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Teacher Packets

Download free teacher packets by region of Asia.

South Asia

Art in Focus: The Legend of Krishna

The legend of Krishna has inspired Hindu art, poetry, music and philosophy for more than 2,000 years. This packet highlights the celebrated legend of this Hindu god as depicted in South Asian painting.

Beliefs Made Visible: Understanding Hindu and Buddhist Art in South Asia

Explore the basic tenets and influences of Hinduism and Buddhism throughout Asia.

India! A Celebration

This packet was produced to accompany the exhibition India: A Celebration, shown at the Asian Art Museum in fall 1997.

Southeast Asia

The Story of Rama

In this unit, students are introduced to the basic background of Balinese Hinduism and to one of its main texts, the Ramayana.

Warrior Kings and Divine Jesters: Indonesian Rod Puppets

This packet is designed to give an introduction to the world of Indonesian three-dimensional rod puppet theater (wayang golek) and to the stories told in performances using these puppets. Stories include Islamic and Javanese historical tales as well as Indonesian versions of the Ramayana, the epic story of the hero Rama.


West Asia

Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul

This packet, developed in conjunction with the special exhibition Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul, examines the nation’s role as a both a cultural hub and a connecting point along the Silk Road.

Islam and the Arts of the Ottoman Empire

Using objects from the traveling exhibition Empire of the Sultans: Ottoman Art from the Khalili Collection, this packet provides an overview of Islam and Islamic art during the Ottoman empire.


The Sacred Arts of Tibet

An overview of the culture, history and arts of Tibet, with a focus on the influence of Buddhism.


Goryeo Dynasty: Korea’s Age of Enlightenment

Few people are aware that the name Korea is derived from the name of the Goryeo (previously tranliterated as Koryo) dynasty. It was during this period (918–1392) that Korea became known to the world outside East Asia. This packet provides an overview of aspects of Goryeo society and Goryeo Buddhism as depicted in the arts of the period.

Temple, Palace, Scholar’s House: Three Settings of Traditional Korean Culture

This packet introduces teachers and other readers to several traditional settings of Korean culture: Buddhist temples, palaces, and scholar’s houses, as well as Confucian academies where scholars were trained. These settings provide a framework or backdrop for many of the historical art objects on display at the museum.



Ancient China: From the Neolithic Period to the Han Dynasty

An historical overview of ancient China — from the Neolithic period (approx. 6,000–2000 BCE) to the end of the Han dynasty (220 CE).

Brushstrokes: Styles and Techniques of Chinese Painting

Brushpainting, which includes calligraphy, landscapes, scrolls and fans, has been a major art form throughout Chinese history. This packet explores the history, development and significance of brushpainting in Chinese art. Includes discussion of painting and calligraphy techniques, and a comparison of painting styles.

China: The Glorious Tang and Song Dynasties

During the Tang (618–906) and Song (960–1279) dynasties, the Chinese empire enjoyed a blossoming of foreign exchange as trade expanded along the Silk Road and sea routes. In this era China also witnessed the flourishing of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism and saw the development of porcelain making and reproduction printing. This packet examines the trade, commerce, religion, philosophy, literature and art of these dynasties. Student handouts include readings and activities on Tang and Song dynasty literature, art and science.

Chinese Calligraphy Teacher Packet

Learn more about the art of Chinese calligraphy and how contemporary artists are interpreting this ancient art form.

Taoism and the Arts of China

This packet introduces Taoism and its expression in Chinese art. 


Arts of the Samurai

An examination of the samurai through precious art objects from the Asian Art Museum’s collection.

Arts of Edo Japan

An in-depth examination of Edo period (1615–1868) Japan, focusing on the flourishing arts of the period.

Experience Chanoyu: The Japanese Art of Tea

An exploration of artworks dating from the 1400s to the 1900s that were used in a traditional Japanese tea gathering or chanoyu.

Hokusai and Hiroshige: Great Japanese Prints

A historical and cultural overview of Edo period (1615–1868) Japan as a context for examining Japanese woodblock prints.