Twenty Questions

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By Mary Erickson, Ph.D., with Arizona artist Denise Yaghmourian

Twenty Questions is a three-lesson unit plan designed in conjunction with the Twenty Questions exhibition at the Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts.

Present the Twenty Questions exhibition PowerPoint.


  • Theme in Life: Throughout history, people have been able to work out puzzles and make new discoveries by asking questions.
  • Theme in Art: Sometimes art is like a puzzle that makes us wonder what it is and what it is about.

Key Questions



What Can I See? (Pattern is the focus of lesson three.)





How Does it Compare to Other Artworks?





What Else Can I Learn?




What Does it Mean?

Community Connections
The Valley of the Sun is the home of many institutions meant for inquiry. Its universities and colleges are places where people go to learn from experts and learn how to ask questions and seek answers. Investigative reporters are guided by the questions they believe are important to ask. Police officers askquestions to solve crimes. Doctors ask questions to diagnose illness. Whatever the challenge – cooks, plumbers, storekeepers, coaches, parents, inventors and the rest of us can improve our decision-making through inquiry. Whenever there are decisions to make, inquiry helps us examine a situation, gather relevant information and consider evidence as a basis on which to draw our conclusions.


  • One: Art Inquiry
  • Two: Exploring Twenty Questions at the Tempe Center for the Arts
  • Three: Patterns of Patterns



  • Perler bead supplies (150-200 beads per student. Beads are available is sets of 4,000 beads in 16
  • colors or bags of 1,000 beads of one color, in many color choices.)
  • 4 Perler pegboards
  • Perler ironing paper
  • iron and hard surface

Planning or alternative supplies

  • colored pencils
  • graph paper
  • construction paper backing for graph paper patterns of patterns
  • glue
  • scissors
  • cardboard backing for Perler patterns of patterns
  • 3 x 5 cards

Artist, Larry Yáñez

Estimated Time
Previsit Lesson = 20 minutes
TCA Visit Lesson = Field Trip
Postvisit Lesson = Variable, depending on logistics chosen, for example:
20 minutes for introduction, multiple class sessions in which a few students work each session.
20-40 minutes for categorizing and working in small groups.
10-20 minutes for group discussions of displayed finished work.