Twenty Questions

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20 Q
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By Mary Erickson, Ph.D., with Arizona artist Denise Yaghmourian

Twenty Questions is a three-lesson unit plan designed in conjunction with the Twenty Questions exhibition at the Gallery at Tempe Center for the Arts.

Present the Twenty Questions exhibition PowerPoint.


  • Theme in Life: Throughout history, people have been able to work out puzzles and make new discoveries by asking questions.
  • Theme in Art: Sometimes art is like a puzzle that makes us wonder what it is and what it is about.

Key Questions



What Can I See? (Pattern is the focus of lesson three.)





How Does it Compare to Other Artworks?





What Else Can I Learn?




What Does it Mean?

Community Connections
The Valley of the Sun is the home of many institutions meant for inquiry. Its universities and colleges are places where people go to learn from experts and learn how to ask questions and seek answers. Investigative reporters are guided by the questions they believe are important to ask. Police officers ask questions to solve crimes. Doctors ask questions to diagnose illness. Whatever the challenge – cooks, plumbers, storekeepers, coaches, parents, inventors and the rest of us can improve our decision-making through inquiry. Whenever there are decisions to make, inquiry helps us examine a situation, gather relevant information and consider evidence as a basis on which to draw our conclusions.


Lesson One
One: Art Inquiry 

Art Inquiry PowerPoint
OPTIONAL: Career Inquiry (pdf)


Lesson Two
Two: Twenty Questions Exhibition Preview PowerPoint

20 Questions Game Cards (pdf)
Questor Questions about Denise Yaghmourian’s Work (pdf)


Lesson Three
Three: Patterns of Patterns

Resources and Supplies
Patterns of Patterns PowerPoint
Multiple sets of fusible beads in assorted colors, depending on the number of students and the number of 7-inch x 7-inch bead squares each student will make. ( Optimally students will make at least three 7-inch x 7-inch patterns, which will be used in a group project. In this case, you will need approximately 6,000 beads for 30 students. Two sets of 4,000 beads in 16 colors will be sufficient or bags of 1,000 beads, minimally six bags each of a different color.)
Four or more small square Perler pegboards (depending on the number of students placing beads at one time)
Egg cartons (to distribute beads to individual students or to small groups of students)
Iron and hard, flat surface.
Paper provided by Perlers to cover beads before fusing with iron
3x5 cards for each group to make labels

graph paper
assorted colored pencils
construction paper or sturdy white drawing paper on which to mount small graph paper squares. cardboard squares on which to mount students’ Perler patterns of patterns (4-inch x 4-inch for no border), if you do not plan to fuse the squares with paper and an iron.


Artist, Larry Yáñez

Estimated Time
Previsit Lesson = 20 minutes
TCA Visit Lesson = Field Trip
Postvisit Lesson = Variable, depending on logistics chosen, for example:
20 minutes for introduction, multiple class sessions in which a few students work each session.
20-40 minutes for categorizing and working in small groups.
10-20 minutes for group discussions of displayed finished work.

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