The Art of the Caveman

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 11826

Are you allowed to scribble or write on your walls at home? What if that were your only canvas? Take a look at how people who lived in caves decorated their walls with a version of ancient graffiti!


History, Visual Arts

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

Lesson Plan - Get It!


In moments of boredom or distraction, some people like to doodle, or make random patterns on their notebook or other surface with a pen. Would you call that art, though?

Take a look around you in whatever room you happen to be.

Make a list of all the pieces of art you find around you. Surely you would include the framed pieces that someone painted or photographed. What else, though, would you consider to be art ? Once you have written down every single object you think counts as art, share your list with your parent or teacher.

Debate and discuss: What is the definition of "art"? Write down the ideas you come up with.

Certainly the most famous artists and art critics have thought about this question a lot. Let's see what the experts have to say. Read this list of 27 Responses to the Question "What is Art?", courtesy of Mental Floss. Choose your top three favorite quotes and share them with your parent or teacher.

  • What is the definition of "art"?
  • When did people start creating art?
  • Why do people create art?
  • Did any of the quotes you found cause you to revise your definition of art?

It is often said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Everyone has his or her own special notion of what is beautiful, and people have devised many different definitions for art.

In the Got It? section, take a look back at the beginnings of art history and test the definition you proposed!

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