Pre-Visit Activities

The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s educational materials are free for your use. Teacher Guides are downloadable PDFs, listed with corresponding standards and grade levels for your convenience.
 

How can we look critically at a piece of art and use it to learn about the political, social, and geographic environment it which it was created?

This teacher-developed graphic organizer instructs elementary-schoolers to look at art critically and contextually. Students answer Who, What, When, Where, Why and How questions about one or two key works of art relating to their chosen tour theme.

Primary Subject and Grade: US History K–5, Visual Arts K–5

Secondary Subject and Grade:

Components: Graphic Organizer, Pre-visit Activity

Standards: Visual Arts K–12.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines; K–12.4 Understanding the Visual Arts in Relation to History and Cultures; K–12.3 Choosing and Evaluating a Range of Subject Matter.

History standards: all are relevant depending on time periods selected for the activity.

Download Teacher Guide (PDF)

How can we look critically at a piece of art and use it to learn about the political, social, and geographic environment it which it was created?

This teacher-developed graphic organizer instructs middle-schoolers to look at art critically and contextually. Students compare and contrast two works of art from selected time periods.

Primary Subject and Grade: US History 6–8, Visual Arts 6–8

Secondary Subject and Grade:

Components: Graphic Organizer, Pre-visit Activity

Standards: Visual Arts K–12.6 Making Connections Between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines; K–12.4 Understanding the Visual Arts in Relation to History and Cultures; K–12.3 Choosing and Evaluating a Range of Subject Matter.

History standards: all are relevant depending on time periods selected for the activity.

Download Teacher Guide (PDF)