A young girl holds a paintbrush and leans over a colorful table

Education Resources

We have a wealth of educational resources for educators, homeschooling families, and caregivers who are looking to infuse some artistic play into free time at home. Use the filters below to find resources for a variety of age groups, ranging from shorter activities to full lessons. We are updating this page every week with new activities for you!

Art Activities

These imaginative and fun activities, paired with artworks from our collection, are intended for all ages as a creative way to engage with art.

Lesson Plans

The lessons throughout Reading Art Like Text examine the intersection of text and image through examples drawn from Carnegie Museum of Art’s online collection. Lessons in this interdisciplinary curriculum engage K–12 students in the subject areas of English language arts, social studies, mathematics, and science. Many of the questions throughout, long used by museum educators, support the practice of close reading and analytical thinking as prescribed in the Common Core State Standards. This resource is intended to help teachers incorporate art into their teaching practice in ways that address those standards. Teachers should feel free to adapt these lessons to their particular needs.

*Disclaimer: All images are to be used for in-classroom, educational purposes only. Any reproduction of these images, including on the web, requires additional written permission from Carnegie Museum of Art and any applicable copyright holders.


Photo of two people on a bed looking over various unwrapped gifts

Lesson: Things People Wear

In this lesson, students will observe and discuss multiple photographs and/or paintings and identify what people are wearing and in what medium the people’s images were captured. Students will use adjectives to describe what they see and will compare some of these images to their own lives.

Still life painting with pitcher, bowls of strawberries, and plate of cheese

Lesson: Descriptive Writing with Still Life

After students learn what a still life painting is, they will observe and discuss two paintings and write a three-paragraph descriptive essay based on their observations. Students will then draw a still life based on their classmates’ descriptive essays. Afterward, students will discuss the similarities and differences between their writings, drawings, and the original paintings.

Contemporary wooden chair designed with a zig-zag shape

Lesson: Chairs in Space Design

In this lesson, students will observe and discuss a variety of chairs and determine whether they are aesthetically pleasing, supportive, and how they were constructed. Students will then do their own research and use their journals to design a chair that can withstand space travel and the atmosphere of Mars.

Painting of human face covered with a network of lines, shapes, and other forms

Lesson: Comparing Portraits

In this lesson, students will compare two portraits and write dialogue based on their observations. They will share their writing and discuss similarities and differences between the two works. Students will then write a mock commission letter to one of the artists requesting a portrait done of them.

Black and white photograph of young people hanging out

Lesson: Relating to the Urban Environment

Similar to how writers create setting through rich descriptions, artists provide details such as scenery, weather, and clothing to create setting through visual images. Students will examine a photograph of an urban scene and discuss the visual details and action found within. Students will then write a ”sense poem” based on their observations and life experiences.