Explore Primary Sources
Connect visual and literary arts through a study of the magnificent sixteenth century handscroll painting, "Peach Blossom Spring."
(Photograph © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
The arts were central to notions of a good life in dynastic China. The classroom activities in this cluster introduce elementary students to Chinese art masterpieces in their cultural and historical context, highlighting harmony as a Chinese cultural aspiration. These primary-source activities also build students' literacy skills in reading, listening, and visual analysis. Students can hear a performance played on a set of ancient bronze bells. They can unwrap and unroll a Chinese handscroll and examine its intricate details. And they can search the collections of a museum, "hunting" for the dragon and phoenix while learning the vocabulary of the decorative arts. Studying diverse works of Chinese art, young people will develop their appreciation of Chinese artistry, and also begin to appreciate the arts as an expression of human emotion across time and place.