“SmARTKids” offers a colorful palette of art appreciation activities

SmARTKids is a highly interactive internet resource that encourages students to think about and respond creatively to art. From the University of Chicago’s David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, this fully animated web site invites students to tour an art museum and ask questions about the works on display. Students are encouraged to think creatively and view the artwork from different perspectives. While the web site does not offer prewritten lesson plans for teachers, it does offer a variety of work sheets and hands-on activities that can be printed and distributed in the classroom. Other features, including “Look and Share” and “Art Studio,” provide virtual demonstrations of art processes such as oil painting, ceramics, and photography. If art’s role in society is your focus, try the “Art Detective.” This interactive game helps children explore the rich and storied connection between art and culture. Other tools include a vocabulary section where students can brush up on art history and related terms, as well as an online journal for recording their thoughts.

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