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Bound for Glory: America in Color - Library of Congress

Grades
8 to 12
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This online exhibition from the Library of Congress features more than 70 color photographs - taken between 1939 and 1943 - that vividly capture the effects of the Great Depression...more
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This online exhibition from the Library of Congress features more than 70 color photographs - taken between 1939 and 1943 - that vividly capture the effects of the Great Depression on rural and small-town America and highlight the economic growth that preceded World War II. This is great visual resource for a 20th century American history class. Photography students can use the site to examine how the "Kodachrome" era changed the way we view our collective past.

tag(s): great depression (24), photography (160)

In the Classroom

It's interesting how viewing the images in color makes the viewer feel as though the Great Depression was something far more recent - perhaps due to the dated feeling of black and white images. In a discussion of the Great Depression, spend some time comparing these images and the traditional black and white images seen on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Ask students about the differences and if one is more revealing or not. This can also lead into a discussion on the reliability of primary sources and the effects of seeing something rather than reading it.

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Eyes on Art

Grades
2 to 12
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This beautifully designed site offers five interactive activities that progressively challenge students to connect with, respond to, and interpret the visual arts. A detailed Teacher's...more
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This beautifully designed site offers five interactive activities that progressively challenge students to connect with, respond to, and interpret the visual arts. A detailed Teacher's Guide provides directions for implementing each lesson. There are outstanding tools here for developing affective and critical thinking skills in students of all levels - from elementary to high school. Also includes an interactive quiz.

tag(s): webquests (29)

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Winslow Homer in the National Gallery of Art - National Gallery of Art

Grades
8 to 12
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This site is a companion to an exhibit of oil paintings, watercolors, drawings and prints by American artist Winslow Homer. The exhibit spans his career from early oil paintings of...more
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This site is a companion to an exhibit of oil paintings, watercolors, drawings and prints by American artist Winslow Homer. The exhibit spans his career from early oil paintings of the Civil War era and classic images of 19th century American life through his late watercolors of sea scenes. Also includes biographic information with video clips and a visual chronology of works.

tag(s): artists (75)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have students go through the slide show and then select one image to analyze. Have students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to narrate the photo as if it is a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.

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Thirty Days of Crafts - Scripps Network, Inc.

Grades
2 to 6
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During each day of the holiday season, this interactive "advent style" calendar reveals a different type of hands-on craft that is perfect for the elementary classroom. Tap into this...more
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During each day of the holiday season, this interactive "advent style" calendar reveals a different type of hands-on craft that is perfect for the elementary classroom. Tap into this resource for some unique ways to celebrate this time of year.

tag(s): christmas (64), holidays (147)

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Counting Crows - Kennedy Center

Grades
1 to 4
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Add an interdisciplinary twist to one of Aesop's fables with this clever lesson plan. After listening to or reading "The Crow and the Pitcher," students discuss its moral and meaning,...more
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Add an interdisciplinary twist to one of Aesop's fables with this clever lesson plan. After listening to or reading "The Crow and the Pitcher," students discuss its moral and meaning, design an original puppet for use in acting out the fable, and make and test predictions about the number of pebbles needed by Crow to access the water.

tag(s): counting (120), folktales (65)

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Van Gogh's Letters - WebExhibits

Grades
9 to 12
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Browse through this wonderful collection of personal letters - unabridged and annotated - that Van Gogh penned to his brother, Theo, and gain a new perspective on the man and ...more
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Browse through this wonderful collection of personal letters - unabridged and annotated - that Van Gogh penned to his brother, Theo, and gain a new perspective on the man and the artist. Search by theme (love, loneliness, family, etc.) or keyword.

tag(s): van gogh (8)

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A Brush with Wildlife - National Museum of Wildlife Art

Grades
7 to 12
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This elegantly designed site illustrates the importance of balance, contrast, movement, and proportion to a work of art. Part tutorial, part interactive tool, the site features a "make...more
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This elegantly designed site illustrates the importance of balance, contrast, movement, and proportion to a work of art. Part tutorial, part interactive tool, the site features a "make your own masterpiece" option in which students can select a background, add resizable subjects, and submit for critique. Includes an excellent Teacher Guide that provides interdisciplinary connections.

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California's Gold Rush - Oakland Museum

Grades
4 to 8
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The Oakland Museum offers this collection of "untold stories" about the gold rush in California. The site includes lesson plans linked to California standards, sections on art; natives...more
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The Oakland Museum offers this collection of "untold stories" about the gold rush in California. The site includes lesson plans linked to California standards, sections on art; natives and immigrants; and more. Lots of possibilities if you're in California, and a great addition to a unit on westward exploration for others.

tag(s): california (27), gold rush (19), native americans (78)

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Explore Creativity - PBS

Grades
1 to 3
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This virtual playground is filled with motivating, interactive activities that challenge the creativity and problem-solving skills of your early elementary students. Organized into...more
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This virtual playground is filled with motivating, interactive activities that challenge the creativity and problem-solving skills of your early elementary students. Organized into three main topics, based on the nature of creative development they promote, each activity is paired with outstanding resources for parents and teachers. These include suggestions for open-ended questions, discussions on how the activities relate to key academic disciplines, and links to resources that will extend and enrich students' creative experiences. The site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): creativity (109)

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My Back-to-School Book - I Love That Teaching Idea!

Grades
1 to 2
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Print out this book template and let your students' creativity take over as they use pictures and words to describe their new school year. This is a great student-centered project ...more
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Print out this book template and let your students' creativity take over as they use pictures and words to describe their new school year. This is a great student-centered project to display for back-to-school night. This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): back to school (58)

In the Classroom

Use this activity during the first week of school. Have students share their books with the rest of the class. Be sure to save these books for back-to-school night or even create a bulletin board highlighting the books.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Clay Studio - Mint Museums / Public Library of Charlotte

Grades
4 to 8
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Before turning your students loose in the art room, give them some virtual hands-on experience with this outstanding online art studio. The most impressive feature on the site is the...more
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Before turning your students loose in the art room, give them some virtual hands-on experience with this outstanding online art studio. The most impressive feature on the site is the "pot throw," which actively involves students in each step of the artistic process. Mistakes and misjudgments are allowed, and help is always one mouse click away. After forming the pot, students can glaze it, place it in the kiln, set the temperature, and await their finished creation. Instructions for creating a coil pot and slab self-portrait are also included. Just for fun, students can try out the interactive "Build a Face Jug" activity.

tag(s): ceramics (5)

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Color Me Happy: Color, Mood, Tone - EDSITEment

Grades
9 to 12
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This art-based lesson plan examines how artists use color to set the tone of a painting or convey a specific mood. After identifying color schemes in a variety of paintings, ...more
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This art-based lesson plan examines how artists use color to set the tone of a painting or convey a specific mood. After identifying color schemes in a variety of paintings, students are asked to discuss the resulting impact to the viewer and the role played by cools vs. warm colors.

tag(s): colors (79)

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Seeing Geometry in Art - NCTM

Grades
4 to 6
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Reinforce knowledge and awareness of geometric shapes with this art-based math lesson. Using works by Kandinsky, students must analyze and list all of the shapes they can find in a...more
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Reinforce knowledge and awareness of geometric shapes with this art-based math lesson. Using works by Kandinsky, students must analyze and list all of the shapes they can find in a series of paintings, compare their findings, and discuss the reasons why an artist might choose to consistently repeat certain shapes. Great interdisciplinary review activity. Aligned to National Standards.

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Allegory in Painting - EDSITEment

Grades
9 to 12
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Help students understand the concept of allegory in the visual arts with this lesson plan that examines the works of artists like Thomas Cole and Caravaggio. Using thought-provoking...more
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Help students understand the concept of allegory in the visual arts with this lesson plan that examines the works of artists like Thomas Cole and Caravaggio. Using thought-provoking questions and well-organized activities, the plan guides students through the process of recognizing and interpreting allegorical images. Links to art images and supporting materials are included. Aligned to National Standards.

tag(s): images (265)

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Adjective Monster - Kennedy Center

Grades
1 to 4
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Make a connection between art and literature with this clever lesson plan that helps students understand how both are used to relate experiences and express emotions. After reading...more
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Make a connection between art and literature with this clever lesson plan that helps students understand how both are used to relate experiences and express emotions. After reading Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley, students will learn about descriptive words and choose an adjective to describe an original monster they have created. After creating their monster's face using paper sculpting techniques, they will learn to identify basic geometric shapes. An assessment rubric and extension activities are provided. Aligned to national Standards.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plan hosted by the Kennedy Center. Be sure to save the site as a favorite on your classroom desktop, allowing for easy reference later on.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words - IRA/NCTE

Grades
6 to 8
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Improve writing skills while tapping into art and critical thinking skills. This lesson plan takes students to virtual art galleries, guides them through a brainstorming exercise, then...more
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Improve writing skills while tapping into art and critical thinking skills. This lesson plan takes students to virtual art galleries, guides them through a brainstorming exercise, then challenges them to analyze character, setting, situation, and vocabulary, before creating an original story. A nice activity for exploring connections between images and words, and learning characteristics of narrative writing.

tag(s): narrative (24), vocabulary (324), writing (358)

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Monsters - Kennedy Center

Grades
9 to 12
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Using art, music, and literary classics, students explore the idea of "monsters" in society, analyze how they are portrayed, the purpose they serve, and why they are necessary. After...more
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Using art, music, and literary classics, students explore the idea of "monsters" in society, analyze how they are portrayed, the purpose they serve, and why they are necessary. After an introductory brainstorming activity, students read Beowulf and Grendel, watch and listen to snatches of monster-inspired music (Danse Macabre and Night on Bald Mountain), then apply research skills to design and present their own conceptual monster. Includes an assessment rubric, links to multimedia resources, and extension activities.

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Eye of Science

Grades
9 to 12
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Science and art are more closely related than you might suppose. To prove it, visit this breathtaking site that features scientific photographs of items found in the microscopic world....more
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Science and art are more closely related than you might suppose. To prove it, visit this breathtaking site that features scientific photographs of items found in the microscopic world. Click on the "Gallery" to view the images (which include E. coli, marigold petal hairs, and compost heap fungus - to name a few), then visit the "Equipment" link to find out what was used to create them. Also available in German.

tag(s): images (265), photography (160)

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Color Matters - J. L. Morton

Grades
9 to 12
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This interdisciplinary site - loaded with facts and real-life scenarios - explores the physiology, psychology, art, and philosophy of color. Find out how color affects our mind, health,...more
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This interdisciplinary site - loaded with facts and real-life scenarios - explores the physiology, psychology, art, and philosophy of color. Find out how color affects our mind, health, environment and society. Includes a discussion board, so monitor accordingly.

tag(s): colors (79), psychology (64)

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Make a Splash with Color - Tech Museum of Innovation

Grades
6 to 8
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This entertaining site explores the "ingredients" of color, the role of the eye in perceiving color, the properties of light, and the visible spectrum. Organized as a three-part tutorial,...more
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This entertaining site explores the "ingredients" of color, the role of the eye in perceiving color, the properties of light, and the visible spectrum. Organized as a three-part tutorial, the site provides easy-to-understand explanations, interactive components, and nice graphics. You might want to create a simple Web hunt to guide your students through the main points of each section.

tag(s): colors (79), light (46), senses (28)

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