5th Grade · Art History · Elements of Design

Aztec “emoji” lesson

Students will recreate the Aztec sun stone by telling their own story using emojis. They will draw sketches which will be transferred onto scratch board next class period. This lesson plan is based on the concept of ideograms, which are symbols used to tell a story. The Aztecs included many ideograms, as this was a part of their written language. Emojis are essentially ideograms of the 21st century.

Day 1 Lesson plan: AztecArtLesson2 (1)

Day 2 Lesson plan :Aztecday2

Day 3 lesson Plan:AztecArtLessonday3

Handouts:Aztec vs emojis

Powerpoint: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1cl1yUCDpUNub_GFB_ExvA2kngEhNIBnen2dyNA2l2fY/edit?usp=sharing

If you want to know how this lesson plan was developed check out my research blog post here. 


Videos :

Mood Music

5th Grade · Art History · Uncategorized

Aztec Art Research


The Aztecs saw art as precious things, and you were lucky if you owned any. Their artwork was sacred to them. (http://www.aztec-history.com/ancient-aztec-art.html)

This is a website I found with an explanation of Aztec symbols : http://www.aztec-history.com/aztec-symbols.html The Aztec’s used symbols for everything!

Common animal symbols were:

  1. Snakes
  2. jaguars
  3. dogs
  4. animal
  5. birds
  6. insects
  7. frogs (joy)
  8. butterflies
  9. monkeys

Ideograms are “graphical symbol that represents an idea, rather than a group of letters” (The History of Visual Communication)

What does this sound like to you?? Possibly EMOJI’s? “a small digital image or icon used to express an idea, emotion, etc., in electronic communication.”

Here is a comparison of Aztec/Mayan ideograms and emojis






They both are icons that represent a word, and when combined can tell a story.






The History of Visual Communication – Ideograms. (n.d.). Retrieved February 17, 2016, from http://www.citrinitas.com/history_of_viscom/ideograms.html

Aztec Symbols. (2016). Retrieved February 17, 2016, from http://www.aztec-history.com/aztec-symbols.html
5th Grade · Art History

Byzantine Mosaics

Students will learn about Byzantine art and history, and what it is like to work for a patron. Students are commissioned by a patron, in this case the animal shelter, to create artwork to their very specific guidelines.

Lesson Plan:Byzantine Lesson Plan


GAME!: GAME power point


Guidelines this patron set

The Rexburg Animal Shelter would like paper mosaics that are 5 in x 5in big, each with a gold paper background. We would also prefer that students create a border around their mosaic that reflects the animal shelter. Animals can be wildlife, imaginary or pets. It doesn’t matter we LOVE all animals!*

*These are made up requirements. The Rexburg Animal Shelter had nothing to do with this.

Art work that served as an inspiration for this lesson plan (images all found on google image–I do not own any of these images)

And of course the lovely Justinian and his wife


While researching Byzantine art I also came across an artist named Craig Larotonda, His artwork is loosely inspired by Byzantine art. PLEASE NOTE, some works are not appropriate for all audiences. – http://www.revelationart.net/