HomeEducational StagesHigh School19 Works of Art to Help Teens Think

19 Works of Art to Help Teens Think

Fine art can help students develop analysis skills in quick, small doses. Ideally, those skills will transfer to literary analysis and better critical thinking about the world around them, but I figure any/all thinking is good and art is an easy way to wake up teen brains.

Whether you want to use art as a regular weekly bell-ringer routine – I like the sound of “Masterpiece Monday” or “Fine Art Friday” – or you decide to supplement existing units with a thematically related piece of art, the artwork listed below will help students assess elements such as mood, setting, and symbolism in support of a theme or artist’s statement. 

19 works of art perfect for classroom use:

1. George Bellows’ Dempsey and Firpo

2. Vincent van Gogh’s The Starry Night

3. Edgar Degas’ Waiting

4. Edvard Munch’s Separation

5. Banksy’s Near Bethlehem

6. Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks

7. John Singleton Copley’s Watson and the Shark

8. Grant Wood’s Death on Ridge Road

9. Norman Rockwell’s The Fishing Trip

10. Wassily Kandinsky’s On White II

11. Emily Carr’s Odds and Ends

12. Aaron Douglas’ Aspects of Negro Life: From Slavery to Reconstruction

13. Manierre Dawson’s Steps

14. Gerald Cassidy’s Antonio Concha, Old Man of Taos

15. Jean-Francois Millet’s The Gleaners

16. C. Allan Gilbert’s All is Vanity

17. Katsushika Hokusai’s Filial Piety: Yang Hsiang Saving his Father from a Tiger

18. Angelica Kauffman’s Self-Portrait Hesitating Between Painting and Music

19. Joan Miró’s Carnaval d’Arlequin (The Harlequin’s Carnival)

If we want students to grow into interesting, thoughtful adults, art appreciation is a useful tool. And, as I told my students, it’s a way to impress future cuties they date when they’re a bit older. Imagine going on a museum or gallery date with someone who actually has interesting things to say about the art. That’s a green flag, baby! 😉

All of my teaching tools are linked with each item above, but I’ve also bundled all 19 of these lessons into one discounted item – save more than 20 percent! – available here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Fine-Art-Analysis-Bundle-Art-Supplements-Critical-Thinking-Bell-Ringers-CCSS-9356708

Rizwan Ahmed
Rizwan Ahmed
AuditStudent.com, founded by Rizwan Ahmed, is an educational platform dedicated to empowering students and professionals in the all fields of life. Discover comprehensive resources and expert guidance to excel in the dynamic education industry.


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