Teacher Workshops

Workshops are designed to help teachers find meaning and pleasure in the visual arts. These programs introduce art in the Gallery's collection and special exhibitions, explore interdisciplinary curriculum connections, and model methods for teaching with art. All programs include teaching resource materials.

Teachers of all subjects (pre-kindergarten through grade 12), homeschoolers, and pre-service educators are welcome. Space is limited, so please register early.

J. Carter Brown Memorial Evening with Educators

Shaw Memorial, 1900, Saint-Gaudens

Tell It with Pride
The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Shaw Memorial
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
4:00–7:30 p.m.

This evening event celebrates the exhibition Tell it with Pride, which focuses on the legendary Massachusetts 54th Volunteer Infantry — one of the first regiments of African American soldiers formed during the Civil War, whose heroism was dramatized in the 1989 film Glory. Take a tour of the exhibition and view sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ iconic memorial to the 54th. See early photographic portraits of soldiers, recruiters (Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth), and nurses and guides (Clara Barton, Harriet Tubman). A selection of works by modern artists inspired by the 54th attests to the regiment’s enduring legacy. The evening also includes a performance of Forward 54th!, a theatrical retelling of the regiment’s heroic attempt to capture Fort Wagner in Charleston harbor on July 18, 1863. History comes to life through the dramatic recreation of events as seen by four different witnesses to this epic Civil War battle. Don’t miss this evening of art, education activities, food, and fun!

After-School Weekday Workshops

The Thinker (Le Penseur), model 1880, cast 1901, Auguste Rodin

Learning, Arts, and the Brain
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Repeat date: Wednesday, February 5, 2014
4:00–6:30 p.m.

Discover what the emerging field of neuro-education reveals about how the arts affect cognitive development.  Learn about the Neuro-Education Initiative of the Johns Hopkins University School of Education and the critical skills that arts-based learning is known to promote—collaboration, creative problem solving, and the ability to apply learning across different disciplines. This workshop reviews recent research, argues the importance of integrated arts education, and provides practical strategies for classroom use.

Untitled, 1942, Arthur Dove

Haiku as Verbal Sketching
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Repeat date: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
4:00–6:30 p.m.

Explore practical strategies for connecting poetry and art through a creative interplay of word and image. Instructors demonstrate how to compose haiku using works of art to elicit a poetic feeling or image that may be captured through sensory language and verse.  After engaging the artwork through careful observation, description, and written interpretation, workshop participants edit and refine their haiku through a collaborative process. This interdisciplinary workshop is ideally suited to any educator seeking to strengthen student skills in visual analysis, creative writing, editing, and critical judgment.

Saturday Workshops


Journaling: From Museum to Classroom
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Repeat date: Saturday, March 15, 2014
10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

As metacognitive processes assume greater importance in education, journaling can be an invaluable practice that encourages students to reflect on their own thinking and learning. Student journals can also help teachers assess comprehension and growth. This workshop models ways to engage art on a deep and meaningful level by using both visual and verbal language skills. Through discussion, writing, and visual note-taking activities, this workshop demonstrates how teachers of all subjects and grades can benefit from incorporating journaling techniques into their personal and professional lives.

Boy in a Red Waistcoat, 1888-1890, Paul Cézanne

Using Visual Art to Write Monologues
Saturday, February 8, 2014
Repeat date: Saturday, March 1, 2014
10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

National award-winning playwright, director, and educator Mary Hall Surface models ways to help students imagine, improvise, and write monologues based on works of visual art. Teachers discover how to look beyond the surface of an image to search for the deeper meaning, or subtext, of a narrative or character.  This cross-curricular workshop is particularly well suited to teachers of language arts and drama in middle and high school.


Workshop registration is now open.


If you are unable to attend a program for which you are registered, please call (202) 842-6796 or e-mail teacher@nga.gov so that we may accommodate teachers on the waiting list.


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