Parents and Educators Guide


Welcome to Meet Me at Midnight, an interactive adventure set in the Smithsonian American Art Museum (American Art). Our goal is to introduce youngsters to American art and artists using examples from our collection. We also aim to teach art terms and concepts in a fun, game-based setting. We hope this Web site will encourage you to take children to the Smithsonian American Art Museum—or to an art museum in your hometown.

How to Use This Site

Meet Me at Midnight was developed primarily for children between the ages of eight and ten(approximately third to fifth grades). Younger children with advanced reading skills might also benefit. If you would like to share this site with kids who cannot read by themselves, you can treat it like an online comic book and read aloud. Users can hit the "reload" button to replay any scene. This feature is especially useful for practicing reading skills or repeating game play.

Each avatar from the "treasure chest" takes visitors on a different adventure. The coyote teaches about sculpture; the Headless Horseman, about landscape; and the ballerina, about light. Every story takes place in five sequential galleries—each hosting either a puzzle or an artist-match game. The five gallery topics always follow the same order—media, technique, design, purpose, and culture.

To see what content and artwork we feature in each gallery, please see Links to Learning Elements. Educators can use this feature to present particular topics in their classrooms—or to use the site in nonlinear order.

At the end of game play in the first four galleries, visitors can choose to quit or continue. If quitting, they should remember to note the "code," so they can return to that point later. Click the prompt on the homepage called "Know a code?" to return.