Teaching Resources

Introduce your students to the Hudson River Museum’s multidisciplinary collections and special exhibitions with our comprehensive and illustrated guides. Comprised of lesson plans and hands-on activities, our teaching resources provide useful background information and ideas for engaging students. Although generally presented in a three-session format (pre-visit, museum visit, post-visit), all lessons can be completed in the classroom or in combination with an experience at the Museum.


Photo: Yuliya Levit

The Hudson River Museum has launched an exciting new digital initiative, Museum from Home, for its audiences to virtually experience all the HRM has to offer. The new content features engaging videos, hands-on art and science activities, lesson plans for parents and teachers, and new ways to participate and explore our exhibitions and collection. In addition, live-streamed programs—including virtual tours with curators, workshops with artists, and more—are listed in our calendar.

Please check this page regularly, as we’ll be updating it with new curriculum packets as they are created. The teaching materials are designed to be useful, supportive, and enjoyable.

To learn more about the interactive, interdisciplinary tours, workshops, and planetarium shows offered for field trips and museum-school partnerships, visit our Group Visits page.

Naturalist’s Journey (Pre-K–Grade 5)

What is a naturalist? How can we use our senses to gather information about our environments? What is data, and what are different ways we can represent data? Become a data detective by analyzing collections of objects found in your home, and create a naturalist’s journal to record your observations. Includes three 20-minute activities.

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Shapes and Patterns (Pre-K–Grade 5)

What are geometric shapes? What are organic shapes? How are shapes combined to create patterns in homes and in nature? Take a close look at our historic home, Glenview, and the decorations in Red Grooms’ The Bookstore in this hour-long lesson plan. Includes three 20-minute activities.

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The Map as Art (Pre-K–Grade 12)

What is a map? What is a landscape? What are some connections we can make between maps and works of art? Experiment with one-point perspective and design your own sculptural survey. Includes two 30-minute activities.

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Daily Planet (Grades 1–6)

What are the key characteristics of the planets in our solar system? What are the visual elements of each planet? Design your own planet and imagine your home without gravity. Includes two 20–30-minute activities.

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Sky Legends (Grades 1–6)

What are constellations? How do myths develop? What changes have you noticed in the number of stars you can see since you’ve been sheltering in place? Learn how to write a myth and design your own constellation! Includes two 20–30-minute activities.

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Dreamy Landscapes (Grades 1–12)

What is a landscape? What is the Hudson River School of painting? Why is landscape art important? Write a haiku in response to a work from our permanent collection, and sketch a landscape that you love using the principles of foreground, middle ground, background, and horizon line. Includes two 20–30-minute activities.

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Derrick Adams: Buoyant (Grades 3–5)

How do you spend your free time? What brings you joy? These guiding questions are at the core of this teaching resource inspired by Derrick Adams: Buoyant. Includes two 20–30-minute activities.

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Self in the City (Grades 3–5)

How do different environments affect what you do and how you feel? What is your personal relationship to the city or place in which you live? What makes you feel at home? These are some of the essential questions explored in this teaching resource inspired by Self in the City: Highlights from the Collections of the Hudson River Museum and Art Bridges. Includes two 20–30-minute activities.

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Collection Conversations: Asher B. Durand & Alison Moritsugu (Grades 3–12)

Asher B. Durand and Alison Moritsugu made choices while creating their two very different versions of landscape paintings, but in their process they are looking for an answer to the same big questions: how has human behavior affected nature and the environment, past and present, and how can we as artists help people to think about and reflect on their own impact so we can make the best choices for the future? Experiment with painting on an unusual surface.

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Portraiture: People & Places in Time (Grades 3–12)

What is a portrait? What is a self-portrait? How does an artist use stance and expression to communicate a specific emotion or emotions in a work of portraiture? What can a portrait of a person or group of people tell us about a specific time and place? Experiment with blind contour drawing, make a self-portrait, and capture a portrait in a scene. Includes one 15-minute activity and two 20-minute activities.

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Orbits (Grades 4–12)

What are the unique properties of planets in our solar system? What are some of the types of data used by astronomers and astrophysicists when studying and analyzing space? Write an autobiography using only data, explore concepts of scale, and analyze sets of data about our planets. Includes three 30-minute activities.

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River Mapping (Grades 4–12)

What is a map? What is a map used for and who uses it? Why? Practice the art of mapmaking by creating a transit map of your interests and talents, a contour map of your room, and a panoramic map of a landmark in your life. Includes three 30-minute activities.

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Sky Legends (Grades 5–12)

What is a myth? What comparisons can be drawn between the myths of different cultures and/or the plots of popular fantasy books, movies, or TV series? What are the main components of the hero’s journey, or monomyth? Map out your own myth and then illustrate a comic strip. Includes two 30–45-minute activities.

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Collection Conversations: Hannelore Baron & Yvonne Thomas (Grades 6–12)

In a new series of teaching resources, we explore paired works from the permanent collection and imagine the conversations the artists—and their works—might have with one another across time, space, medium, and context. Hannelore Baron and Yvonne Thomas are featured artists in the exhibition Women to the Fore, and both artists are known for their experimentation in abstraction. Practice a simple abstraction exercise and experiment with the concept of synesthesia.

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Self in the City (Grades 6–12)

What is a community? How does the built environment (urban, suburban, or rural) encourage and/or discourage the formation of a community? To what communities do you belong, and in what spaces do they exist? Learn about artist Norman Lewis and poet Frank O’Hara, and try your hand at abstract drawing, collage, and poetry in this teaching resource inspired by Self in the City: Highlights from the Collections of the Hudson River Museum and Art Bridges. Includes three 30-minute activities.

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On the Homefront (Grades 7–12)

In this resource, you will find lesson plans, including discussion questions, potential student responses, and hands-on activities related to the exhibition On the Homefront: World War I Posters from the Collection. The lessons and activities are designed to be completed either in the Museum’s galleries with the original WWI posters or in the classroom with digital or print replicas.

In these lessons, students will consider how messages were communicated to the population during times of armed conflict and war. The essential idea is centered around visual communication, propaganda vs. fine art, and advertising. Lessons focus on subject areas such as graphic design, art, history, and English Language Arts.

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