Activity: Thank Your Teachers

  • Grades: All Ages
  • Subjects: Art Activities

While looking at this artwork by artist Mary Cassatt, consider the title: The Banjo Lesson. Whenever the word “lesson” is used, we typically think about learning something new—an exchange of knowledge passed between a teacher and a student, peers, or perhaps family members.

One woman sits holding a banjo in her lap while another woman is seated behind her, looking over her shoulder and watching her play.
Mary Cassatt, The Banjo Lesson, ca. 1893, Carnegie Museum of Art

See & Think:

Look back at The Banjo Lesson. Describe the relationship between the student and the teacher as the teacher models playing the banjo. “Model” is another word associated with lessons and learning. Notice how the teacher is modeling her hand position for the student while the student looks intently. Draw an imaginary line from each figure’s eyes to the teacher’s hand.

  • Think about a memorable lesson you have experienced—was it recent or long ago?
  • Who was your teacher? What knowledge did they share with you?
  • How would you describe your relationship with your teacher?

Do: Thank Your Teachers

Materials Needed: Paper or a card and something to write with (pen, pencil, etc.)

Write a thank you note to someone who has inspired you to learn something new!