Museum Hours
Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Gathering Goods for the Marketplace

Objective: Students will research objects from the Asian Art Museum’s collection and choose one that they think will earn the most money in the marketplace. Then, they will create a commercial to try to sell their object to the class using evidence as to why the object/idea was considered valuable at the time.

Content Standards (California)

HSS 6.6.2: Explain the geographic features of China that made governance and the spread of ideas and goods difficult and served to isolate the country from the rest of the world.

HSS 6.6.7: Cite the significance of the trans-Eurasian “silk roads” in the period of the Han Dynasty and Roman Empire and their locations.

HSS 7.2.5: Describe the growth of cities and the establishment of trade routes among Asia, Africa, and Europe, the products and inventions that traveled along these routes (e.g., spices, textiles, paper, steel, new crops), and the role of merchants in Arab society.



  • natural resources
  • technology
  • pilgrimage
  • Buddhist
  • Islamic
  • Hindu


  1. Provide each student with the handout, Gathering Goods for the Marketplace.
  2. Review objectives.
  3. Divide students into groups/pairs.
  4. As a class, explore
  5. Discuss considerations for selecting an item. Think about artistic skill, natural resources, size, fragility, weight, demand. Review the Hints provided.
  6. In groups, students:
    • Reference the art label for information as they decide which object to sell.
    • Choose an object that they think will earn the most money in the marketplace and complete the graphic.
    • Sketch the item in the box.
    • Write a detailed description so someone who can’t see the object could picture it in his/her mind.
    • Create a commercial persuading the rest of the students in the class to buy their item.
    • Present their commercial to the other merchants. Be creative and have fun!