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 - Robert Rauschenberg: Reinventing Art
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Robert Rauschenberg is one of the pivotal artists of the 20th century. His work, perhaps more than any other artist of his time, holds a mirror up to our culture. Using the American Masters online essay as a tool, this lesson will examine the cultural context of Robert Rauschenberg’s work. Student will be encouraged to draw inspiration, as Rauschenberg did, from the political, artistic, and social culture of our times.

Grade Level

6 - 8

Subject Areas

  • Social Studies: American and Art History
  • Language Arts: writing, reading and presenting research
  • All kinds of Art

Students will be able to:

  • Discover what popular art, abstract expressions, and various art movements have been over the last 50 years
  • Learn the artistic influence of Robert Rauschenberg
  • Understand how politics has been expressed in art and how art has become political
  • Understand how history can be interpreted through art and art through history
  • Understand how art can be used to deconstruct social messages
  • Learn what materials artists use to communicate and why
  • Discover how artists find inspiration
  • Create new and inventive pieces of art using the world around them as resources
  • Invent their own art movement and construct art that conveys their personal messages


This lesson integrates the national teaching standards of English and Technology. Students will apply a wide range of strategies for research, comprehension, interpretation, evaluation, languages (written and spoken), diversity, creativity, critical thinking and deconstruction of various mediums. Student will build an understanding of the many dimensions of the educational process including texts, technology, speech, themselves, cultures of the United States and the world, and the human experience. To learn more about national English and Technological standards go to: and

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