Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery,
   The National Museum of Asian Art

The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s national museum of Asian art, are located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Committed to preserving, exhibiting and interpreting exemplary works of art, the Freer and Sackler address broad questions about culture, identity and the contemporary world. Together, the Freer and Sackler care for exceptional collections of Asian art, with more than 40,000 objects dating from the Neolithic period to today and originating from the ancient Near East to China, Japan, Korea, South and Southeast Asia, and the Islamic world. Nearly a century old, the Freer Gallery of Art also holds a significant group of American works of art largely dating to the late 19th century. It houses the world’s largest collection of diverse works by James McNeill Whistler, including the famed Peacock Room.


AHFES at Cultural Institutions


Winter Programs
Asterisk (*) indicates synchronous engagement available.

Emergence of Civilization in China:  Artifact Analysis *
In this student activity, students learn about life in early Chinese urban society by analyzing oracle bone divinations. These divinations, consisting of characters inscribed on turtle shells and animal bones over 3,000 years ago, are among the earliest systematic Chinese written language extant today. Students will answer object analysis questions, complete an activity using translations of divinations, and compare early Chinese urban society to Bronze Age societies in other parts of the world. 
Content Areas: Social Studies/ History/ Geography
Discipline: Artifact or Object Exploration
Resource Type: Online or Printable Lesson Plan/ Study Guide, Other Interactive Distance Learning Activity/ Online or Printable Resource
Learning Standards: C3 Social Studies standards:  D1.1.6-8; D1.2.6-8; D1.4.6-8; D2.His.3.6-8; D2.His.11.6-8; D2.His.12.6-8; D2.His.13.6-8; D2.His.15.6-8; D2.His.16.6-8; D2.His.17.6-8; D3.1.6-8; D3.3.6-8
Grades: 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th
Length: 2-4 hours

Life on the Tibetan Plateau *
Students will explore life as a nomadic herder on the Tibetan Plateau by viewing and responding to a series of videos. Students in third grade will include facts, definitions, details, and persuasive language and design elements to describe the Tibetan Plateau's ecosystems in a brochure that encourages people to visit the region. Students in second grade will research plateau land formations and construct their own plateau using materials they have at home. This lesson was inspired by the DC Public School's ELA Geology unit for grade 2 and Adaptations unit for grade 3.
Content Areas: English/Literature, Social Studies/ History/ Geography
Discipline: Writing/Reading/Journalism, Artifact or Object Exploration, Visual Arts
Resource Type: Online or Printable Lesson Plan/ Study Guide, Other Interactive Distance Learning Activity/ Online or Printable Resource
Learning Standards: 

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.10
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.1
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.2
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.3
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.1
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.2
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.3
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.1
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.2
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.7
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.8
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.7
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.7

Grades: 2nd, 3rd
Length: About 2-3 hours of asynchronous learning plus 2-4 class discussion sessions

Philosophies of China *
This lesson plan was developed for DCPS 's 7th grade Ancient History Unit 4, Forming Philosophies for Politics: Ancient China. Students will look closely at a painting depicting the Buddha, Laozi, and Confucius, learn about Chinese philosophies, and make inferences about these three belief systems through asynchronous reading and writing assignments.  Then, students will conduct research to assist with the formal assessment:  create a timeline of ancient China that includes the Warring States Period and the Shang, Zhou, Qin, and Han dynasties.  
Essential Questions:

  • What are the basic tenets of Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, and Legalism? 
  • How can Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism integrate harmoniously? 
  • How can art have the power to produce or affirm belief systems of its time?

Content Areas: English/Literature, Social Studies/ History/ Geography, Arts, Philosophy
Discipline: Writing/Reading/Journalism, Artifact or Object Exploration
Resource Type: Online or Printable Lesson Plan/ Study Guide, student-directed assignments
Learning Standards: 
DC Content for Social Studies, Big Ideas:

  • The teachings of Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism emerged as prolific schools of thought aimed to present solutions to political and cultural problems.
  • The Shang, Zhou, and Han dynasties were major political entities in ancient China.
  • The Han Dynasty opened Chinese Civil Service positions to all male members of its society if they could pass an exam on Confucian systems of government.

DCPS Supporting Questions for this Unit:

  • What are the beliefs and behaviors of Daoism in China?
  • What are the beliefs and behaviors of Confucianism in China?
  • What are the beliefs and behaviors of Legalism in China?

DC Content Power Standards for Social Studies:

  • 7.5.4: Describe the government in the Shang Dynasty, the development of social hierarchy and religious institutions, and Zhou political expansion.
  • 7.11.2: Detail the political contributions of the Han Dynasty to the development of the imperial bureaucratic state and internal political stability and its influence outside of China.
  • 7.11.3: Understand the life of Confucius; the fundamental teachings of Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism; and how Confucius sought to solve the political and cultural problems prevalent in the time. 

Grades: 7th
Length: About eight hours of asynchronous learning + up to three class discussions

Zoomorphic Creatures in Ancient Chinese Art *
What can we learn about ancient China by studying artifacts?  What does the intricate detail of works of art suggest about values and beliefs in ancient China?  In this Learning Lab Collection, students will study ancient Chinese works of art via Project Zero Thinking Routines.  Working asynchronously, students will be assigned to either research ancient Chinese bronze bells or ancient Chinese bronze vessels and make inferences about ancient Chinese values and beliefs based on their research. Then, inspired by taotie, mask-like design patterns of ancient Chinese bronze objects, students will draw own zoomorphic creatures. 
Content Areas: Social Studies/ History/ Geography, Arts
Discipline: Writing/Reading/Journalism, Artifact or Object Exploration, Visual Arts
Resource Type: Online or Printable Lesson Plan/ Study Guide, Other Interactive Distance Learning Activity/ Online or Printable Resource
Learning Standards: 

  • NCHS: World History Era 2, Standard 2A
  • NCSS: D2.His.3.6-8, D2.His.13.6-8, D2.His.16-3-5
  • Common Core: CCSS.ELA-LITERACT.CCRA.W.7, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY. CCRA. W.9, CCSS.ELA- LITERACY. CRA. W.2
  • NAEA: VA: Cr.2.2.5a, VA: Cr.1.2.5a, VA: Cr. 2. 2.5a, VA: Re.7.1.6a​​​​​​, VA: Re.7.2.5a

Grades: 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th
Length: Four 45–50 minute sessions


Previous Lotteries

Artful Movement
Presented by: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Create Calm
Get ready to flex, bend, and strike a pose!  During this live online learning program, students will pair breath, stillness, and movement exercises to recreate a story, explore the senses, and discover mind-body connections through a mindfulness session led by a yoga instructor from Create Calm. Through close-looking activities, Freer and Sackler docents will guide students to describe, analyze, and interpret works of Asian art.  Students will conclude with a word or phrase that expresses their growth, beliefs, or aspirations. 
This program is open to students in grades K-12 and has been specifically designed to align with visual arts frameworks for grades 3-8.  This program is accompanied by a recorded post-program video to extend the learning with an art activity. Watching the video is highly recommended. Artful Movement was developed in partnership with Create Calm and the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art. The classroom teacher must be present at the live session and act as host by monitoring their students.
Date: 10/22/20, 10/27/20, 10/30/20, 11/5/20, 11/17/20, 11/20/20, 12/8/20, 12/10/20, 12/21/20
Time: Teachers may select from the following: 10 am – 11 am; 11 am – 12 pm; 12 pm – 1 pm; or 1pm -2pm
Length of Event: 1 hour
Location: Virtual
Content Area: Arts
Medium: Yoga; Meditation; Writing/Reading/Journalism; Artifact or Object Exploration; Visual Arts; Hands-On/Lab;
Learning Standards: Visual Arts, 3th-5th: Demonstrate and explain personal interests; 6th-8th: Identifying and defining one's own context, Social-Emotional Learning: Self-awareness; Mindfulness; Self-regulation
Grades: K - 12th
Ticket capacity: 30 per date.
Supplementary Materials: Program Guide

Exploring Japanese Art
Presented by: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

What can works of art tell us about cultural values? Students will discuss the geography of Japan and practice some close looking activities when an Outreach Educator visits your class. One week later, students will transport themselves into misty mountains, rushing streams, and peaceful abodes when they explore Japanese art. They will learn about the symbols and stories that make the works of art culturally significant for the people of Japan. Inspired by their gallery tour, students will create an imaginative landscape to take home.
Date: 4/9/20, 5/12/20, 5/14/20, 5/15/20, 5/18/20, 5/28/20, 6/8/20, 6/11/20, 6/12/20
Time: 10:00 AM
Length of Event: 2 hours
Location: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560
Content Area: World Languages/Global Studies, Arts
Learning Standards: DCPS Framework for Arts Learning, History/Geography
Grades: K - 12th
Ticket capacity: 30 per date.
Supplementary Materials: Pre-Visit

My Iran: Six Women Photographers
Presented by: Freer|Sackler

How do you define home? How do the people, places, and events of the past influence you today? Students will discuss these questions and the themes of identity and representation when an Outreach Educator from the Freer|Sackler visits your classroom. One week later, students will tour the exhibition My Iran: Six Women Photographers and discover how artists explore the complexities of life within and outside their home country. After the tour, students will continue the exploration of the exhibition’s themes through an art project they can take home.
Dates: 10/17/19, 10/29/19, 11/15/19, 11/25/19, 12/10/19, 12/12/19, 12/13/19
Time: 10 AM
Length of Event: 2 hours
Location: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560
Content Area: Social Studies/History/Geography, World Languages/Global Studies, Arts
Learning Standards: For more information about learning standards, click here.
Grades: 5th - 12th
Ticket capacity: 30 per date
Supplementary Materials: Pre-Visit 

Exploring the Arts of Asia
Presented by: Freer|Sackler

What can we learn about diverse cultures by looking at the arts of Asia? Students will discuss the geography of Asia and practice some close looking activities when an Outreach Educator visits your class. On week later, students will take a tour of Asian art to discover cultural values that shape different forms of expression. They will examine ancient objects to contemporary masterpieces, such as Chinese bronzes, a Japanese screen made by Hokusai, sculpture from India, and metalwork from Iran. Then, inspired by the prints of Japanese artist Hokusai, students will etch a simulated woodblock and make a print to take home. Museum educators will come to your classroom a few days prior for your field trip for a pre- visit workshop.
Date: 1/13/20, 1/14/20, 1/16/20, 1/31/20, 2/10/20, 2/13/20, 3/10/20, 3/13/20, 3/24/20
Time: 10:00 AM
Length of Event: 2 hour
Location: Freer|Sackler, 1050 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560
Content Area: Humanities: Civics/ Social Studies, Visual Arts/ Photography/ Film
Learning Standards: DCPS Framework for Arts Learning, History/Geography
Grades: K - 12th
Ticket capacity: 30 per date.
Supplementary Materials: Pre-Visit

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Location: 923 F Street, NW, #303
Washington, DC 20004
P: 202.470.6467
info@dccollaborative.org

The DC Collaborative is a FY19 Service Organization grant recipient of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

The DC Collaborative is proud to receive a grant for its Collective Impact work supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.