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Create thematic art galleries with Google Cultural Institute

What is the Google Cultural Institute?

The Google Cultural Institute is a website that allows anyone to view collections of art around the world, taking virtual museum tours, and see cultural creations up close without having to leave one's desk, kitchen table, etc.  Viewers are able to search for art based on artists, mediums, movements, etc.; however, students who lack prior knowledge of particular artwork may search key words relating to their subject matter to find images that relate to the text.

Sign in with your Gmail account to quickly and easily curate your own art gallery!

Samples of Student Work

My Inspiration

My summative assessment for our Anthem unit is inspired by Google Certified Teacher Catlin Tucker's blog post "Design a Thematic Art Gallery using Google Art Project."  Her original assignment asking students to reflect on human nature in Lord of the Flies sparked my interest in integrating an alternative style of assessment into the curriculum that causes students to think deeply about the text and make abstract connections using technology.   If you don't follow @Catlin_Tucker yet on Twitter, you should.  She provides some of the most valuable professional development via her Twitter and blog posts. 

Common Core Aligned!

This assessment is aligned with the following Common Core Standards:

·    W.9-10.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.

·    W.9-10.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

·    R9.-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

·    R9.-10.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

·    SL9.-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.


In this summative assessment for our Anthem unit, students were asked to identify four major themes in the novella and curate a four image "gallery" that reflects these themes.  Accompanying each image was a direct quotation selected from the novella that expressed or related to the theme.  Students presented their art galleries to the class, and because students focused on different themes and were able to draw from a plethora of art, no one presentation was like another, making for an enjoyable viewing experience.

How To Create Your Own Gallery

Creating a virtual art gallery:

  1. Google "Google Cultural Institute" and click the "Sign In' button in the top right corner.
  2. Search key words, or browse different artists' or museums' collections.
  3. To save images, click the heart in the top right corner.  This will add the image to your "favorites,"
  4. To create a gallery based on selected pictures, click the menu button in the top left of the screen.  Select "favorites" from the drop down menu.
  5. Click "Create a new collection" and click on the images you want to add to your gallery.
  6. When finished selecting images, click "Next" in the top right corner to title your gallery and save it.

How To Create Your Own Gallery

Other Ideas for Using GCI

  • Teacher-curated art galleries for instruction
  • Student-curated art galleries for assessments
  • Digital storytelling - students could select images to support their narration
  • Curate a gallery of art related to a time period or historical event 
  • Analyze the connection one piece of art has to the literary work studied in class
  • Discuss themes of a time period or culture conveyed through art