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Free Online Art Learning Resources for Students and Teachers

Did you know that the National Gallery of Art offers free learning resources and programs for audiences of all ages? 

To support teachers, parents and caregivers, and students, our educators created this selection of activities. Use these lesson plans, films, and other materials to explore art with kids of all ages, from preschoolers to high schoolers.

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1. Art Tales for Pre-K

Ages 4–6 

Inspire creativity in your pre-K and kindergarten-aged kids through hands-on art activities and children’s books suggestions. Download coloring pages of works in the National Gallery’s collection for extra fun!  

Disponible en español.

 

2. Process and Product

Ages 10–14

Explore different forms of artmaking and find inspiration to build your artistic skills. This resource features videos with contemporary artists, easy-to-follow explainers for artistic techniques, and lessons for beginner experimentation.

 

3. Afro Atlantic Histories: Teaching the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Ages 14–18

Use art to teach the transatlantic slave trade and its legacies. This resource, created by the National Gallery and National Endowment for the Humanities, provides art and history educators with inspiration and tools to help students build historical thinking.

Available on both nga.gov and edsitement.neh.gov, it pairs works from the National Gallery’s collection with discussion questions, curriculum connections, and in-depth activities.

 

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4. Uncovering America

Ages 5–18

Uncover what it means to be American through art at the National Gallery. Find stories of creativity, struggle, and resilience. This set of resources for K–12 educators features works that reflect the richness and diversity of the people, places, and cultures of the United States.

Encourage creative, critical, and historical thinking in your students as you examine works of art from the country’s creation to the present day. Fifteen thematic modules include Expressing the IndividualPeople and the Environment, and Activism and Protest.

 

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5.  Children’s Video Tours

Ages 4–18

These 50 video tours allow you to take a closer look together. Explore paintings, people, places, and surprising scenes from distant lands and times.

Check out more educational videos.

 

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6. An Eye for Art: Focusing on Great Artists and Their Work

Ages 5–12

This family-oriented art resource introduces children to more than 50 great artists and their work. Corresponding activities inspire artistic development, focused looking, and creative writing.

Discover different periods and themes: Studying Nature, Exploring Places, Examining Portraits, Telling Stories, Observing Everyday Life, Questioning Traditions, and Playing with Space. Individual sections are available for PDF download.

 

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7. Look Together

Ages 4–18

Use these online conversation starters to connect with art—and with one another. This resource guides you in selecting a work of art, sharing your observations, and making comparisons together.

Disponible en español.

 

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8. NGAkids App for iPad

Ages 5–12

The NGAkids Art Zone app features eight interactive activities that draw upon works in the National Gallery’s collection. Kids can use the sketchbook for freehand drawing and the personal exhibition space to save and display the art they create. The emphasis on discovery, careful looking, and artistic self-expression make this app educational and fun for the whole family.

 

9. Grades 3 to 5 Lessons and Activities

Ages 8–11

These expanded lessons connect art with writing, math, science, and history. For example, in Homer in the Bahamas, students learn about the life of painter Winslow Homer, research possible waterway pollutants, and write a journal entry imagining daily life in this setting.

 

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10. Streaming Video: “Stuart Davis: In Full Swing”

Ages 12–18

Narrated by actor John Lithgow, this 30-minute, closed-captioned documentary introduces students to American artist Stuart Davis. Davis’s exuberant, colorful works echo the rhythms of jazz, his lifelong passion, and capture the dynamic American art scene. The film includes original footage shot on location in New York and Gloucester, Massachusetts; interviews; images of Davis’s paintings; and archival footage and photographs of the artist.