Get Smart with Art

Get Smart with Art is a three part program for grades 4–12 that supports the California state content standards in language arts, social studies and visual arts. The program includes free curriculum materials with easy to implement preparatory lessons, a guided tour and thematic art activity.

Prior to the museum trip, teachers are asked to prepare students with free sample Get Smart with Art lessons. Docent tours through the galleries highlight works studied in the classroom and encourage dialogue about the art and cultures represented. In the art studio, students explore key artistic concepts through a range of materials that connect to the artwork they've seen in both the classroom and the galleries.

Schedule a visit

The Get Smart with Art curriculum is included in your school program reservation and will be sent with your reservation confirmation.

Or order your Get Smart with Art curriculum by downloading and printing our PDF order form.

Questions? Email schooltours@famsf.org or call 415.750.7696.

To discuss California history is to explore the multiple layers of cultural heritage that comprise the fascinating story of our state. Focusing on the mid–to–late nineteenth century, the ten objects presented in this guide address the growth of Euro–American settlements in the California region, technological advancements such as the Transcontinental Railroad, and the great wealth produced by western mining operations.
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The works of art presented in this guide offer students an introduction to American history as represented by the collections of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Each object is treated as a primary source; we encourage students to use their critical thinking skills to interpret the clues imbedded in each of the objects. Students will have the opportunity to “explore” the development of colonial government in New Spain, the changing communities of Boston, as well as learn about the political tensions that ultimately lead to the American Revolution.
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This curriculum guide seeks to expand student understanding of the cultural climates that stimulated the growth of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. As objects of personal devotion, displays of state power, or funerary implements, art played an important role in the development and organization of these cultures. Incorporating these lessons in your classroom will help enliven historical studies, foster interdisciplinary comprehension, and encourage students to recognize the direct influences of the past on the present.
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AfricaAfrica is a vast continent made up of more than fifty countries with many different climates and types of land: hot savannas, deserts, green rain forests, large river valleys and snow-covered mountains. The Niger, the Nile, and the Congo are Africa’s three major rivers. Africa is inhabited by a greater variety of ethnic groups (or peoples) than any other continent. These groups speak hundreds of languages, practice diverse religions and customs, and—of course—create a wide variety of art.Download a preview:
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The objects presented in this curriculum guide will help students trace the vast economic, social and political changes that swept over the nation during the nineteenth century. Students will study the growth of transportation such as the Delaware & Hudson Canal and the Midwestern steamboats, which traveled along the Missouri River. Students will also learn about the diverse challenges overcome by African Americans both before and during the Civil War.
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Art has the power to illuminate, inform, and enrich one’s perspective, leading the viewer to analyze, question, and hypothesize. Each person’s point of view is highly subjective and individual. The way a particular artist views an event or an issue is strongly influenced by personal background, lived experiences, place of origin, and choice of medium. The fifteen pieces included in this curriculum entitled “Site in Sight,” are connected by the individual voice of each artist examining his or her unique perspective of a concept, place, time, or idea.
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Get Smart with Art is made possible with support from the William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation and Daphne and Stuart Wells.

William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation

Past and Present: Building Museum Literacy at the Legion of Honor is made possible with support from the Belvedere-Tiburon Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums, Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation, Pam Earing and Jeff Thomas, Elios Charitable Foundation, Sato Foundation, Douglas Tilden and Teresa Keller, and an anonymous donor.

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