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.

A man wearing an ornate headdress and necklaces looks to the side

Activity: Make Your Own Portrait Gallery

Our collection is full of interesting portraits! Explore four examples from the collection, then create your own portrait gallery from home featuring yourself and those around you.

A pattern with lines and eyes.

Activity: Create a Painting Inspired by Ruth Root

Ruth Root is known for the ways she plays with shapes, color, and materials in her work to create interesting patterns. Watch a video with the artist, then create a Ruth Root–inspired work of your own!

Painting depicting young woman taking a break with hands resting on top end of a pitch-fork

Lesson: Retell the Story

In this lesson, students will be learning about and discussing the role artists played in depicting the working-class citizens (proletariat) of France during the mid-19th century. Students will write short responses based on prompts and historical information. Students will attempt to decipher whether an artist is being “sentimental” about their subject matter or whether they are portraying them “as they are.”

Painting of family gathered on hilltop with smoking ruins in the background

Lesson: Outside the Frame

In this lesson, students will be observing and discussing visual details such as mood and action found in the artwork. Using Family, Taken Captive by the Indians by Trevor McClurg as an example, students will write about what is happening “outside the frame” based on interpretation and/or research.

Collage depicting abstract city scape with figures and smoke stacks

Lesson: A Day in the Life

In this lesson, students will observe and discuss the visual details such as color and action found Pittsburgh Memories by Romare Bearden. Students will then write a “day in the life” story about one of the characters in the collage.