Welcome to ‘Learning to Look’ at the de Young Museum

This is our kindergarten through third grade curriculum. This experience provides a cross-cultural selection of objects which children are encouraged to interpret through open-ended questions.

The Peaceable Kingdom (ca. 1846) by Edward Hicksde Young museum

What's going on with this work of art?


What do you see that makes you say that?


What more can you find?

Girl with a bowl (2017) by Andria Lode Young museum

This series of questions are the foundation of Visual Thinking Strategies, a learning methodology based in cognitive research. Ideal for young learners, this approach inspires curiosity, augments vocabulary acquisition, and hones visual analysis skills. 

Looking Closely at Asawa (2019) by Gary Sextonde Young museum

This curriculum is the starting point for years of academic exploration through the Get Smart with Art series that spans through 12th grade. 

Our philosophy is rooted in curiosity and agency. Open-ended questions are an essential tool that help slow us down and build connections.

Girl drawing (2019) by Gary Sextonde Young museum

We recommend starting with two or three of the featured five objects. Support your child in exploring the work by having a conversation using the questions above and paraphrasing their responses.

Using the vocabulary you generate, invite your child to draw and write about the pieces in the downloadable Mind Jog Journal. Conclude your experience by exploring the series of I Spy games at the end of the resources.

Credits: Story

View the Get Smart with Art curriculum and materials here.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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