Classroom Lesson Series  

 Assessing Women's Past Through Art
An Interpretation Activity


Description: One way to access women's past is to examine art (paintings, drawings, carvings) from the period. There are a variety of ways to do this. For example, an interesting picture could be shown to introduce students to a period. They might conjecture about what it tells them about the period, or they might do additional research on it, using images from their textbook or other sources.

After studying a period, students might write a story recreating the life of someone who was represented in the picture. Or, several images could be given as an identification task at the end of a unit or course of study.

The following activity is an example of a way such images could be used as an end of course evaluation. They come from different cultures and time periods. CLICK HERE to find the ANSWERS to this activity.

Task: Examine the pictures linked to in the table below, then answer these questions for each one:

1. What is happening in the image?
2. What civilization might it come from?
3. Approximately what time period was it made?
4. What snipet of information can be deduced about the role of women in the society from which it comes?

To examine each picture, click on the name in the table below:

 #1 Stone Carving
 #2 Images Found on a Vase
 #3 Drawing on Wall of Royal Tomb
 #4 Miniature Painting in a Book Commissioned by the Court
 #5 Drawing on Wall of a Tomb
 #6 Etching of an Historic Event
 #7 Illustration in a Book
 #8 Magazine Cover
 #9 Drawings Showing Work of Farmers in Different Seasons
 #10 Poster

Lyn Reese is the author of all the information on this website
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Women in World History Curriculum