The Golden Ticket

Gold throughout Art History and the Search for Something Greater
Meets the learning standards for grades 4-5 (can be adapted)
Media Type: drawing, pantomime, and ephemeral
Subject Integration: Fine Arts, English Language Arts and Reading, Social Studies, Science
Formal Lesson Plan and TEKS information

An entire WEEK of activities introducing the origin, properties, and significance of gold in history, art, science!

DAY ONE

What do you know about gold? Where does it come from? How is it commonly used? Is its value purely aesthetic, or does it also have practical merit?

Activity:

DAY TWO

Activity:

DAY THREE

Activity 1:

Activity 2:

Image: NASA

In 1977, “NASA placed a more ambitious message aboard Voyager 1 and 2, a kind of time capsule, intended to communicate a story of our world to extraterrestrials. The Voyager message is carried by a phonograph record, a 12-inch gold-plated copper disk containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on earth.”

The Voyager Gold Record also includes a symbol representing the earth’s exact location (i.e., a map). Based on our previous lessons, why do you think the record was made of gold? What properties or significance of gold would make it suitable for space travel?

Do some independent research on the NASA website dedicated to the Golden Records and share your findings.

DAY FOUR

Activity:

DAY FIVE

Activity 1:

Let’s watch this modern music and video remix of the Voyager Gold Record to start the day:

Activity 2:

Closing:

How does choice of materials communicate information about our lives and our reality? If you had limitless resources, what material would best represent your message?