PMG Lesson Plans

These free lesson plans can be used in the classroom, at camp, or at home. A list of resources is included with each. If you have questions please contact us at

Alebrije Sculptures

Throughout their travels Isaiah and Julia Zagar collected Folk Art. Within the walls of Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens there are many examples of work from other cultures. Much of this work comes from Mexico, especially Oaxaca. Artists in Oaxaca produce many types of handmade items, but this lesson focuses on “Alebrijes,” which are often carved out of wood or made from papier-mâché. They are in the form of animals, both real and imagined, and are usually very colorful. Learn about culture and Folk Art in Southern Mexico, specifically in Oaxaca. You can then create Alebrije sculptures of your own!


Polygon Installation

Isaiah Zagar was 19 years old when he met one of his greatest influences, Clarence Schmidt. Clarence was an untrained, outsider artist who inherited a house in Woodstock, NY, that he completely transformed. Creating thoughtful installations of dolls, wood, mirror, glass, tar, and other objects, Clarence covered every square inch of his house and garden. When Isaiah saw Clarence’s work, he wanted to make his own multi-sensory, transformative environment. This lesson uses rubbings and geometric mosaic shapes to encourage children to create their own paper mosaic installation.

Mosaic Messages

From old coffee mugs to bicycle wheels, Isaiah Zagar has made his artwork almost entirely from found and recycled objects. This lesson uses paper mosaic techniques to encourage students to think critically about the environment and their impact on their community.

The Repurposed

Marcel Duchamp is one of the most referenced artists throughout Zagar’s work.  Duchamp was a Dadaist artist who used the viewer as a participant in the creative process.  Like Isaiah, he also used repurposed objects, which he called ready-mades.  In this lesson we will learn about Dadaism and understand Marcel Duchamp’s role in that art movement. We will learn about how Duchamp’s work inspired Zagar, and how recycling objects and using them in nontraditional ways is prevalent in both artists’ work.