First, the teacher is asking you to evalute yourself as much as the work of art. What is your initial emotional reaction to the piece, happy, confused? What is the medium or materials used to create the image? Is it modern or traditional in style? Is it flat and two dimensional or does the artist attempt to create the illusion of three dimensions? Be aware of contrasts, such as the background of clear colorful brushstrokes, compared to the foreground images. Most museums have collections you can access on the web. There are notes with each piece that will aid you in describing what you see and how you feel about it, by giving you the vocabulary to describe them. Look at the works of the people he says have had an influence on him and note when they worked. (what era) It may help you to organize your thoughts to make a list of the items, personality, values, etc. with your responses and the create a full dialogue about what you come up with. Likewise itemize the information about the artwork. In relation to symbolism I would suggest looking up some mythology or the psychological works of Carl Jung.