Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel
Grade Level: 3rd grade
Subject Area: Art
Materials Needed: information on Michelangelo (posters, pictures, story books, general
history information), white paper, tape, desks, crayons, markers, colored pencils, paint,
3.1.1 Students learn the different techniques used to create visual art
3.1.3 Students examine specific works of art, identifying visual art media,
techniques and processes used and then discuss how the material used affects the
3.4.1 Students examine works of art belonging to particular cultures, times and
TLW examine the works of Michelangelo.
TLW discuss what it would be like to be Michelangelo and paint upside down.
TLW create and design their own work of art by drawing upside down on their
1. Before the lesson, the teacher will tape white pieces of paper underneath each of the
2. The teacher will lead a discussion about the artist Michelangelo Buonarroti. This can
include the history of this artist and works of art this artist completed. The amount of
time allotted for the lesson will determine the detail spent on this artist. Spend most of
the time focusing on the Sistine Chapel and how Michelangelo spent four years to
complete this painting.
3. Have students discuss what it may have been like to paint for four years upside down.
4. The students will then think up ideas of their favorite winter activities.
5. Show the students the paper underneath their desks.
6. Have the students lie on the floor and draw illustrations (using media of teacher
choice) of the winter activities they came up with.
7. After the students are finished with their pictures, talk with them about how it felt to
draw upside down.
8. Allow the students time to share and present their pictures to the class and explain
Observe the participation of the students in the discussion about Michelangelo.
Creativity and participation may be assessed by the artwork of the students.
This lesson went even better than I could have expected. The book was a great way to
show the works and story of Michelangelo at a 3rd grade level. It sparked the interest of
the students right away. It was a good thing I went over many of the pictures before
hand, as many of Michelangelo’s sculptures and paintings are not quite appropriate for
this age level. The students greatly enjoyed drawing underneath their desks. The
pictures turned out fantastic, and as with most 3rd graders, they were eager to share them.
If I were to do this lesson again, there are a few things I may do differently. I would
allow for more time for the completion of their artwork. We only ended up with 15
minutes or so, and the students could have used more time. I would also allow for more
time for students to share their artwork.