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Arts & activities: January 2011: a game of Polo, from the large Clive Album, Indian School, 17th century.



This month's Clip & Save Art Print will appeal to young children for both its subject matter and its two-dimensional view of the world. Share the Art Print with your students, and point out that although the scene clearly depicts polo players on a field, the horses, riders and footmen seem to be stacked atop one another, or floating in the green playing ground. (Display an example of an artwork that depicts an action scene in two-point perspective to illustrate the contrast of two- and three-dimensionality, such as Races at Longchamp, 1867, by Edouard Manet, or any number of works of jockeys on horseback by Edgar Degas.)

Tell students they will create an artwork that depicts an outdoor sporting event or game. Give students sheets of drawing paper and pencils, and direct them to draw a collection of figures at play. Students should then color the figures and cut them out. Once students have cut out their paper figures, let them arrange the figures on a sheet of colored construction paper, then glue them into place. Give each student time to share their artwork. Display all finished work alongside the Art Print.


Share the Art Print with students, and tell them the original painting was an illustration in a book about the life and adventures of the Persian hero, Amir Hamza. Challenge students to make an illustration that depicts a hero from American history, or from their cultural and/or ethnic heritage. To add a literacy component to this activity, students can write a paragraph about their hero, and include a caption below their illustration.

The following elementary-level lesson plan is an excellent resource for further classroom activities focusing on Mughal painting:


In many middle-school curricula across the country, students study the subject of heroes, particularly in relation to the ancient Greeks. Share the Art Print with students, and tell them the scene depicts a moment in the life of the Persian hero, Amir Hamza.

Next, take students to the computer lab or library to learn more about Hamza via an excellent web resource from the Smithsonian Institution, "The Adventures of Hamza," available at

There, students will learn about this figure from Persian history via text and many examples of Mughal miniatures. For a hands-on art activity, tell students to imagine that "The Adventures of Hamza" has been made into a movie. Challenge students to design, either alone or in small groups, a movie poster for the film in the style of Mughal painting. (Team up with the social-studies teacher and use "The Adventures of Hamza" as an engaging resource while teaching the history of Islamic literature, the Silk Road and the Mughal Empire.)


Given the Persian and Hindu roots of Mughal painting, use the Art Print to make a connection to current events and two important countries in the news: Iran and India. Have students read the Art Notes on the back of the print as an introduction to the history of Mughal painting, followed by time in the library researching examples of Mughal miniatures from various websites. Direct students to print examples of artwork that appeals to them, collecting at least five examples.

Back in the art room, review the stylistic characteristics of Mughal painting (two-dimensional-ity; lack of shading; vivid colors; often depicting multiple scenes in the same composition; and fine line and elaborate detail in both foreground and background). Challenge students to design and create an original work of art inspired by their study of Mughal miniature painting.

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Title Annotation:clip & save art print: CLASSROOM USE
Publication:Arts & Activities
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 30, 2010
Previous Article:About the artwork.
Next Article:Cracking the color code: assignment 5 in a series of 10.

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