Our elementary students put their detective skills to the test during our virtual tour of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C, a historic museum whose collections focus on many famous Americans.
Alongside specially trained gallery educators, our young portrait detectives searched for and analyzed clues to learn more about historically significant Americans. Additionally, through discussion, sketching, and writing activities, our students were able to closely compare and contrast portraits used across the collection.
Each class in our elementary school is named after a person that represents African or Hispanic culture. Furthermore, our kids have been studying influential people of color related to this year’s academic theme of identity and anti-racism such as Celia Cruz, John Lewis, AOC, Barack Obama, Kobe Bryant, and more. Using the National Portrait Gallery programming as a guide, and artist Kehinde Wiley as inspiration, our kids created their own portraits and showcased them in our annual Black History Month Showcase!
Student programs like Portrait Detectives are offered by The National Portrait Gallery with the goal being to expose students to leaders who have shaped our nation through the power of portraiture. Combined with Hyde’s programming, it allowed us to teach our students the importance of leaving a legacy by exploring identity through art!