Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

In the BrainPOP ELL movie Styles of Art (L3U5L1), Ben is trying to paint Moby’s portrait, but first he has to get Moby to sit still. To help Moby focus, Ben shows him his art history book and shares his knowledge of the subject.  In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 3-8, students learn about famous artists and different styles of art.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Brainstorm prior knowledge of artists and art styles.
  2. Take notes on a graphic organizer while watching the movie.
  3. Match artists, works of art, and art styles.
  4. Create a word map for abstract academic vocabulary.
  5. Do a research project on a style or period of art, and explain the style using first conditional sentences.


Content vocabulary: art, style, abstract, concrete, portrait, Renaissance, Impressionism, Pointillism, Cubism


Gather pictures of famous paintings from the internet, or bring in art books that you have or find in the library. They can be paintings from the movie, plus other representative samples of different art styles.

Make copies of the Four Column Chart or other graphic organizer.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. What Do You Know about Art? Before watching the movie Styles of Art (L3U5L1), activate students’ prior knowledge. Display images of famous paintings (see Preparation). Prompt a discussion about the paintings and art styles as a class or in small groups. Ask students to match each painting to a style, or assign each group a different style to discuss, and conduct a Think-Group-Share or K-W-L activity.
  2. Find the Information. Distribute the Four Column Chart. Have students fill it out while watching the movie Styles of Art (L3U5L1). Suggested column headings are: Art Style or Period, Characteristics, Artist, Example.
  3. Art History Research Project. Assign students an art history style or period, or have students choose a style from a list, to research on the Internet or in art books. For homework, students research the style or period, and find 3-5 examples of the style, and prepare to speak about those styles and examples, using the first conditional. The next day, students present their style to the class. Encourage students to use the first conditional in their presentations. Example constructions include:

    If you like the Mona Lisa, then you will like other Renaissance portraits.
    If you like impressionism, you will like Van Gogh.
    When you look closely at a pointillist painting, you will see many small dots.
    You will like Jackson Pollack if you like abstract expressionism.
    If you are interested in Pop art, you will want to learn about Andy Warhol.

    To differentiate, provide students with sentence prompts, for example, If you like impressionism…
  4. Map the Words. Have students choose one of the academic vocabulary words from this lesson Styles of Art (L3U5L1) (impress/impression, influence, abstract, or concrete), and either do a Word Map or the Word Map Group Summaries. Students can use the Word Map Graphic Organizer for help.


  • Have students make a poster representing an artist or a style of art.
  • Have students create a game about styles of art with images they find and print out from the Internet. Instruct them to label index cards with the names of famous artists and styles of art. They can play various games with the images and cards, such as matching, sorting, or Odd Man Out.
  • Students can design their own Game Up Sortify game about art by following the directions in this link. For example, the different styles of art can be the categories of the bins, and the tiles can be artists' names and examples of their art.


BrainPOP  Movies
Leonardo da Vinci

Pablo Picasso