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Guided Gallery Visit Themes for K–12

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Themes for Grades K–2

These early childhood lessons are 60 minutes long and offer students a welcoming environment to develop observation skills and critical thinking. Learning strategies include role-play, storytelling, movement, and drawing. Guided Gallery Visits draw from the Museum’s collection and special exhibitions. Lessons prioritize in-depth learning experiences and activities that engage with 23 artworks.

Learning to Look
Discover our diverse collections while building observation skills and descriptive vocabulary. Explore artistic elements such as shape, line, color, and texture.

Animals in Art
Investigate animal imagery in our galleries in a variety of artistic representations and materials. Learn about the cultures that produced them, and their traditions and symbols.

People in Art
Uncover an array of gesture and facial expression in our collections. See how artists include details to represent a character, their emotions, and their actions.

Art Stories
Examine the choices artists make when telling a visual story, including character, setting, and plot. Develop literacy skills through exploration, asking and answering questions about works of art.

New York Then & Now
Find out how New Yorkers who came before us lived and worked through the objects they used and the artworks they created, and ask how we relate to generations past.

Themes for Grades 3–12

These lessons are 75 minutes long and offer students a welcoming environment to develop observation skills and critical thinking. Learning strategies include evidence-based discussion, drawing, writing, and more. Guided Gallery Visits draw from the Museum’s collection and special exhibitions. Lessons prioritize in-depth learning experiences and activities that engage with 23 artworks.

Art and Activism
Observe how artists engage with social movements like racial equity, feminism, environmental justice, and more. Explore concepts such as identity, power, and solidarity, and how they are essential to the work of artists.

Art and the Environment
Apply close looking techniques to artworks inspired by or made with materials from the natural world, and analyze how living and nonliving parts of an environment interact.

Art and Writing
Explore how artists and authors use narrative elements to tell stories. Work with concepts ranging from character, setting, and point of view to critical reflection and textual analysis.

Arts of Ancient Egypt
Investigate how the artworks of ancient Egypt reflect its geography, beliefs, and social and political systems.

Arts of Asia
Evaluate how artists reflect the social, political, and spiritual environments around them in artworks from a variety of cultures across the Asian continent.

Arts of the Ancient World
Interpret and analyze objects to compare the social and cultural values, beliefs, and traditions of ancient Egypt, Assyria, and Asia.

Arts of Africa
Examine artworks from various cultures across the African continent and learn about their traditions, beliefs, and social and political systems.

Arts of the United States
The history of the United States encompasses the lives of many groups of people including Native Americans, enslaved Africans, European colonizers, and immigrants, as well as their future generations. Delve into these complex histories as told through art objects. Visits focus on one of four historical moments:

  • The Colonial Period
  • The Civil War
  • Westward Expansion
  • The Industrial Revolution

From New Amsterdam to New York
Unearth the roots of contemporary New York City by examining objects related to the experiences of early New York communities.

African American Art
Learn how African American artists, past and present, use art to explore concepts such as identity, community, and art-making.

Indigenous Arts of the Americas
Analyze the historical and contemporary practices of indigenous artists from the North and South American continents, how these artists center indigenous histories and belief systems, and how they respond to colonialism.

Gender and Art
Engage with artworks across cultures to see the diverse ways that artists define gender and celebrate the lives of trans, nonbinary, and gendernonconforming people.

Women in Art
Discover how feminism helps us view art objects and the world differently, by investigating how works of art illuminate the role of women in society.