Exploring Diversity with Art (9-12)

Diversity Beans - Exploring Diversity with Art Lesson Plan (Grades 9-12)

Objective: Use Art to discuss diversity.

Materials Required: Approx. 1.5 oz of Diversity Beans per student. Examples of various art styles.


A. Have the class list various styles of art, such as Impressionism, Cubism, Dada, Modernism, Surrealism, Baroque, Romantic, Realism, etc.

B. Divide the class into 6 groups and assign each group a style of art to explore. Have each group list the attributes of their style on the board.

C. Have each group select examples of their style and present them to the class.

D. Divide the Diversity Beans up by color and assign a color to each art style. Assign a flavor with each color and style. Have the groups list the color and flavor on the board with their style.

E. Have each group taste a Diversity Bean of their color. Ask the students to raise their hand if they tasted the flavor they expected based on the color tasted.

F. Record on the board next to each style, the various flavors tasted for each color. Repeat 4-5 times and record the variety of flavors for each color.

G. Discuss with the class whether color or flavor or both or neither is the best attribute for each style of art.

H. Have the students list any similarities between the different styles of art. Discuss if there are examples of art where the style is hard to characterize. Show the class a few pieces of art that are hard to stylize and ask them which style of art they are.

I. Discuss with the class why art can be hard to stylize. Discuss the fact that many pieces of art exhibit numerous styles and are hard to classify.

J. Ask the students to give examples of artists in each style. Discuss whether the artists used the same style throughout their career or whether they used various styles.

K. Discuss whether certain styles of art portray subjects or scenes better than others.

L. Ask the class what style they would use for various subjects, such as a landscape, a portrait, a street scene, a still life, etc, and why. Discuss that any style of art can be used for any subject matter and still portray the artist's vision.

M. Return to the discussion of color and flavor as they pertain to art style. Discuss the various flavors for each color in terms of the discussions on styles of art. (Sometimes an impressionist artist may use a modern style).

N. Relate this discussion to styles of people. Have the class discuss the various styles that people may use in their everyday life. Discuss parenting styles, teaching styles, leadership styles, etc. Also discuss exterior characteristics of people (such as happy, detail oriented, optimistic, etc.). Discuss how appearances can be deceiving.

O. Return to the beans and ask if appearances are a true indication of substance (flavor).

P. Discuss how this relates to people, you can't judge people by appearances. Relate this to diversity and the concept that we should judge people based on actions, attitudes and behavior and not on appearance or stereotypes.

Q. Discuss that everyone has social interaction styles that may or may not represent the true character of the person. Ask the class for examples. Discuss how some sports figures are huge and mean on the field but are actually gentle people. Discuss the terms "“gentle giant”, “mouse that roared”, etc.

R. Relate that just as artists use multiple styles and often are hard to characterize, people are multifaceted and hard to judge quickly. Diversity means recognizing that we are all different and shouldn't be judged on appearance.