Discover / Teacher Resources

Teaching the Arts

Each Teaching the Arts feature presents an in-depth look at artworks in Mia’s collection from the point of view of a monthly theme.

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Activities and Scavenger Hunts for Self-guided Groups

SelfGuidedTour_LearningLookingThese activities for self-guided groups are designed to be used by a teacher or chaperone to facilitate a conversation about artworks with students. Alternatively, students can use these individually to guide looking and study as long as the chaperone remains with them at all times.

Download Activities »

Reservations are required for all school groups. Please be sure that you have reserved your self-guided tour by completing the online request to assure space is available for your group.

Preschool Tours

Artful Stories: A Preschool Tour Experience

You are never too young toPicture1 enjoy Mia! These forty-five minute themed gallery experiences incorporate engagement with artworks in the museum galleries, illustrated storybooks, songs and rhymes, movement, looking and hands-on activities. These lively tours are designed especially for 3- to 5-year-olds. One adult chaperone is required for every 3-5 children on a guided tour.

Artful Stories themes include: Alphabet, Animals, Butterflies, Color, Feelings, Gardens, Hide and Seek, Opposites, Patterns, Primary Colors, and Shapes.

To request an Artful Stories tour:

After your Artful Stories tour, download a follow-up worksheet:

Animal AdventureArt and the AlphabetArtful OppositesColor MixingColorsFeelings and EmotionsGrowing a GardenHide and SeekInsects and SymmetryPicturing a PostcardPretty PatternsSelf-PortraitShape and Color

"Full STEAM Ahead" tours for K-5 students

lin160722_steam-kindercoverKindergarten: Weather and Seasons

Sort pictures, explore colors, play “I spy” and draw a picture of yourself.

lin160722_steam-firstrcoverFirst grade: Birds and Their Adaptations

Compare pictures of real birds with artworks, measure heights in hummingbirds, make pictures from composite shapes, and draw a bird in its habitat.

lin160722_steam-secondrcoverSecond grade: Plants

Explore scientific and imaginary plants in art from around the world, measure, and draw your own still life-bugs optional!

lin160722_steam-thirdcoverThird grade: Scientific Inquiry-Animals

Observe, inquire, measure, and record as you explore creatures from around the world and make your own scientific drawing of an animal.

lin160722_steam-fourthcoverFourth grade: The Design Process-Chairs

Use the design process-ask, imagine, plan, create, and improve-to sketch a unique chair for someone you know.

lin160722_steam-fifthcoverFifth grade: Architecture

Observe and explore Mia’s architecture and period rooms, solve architectural math problems, and create a floor plan for a building in your neighborhood.

Curriculum Materials



 These experimental lessons are created by members of the 2013–14 cohort of the Twin Cities Teacher Collaborative (TC2), an urban teacher residency that prepares mathematics and science teachers for the classroom. TC2 residents incorporated artworks from the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s collection into original lessons that can be taught in your classroom; some can also be taught in Mia’s galleries. Where relevant, the lessons include Minnesota academic standards and the benchmarks they support.


STEAM Lessons

Mexican Prints

mexican_prints_pdfMexican Prints at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Obra Gráfica Mexicana en el Instituto de Arte de Minneapolis) provides a close-up look at fourteen prints from the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) made by a selection of Mexico’s leading artists from 1890 to 2010. This resource is designed to be relevant to visual arts, social studies, English language arts, Spanish language, and interdisciplinary lessons for students in grades 6 to 12. Guiding questions and activities encourage students to look closely at, analyze, and communicate about each of the works of art using various methods ranging from discussion and writing to art creation.

These materials are not designed as a curriculum of sequenced lessons. Instead, the components are intended as springboards for you to integrate into your curriculum or use as a discrete lesson plan to challenge your students and meet their curricular needs. We have provided a list of Minnesota state standards that can be supported by using these materials.

Reproduction, including downloading of the individual image files of Toledo, Jiménez, Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros, and Cuevas works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Mexican Prints single-page format (English) »
Mexican Prints book format (English) »
Mexican Prints single-page format (Spanish) »
Mexican Prints book format (Spanish) »

Additional Resources

MIA Inside/Out: The Battle of Everyouth

mia_inside_out_pdfThis new curriculum guide is a resource for 8th-12th-grade educators of English Language Arts, Geography, and Visual Arts. These materials are not a traditional curriculum, but rather a springboard for teachers to design their own units around these big questions: Violence & Me, The Collateral Damage of Violent Conflict, Non-Violence — Is It Humanly Possible?, Artists on the Subject of Violence & War, and Faith, Loyalty, Pride, Morality, Security & Violence. The units and learning activities contextualize the museum resources provided, including high-resolution images, background information, and discussion questions for 15 artworks from the MIA’s collection.

Battle of Everyouth single-page format »
Battle of Everyouth book format »

Art of the Native Americans: Thaw Collection

thaw_collection_pdfDownload classroom curriculum and high-quality images from the Fenimore Art Museum and Mia’s permanent collection.

Visit the Thaw Collection online »

Creative Connections

Creative Connections is a new way to teach and learn about art—from your phone, tablet, or desktop.

Creative Connections: Equestrian Rider

Art Adventure

The Art Adventure Program introduces K-6 students to works of art from a variety of cultures. Trained school volunteers visit classrooms with posters of art relating to a common theme, such animals, celebrations, or relationships. For information on how your school can join the program, call (612) 870-3056.

Learn more »

Contact Us

Have questions about our teacher resources or interested in a custom consultation? Email or call (612) 870-3206.