Which Work of Art Represents You?

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 11695

What is your favorite way of expressing yourself? What values do you consider worth expressing? Search for, and examine, some art online that has your name on it, or at least expresses your values!


History, Visual Arts

learning style
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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For some people, family is the most important aspect of life. For others, it might be charity, helping others, being strong, keeping fit and healthy, developing knowledge, or some other value. There are those, too, for whom money and material things reign supreme! What are the things that matter most to you?

Like writing or speaking, visual art is a way of expressing ideas and feelings.

Artists can sometimes say more with a single image than others can say in many pages of text. Works of art communicate the values of the artist or the society in which he or she lives. Sometimes, artists display their own values honestly and directly, and other times they express them by challenging or even attacking the values — or lack of values — they see around them.

What are values, exactly? Values are the list of ideals, actions, and things you think are most important in life. Write down your list of the top three values by which you try to live. If you are stuck for ideas, check out this List of Values, courtesy of Steve Pavlina.

Once you establish your list of top three values, write two or three sentences about why you think each value is so important. Finally, add a sentence describing the image or images you would use to represent that value if you were an artist.

Share your list, your writing, and your image ideas with your parent or teacher. Then, reflect on the following questions and discuss:

  • How do we get the values we hold most dear?
  • What are the most common and important values in our family or community?
  • What are some ways those values have been represented in art?

Now that you have practiced thinking about values and how images could be used to represent them, let's look at some real works of art and try to interpret the values they communicate.

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