Arts of the Islamic World: A Teacher’s Guide

Contributed By: Connor Seidenschwarz
Language of Presentation: English
Media Format: Downloadable File
School Level: College/University, Elementary, Middle/High School
Institution/Provider: Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Condition of Use: Fair Use for Education

The following resource is an overview of historical Islamic art, including lesson plans suggesting activities and curriculum from the material in this guide. The content could be use for all education levels.

Table of Contents:

Overview of Islam

  1. The Ka’ba
  2. The Five Pillars
  3. The Call to Prayer
  4. One Day of Ramadan
  5. Islamic Calendar and Holy Days
  6. Sunnism and Shi’ism
  7. Islam Today

Art of the Book

  1. Calligraphy
  2. Objects and Descriptions

Art of the Mosque

  1. Architecture and Objects of the Mosque
  2. Architectural Patronage
  3. Objects and Descriptions

Art of the Portable Object

  1. Everyday Objects in Trade and Culture

Lesson Plans

  1. Vocabulary
  2. Lesson Plan 1 – Elementary School Level
    1. Images, Words, and Ancient Knowledge
  3. Lesson Plan 2 – Elementary School Level
    1. The Beauty of Light: Mosque Lamps of Islam
  4. Lesson Plan 3 – Elementary School Level
    1. Blessings that Gleam: Designs and Messages in Islamic Metalwork
  5. Lesson Plan 4 – All Levels
    1. The Art of Words
  6. Lesson Plan 5 – High School Level
    1. Royal Couples and Islamic Culture


  1. Books
  2. Magazine
  3. Films and Videos
  4. Local Islamic Centers and Mosques
  5. Embassies and Consulates
  6. National Educational Resources



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