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NGA Kids
Interactive Learning and Creativity



NGA Kids is sponsored by the National Gallery of Art, a national art museum located in Washington, D. C. It houses one of the finest art collections in the world.  The museum has the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the Americas.

In this wonderful interactive web 2.0 site, children can explore some of the museum’s holdings online, as well as create their own art projects using the site’s interactive tools. This teacher resource is a great addition to your classroom's art supplies for kids!

NGA Kids provides a fun way for students to explore the world of art and unleash their own creativity. While most of the site’s activities focus on art appreciation, teachers can readily integrate the interactive art tools into lessons across the curriculum.

21st Century Learning Skills

Often when thinking about creativity, we think of the arts.  This site’s resources and interactive features will certainly inspire and expand students’ creativity.

When paired with learning content in social studies, science, math, and language arts, these activities can inspire creativity while developing  investigative and analytical skills. Creativity and critical thinking skills can combine with engaging art projects to strengthen 21st century learning skills.

In the Classroom

To prepare computers for the interactive tools, technical tips are provided on the left side of the site’s home page. Be sure to download the latest versions of Adobe© Shockwave, Flash, and Reader before beginning activities.

Obviously NGA Kids is a good resource for the art curriculum for upper elementary grades and beyond.

Multiple learning styles and differentiated instruction can be addressed with many of the suggested activities and interactive features.

The site's Art Zone contains the interactive art tools that can be integrated into lessons across the curriculum to promote creativity and the use of varied media.

Some classroom examples using interactives in the Art Zone-

  • During a genre study about biographies read The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau by Michelle Markel. Then have students use the interactive JUNGLE tool to create their own jungle scene. For a creative writing assignment students can compose a poem or write a story about their painting.
  • During an author study of Leo Lionni, the first children's author/illustrator to use collage as the main medium for his illustrations, let students create their own colleges using the interactive COLLAGE I and COLLAGE II tools.
  • Have students create a character and setting for a short story using the interactive FACES AND PLACES tool. Pictures can be printed and displayed with their stories.
  • Using the interactive paint programs PAINTBOX and SWATCHBOX students can illustrate a research project or original stories.
  • Have students in your STEM classes experiment building a geometric sculpture using the interactive CUBITS tool.
  • Math classes can explore shapes, patterns, and symmetry using the interactive tools WALLOVERS and 3-D TWIRLER.

Other interactive tools, along with teacher resources and lessons are available on the site.

Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Several Common Core mathematics standards in the Geometry domain can be addressed with the WALLOVERS, 3-D TWIRLER, and CUBITS tools.

Students' original art works can serve as a stimulus or prompt for creative writing assignments that support Common Core Anchor Standards in Writing.

Text Types and Purpose

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.

Production and Distribution of Writing

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.


Most of the interactive tools on NGA Kids have a short set of concise instructions at the bottom of each work place.

Security Concerns

Registration and log in is not required for this site. Students are not asked to give names or any other personal information.

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