A Surreal look at Salvador Dali

Grades 9-12


Students will research and examine the work of Salvador Dali. We shall discuss the iconography used in his paintings and how they relate to the era of Surrealism. Students will then have the opportunity to create their own surrealist painting.


Students will learn how to identify iconography in an artist's work and develop their own interpretations of the images. They will also have the opportunity to explore the techniques and styles of the surrealist era through Salvador Dali's collection of work.


H.1.3 Identify iconography in an artist's work or a body of work and analyze the meaning.


  • Paper
  • Pencils
  • Examples of Salvador Dali’s works provide through computers and books
  • Paint
  • Paintbrushes


Day One


  1. Overview of Surrealism (techniques, styles, and influences of era)
  2. Artists of the era
  3. Introduction of Salvador Dali


Day Two

  1. View examples of Salvador Dali's surrealist paintings
  2. Discuss his work; imagery, lighting, colors, texture.
  3. Ask questions - How does he uses certain details to create an image? What message or meaning is he trying to convey? What are the similarities between his works? Are there any similarities between Dali's works and other artists' works that we have reviewed? What emotions or feelings are being conveyed?


Day Three

  1. Review what students have learned
  2. Students will create their own surrealist inspired paintings


Day Four

  1. Continue with surrealist painting project
  2. Turn in projects to be graded
  3. Discuss what the students think of Surrealism and Salvador Dali. How does this compare with what we have learned so far? Do they like this style of art more or less than others that we have studied and why?


Students will complete a project where they will create their own surrealist inspired painting. They will be graded on creativity and their understanding of the techniques and styles used during the surrealist era.


P, Sara. November, 2010. Impressionism – Claude Monet. http://www.lessonplanspage.com/ArtImpressionismMonet.htm