Professional Development Programs for Educators

Three teachers smiling

Designed for classroom teachers, SAAM's interactive web-based workshops feature engaging "Monday-ready" activities that provoke deep thinking and invite students to apply content knowledge across the curriculum and in the world. Get certificates of completion for seat hours and join a community of practice that stretches across the US!

In addition to our scheduled workshops, we are able to create customized, interactive digital workshops for in-service days. For more information, send an email to


2021-22 Programs

Smithsonian Summer Sessions: Inspiring Civic Engagement 

Monday, June 27 - Friday, July 1, 2022

How can educators of all disciplines prepare students to be active and informed participants in a democracy? Join us this summer to explore this question through the lens of six Smithsonian collections!

Online via Zoom

Register Here


Interrogating the Stories We Tell

How can museum objects and works of art can broaden our perspectives, reveal silenced stories, and make relevant connections to our world today? Explore these questions in a self-paced course led by educators at six Smithsonian museums.

Register today for this self-paced course

Interdisciplinary Teaching with Museum Objects

Co-facilitated by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of American History, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access.

Register today for this self-paced course


2021-2022 Workshop Archive

Pairing Art and Text (ELA)

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Develop strategies for identifying artworks that can help build and extend student comprehension of texts.

Watch the Recorded Workshop


Visible Data: Making Meaning Through Art (STEAM)

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

How do artists convey complex interconnections clearly and compellingly?

Watch the Recorded Workshop

Big Art, Big Systems (Civics)

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Uncover how the interdependence of elements of an artwork helps us consider interdependencies in society.

Watch the Recorded Workshop

Neighborhood Historians (Continuity and Change Over Time)

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

How can photographs challenge students to gauge what has changed and what has stayed the same?

Watch the Recorded Workshop

Heart and Head: A Call to Action (Global Competencies)

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

What lessons can artists teach students, our future global leaders, about inspiring action?

Watch the Recorded Workshop

Memorials and Memory (SEL)

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Some artists are also veterans. How might their artworks give us and our students a way to feel loss and also connection? Presented with the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC).

Watch the Recorded Workshop

Alma Thomas: Teacher, Artist, Trailblazer, Inspiration 

September 17, 2021

Join museum educators and art conservators from the Smithsonian American Art Museum for a "behind the scenes" look at the trailblazing artist Alma Thomas and the unique way she created her exuberant abstract paintings.

This online workshop was part of the Smithsonian’s First Annual Educator’s Day.

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Past Programs

A slide from a presentation in which four works of art are accompanied by the text "How might you use these ideas in the classroom"

A Woman’s Place Is in the Curriculum: Women’s History through American Art and Portraiture

Learn how American art and portraiture can bring diverse women’s stories into your classroom.


a slide from a presentation with an artwork of people sitting on a house and text asking questions like "What are the parts of this story?" and "What do you see"

2020-2021 Archived Workshop Recordings

Look into our archive to find even more interactive, web-based workshops.

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