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Lesson ideas

Key stage 1

Art and literacy: find out about the life of Jesus and the saints. Which other stories could be illustrated? Read some of the stories from a children's bible.


Drama and speaking and listening activities: get pupils to pose as the characters in a tableau. Explore what they might be thinking or feeling.

Retell the story from each character's viewpoint. Can you draw the scene from different perspectives?


Art: look at optical illusions. In this painting the river seems to stop at Christ's feet but it may be that Piero is attempting to portray the reflection of the river bed. Pupils could look at the work of Escher or even Bridget Riley and try and create their own optical illusions.


Art: trace the development of the idea of the Golden Section. It is thought to be evident in ancient Greek architecture; it was certainly very important to Leonardo da Vinci who used its principles to define the key proportions in the "The Last Supper". Pupils should compare its influence upon other important artists such as Duerer, Seurat and Mondrian.

Pupils might also trace the development of linear perspective, contrasting Renaissance ideals and aesthetic considerations with ancient Egyptian friezes and traditional Chinese and Japanese art where the purpose of art was either to tell a story or provoke contemplation.

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