The National Museum of African Art’s website is a great source to use to develop activities for your curious student, whether young or old. Browse the collection or the museum’s current and past exhibitions for inspiration.
The Griot Poetry Contest
10 At-Home Activities for K–12
Research a particular region of Africa
- Select an artwork from the museum’s collection and sketch it.
- Create a superhero based on a work of African art on the museum website. Write the story behind the character or one from the point of view of that particular object.
- Compose a story from the artist’s point of view describing the creation a particular African object. Include facts, personal thoughts, and feelings.
Explore African art through an African lens
Using the concept of a vision board and reflecting on trajectories of African cultural heritage from slavery to the present,
- select several works of decorative art (textiles, pottery, furniture, metalwork, sculpture, masks) from the exhibition Visionary: Viewpoints on Africa’s Arts,
- create a timeline, concentrating on the evolution, change, and continuity of these objects during the transatlantic slave trade (16th–19th centuries).
Make a poster board focusing on the geography of Africa
Focusing on environmental resources (land, climate change, sustainability), include a first-person account from the point of view of an art historian, archeologist, anthropologist, conservationist, scientist, ritual expert, deceased ancestor, or ecologist.
Create a power point presentation
Using inspiration from the exhibition I Am: Contemporary Women Artists of Africa, explore the evolution of African fashion and design, and how it has influenced the world. The thematic approach should be on continuity, beauty, women, status, authority, and departure.
Read a book by an African author
Need some help finding a book? The Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA) offers a list of award-winning books to choose from.
- Write a book review.
- Using text references from the literature as creative writing prompts, craft a short story.
- Discover the art of using African proverbs
Watch a film about Africa
- Write a film review.
- Create a film about an African individual who you admire or who you could imagine. Queen of Katwe and The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind are good examples for inspiration
Create a blog
- Write and post images daily about art and culture of the African diaspora. Topics could include African fashion, graphic novels, music, poetry, literature, film, dance, and the like.
- Research and read various historical descriptions expressing a diversity of attitudes towards Africa, Africans, and African art. Write a reaction to one of those viewpoints.
Compose a poem
Choose a work of art from one of the exhibitions on the museum’s website. Produce a monologue from the point of view of the object. Themes to explore could include duplicity and empowerment.
Create a virtual tour
Using Google tour creator or similar program, assemble images of African art from the DMV and around the world. Start with the objects on the museum website. Write brief narratives about the images you find.
Write a commentary
Select an artwork from one of the museum’s exhibitions (e.g., Heroes: Principles of African Greatness) online and write an opinion piece.