In the spring of 1974, the six brothers Yang were digging a well in the rural region of Xi’an, China. Bits of pottery found during their digging were discovered to be fragments of sculpted clay in human form. Archaeologists eventually uncovered 3 pits containing 8,000 soldiers from the Qin dynasty (221 to 206 BC), revealing the largest group of pottery figurines ever found in China.
This lesson will introduce students to Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Army while guiding them through higher level thinking.
NOT JUST FOR ART TEACHERS! Use this lesson to incorporate historical events, archaeological discoveries, and visual imagery into your curriculum.
Students will develop an awareness of China’s Terracotta Army, learn about China’s first Emperor Qin Shi Huang, and respond to prompts.
—Description and images of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses
—Brief history of Emperor Qin
—10 higher-level questions connecting students to the time period and the artwork.
—Links for additional resources.
Combine this lesson with “Element of Art: Form” and “Andy Goldsworthy” or “JR: French Photographer and Graffiti Artist” to create an art unit that covers the four art processes: Creating, Presenting, Responding, and Connecting.
NATIONAL CORE ARTS STANDARDS: Visual Arts Connecting
#VA:Cn11.1 Anchor Standard: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS: College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.1: Make logical inferences from the text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.3: Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.7: Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.1: Write arguments to support claims.
Questions are written at a high school 9-10th grade proficient level but could be differentiated to fit other levels.