Classroom Curriculum

The Contemporary Art Start (CAS) Curriculum Guide provides a core of general art knowledge upon which to base the specific exploration of contemporary art. It can be used effectively by teachers with little or no previous experience in the arts as well as by those with more. Designed in accordance with California's Visual & Performing Arts and Common Core learning standards, units can be ordered flexibly to relate to both MOCA exhibitions and diverse subject areas.

Start here to lay the foundation for successful, subsequent explorations in the Contemporary Art Start Curriculum Guide and in person at MOCA. The two units in this section are designed to help students become familiar with the basic vocabulary and concepts of contemporary art, as well as the inquiry approach they’ll encounter throughout the curriculum and during guided visits at MOCA.

In this section, find nine units covering a wide variety of forms and media used by contemporary artists, ranging from painting and installation art to performance and architecture. These units are designed to familiarize students with: the tools, techniques, and rationale for using specific media; a range of ideas they can be used to express; and the impacts different art forms can have on viewers.

Explore the 12 units in this section to access contemporary art through provocative themes that cross subject area boundaries, including fantasy, biography, scientific discovery, and abstraction. These units feature a wide array of art forms and emphasize the careful thinking behind meaningful works of art.

Welcome to the CAS Curriculum Guide glossary of art vocabulary you'll encounter while teaching with the Guide. Email us with suggestions if you think we should add something.