Prompts for Students

Investigate The World
See The WorldFrom Another Perspective
Make Local-Global Connections

Investigate the world

Ask Kindergarten-Grade 3 students to:

• Brainstorm what they know and what they wonder about a puzzling question or topic common around the world (e.g., what foods do people eat in several different countries? What plants or animals live in tropical, polar or desert climates? How do different cultures celebrate the seasons?)

• Look at artwork or artifacts from different cultures to explore answers (e.g., Paul Cezanne's still life fruits, vegetables and flowers; Katsushika Hokusai's bamboo compositions; Henri Rousseau's jungle landscapes; Grant Wood's farm landscapes).

• Discuss the similarities and differences between different cultures (e.g., what does the artwork reveal about the plants or animals that live in different places? What foods do people make from native plants or animals? How do people around the world celebrate spring planting or harvest festivals? How do the arts help people understand universal themes and discover differences? How are cultures and creativity expressed through the arts?)

• Create artwork that shows what creativity means to them and others around the world, weaving in new insights from their exploration.

Ask Grades 4-8 students to:

• Brainstorm the reasons why people turn to heroes and heroines to protect them or help them.

• Study artwork or artifacts to learn how artists in different cultures represent heroes and heroines (e.g., what special powers or strengths do they have in different cultures or time periods? What visual elements do artists use to convey their special qualities? What role do creative representations of heroes and heroines play in different societies?)

• Create artwork that expresses what creativity means to them and others around the world, weaving in new insights from their exploration.

Ask Grades 9-12 students to:

• Discuss specific issues of local and global significance that captivate their attention (e.g., a universal or contemporary issue from their personal lives, reading, the news or television, such as identity, poverty, freedom, social justice, climate change, immigration or cultural revolution).

• Probe how the visual arts invite investigation of issues that matter to them (e.g., how do artists in different societies portray issues or events of historical or contemporary importance? What creative thinking do artists apply to make their ideas visible and engage people? What role does creative expression have in raising awareness about issues?)

• Create artwork that expresses what creativity means to them and others around the world, weaving in new insights from their exploration.

See The World From Another Perspective

Ask Kindergarten-Grade 3 students to:

• Think about a character in a favorite book from a different time, place or culture, or look at an artist's work from a different culture. Or study how a universal or familiar character (e.g., Cinderella, a grandmother figure, a wicked character with magical powers) is treated in fairy tales, folk tales, fables, legends or myths from different countries.

• Imagine the world from that character's perspective, or talk about the story or inspiration in the artist's work. Or ask children to compare and contrast how different cultures present a familiar character.

• Talk about what it would be like to live in that character's world, or see what the artist sees.

• Draw the character and the character's world, or create their own original art using the same materials the artist used, to express what creativity means to them and others around the world.

Ask Grades 4-8 students to:

• Think about the buildings, architecture or landscapes in their neighborhoods, or research a famous place.

• Discuss what gives that neighborhood, cityscape or landscape its character (e.g., what is distinctive about this place? Is it familiar or exotic? How does it make you feel?).

• Consider creative renderings of similar settings from artists of different cultures (e.g., how do artists make places come to life? What would an artist see in your neighborhood? How might you create a building or landscape if you looked at it anew from an artist's perspective?)

• Create artwork that expresses what creativity means to them and others around the world, weaving in new insights from their exploration.

Ask Grades 9-12 students to:

• Think of a person whose words or actions made a difference in the world.

• Discuss the qualities that make that person memorable to them. Extend this conversation by comparing and contrasting the creative geniuses of people from different eras or cultures. Steve Jobs and Michelangelo? Picasso and Gandhi? Joan of Arc and Frida Kahlo?

• Examine how artists portray extraordinary people (e.g., what do artists from different cultures "see" in people? What techniques do artists from different time periods or cultures use to convey a person's character or actions? What can you tell about a person's place in the world from artists' creative expressions?)

• Integrate their thoughts and discoveries into a portrait that captures the impact of an individual on the world or in their own lives. Or show how different people might see that person.

Make Local-Global Connections

Ask Kindergarten-Grade 3 students to:

• Talk about their favorite sport, game, hobby or interest (e.g., what do they like about this activity? How does it make them feel? What does it help them accomplish? Does it give them ways to be creative or have new experiences? Does it help them make friends or connect to other people?)

• Find other places in the world where their favorite activity is popular with children their age. Or investigate a different kind of activity from another culture that's not known or common in their community.

• Explore the similarities and differences in the ways in which children in other places enjoy an activity they have in common, or a different activity (e.g., why is play so much fun? What are the creative aspects of their activities? How do activities bring children together?) Use artwork or other visuals to make this discussion tangible and inspire students' imaginations.

• Create artwork that shows what they like to do, how it helps them be creative, or how it connects them to other people in their communities or in the world.

Ask Grades 4-8 students to:

• Think about a treasured item they own (e.g., clothing, shoes, jewelry, a book, a toy, a technology device).

• Ask students to trace and describe the origins of this item (e.g., where did it come from? Who made it? How did they get it? How does it connect them to other people or to the world?). Ask them to think about what makes this item special, or the ways in which it was made or transported, or the creative ways in which it is used. Ask them to reflect on how artists show everyday objects creatively.

• Create artwork that shows how their favorite item connects them to the world or helps them be creative.

Ask Grades 9-12 students to:

• Think about themes in literature or science or history that are common to all humanity, or an issue of local or global significance that they care about.

• Discuss this theme or issue (e.g., why does it matter to them personally? Why should other people care about it? What can they do to convince others to share their point of view or organize others to take action?)

• Explore the kinds of creative messages or actions about this theme or issue that would resonate with other people (e.g., how do artists, graphic designers or advertisers engage and motivate people around a message or a movement? Do their techniques vary, depending on their audiences? What is the role of creativity in communicating and making an impact?).

• Integrate their ideas into artwork that conveys the local or global significance of this theme, communicates to diverse audiences or spurs people to take action.