Teacher Guides and Resources

Teacher Guides

Museum educator speaking to students

Teacher Guides are listed with corresponding standards and grade levels; most are in PDF format. Student worksheets and other printable resources are also available. Be sure to check back periodically or sign up for our Teacher Resources e-mail list (select "Teacher Resources" checkbox).

Content Links

These features contain interactive or media-rich content. In addition, we'd encourage you to explore our Current Exhibitions, Past Exhibitions, and Videos for primary source content such as artist interviews, that may be relevant or useful to you, whatever subject you teach. For additional Smithsonian resources, see the Smithsonian Learning Lab.


Investigate paired works of art that bring to life key moments in our nation's history. Explore the thematic threads that connect artworks across historical eras.


Primary Subject and Grade: US History 5-12 Primary Subjects and Grades: US History 5-12, Language Arts 5-12, Visual Arts 9-12, Civics 9-12

Components: Contextual Essays, Primary Sources, Literary Connections, Observation and Interpretation Activity, Media, Interactive Timeline, Glossary, Curriculum Connections, Core Concepts

Standards: U.S. History Content Standards, Common Core Standards – English Language Arts, Historical Thinking Standards

    Explore the Civil Rights movement through art


    Primary Subject and Grade: US History 5-12

    Secondary Subject and Grade: Civics 9-12, Language Arts 5-12, Visual Arts K-12

    Components: Images, Background Contextual Information, Artist Bios, Audio/Video


    U.S. History (From McREL 4th Edition Standards & Benchmarks)

    • Standard 8: Understands the institutions and practices of government created during the Revolution and how these elements were revised between 1787 and 1815 to create the foundation of the American political system based on the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights
    • Standard 28: Understands domestic policies in the post-World War II period
    • Standard 29: Understands the struggle for racial and gender equality and for the extension of civil liberties
    • Standard 31: Understands economic, social, and cultural developments in the contemporary United States

    Civics (From McREL 4th Edition Standards & Benchmarks)

    • Standard 1: Understands ideas about civic life, politics, and government
    • Standard 11: Understands the role of diversity in American life and the importance of shared values, political beliefs, and civic beliefs in an increasingly diverse American society
    • Standard 14: Understands issues concerning the disparities between ideals and reality in American political and social life
    • Standard 27: Understands how certain character traits enhance citizens' ability to fulfill personal and civic responsibilities

    Language Arts (From McREL 4th Edition Standards & Benchmarks)

    • Standard 6: Uses skills and strategies to read a variety of literary texts
    • Standard 9: Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media

    Visual Arts (From McREL 4th Edition Standards & Benchmarks)

    • Standard 3: Knows a range of subject matter, symbols, and potential ideas in the visual arts
    • Standard 4: Understands the visual arts in relation to history and cultures


    How can artists express their experiences through their artwork?


    Many Latinos have immigrated to the United States. Whether their experiences are told firsthand or handed down from parents and grandparents, they seek to communicate the importance of their journeys and their culture.

    Primary Subject and Grade: Visual Arts 9-12

    Secondary Subject and Grade: Social Studies 6-12, Language Arts 9-12

    Components: Images, Video, Artist Bios, Posters, Lesson Plans


    • Visual Arts: NAEA 1, NAEA 3, NAEA 4, NAEA 5
    • Social Studies: NCSS 1, NCSS 5 Groups, NCSS 10

    Civic Ideals

    • Language Arts: NCTE 1


    What happened to Native Americans, their ancestral lands, and the western landscape of the United States during the 1830s?

    Take a virtual journey to meet American Indians of the 1830s with artist, ethnologist, and showman George Catlin. This site compiles paintings, historical documents, and commentary from contemporary experts so you can explore the intersections of two cultures, both in Catlin’s time and today.

    Primary Subject and Grade: Visual Arts, U.S. History

    Secondary Subject and Grade: Language Arts, Social Studies, Geography, Life Science, Music, Dance, Theatre

    Components: Multimedia Interviews with Transcripts, Images with Exhibition Labels, Timeline, Maps, Database containing Catlin's writings and hundreds of his artworks, Lesson Plans. 


    Visual Arts: NSAE 1-6

    U.S. History: NCHS 1-5, USHS Era 4, Era 6

    Language Arts: NCTE 1-9, 11, 12

    Geography: GESP 4, GESP 6, NGS 4, 6, 9, 10, 12-16

    Life Science: NSES 3

    Dance: NSAE 1-3

    Music: NSAE 7

    Theatre: NSAE 1-2, 5