Arizona Landscapes

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Curriculum Introduction

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This set of lesson plans is designed in conjunction with the “Arizona Landscapes” centennial exhibition in the Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts. The unit includes multiple lessons in visual art, science and history.

Present the Arizona Landscape exhibition PowerPoint


  • Theme in Life: We are all dependent on and enriched by our physical environment.
  • Theme in Art: Art can help us better see and appreciate our environment.
  • Theme in History: History can help us understand how our environment changes over time.
  • Theme in Science: Science can help us understand and preserve the quality of our environment.


Community Connections
2012 marks the year in which Arizona celebrates its 100th birthday as a state. We celebrate our physical environment, which has played a huge part in our history, both before and after statehood. For the past millennia, people have made homes and livelihoods in harmony with Arizona’s diverse physical environment. The assortment of landscape terrains includes the high Colorado Plateau and the low deserts with mountains and buttes across the state. It also expands to forests on the Mogollon Rim as well as the great river valleys and canyons. Native People followed by regional and international immigrants have been sustained by resources in Arizona’s environment such as vast mineral deposits and resilient climate. Through the centuries of Arizona’s existence, we have transformed our environment through dams, irrigation and other large-scale construction projects. Progression can be seen in Arizona’s developing towns and cities, industrial complexes, transportation systems, mines, solar energy farms and even through intimate projects executed through parks, farms and gardens.

Thank you to:

  • Pat Burdette, Fine Arts Coordinator of the Tempe Elementary School District # 3
  • Suzanne Gregory, Art Educator at Gililland Middle School in the Tempe Middle School District
  • Alison Smith, Educational Services Representative for the Salt River Project (SRP)
  • Joshua Roffler, Curator of Collections at Tempe Historical Museum
  • Peggy Moroney, Tempe Historical Museum and TCA Docent
  • Persephone Brooks-Bilson, Tempe History Museum and TCA Docent
  • Heather Findling, research assistant at Tempe Center for the Arts
  • AZ Project W.E.T.
  • SRP
  • Friends of Tempe Center for the Arts