Korea, Land of the Diamond Mountains

Middle, or High School
Author: Newark Museum


Lesson Description

These lessons encourage students to look longer and more closely at objects, both in advance and during a gallery visit; increase their articulation and vocabulary skills by focusing on the use of descriptive language; improve their listening skills; develop interpretation skills; and improve their capacity to synthesize information. Object Observation stimulates curiosity and confidence among students when they engage in “accountable talk.” 



At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
  • Extended Observation: Student looks closely at objects (and other primary sources) to get information.
  • Questioning: Student asks questions about the object(s) that can be answered by further observation or by additional research. 
  • Research: Student uses different resources to gather information.
  • Analysis and Synthesis: Student organizes and prioritizes the gathered information, and then uses the information to answer questions.
  • Presentation: Student introduces information in a clear and organized way, speaks with authority and confidence and answers questions from the audience.
  • Reflection: Student comments on the relationship between his or her expectations and the actual learning process.





*Note: The materials presented are NOT intended to replace the direct experience of object observation in the gallery. The materials are resources for instructors to introduce approaches to object observation or “extended observation” techniques that will be applied during a visit to the Museum. However, instructors or students who do not have the opportunity to visit the Museum are still encouraged to utilize these exercises in preparation for future visits to museums or other cultural institutions. 
First, the instructor will ask students to describe the object. Students will gain confidence about their ability to learn from their observations and therefore an extensive introduction to Korea is not necessary. Guided Questions will be utilized to facilitate a productive, focused discussion about objects prior, during and after trips to the galleries. If students are hesitant to begin discussion, guided questions may be used as a “warm up” to increase students’ confidence. When looking at subsequent objects, the instructor should encourage more free-flowing conversations. Instructors will ask students to describe what their observations make them feel or think about. Instructors will ask students to bring forward and write down questions that come from their observations. The instructor may use short object notes at times to provide answers to these questions or assign students to research their questions independently as homework. Instructors will wrap up discussions with a short synthesis of what students noticed and what questionsabout Korea they developed as a result of their observations.
--This approach may be repeated with the same or different objects during the visit to the Korean Galleries at the Newark Museum as a class or in small groups (or continued online if a visit to the Museum is not feasible).
--Instructors may also choose to have small groups or individuals focus on a particular object prior to a gallery visit and give students an opportunity to lead classmates in a discussion in class or in the gallery. Students may present their observations and discoveries to the class after the visit.
-- Arts Connection: Students will complete a related art making activity after viewing works in the Korean collection. Provided is an example for the Munjado Screen. Students, now familiar with the Munjado Screen and concepts of Neo-Confucianism in Korean society, will get the chance to make their own Munjado screen. They will decide what types of virtues would be important for their screens and what types of symbols communicate those virtues. They will be asked to present the choices they made on their screen in a small group or to the class.
Objects Included in this Guide:
  1. Twelve-Panel Folding Screen of the Diamond Mountains (Geumgangsan) Korea, 1900–1910 (Imperial Period 1889–1910). Colors and Ink on Paper.
  2. Eight-Panel Munjado Folding Screen. Korea, Late 19th or early 20th century. Colors and ink on Paper. (92.317)
  3. Jar with Longevity Motifs: Clouds, Deer, Pine, and Lingzhi. Korea, 1392. (Joseon Dynasty 1392–1910) Porcelain with under-glaze cobalt blue.
  4. Dragon Jar Korea, c. 18th century. (Joseon Dynasty 1392–1910). Porcelain withunder-glaze iron oxide. Buwon-ri Official Kiln.
  5. Longevity Tablet with Dragon and Lotus Motifs. C. 19th century. Wood, colors.
  6. Kkoktu Figures. Korea, Before 1926. Wood, colors.
  7. Double-Gourd Pitcher with Peony and Chrysanthemum Motif. Korea 918, (Goryeo Dynasty (918 1392). Porcelaneous stoneware with celadon glaze and inlaid white and black slip.
  8. Chichang Bosal (Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva) and the Ten Kings of Hell. Korea, Late 19th or early 20th century. Colors on cloth.
  9. Woman’s Waist Ornament (Samjak Norigae). Korea, 19th century. Silver, Ox Horn, Brass, Cord, Glass. (2011.8.1).
  10. Chunghie Lee, Pojagi. Korea, 2005. Cloth and screen printing. (2006.50.2)
  11. U-Ram Choe, Gold Chakra Lamp. Korea, 2013. Metallic material, machinery, electronic devices (CPU Board, motor, LED). (2014.1)

See PDF for object images and questions.

This guide has been made possible by the support provided by the National Museum of Korea.