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Thank you for considering the use of the Elisabet Ney Museum's collections for educational purposes. In addition to the curriculum guides described below, you can find more virtual activities and activity guides that you can engage with in your own home here: Programs, Events, and Services.

By developing a curriculum for students in 3rd to 4th grade, our goal is to promote education through the arts: a mission that was at the core of Elisabet Ney’s own beliefs. In addition to the Elisabet Ney Biography, which offers a comprehensive timeline of Ney’s history, teachers can also review the Elisabet Ney Museum Curriculum Guides. Each guide features classroom lessons and activities that can help students navigate the collections. By analyzing these sculptures, documents, and artifacts at the Elisabet Ney Museum, students will learn important skills like critical thinking and visual literacy. 

Lesson: "Elisabet Ney's Life and Legacy"

CLASS LEVEL: 3rd-4th grade

Essential Questions

How did events in Ney’s life influence the type of sculptures she created? What struggles did Ney face as a female artist in the 19th century, and how did she overcome them? What is it like to imagine yourself as an artist like Elisabet Ney? Why is it important for artists like Elisabet Ney to study math and science?

Evaluation and Assessment

  • Students will be able to discuss Elisabet Ney’s perspective and values after creating journals written from her perspective.
  • Students will gain knowledge of the math and calculations involved in creating sculptures and other works of art by using da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man to discuss proportions.
  • Students will complete a diagram illustrating Ney’s knowledge of human anatomy using the provided worksheet.
  • Students will create a self-portrait using basic art and design principles.

Social Studies/History Connections: TEKS 7B, 8A

English Language Arts and Reading Connections: TEKS 16A, 21B, 21C

Math Connections: TEKS 1A, 8A

Art Connections: TEKS 2A, 2B, 2C, 3A


Lesson: "The Importance of Clay"

CLASS LEVEL: 3rd-4th grade

Essential Questions

Why might clay be important in creation stories and myths? What can clay be used for? What are the properties of clay? Why is it important in soil? How was clay used in Elisabet Ney’s sculpting process?

Evaluation and Assessment

  • Students will have read the myth of Prometheus and the Apache creation story and answered several reading comprehension questions.
  • Students will have learned more about the culture and language of indigenous groups from Texas, including the Caddo.
  • Students will be able to identify examples of Caddo pottery. The class will have conducted an experiment to test plant growth in different types of soil.
  • Students should be able to complete the accompanying worksheet and describe the properties of the different soil samples.
  • Students will have learned about the process of making sculptures and used clay or play-dough to construct geometric shapes of specific dimensions.
  • Students will use air dry clay to create their own piece of artwork after learning about Elisabet Ney and contemporary ceramicists.

Social Studies/History Connections: TEKS 1B, 1D, 14A

English Language Arts and Reading Connections: TEKS 3A, 3B

Science Connections: TEKS 1B, 1D, 7A

Math Connections: TEKS 8A, 8C

Art Connections: TEKS 3A, 3B, 4A, 4C


Lesson: "Women in Texas History"

CLASS LEVEL: 3rd-4th grade

Essential Questions

How did these women change history? What are some struggles that these women might have faced? How did these women overcome challenges?

Evaluation and Assessment

  • Students will create a research poster about an influential Texas woman that includes three interesting facts, their subject’s contribution(s), and images.
  • Students might also explain why they chose their subject and what they found most interesting.
  • Students will understand the terms “biography” and “autobiography” and will have created their own example that includes details about their chosen subject, including dates and locations.
  • Students should be able to measure angles on common shapes and understand mathematical principles including perimeter and area.
  • Students should be able to create a paper airplane that flies and understand basic aerodynamics and physics concepts.
  • Collaboratively, students will create a class “quilt” that reflects the contributions of Texas women to history. Each student will create their own square collage representing their chosen research subject using basic principles of art and design.

Social Studies/History Connections: TEKS 5C, 17A, 17D, 19C

English Language Arts and Reading Connections: TEKS 16A, 17

Science Connections: TEKS 2B, 2D, 6D

Math Connections: TEKS 6A, 6C, 7C

Art Connections: TEKS 1A, 2C


Lesson: "Parade of Stars"

CLASS LEVEL: 3rd-4th grade

Essential Questions

Who were some of Elisabet Ney’s most prominent subjects and what were they known for? What are some common themes and elements in fairy tales, such as those written by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm? What contributions did Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin make to Texas history? What are the basic properties of matter?

Evaluation and Assessment

  • Students will identify common themes in classic fairy tales and incorporate these elements into their own creative stories.
  • Students will learn about the contributions of Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin and compare the two men.
  • Students will explore physical properties including mass and density, distinguishing between mixtures and solutions.
  • Students will construct castles out of provided geometric shapes.
  • Students will create their own booklets to illustrate and print their fairy tales in.

Social Studies/History Connections: TEKS 3C

English Language Arts and Reading Connections: TEKS 3A, 6A, 6B, 15A, 15E, 16A

Science Connections: TEKS 5A, 5B

Math Connections: TEKS 6D

Art Connections: TEKS 2B, 2C