exposure to museum visits, art history classes, standards-based approaches to craftsmanship, and technique-focused classes.

With these elements in place, high schoolers are afforded the opportunity for a rich and engaging educational experience involving the arts.

To build these skills, an art curriculum for high school students should include the principles of art, principles of design, color theory, elements of art, various art forms, fine arts, digital art, dimensional art, and creative process with critique sheets.

A strong art program helps students develop critical thinking, creativity, and research skills.

These soft skills are integral to life and work outside of the arts.

Art Appreciation

Students need to understand art is a universal language that transcends cultural and social barriers.

It allows us to communicate despite our differences to learn from each other.

Appreciation of art is the first step in understanding art is an integral part of human experience and needs.

Art Components

Teachers, who are not necessarily art teachers, can implement the following art components of a high school art curriculum across disciplines:

  • Studio Art
  • Photography
  • Digital Media Arts
  • Multimedia Arts- Dance
  • Theater & Performing Arts: Music and Drama
  • Graphic Design
  • Design/Art History
  • Drawing/Painting/Sculpture
  • Ceramics/Metalsmithing

Some of these elements are taught within a specific art discipline, while others are more cross-curricular.

Art Techniques

Students should be exposed to the following types of media and techniques:

  • 2D Art forms (advanced drawing and painting with watercolor, oil pastel, and acrylic paints)
  • 3D Art forms (sculpture, ceramics, printmaking)
  • Motion media (film, video, dance)
  • Literary/poetic text (creative writing)

These art techniques gain more value when taught across the curriculum to include topics from all courses. Ultimately providing a holistic approach to high school art curriculum.

For example, observation and analysis of the human figure are both important across all art disciplines.

Learning to observe and communicate the shape and proportion of the human body in relation to its environment is an important skill in drawing, sculpture, painting, and even graphic design.

This skill is carried over into math, physics, biology, and chemistry lessons.

Value of Art Education

Art education is important for several reasons.

Firstly, it helps to develop creative thinking and problem-solving skills.

Secondly, it fosters a greater appreciation for arts and culture.

Thirdly, art education builds confidence and self-esteem.

Lastly, art education helps students develop teamwork skills.

Studies indicate students involved in art classes do better in other subjects, such as math and sciences.

This is because visualization skills and creative thinking are required in several subjects beyond art.

  • Art education benefits the whole child.
  • It teaches children about the world and how to express themselves visually.
  • Through art education, children learn about their surroundings, express themselves, and develop confidence in their talents.

The result is children improve in self-esteem and emotional intelligence.

Establishing High School Art Curriculum

A high school art curriculum should provide a foundation for students to develop creative thinking, problem-solving skills, and an appreciation for the arts.

The curriculum should include studio and classroom experience, focusing on developing each student’s unique voice and creativity. 

In the studio, students should be exposed to various mediums and encouraged to experiment with new techniques.

They should also have opportunities to exhibit their work in class and public venues.

Classroom experiences supplement studio time by providing historical context or teaching technical skills.

  • A high school art curriculum should include opportunities for art students to develop technical skills in drawing, painting, printmaking, graphic arts, sculpture, and architecture.
  • A high school art curriculum should provide instruction in the history of art.
  • A high school art curriculum should encourage compelling viewing and critical judgment to help students understand the visual arts as expressions of aesthetic and cultural values.

Art Making Skills

Through art making, students learn to express themselves imaginatively and develop and refine techniques in the classroom and out in the world.

Careful attention to formal and conceptual visual arts, music, dance, and theatre arts helps students develop an awareness of these disciplines’ roles in enriching their lives.

As students gain skills, they should become aware of how their art making communicates their expression of feelings, ideas, and information in various contexts.

Easy Art Activity for High School Students by Suzanne Marie- student with glasses drawing a blue jacket on a boy on white piece of paper

Sample High School Art Curriculum Using Social Studies

Lesson Title: Faberge- Russian History and Imperial Art

Grade Level and Course: 10- English

Time Segment of Lesson: 40 mins

Common Core Standard(s) Addressed in Lesson


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

Overarching Unit Goal

  • To explain the meaning and context of a topic. 

Lesson Outcomes

At the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  1. To explain the history of Faberge Imperial Art.
  2. To recite related vocabulary about the topic as presented.
  3. To describe the events of how Faberge became famous in the art world. 

Student Diversity and Differentiation of Instruction

Identify students who will need differentiated instruction for this lesson.

Student DiversityDifferentiation of Instruction
English Language LearnersThe head Teacher and Students will translate concepts, words, and ideas from my English lesson. 
 Students will use translation devices and apps during the lesson. 
Vision ImpairmentStudents will move closer to read the text on the screen at the front of the class. 

Formative and Summative Assessments

Formative and summative assessments include open-ended questions that lead students to think deeply about the content and will also build on prior knowledge.

Formative Assessment Summative Assessment
What is the relationship between art and history? Vocabulary words will be used for future writing projects.
How does art influence future society? Vocabulary is reiterated throughout the unit and students will be assessed in 3 weeks. 

Questions for formative assessment during and/or after the lesson:

  1. What is the relationship between art and history? 
  2. How does art influence history and the future?
  3. How does art reflect the context and events in a society? 

Big Ideas to be Addressed in the Lesson 

  •  Art’s value in shaping history and historical events that impact societies. 

Discussion Questions

Write out questions you would like students to discuss before or after class because they are interesting, support higher-order thinking, and make for a lively and engaging discussion.

If discussions must happen outside class, what tool will you use to facilitate the discussion (e.g., Twitter)?

  1. What is the meaning of the gift of an Imperial Easter Egg given by the Czars to their wives and mothers? 
  2. How does art influence society?
  3. What are cherished artifacts of art in Chinese history?

21st-Century Knowledge and Skills

21st-Century Knowledge and SkillsTeaching Strategies
Critical ThinkingRelating Easter eggs to art and not Christianity was essential in this lesson, given the parameters of teachers not discussing religion in classes. Questions to students were based on Russian imperial history and the art of Faberge. 
Learning SkillsStudents were given this timely lesson to relate real-world events and develop meaning and context for thinking about events and ideas in real-world examples. Using art and history as forward thinking for a religious holiday shows students how to extract ideas and concepts from religion and other topics to reach a deeper level of analytical thinking. 
CreativityStudents can extract valuable information about a topic from various perspectives rather than the assumed perspective. In this class, it was assumed Easter eggs are only about Christianity. 
ProductivityIt was interesting to the students to focus on the lesson and engage with reflective questions about hope and renewed life as it related to Russian history and Chinese history. They demonstrated productivity throughout the lesson and related the teachings to their own life situation and the value of hope. 
Information LiteracyThe data about the history of Imperial Russia was credible and reliable. Students were able to relate the history as presented and relate to art with Chinese history of the dynasties. 

Teaching Strategies and Activities

We will use lecture developmental for the first part of the lecture and discussion.

Students are emergent ELLs and will read from the slides about the story of Imperial Eggs and Imperial Russia.

The purpose of this lesson is for them to practice comprehension to read, discuss, and think about the history of Imperial Russia and the art of Faberge. 

To start, we will talk about the lesson outcomes and big questions in the lesson.

I will briefly introduce Easter, but we will focus on art and history rather than Easter. 

I have prepared a PowerPoint presentation and will ask each student to read one of the slides for the class.

This helps students in one on one to practice reading English words they may not have been familiar with before this lesson.

As this lesson is about art and the history of Imperial Russia, they likely have not previously read the vocabulary words I have included.

Sample Lesson Plan

While reading the lesson, we will discuss each slide, and I will provide more context about the story being presented.

The Head Teacher and other students will translate concepts into Chinese.

For example, ‘Kremlin’ is something the students are unfamiliar with, so the Head Teacher will translate words to make them relevant to the history of Chinese Dynasties. 

Following the presentation of the slides, we will watch a short video overview of the Top 10 Faberge Imperial Eggs.

We will then discuss the eggs, choose our favorite one and explain why we like that one. 

Teacher & Student Input

  • I Do: Provide an Overview of the lesson.
  • You Do: Read the slides.
  • We Do: Discuss the context presented on the slides.
  • We Do: Recite the vocabulary words from the lesson.
  • I Do: Relate the vocabulary words as they are presented to real-world examples. 
  • We Do: Watch the short video overview of the Top 10 Faberge Eggs. 
  • We Do: Discuss the eggs from the video and our favorite Faberge eggs. 
  • I Do: As the formative assessment questions at the end of the presentation.
  • You Do: Higher level thinking about the formative assessment questions to relate the concepts to your own life. 

Lesson Review

Throughout the lesson, we will discuss the vocabulary words as presented in the lesson.

We will also read each slide, and I will relate the formative assessment questions to each slide.

As the formative assessment questions are on the board in the shape of learning outcomes, I can relate to them to guide the students in the formative assessment at the end of the lesson. 

Materials and Resources for Lesson 

Materials, Technology, and WebsitesRequired Preparation
computer/ laptop/ audio/ visualEnsure connections all work properly.
overhead projectorEnsure connections are working and the overhead projector is functional. 
PPT PresentationSave the PPT in .pdf and send copies of both PPT and . PDF to my phone and other devices to share in another format if the classroom computer and projector are not working. 
Video recordersEnsure cameras are set up and working to capture the lesson for my clinical evaluation. 

Shop discount supplies for your classroom now.

In the next lesson, we made Easter Eggs. This video shows the results:


Like English, math, and science, art is an essential subject.

It enhances the emotional, intellectual, and physical well-being of students.

It provides a window into a world beyond the walls of the classroom and beyond the boundaries of the school. 

A well-designed high school art curriculum based on the concepts of art disciplines and processes develops the skills and attitudes necessary for students to become involved with the arts in a meaningful way.

Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time,


Related Topics


Klein, R., & Eisenhauer, Y. C. (2004, February 6). Russian History, in an Eggshell. The Learning Network. https://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2004/02/06/russian-history-in-an-eggshell/

Top 10 Most Expensive Faberge Eggs In The World. (n.d.). Www.youtube.com. Retrieved April 18, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOtIoAGtq90

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