⁣⁣Lesson Plan: Exploring the Smithsonian's Museum of Asian Art: A Cultural Walking Tour

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⁣⁣Lesson Plan: Exploring the Smithsonian's Museum of Asian Art: A Cultural Walking Tour

Grade Level: K-12

Objective: By the end of this lesson, students will be able to explore the Smithsonian's Museum of Asian Art, also known as the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. Students will learn about the diverse cultures and artistic traditions of Asia while developing their observation and critical thinking skills.

Common Core Standards:
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.3: Describe the connection between a series of events, ideas, or concepts in a text.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.7: Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.

- Access to the internet or library resources
- Paper and pencils


1. Introduction (5 minutes):
- Begin the lesson by discussing the importance of cultural diversity and the significance of art in different societies.
- Show images or videos of the Smithsonian's Museum of Asian Art to capture students' interest and curiosity.

2. Research and Discussion (15 minutes):
- Instruct students to research and find information about the Smithsonian's Museum of Asian Art, its history, and the various Asian cultures represented in its collections.
- Encourage students to explore topics such as the different art forms, religious influences, and historical contexts of the artworks.
- Allow students to discuss their findings in small groups or pairs.

3. Virtual Museum Tour (15 minutes):
- Guide students through a virtual tour of the Smithsonian's Museum of Asian Art, using online resources or multimedia presentations.
- Highlight key artworks and artifacts, discussing their cultural significance and artistic techniques.

4. Class Discussion (10 minutes):
- Lead a class discussion on the main ideas and key details observed during the virtual museum tour.
- Analyze the connections between different Asian cultures and their artistic expressions, exploring themes such as religion, nature, and daily life.
- Discuss the importance of preserving and appreciating cultural heritage through art.

5. Reflection and Wrap-up (5 minutes):
- Have students individually write a short paragraph reflecting on their virtual museum tour experience and what they found most interesting or surprising.
- Allow a few students to share their reflections with the class, if time permits.

Common Core Labels Correlations:

The collections include ancient Egyptian stone sculpture and wooden objects, ancient Near Eastern ceramics and metalware, Chinese paintings and ceramics, Korean pottery and porcelain, Japanese folding screens, Persian manuscripts, and Buddhist sculpture. In addition to Asian art, the Freer also contains the famous Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (better known as The Peacock Room) by American artist James McNeill Whistler which serves as the centerpiece to the Freer's American art collection. As the national museum of Asian art, the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery preserve, exhibit, and interpret Asian art in ways that deepen our understanding of Asia, America, and the world.

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