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Resources: Student Activities

Photos of Clarice Smith Institute activities

These Smithsonian American Art Museum online features contain interactive activities that foster observation and critical thinking skills. Several activities provide an opportunity for inclusion of student work.

Cropped screen shot of the Civil War and American Art Timeline.

The Civil War and American Art
Explore an interactive timeline of the Civil War to see how America's artists represented the war and its aftermath.

William H. Johnson Art Class

Distance Learning Student Galleries: DoDEA and Artful Connections
Student artworks are made in reaction to the Museum's collection and demonstrate observational skills and creative thinking.

Cropped screen shot of the intro to the educational website “Picturing the 1930s.” The image links to the website.

Picturing the 1930s
Explore the 1930s through paintings, historical documents, music, and video in this virtual 3-d movie theater. Virginia Mecklenburg, Senior Curator of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, guides your visit.

Crop of Nam June Paik's “Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii.” The image links to an online activity designed to complement elementary school state history curriculum.

Superhighway Scholars
In this activity, inspired by Nam June Paik's video-sculpture of the United States, students are encouraged to create collages that represent their state, write about their experience, and submit their work to the site for display!

Cropped screen shot from the introduction to the educational website “Meet Me at Midnight.” The image links to a website where users learn art concepts as they solve a mystery.

Meet Me at Midnight
The Root Monster, a mischievous folk art sculpture, has mixed-up artworks at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Young students learn art concepts as they solve mysteries and set the museum right.

Cropped screen shot of the student podcast introduction. The image links to the student podcast program page.

Student Podcast Program
Student interpretations of our artworks demonstrate observational skill and higher order thinking. This activity can be integrated into language arts, history, and other content areas.

Screen shot of a Speaking of Pictures page featuring Abbot Handerson Thayer's “My Children.” The image links to the Speaking of Pictures program page, where observation and interpretation skills are fostered.

Speaking of Pictures
Visit Speaking of Pictures and use your mouse to reveal interesting insights and information about our artworks.

Screen shot of the Zoom It page for Margo Humphrey's “The History of Her Life Written across Her Face.” The image links to the Zoom It program page.

Zoom It
Explore the surface of our featured artworks using the "zoom" tool! You can see details that provide enjoyment and discernment.

Eve Watte's “Inedible Renwick Birthday Cake.” The artwork is featured on the Which Artist Shares Your Birthday page. The image links that page.

Who shares your birthday?
Select your birth date from the drop-down boxes and discover which artists share your birthday.