Back to school: Some of the country’s best cultural organizations offer resources to enliven virtual classrooms

As many educators – including parents as well as professionals – adapt to the new normal of remote learning, online offerings from cultural institutions can enhance the experience with rich content and interactive tools. These resources at organizations supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies are available for students of all ages and can be especially useful at a time when it can be hard to build classroom cohesion and field trips aren’t possible.

For Civics Teachers:

Immerse your students in the immigrant experience with the Museum of Chinese in America

The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is committed to bringing Chinese-American history and culture to students with its educator-led virtual school programs, available for students in grades K-12. Topics range from culture and cuisine, like the Customs & Traditions: Dimsum, Dumplings and Duck tour, geared toward students in grades K-5, to discussions pulled directly from today’s headlines, like the “I am Not a Virus”: Revisiting the Perpetual Foreigner Stereotype in the Time of COVID-19 tour, geared toward students in grades 9-12.

MOCA is also offering virtual tours of its latest exhibition “With a Single Step: Stories in the Making of America”. Through this exhibit, students can examine the immigrant experience through primary sources and personal stories that reveal the impact of Chinese-Americans on U.S. history and culture.

For Physical Education, Dance, and Theater Teachers:

Get the class dancing with the New Victory Theater’s online programs

Although many in-person performing arts experiences may be on pause, New York’s New Victory Theater continues to bring the arts to kids through its virtual resources. New Victory Dance 2020 is available for children ages 8 years old and up and features some of New York City’s most exciting dance companies performing pre-recorded videos, some of which include at-home dance activities for families.

New Victory Arts Break is also available for teachers looking to incorporate performance into their online learning, with dance and production guides for elementary school students that include a tour of performing arts around the world, training in set and costume design, as well as an introduction to tap dance for children ages 6 to 13 years old.

For Science Teachers:

Design STEAM prototypes with the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and take field trips with the American Museum of Natural History

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s online collection allows students to create their own prototypes and experience the design genius behind next-generation science. The STEAM-related Design Object Collections features a “Design a Green Roof” guide for elementary school students with instructions for building their own green roof garden. For middle and high school students, the collection also features a spotlight on women designers, which explores the lives and work of many pioneering women who transformed industry and art through their innovations.

The iconic American Museum of Natural History offers a host of educational online exhibits and offerings for all ages. The museum’s Virtual Field Trips feature online activities including the Butterfly Conservatory for grades K-2, activities on the Hall of Planet Earth for grades 6-8, and activities centered on the Hall of Human Origins for grades 9-12.

For Visual Art Teachers:

Let your students’ creativity run wild with KID SmART

New Orleans-based KID smART is keeping kids’ creative juices flowing with its interactive digital content. The Art Apart series, a creative e-learning series for K-8th graders,  features New Orleans artists leading hands-on activities, read-alouds, movement exercises, and other projects for teachers to explore. Tune in for a new video premier of Art Apart every weekday morning on KID smART’s YouTube channel, artist blog, and Facebook page.

Teachers can also use KID smART’s social emotional literacy curriculum and lessons about New Orleans’ vibrant culture to enhance their arts and cultural education programs.

For Music and Poetry Teachers:

Take a closer look at performance with the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)

The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)’s bounty of virtual programs for grades K-12 makes music and poetry accessible in both online and in-person classrooms. Each high-definition video performance is tailored for academic study and is accompanied by an interactive workshop led by a BAM teaching artist, giving students the chance to enhance their understanding of the piece. Videos cover a variety of subjects including Senegalese Dance and Music (grades K-12) and Poetry as Protest and Empowerment (grades 9-12).

For more ideas…

Creative digital resources like these allow teachers and students to experience the rich educational resources offered by cultural organizations no matter where this academic year takes them. Check out additional virtual cultural resources by downloading our Bloomberg Connects app. A free digital guide to cultural organizations around the world, Bloomberg Connects makes it easy to access and engage with arts and culture from mobile devices, anytime, anywhere. Download the app via the App Store or Google Play.