Fine Arts Activities


These activities involve combining oral histories with fine arts activities such as painting, drama, and photography.

Mills House by RoederMills House by Roeder

Lesson goals are tied to Illinois State Fine Arts Standards and National Standards.

1. Study a genre painting of the nineteenth century from the ISM Collection. Students use a museum painting and an interview as inspiration. Using a sketch of the Black Farm's layout and an early photograph of the house from oral history interviewee Stephen Black, they create a genre painting populated by people doing activities of the era.

2.Oral history interviewee Michael Johnson is a professional photographic artist. Listen to him talk about his art, research European landscape painters, and take some digital photographs of a landscape in this style.

3. This activity is an aesthetics and cultural history lesson about Amish quilts in Illinois. Listen to Lorene Herschberger's audio interview to find out about the evolution of Amish quilt designs and color schemes. Research other examples of Illinois Amish quilt designs. Compare and contrast earlier and contemporary Amish quilts. Create a graph-paper Amish quilt design from your research.


Write a Skit

4. Listen to some oral history clips (by topic) and create characters and a short dialog to be read aloud or acted out based on a scene or activity described in the clips. Produce a reader's theatre or act it out as a skit.

Create a Genre Painting341.95 KB
Landscape Photography602.35 KB
Amish Quilt Design Changes635.11 KB
Drama from Oral History209.37 KB