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How to Recognize a Painting by Frida Kahlo Lesson Plan

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Lesson Plan #: AELP-ARH0009
Submitted by: Sarah L. White
Endorsed by: Dr. Don Descy
Mankato State University Date: June 7, 1998

Grade Level(s): 8, 9, 10, 11, 12


  • Arts/History

Description: Recognizing the difference between artists’ paintings in art history class can be difficult. After reading this lesson, you will have the knowledge needed to complete the steps to sucessfully identify paintings by artists, such as Frida Kahlo, if you were to see them in a museum or art history book.

Goal: Students will be able to recognize the steps to point out the basic characteristics of a painting by Frida Kahlo.


  • The students will use their checklist to help them locate a Frida Kahlo painting.
  • The students will learn the main characteristics that are present in all of Frida Kahlo’s (or any other artist’s) paintings.
  • Background Information: This activity can be used to help students who are in an art history course who are trying to differentiate between artists’ works and their styles. Concepts:

    Students will be able to:

     1. List the characteristics that will aid them in recognizing a painting by Frida Kahlo.
     2. Use this method of listing the characteristics of any other artist to help them recognize new examples.


    • pen or pencil
    • paper
    • art history book with the artist you wish to study
    • local art museum, if available

    1. Look up the artist Frida Kahlo in an art history book for information on characteristics of her art.
    2. List the general characteristics that pertain to the elements of design in the art.
    3. Look at several of the artist’s work so that you have a good feel for what characteristics can be attributed to the artist’s style.  Then, list them.
    4. Tell the students to take out their pen or pencil and paper.
    5. Write the characteristics of Frida Kahlo on the overhead so the students can write them down for later use.
    6. Have the students look for examples in art books that have Frida Kahlo art in them to see if they can identify works with the information given to them.
    7. Take the students to an art museum with works by Frida Kahlo. Assessment:

    1. Once a student thinks they have identified a work by Frida Kahlo, ask them what characteristics made them think this could actually be one of her works.

    2. Ask them how they were able to use this method to identify any other artists works.

    Useful Internet Resources:
    * Art Cyclopedia – Frida Kahlo

    * Artist Profile – Frida Kahlo

    * Frida Kahlo – Self Portrait Between the Borderline of Mexico and the United States

    * ArtSeek – Internet Art Resources