Arts of Asia in Reach
Kokeshi Dolls Lesson Plan
1. Lesson Overview

A Lesson for Students Ages 6 to 10, Grades 3 & 4
Designed by Loren Fawcett, Education Assistant, Allen Memorial Art Museum


Kokeshi Dolls are made of wood and have no arms or legs. There are many different styles, but all are simple in their design with a head and a body—a sphere and a cylinder or another sphere. They are usually very small, just a few inches tall, but may be larger. The original dolls were always female. (Modern kokeshi dolls can be male) In the Tokugawa era kokeshi dolls were used as souvenirs given to the tourists of hot spring resorts in the Tohoku region.

  1. Students will become familiar with the Japanese holiday Hina Matsuri and its traditions and celebration.
  2. Students will learn about the cultural significance of Kokeshi dolls.
  3. Students will learn about the history of Kokeshi.
  4. Students will study the map of Japan and learn about its prefectures.

Academic Content Standards

  1. Visual Arts
    • NA-VA.K-4.1: Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes
    • NA-VA.K-4.3: Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas
    • NA-VA.K-4.4: Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures

  2. Social Studies
    • NSS-USH.K-4.4: Understand selected attributes of societies in Asia

Ohio State Standards
  1. Visual Arts
    • Benchmark 1A: Connect various art forms and artistic styles to their cultural traditions.
    • Benchmark 1B: Compare and contrast art forms from different cultures and their own cultures.
    • Benchmark 1C: Identify artworks from their communities or regions and communicate how they reflect social influences and cultural traditions.
    • Benchmark 2A: Demonstrate skill and expression in the use of art techniques and processes.
    • Benchmark 3A: Identify and describe the visual features and characteristics in works of art.
    • Benchmark 4A: Apply basic reasoning skills to understand why works of art are made and valued.

  2. Social Studies
    • Economics: Explain why entrepreneurship, capital goods, technology, specialization, and division of labor are important in the production of goods and services.


Hina Matsuri
Japan's Doll Festival; on this holiday. families with young daughters set up a display of dolls inside the house, prepare rice paddies and other food, and pray for the healthy growth and happiness of the girls.

Traditional Japanese dolls originally from northern Japan

A machine tool used in woodworking which spins a block of wood so that when abrasive or cutting tools are applied to the block it can be shaped to produce an object with rotational symmetry.

an administrative district, similar to a county in western society; Japan is divided into 47 prefectures.

Continue to: 2. Lesson Materials