Crossing Borders/Breaking Boundaries
The Arts of India, 1556-1658
June 23 - July 1, 2008
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Unit of Study:      Book-Making

Lesson Title:        Making a Personal Muraqqa’

Discipline:            Art

Grade Level:        5th Grade

Author:                  Elaine M. Collins

County:                  Montgomery County, MD

Time Period:
       5 or 6 class periods, 50 minutes each


Students will acquire an overview of world government systems during the time period from the settlement of the United States through the pre-Revolutionary period as a support for their study of the Indian muraqqa’ and its importance in recording the history of the rulers of India.  Students will discover how the written word and art were used to document events in the lives of rulers.


Prior to this unit students will have the opportunity to view various artworks from the Mughal empires. Particular note will be made of the combination of pattern, nature, written word and theme along with information about how Western European influence affected the courts.  Art forms such as collage will be noted.


  • cardboard pieces 9.5 by 13 (two per student)
  • #2 pencils
  • erasers
  • white glue
  • gold tempera paint
  • ½ in flat brushes
  • 8.5x11 white drawing pencils
  • wrapping paper with repetitive or botanical designs
  • colored pencils
  • purple construction paper
  • hole punchers
  • colored cording
  • ruled paper


Standards/Learner Outcomes:

Fine Arts Standards

Aesthetic 1.1.a

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to perceive, interpret, and respond to ideas, experiences and the environment through visual art
  • Identify and describe observed form
  • Analyze how physical qualities of people, animals, and objects are represented through the elements of art

Historical 2.2.b

  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of visual art as an essential aspect of history and human experience

Production 3.2.b

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to organize knowledge and ideas for expression in the production of art
  • Investigate a variety of ways that artists develop ideas and organize the elements of art in responding to what they see, know, and feel
  • Identify and describe the elements of art selected principles of design such as pattern, repetition, contrast, balance, variety and unity in artworks

Criticism 4.1.a

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to identify, analyze, and apply criteria for making aesthetic judgments
  • Develop and apply criteria to evaluate personally created artworks and the artworks of others
  • Compare selected artworks using art vocabulary derived from the elements of art and selected principles of design to discuss the content, forms, and artistic styles represented

 Content Standards

Standard 5.1.D.3.d - General Reading Process
Topic D.  - Vocabulary

  • Indicator 3. Understand, acquire, and use new vocabulary
  • Objectives d. Use new vocabulary in speaking and writing to gain and extend content knowledge and clarify       expression.

Standard 5.3.A.1.c – Geography
Topic A. – Using Geographic Tools

  • Indicator 1. Use geographic tools to locate places and describe human and physical characteristics in Colonial America
  • Objectives c. Use photographs, maps, and drawings to describe geographic characteristics.

Standard 4.A.3.a  Writing
Topic A. Writing

  • Indicator 3. Compose texts using the revising and editing strategies of effective writers and speakers
  • Objectives a. Revise texts for clarity, completeness, and effectiveness         


Fine Arts Objectives

  • The students will use the elements and principals of Art to describe a theme from their lives. (Sports, family, school etc.)
  • The student will create a book in the manner of the East Indian Muraqqa’ including a written mini essay about their person theme.
  • The student will learn about the art of the Mughal empires.

 Content Objectives

  • The students will familiarize themselves with the differences and similarities between the artwork in the muraqqa’s and those of the early colonial period in US history.


  • theme
  • muraqqa’
  • Mughal
  • Renaissance
  • culture
  • landform
  • atelier
  • miniature
  • document


Viewing various pages from the muraqqa’s depicting a central theme (diplomacy, the hunt, relaxation, flora and fawna)
Searching the resource

Scope & Sequence:

Day 1:

  • Teacher will give the students incite into world events during the period from 1556-1658
  • Students will be asked to discuss ways people during that time might have recorded events, environment, and every day life.
  • We will make a list on the board.
  • Students will be introduced to the East Indian muraqqa’, and what it recorded, who created it and its purpose. Did the muraqqa’s have a theme?
  • Students will observe the border designs used in the muraqqa’s.
  • Using two pieces of 9.5x13 cardboard students will draw non-representational repeated patterning on their covers using pencils and then will go over the pencil lines with school glue.
  • A rubric is introduced and posted with expectations for the project.

Day 2:

  • Students will use flat brushes and gold tempera paint to paint the front and back covers for their muraqqa’.
  • Students will brainstorm sketches for their thematic drawings to be included in their muraqqa’.

 Day 3:

  • Students will draw and color their pages for their muraqqa’.

Day 4:

  • Students will finish drawing their pages and add border papers.

Day 5:

  • Students will assemble their muraqqa’, and add their written piece which they created in the writing lab.
  • They will bind their muraqqa’with cord.
  • Students will take a gallery walk.


The rubric presented at the beginning of the project will be used to assess the student's work. The rubric used was as follows:

Personal Muraqqa’ Assessment

_____ The Muraqqa’ cover has an overall repetitive pattern of uniform size
_____ The covers are painted carefully exhibiting care
_____ The interior page drawings are thematic.
_____ The drawings are done with care.
_____ The colored pencil is added neatly.
_____ The book is assembled well.
_____ Overall craftsmanship.
_____ Essay shows thought, sentences are complete. There is a theme to the essay.    
_____ Total   


    * 4 is an O

    * 3 and 2 are an S

    * 1 and 2 are N


Students will do a gallery walk and do Pats on the Back stating what they like about each work.

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Sponsored by
the Center for Renaissance & Baroque Studies
and the Maryland State Department of Education