Lesson Plan

Let’s Write! Guanyin

AL COS Standards
Language Arts: ELA 3.22.4 ELA 3.22.6 ELA 3.24.4 ELA 3.24.5 ELA 3.24.7 ELA 4.26.1 ELA 4.29.1 ELA 5.25.1 ELA 5.25.2 ELA 6.24.1 ELA 6.24.2 ELA 7.22.1 ELA 8.22.5 ELA 8.22.6
Social Studies: Objective 8.3.1 Objective 8.3.2
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Have students watch The 5 W’s of Art: Guanyin

Following the video, students will:

  • Write a descriptive sentence about the artwork
  • Think critically about 3 questions and write their answers
  • Write a brief story about escaping modern society


  • Think critically about why objects were used in the past
  • Write a descriptive sentence about the sculpture of Guanyin
  • Write sentences with correct capitalization and punctuation
  • Write a story with a clear beginning, middle, and end


  • Video: The 5 W’s of Art: Guanyin (located at the bottom of this page)
  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil

Key Terms

  • Guanyin
  • Bodhisattva 
  • Amitabha Buddha
  • Sculpture
  • Dynasty
  • Ming dynasty
  • China
  • Shrine
  • Buddhism


The teacher will:

  • Play Guanyin video
  • Help students formulate descriptive sentences


Have students share what they wrote, either to the class or in small groups.




When we put all the facts together, we can create one sentence that describes an artwork.

Here is my sentence:

“This work of art is a sculpture depicting the bodhisattva Guanyin.”

What is your 1 sentence about this artwork?



How would you describe this artwork? Use descriptive terms.

Bodhisattvas wear royal jewelry. The jewelry typically reflects what was popular during the time the work of art was made. If you were making a sculpture of Guanyin today, what jewelry would you use? 

Guanyin has a tiny image of Amitabha Buddha in his crown to show their close relationship. If you were wearing a crown, who would you want to be depicted in it? A best friend? A family member? 




In Buddhism, images of the Buddha or a bodhisattva were used to guide meditation to help the viewer focus on compassionate thinking. However, the Ming dynasty saw a growth in population and city-life. Therefore, Buddhist images would be placed in quiet areas so that the onlooker could escape from the hustle and bustle.

Have your students write about how they escape the distractions of modern society. Perhaps they listen to music or go for a hike. What do they focus on or think about?

Have extra time?

Print the coloring sheet and encourage students to decorate Guanyin and create scenery or a shrine around it.

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