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Students can learn about the history and culture of an area by looking at the art it has inspired. Spirit will show students how art has evolved in our state and will profile a number of art forms and artists.


After viewing Spirit, students will be able to:

  1. Understand that art forms reflect a culture.
  2. Appreciate the diversity of art forms found in Idaho.
  3. Recognize that art has value.

Spirit begins with the host, Phyllis Edmundson, at the McCall Winter Carnival. She reminds students that art in Idaho goes back as far as the rock art of the ancient Idahoans. The program reviews various forms of Native American art and how artists use their medium to express feelings and traditions.

The video discusses how Idahoans have always sought out art but haven't always supported artists. The video reviews the historical development of art, from the fiddler in Atlanta, to early "flowery" poetry, to nationally recognized painter Joseph McMeekin and writer Carol Ryrie Brink.

Spirit looks at the wide variety of artists found in Idaho. It stresses that artists are still struggling to be appreciated. It also shows that the definition of art isnt limited to traditional forms and that anyone could be an artist.


(Before Viewing)

  1. Have students list all the forms of art they think can be found in Idaho.
  2. Discuss why art is important.
  3. Have students pick one item in the room and explain why this object is or isn't "art."

(During Viewing)

  1. Can you think of something practical in your house that is also a form of art?
  2. Have you ever read a Carol Ryrie Brink book?
  3. Can you see the art in buildings and chairs and the like?
  4. Have you ever thought about acting on a stage, on TV or in movies?

Architect - A person who designs buildings
Ceramic - Made of baked clay
Sculpture - The art of making figures or designs that take up space or the figure or design that is made in that way
Vaudeville - A variety show of unrelated acts or a piece that would appear in such a show


(After Viewing)

  1. What is art?
  2. How does art play a role in our everyday lives?
  3. Why is art important?
  4. How have artists made a difference in the history of Idaho?
  1. Create a story using Native American like rock art symbols.
  2. Using scraps of cloth or reeds, have students weave a mat.
  3. Have students write and perform a play re creating a moment in Idaho history.
  4. Invite an author, actor, musician or other artist to visit the class.
  5. Set up an art fair. Have each student select a form of art and display their selections. Invite parents and other guests to "opening night."

Make an Idaho Historical Quilt

Draw a scene from Idaho's history or copy one of the traditional quilt patterns in the inner square below. Cut out the whole pattern and glue your square to those of your classmates in order to make a paper quilt.