The Arts of China Teaching Toolkit is designed for third grade teachers and their students with the goal of enriching their exploration of Chinese art and culture.
The Arts of China Teaching Toolkit is designed for third grade teachers and their students with the goal of enriching their exploration of Chinese art and culture. The lessons focus on artworks from the Brooklyn Museum’s Chinese collection and exhibitions. The Arts of China collection ranges from the Neolithic era (circa 3000 B.C.E.) to today, revealing the sophistication of Chinese craftsmanship and the variety of concerns—funerary, courtly, religious, and poetic—that combined to define traditional Chinese culture. The works also demonstrate an enduring respect for antiquity as well as novel, contemporary approaches to time-honored materials such as ink and bronze.
The Arts of China Teaching Toolkit includes twelve individual lessons, divided into three thematic units: Geography and Environment, Belief Systems, and Global Exchange. Lessons are meant to be standalone but can also be combined with other lessons in the toolkit. Materials support direct instruction as well as independent activities for students. We hope teachers use these resources creatively to meet the distinct learning needs of their classes. In addition to the twelve lessons, which are available from the Brooklyn Museum as downloadable PDFs, the Teaching Toolkit includes a variety of digital resources and a supplementary, physical toolkit, with touch objects, material samples, and more, that can be requested online.
Connecting students to the vast and diverse artistic and cultural traditions throughout the world is extremely important. Exploring how communities have used artworks to celebrate, interrogate, and document their relationships with the environment, spirituality, family, and individualism enables students to enhance their empathetic and critical thinking. Similarly, the study of global cultural practices has the potential to bolster students’ self-affirmation and confidence. This is especially necessary as we face a culturally and politically divisive climate.
With that in mind, we have designed these lessons to support culturally inclusive learning by highlighting the complexity and diversity of China. We encourage teachers and students alike to challenge any stigmas, stereotypes, or false narratives that might exist about Chinese art, culture, and people—both past and present—through the use of this resource. Please share with us and your community what you and your students have learned and created through these lessons.
Support for the Arts of China Teaching Toolkit was made possible by the Freeman Foundation.