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The Aga Khan Museum Offers Resources for Teachers

Updated: Aug 7, 2022

Learning Art at the Museum or at School, Grades 1-8

-- 15 January 2018 | TMA

Teachers can access art resources that follow the Ontario curriculum from the Aga Khan Museum. Some of the resources feature Medieval Islamic art, such as an illumination attributed to Basawan, entitled the Young Men Carried Off (dated 1325) for students in grades 1-3 in “learning from paintings” lessons. Students in grades 4-6 have seven art works dated from 1290-1590 and study objects, such as the Panel from Central Asia (14th c.), and create the art patterns located on the arch. The same age group also learn from a sixteenth-century Turkish ceramic dish and design the patterning using algebra. The art-based learning includes graphic tools for students to learn from maps and three-dimensional objects.

Grades 1-3, Learning from Medieval Paintings

Detail of Young Men Carried Off by a Simorgh Possibly folio from a dispersed Khamseh (Quintet) of Amir Khosrow (d. 1325) Attributed to Basawan India ca. 1590 Opaque watercolour and gold on paper 38.6 x 25.1 cm AKM140.

Grades 4-6, Medieval Art: learning from paintings and learning by doing

Khosrow Killing the Lion Outside Shirin’s Tent Folio from a dispersed Khamseh (Quintet) of Nezami (d. 1209) Tabriz, Iran, ca. 1525 Opaque watercolour, ink, gold, and silver on paper 25.4 x 21.2 cm AKM93

Teacher's Resource:

Grades 7-8, Medieval objects and art: learning from manuscripts and paintings

Teacher's Resource:


Since first posting the teaching materials, the Aga Khan Museum created a partnership with the Ministry of Ontario, providing new materials in subject associations of art, drama, music, dance, classics, social studies, and international languages. For high school students, teachers also have resources for Family Studies, Social Studies and Humanities, and Home Economics. See Aga Khan Museum website (

New materials include a Visual Art Unit plan for grade 5 to depict nature in Islamic and Canadian art; grade 9 students concentrate on pattern of light with contemporary Islamic design; grade 10 students can create geometric designs in Islamic Art; the grade 11 visual arts unit considers the power of light and shadow in Islamic Art; and the last unit for grade 12 focuses on Water Fountains and Architectural Decoration in Islamic Art. (see also:

Resources from the Caravans of Gold & Building Black Civilizations Curriculum Guide to coincide with the temporary exhibition of Caravan of Gold is still available:

How to cite this blog:

TMA staff, “The Aga Khan Museum Offers Resources for Teachers: Learning Art at the Museum or at School, Grades 1-8," Teaching the Middle Ages, January 15, 2018; revised 2019, 2022;

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