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Before, after, or even instead of a Museum tour, visit us from your classroom! Our award-winning Distance Learning virtual lessons provide engaging, highly interactive learning experiences, ideal for the 21st-century classroom. Using videoconferencing technology, we bring the Museum to you as a stand-alone lesson or in conjunction with an on-site Museum visit. Our lessons are designed to fit seamlessly into almost any area of classroom curricula and all lessons are aligned with Pennsylvania and Common Core state standards.

Correlations between Museum lessons and Academic Standards:
Pennsylvania State Standards | NJ State Standards | Common Core State Standards

Lessons for Preschool-Kindergarten

Lessons run 30 minutes
  • A is for Art Museum
    Inspired by the Museum’s children’s book, this lesson offers a fun, alphabetical introduction to the collections, elaborating on the works featured in the book through games, activities, and additional images of the works.
  • Art Museum Opposites
    This lesson uses the Museum’s second children’s book as a springboard for talking about art by comparing and contrasting, and elaborates on the works featured in the book through games, activities, and additional images of the works.
  • Art Stories: Cassie’s Word Quilt
    Explore the book Cassie’s Word Quilt and related works of art by the artist, author, and illustrator Faith Ringgold.
  • Art Stories: Van Gogh and the Sunflowers
    Explore the book Van Gogh and the Sunflowers to see the inspiration behind one of the museum’s most treasured works of art.


Lessons for Grades K–2

Lessons run up to 40 minutes, depending on your class time
  • Learning to Look
    Students utilize visual perception skills and learn specific strategies for looking at and understanding works of art.
  • Stories in Art
    Sometimes when art speaks, you want to talk back. Students join the conversation and discover the wealth of stories art can tell as they explore paintings, decorative arts, and sculpture through a variety of structured looking, writing, and role-playing activities.
  • World of Art
    Take a trip around the world with art as your guide. Students explore the art of several cultures as they journey through the Museum's period rooms and galleries. Tell us the country you are studying, and we will make sure to visit a related gallery.
  • Explore Impressionism
    Students learn about what it means to be an Impressionist artist, who these artist were and how they created their art.
  • The Art of Math
    Students explore how artists and cultures used math concepts in their art. The content of this lesson is adjusted to fit the grade level of each class. Possible topics include pattern, symmetry, shapes, estimation and weight.
  • Seasonal Lessons
    The Distance Learning Program offers seasonal lessons focused on special themes, holidays, and occasions.
    • Matters of the Art
      Celebrate Valentine's Day with a virtual field trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art! This fun and interactive lesson explores artistic celebrations of love through the ages and across cultures.
    • Fall into Art!
      Celebrate the many wonders of the fall season with the artwork of the PMA. The changing colors of the leaves, pumpkins and even a fun ghost sculpture will be discussed.
    • Summerpalooza
      This engaging and highly interactive field trip will explore the summer season including holidays, food, weather, and fun!


Lessons for Grades 3–12

Lessons run 40-60 minutes, depending on your class time
  • African American Artists
    This lesson introduces a variety of works by influential artists such as Horace Pippin, Henry Ossawa Tanner, and Elizabeth Catlett.
  • American Art
    Our American Art lessons allow students to explore history through primary sources. Each lesson focuses on a specific period in American history and uses art as a lens for discussing political, economic, and social change. Choose from one of the following time periods. Please contact us for more information.

    • From Colony to Nation
      If your class is reading Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson, let us know so that we can adapt the lesson to complement the novel.
    • 1800-1900
      Explores a diverse selection of artworks related to the Civil War, Industrial Revolution, and Gilded Age.
    • 1900-1945
      Follows the evolution of early 20th-century art and its significance in the decades surrounding the Great Depression.
    • 1945-1970
      Focuses on the development of modern art in America during the decades following World War II.
  • Art of Asia
    Students investigate and compare works of art from Asian countries including India, China, Japan, and Korea.
  • The Art of the Japanese Tea Ceremony
    Students discover the customs, aesthetics, and philosophies associated with this centuries-old tradition.
  • The Art of Math
    Students explore how artists from different eras and cultures used math concepts in their art. The content of this lesson is adjusted to fit the grade level of each class. Possible topics include pattern, symmetry, one-point perspective, and number series.
  • Days of Knights
    This lesson provides an introduction to the history, use, and aesthetics of armor used during the medieval and renaissance periods, and includes a live demonstration of armor pieces from the Museum's collection.
  • The Impressionist Era
    What makes Impressionism so intriguing? Students learn about artists such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, and Claude Monet, and their impact at the turn of the 19th century.
  • Medieval and Renaissance Art
    Students discover how art flourished in medieval Europe by studying a variety of artistic mediums that reveal clues about life in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
  • Modern and Contemporary Art
    These lessons investigate the changing role of artists, their methods, and conceptual approaches in 20th and 21st-century society. Students will interpret and analyze a variety of artworks and will discuss emergent styles of art. Older students will explore art through the social and political context of the time-range featured in the lesson. Choose from one of the following time periods. Please contact us for more information.

    • 1890–1920
      Investigates the origins of modern art in industrialized Europe of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Artists discussed may include Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, and Marcel Duchamp.
    • 1920–1945
      Follows the development of modern art and the impact that events in the world had on artists. Artists discussed may include Salvador Dalí, Paul Klee, Diego Rivera, and Georgia O'Keeffe.
    • 1945–1970
      Focuses on the evolution of modern art in the decades following World War II. Artists discussed may include Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, and Alice Neel.
    • Contemporary Art: The Art of Today
      Explores the vibrant, challenging, and ever-changing art of our time. Artists discussed may include Thomas Hirschhorn, Zoe Strauss, Sidney Goodman, Michelangelo Pistoletto, and Faith Ringgold.
  • Mythology
    For centuries, Greco-Roman mythology has shaped Western civilization. Its influence has resonated throughout history, even impacting our vocabulary. Explore these fascinating stories of epic love, heroic sacrifice, triumph, and tragedy. Due to the nature of this material, images containing nudity will be shown during this lesson.
  • Photography
    Highlighting works from the Museum's extensive photography collection, this overview lesson discusses the history of photography and shows the ways in which this medium is used to record and alter our perception of the world.
  • Pennsylvania Artists
    Explore the work of artists who call Pennsylvania home including Charles Wilson Peale, Thomas Eakins, Alexander Calder, and many more! This lesson includes artists who were working from the Colonial Era to the present.
  • Seasonal Lessons
    The Distance Learning Program offers seasonal lessons focused on special themes, holidays, and occasions.
    • Matters of the Art
      Celebrate Valentine's Day with a virtual field trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art! This fun and interactive lesson explores artistic celebrations of love through the ages and across cultures.
    • Fall into Art!
      Celebrate the many wonders of the fall season with the artwork of the PMA. The changing colors of the leaves, pumpkins and even a fun ghost sculpture will be discussed.
    • Summerpalooza
      This engaging and highly interactive field trip will explore the summer season including holidays, food, weather, and fun!
  • Spanish and Mexican Artists
    This lesson introduces students to the art of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Diego Rivera, and others whose works reflect the rich cultures of Spain and Mexico. The lesson can focus on just one country or both.
  • Special Exhibitions
    Each year the Distance Learning Program offers new lessons in conjunction with the Museum's special exhibitions.
    • Treasures from Korea: Arts and Culture from the Joseon Dynasty, 1392-1910
      Explore works of art from the current special exhibition, Treasures from Korea: Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392-1910 which celebrates the artistic achievements of the Joseon dynasty and provides a rare opportunity to see some of Korea’s masterpieces. Using a variety of objects—including painted screens, furnishings, costumes, accessories, and ritual wares— we will explore the roles of king and court, the distinct spheres of men and women in society, and religious beliefs in a fun and engaging way! Lessons begin April 1, 2014.
  • Women Artists
    This lesson introduces students to a broad range of works by influential women artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe and Faith Ringgold.


Pre- and Post-Visit Lessons

Expand the impact of your students' onsite visit by taking part in a pre- or post-visit Distance Learning lesson. Schedule your onsite tour and then book a companion lesson(s) to introduce or review your students’ Museum experience.
Cost: $50 per lesson in addition to your Museum lesson fee


Teacher Programs

Attend a Museum workshop without leaving your school. Programs include:
  • Program Overview (30 minutes)
    Do you want to learn more about how the Museum's Distance Learning programs can support and enrich learning in your classroom? This free overview for educators and administrators demonstrates the basics of virtual fieldtrips and provides an opportunity for us to answer your videoconferencing questions.
    Cost: Free
  • Learning to Look: 20 Works of Art Across Time and Cultures (1 1⁄2 hours)
    This in-service workshop introduces art from around the world as a resource for classroom learning through four themes: stories, people, things we use, and nature. The images and resources explored help teachers (K–12) motivate students to identify shapes, lines, colors, and patterns; learn new vocabulary; decode symbols; understand narrative elements and structures; formulate hypotheses; find and organize supporting evidence; tolerate and respect unfamiliar perspectives and opposing opinions; and apply math concepts to real-life situations. Up to ten kits are provided with each workshop.
    Cost: $200
  • Hands-on Teacher Workshop: Identity (1 1/2 hours)
    In this workshop, teachers will explore issues of identity through the Museum’s vast collection of portraiture and will create their own mixed media self-portraits. A materials list will be provided at the time of the workshop’s booking. Schools are responsible for providing the necessary materials.
    Cost: $150
  • Using the Visual Arts to Teach Math and Language-Arts Skills (1 1⁄2 hours)
    Works of art provide a rich ground for students to practice verbal and written language skills and math processes. Museum educators and teachers (K–12) explore writing and language exercises and math connections using images from the Museum's teaching poster sets, which can be purchased online or over the phone from the Museum Store.
    Cost: $150


Cost

$70 per 30 minute interaction (PreK-K)
$120 per 40-60 minute interaction (K-12th)
For every five lessons that a school books during the academic year, the sixth is free.


Technical Requirements

You must have an IP- or Internet2-based videoconferencing system to participate. The Museum's systems are compatible with most other videoconferencing systems, desktop programs, iPads and bridging services. The preferred minimum connection speed is 384K.


Inclement Weather Policy

In the event of extreme weather conditions, there is a possibility that your lesson may be postponed. Should this situation arise, the Museum will make every effort to give advance notice.


Videotaping Policy

If you wish to videotape any portion of your lesson, permission from the Distance Learning Staff is required in advance. Please contact the office for further details.


For more information, please contact The Division of Education by phone at (215) 684-7580, by fax at (215) 236-4063, or by e-mail at .

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