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Educator-Led Lesson 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. Educator-Led Lessons draw from the Museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions. Lessons prioritize in-depth learning experiences and activities that engage with 2-3 artworks.

Animals in Art
Search for animal imagery in our galleries. Discover a variety of artistic representations and materials, and learn about the cultural elements of mythology and symbols.

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

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

People in Art
Discover a wide variety of gesture and facial expression in our collections. Examine how an artist includes details to represent a character’s emotions and actions.

New York Then & Now
Find out how New Yorkers before us lived and worked. Examine the objects they used and the artworks they created to see how we compare 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. Educator-Led Lessons draw from the Museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions. Lessons prioritize in-depth learning experiences and activities that engage with 2-3 artworks.

Activism and Art: Social Movements
Learn how artists are influenced by and contribute to social movements like civil rights, feminism, environmentalism, and more.

Activism and Art: Constructing Identity
Investigate how the concept of identity is expressed through works of art from around the world.

Art and the Environment
Explore artworks inspired by or made with materials from the natural world.

Art and Writing
Younger students explore the elements artists and authors use when telling a story, including character, setting, main idea, and point of view. Older students investigate the creative and critical aspects of art and writing to address their descriptive, reflective, and analytical possibilities.

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

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

Inside the Artist’s Studio
Investigate the methods and materials artists have used to express their ideas and beliefs throughout history, and leave with inspiration for your own artistic pursuits.

Art Museum Careers
Learn about the various roles of museum employees, including curators, designers, educators, and conservators. Find evidence of the work of these museum professionals and participate in analytical and interpretive exercises connected to museum-based work.

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, immigrants, and their future generations. Explore this complex history as told through paintings and decorative arts in the Museum’s American Art galleries. Visits may focus on one of four historical moments:

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

From New Amsterdam to New York
Learn about the roots of contemporary New York City by examining objects made by and for Dutch colonizers.

African American Art
Learn how African American artists past and present use art to explore their identity, and consider how black artists strove to find their place in the American society.

First Inhabitants: Arts of North, Central, and South America
Learn about the historic and contemporary practices of indigenous artists from the Americas. Explore how art intersects with technology, history, and belief systems.

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