Majestic Taj Mahal

Majestic Taj Mahal lesson plan

India’s Taj Mahal is a work of architectural genius. It is also a monument to the love of a wealthy emperor for his queen. Construct a replica of this magnificent marble structure.

  • 1.

    After the loss of his wife, Empress Mumtaz Mahal, the wealthy emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in her memory. Invite small groups of student to discover more about this magnificent building that reflects the influences of several cultures and attracts millions of visitors. Provide various resources and teacher recommended Internet web sites for students to use for their research.

  • 2.

    Students organize their research in order to present it to classmates. Once all presentations are complete, ask groups to select several recycled boxes and a cardboard gift wrap tube. Students cut the gift wrap tube into four sections (for minarets) with Crayola® Scissors. Groups determine how to assemble the boxes to resemble the Taj Mahal.

  • 3.

    After covering their work area with recycled newspaper, students paint a light shade of Crayola Tempera Paint on the exterior of their boxes and tubes. Cut posterboard to fit in front, painting the gardens and reflecting pool. Allow paint to air-dry.

  • 4.

    Groups brainstorm how to attach boxes to re-create the Taj Mahal, as well as the gardens to each other with Crayola School Glue. Air-dry the glue.

  • 5.

    On white paper, students use Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils andMetallic Colored Pencils to draw the decorative windows, arches, and filigree details from the Taj. Cut them out and glue them to the facade.

  • 6.

    On posterboard, students draw the center dome, smaller domes, and the top of the minarets. Cut them out and glue them in place.

  • 7.

    In preparation for displaying their replicas, student groups determine the three most fascinating facts about the history of the Taj Mahal. Post these selected facts with the artwork.

Standards

  • LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of grade level text's complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • MATH: Solve problems involving measurement and estimation of intervals of time, liquid volumes, and masses of objects.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • SS: Describe how people create places that reflect ideas, personality, culture, and wants and needs as they design homes, playgrounds, classrooms, and the like.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.
  • VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.
  • VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resource includes: Taj Mahal by Caroline Arnold & Madeleine Comora
  • Students work in teams of two to plan a trip to India. What types of transportation will you take to get to India? How many miles is India from your hometown? What major landmarks do you plan to visit? Where will you stay? What types of food will you experience? How is the culture of the Indian people similar or different than yours? Present your trip itinerary to classmates.
  • Students investigate other great buildings such as the Eiffel Tower, the Parthenon, the Coliseum, Mayan temples, etc. How, why, and by whom were each built? What was the cost in the day? How much would it cost to replicate the building today? Construct a replica of your selected great building.
  • In the United States, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was built to honor deceased Americans. Research the history of this structure, as well as how this structure is used today.