30 Americans Educator Guide

Filled with lesson plans, pre-visit activities, and more resources, this guide helps you plan your virtual or in-person field trip to the CMA for this extraordinary exhibition featuring an incredible “Who’s Who” list from among the most acclaimed Black artists of the last few decades.

Learn more about the exhibition here and download the educator guide here.

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Teaching Kits

Our Teaching Kits reinforce the concepts and curriculum for integrated classroom learning. The kits are designed for K-12 teachers and students across the curriculum, with emphasis on social studies and visual arts.

Our Time, Our Place: Photographs of the Black South
Included in the kit are images from and educational materials based on the exhibition Our Time, Our Place: Photographs of the Black South by Richard Samuel Roberts, which depicts the rise of African American middle class across the South during the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Download Kit [PDF]



Lesson Plans and Image Sets

Elementary School

Visual Storytelling (grades K-2)
Art can tell a story, whether it’s about a person, a place, or an idea. These images have been specially selected for their narrative quality and provide the foundation for a lesson that asks students to keep the story going. Subject areas: ELA, Visual Art.

Download the kit


Communicating Culture (grades 3-5)
Objects tell us a great deal about how ideas have traveled and transformed across time and space. This lesson examines works of art that give insight into their cultures through the use of natural resources and exchange of ideas, with particular emphasis on Christian and Buddhist imagery. Subject areas: Social Studies, Visual Art.

Download the kit


Westward Expansion (grades 3-5)
Visual images, from advertisements to paintings, convey a world of information. Bring your students on a journey West as they critically examine visual information from the 1800s and create their own examples of material culture. Subject areas: Social Studies, Visual Art, ELA.

Download the kit




Illustrate Illuminate
In this lesson your students will learn about illuminated manuscripts from around the world and what they reflect about the cultures that produced them before creating their own examples. Subject areas: Social Studies, Visual Art, ELA.

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All around the State
Travel across 300 years of history in this collection that provides insights into how South Carolina has transformed from the colonial period to the present day. A great way to review lessons learned about the state’s history by putting images into a historical context. Subject areas: Social Studies, Visual Art.

Download the kit


High School


True Colors
This lesson highlights key examples from the CMA collection that demonstrate artists’ increasing interest in the physical and emotional properties of color. Combine images with online resources in this lesson that goes back to basics on the fundamentals of color theory. Subject area: Visual Art.

Download the kit


Images to Inspire
Images can be worth 1000 words, but can we sum one up in just 100? This lesson tackles the task of synthesizing a work of art into a thoughtfully-crafted poem. These carefully selected images and activity well help students transform abstract ideas into concrete imagery. Subject areas: ELA, Visual Art.

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All Ages

Solar Art
Can't make it to the CMA? In the classroom, students will investigate the use of solar power and the effects of solar power on art. Students will create a design using the sun. This lesson will explain the importance of solar energy as it pertains to art.
Download Lesson Plans - Elementary School [PDF]
Download Lesson Plans - Middle School [PDF]
Download Lesson Plans - High School [PDF]

The Imaginative Worlds of M.C. Escher
February 6 – June 6, 2021
Get a closer look at one of the most masterful printmakers of all time in The Imaginative Worlds of M.C. Escher. The CMA is offering six lessons – at least two for every grade level – to help you infuse math, ELA, and visual art into your classrooms, whether they’re virtual or in-person.  
Download Lesson Plans in Word


Kēva Plank Program

The CMA is offering a Kēva Plank loan program to help educators incorporate STEAM into their classrooms. Kēva Planks allow children to discover the joy of creating their own structuresthe flexibility of their constructions is limited only by their imaginations!

Borrow Kēva Planks

Photo Credit: Kēva Planks