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The Craft in America Education Guides feature artists, objects and segments from each of the television episodes and are organized by episode, below. These interdisciplinary standards-based guides bring craft to your classroom. Download lesson plans that educate, involve, and inform students about how craft plays a role in their lives, with connections to American history and culture, philosophies and science, social causes and social action.

The Craft in America Education Guides are written to support middle and high school art education curricula. We've set up suggested lesson plans that you can personalize to your classroom, based on age and interests. We've included links to videos and other places to learn more, so that you can go further on a particular subject or example. The guides can also be adapted for use in other subject areas. The purpose of the guides is to deepen students' knowledge, understanding and appreciation of craft in America and to inspire creativity in the classroom and beyond.

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INSPIRATION: Learn about the artists Alison Saar, Betye Saar, and Maddy Leeser whose works are inspired by the artist Simon Rodia as well as their deep interest in history, identity, and African American culture, whose style encompasses a variety of personal, artistic, and cultural references that reflect their own experiences. 

Biskakone Greg Johnson decorates a birch bark basket, Denise Kang photo, Craft in America

HOME: Students explore the theme of Home while learning about the life and work of Ojibwe artist Biskakone Greg Johnson. Discover that the artist’s idea of home relates to the places where he and his people live and continue the day-to-day traditions that have been passed down through the years

VIDEO RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS: Explore our video resources to support your curriculum in the classroom.

JEWELRY: Through the work of contemporary jewelry artists in the JEWELRY episode, students will learn about how these artists use found objects and recycled materials. Students will consider how jewelry is made, design and create their own jewelry.

STORYTELLERS: In two separate guides, students learn about artist Christina Bothwell who creates figurative glass sculptures and Tlingit and Unangax̂ multidisciplinary artist Nicholas Galanin whose works include totems, masks, jewelry, music and dance which deal with cultural perspectives and identity.

Jessie Bell Williams Telfair, Freedom Quilt, c. 1975. Collection of the National Musuem of African American History & Culture Democracy Craft in America

DEMOCRACY: In three separate guides, students learn about calligrapher Sammy Little and the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, Cheyenne and Arapaho artist Harvey Pratt, and the exhibition Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists at the Renwick Gallery.

Cara Romero, Spirits of Siwavaats

IDENTITY: Students will meet photographer Cara Romero and tell a story about someone special using photography.

Michael A. Cummings, A Young Obama quilt

QUILTS: Students will meet artists Victoria Findlay Wolfe, who creates new designs by altering traditional quilt block patterns, and Michael A. Cummings, who creates quilted portraits of prominent African Americans.

VIDEO RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS: Explore our video resources to support your curriculum in the classroom.

VISIONARIES Kay Sekimachi Leaf Bowls

VISIONARIES: Students consider the human tendency to collect objects that have meaning to us through collector Forrest L. Merrill and fiber artist Kay Sekimachi.

CALIFORNIA Corine Pearce Cradle Basket

CALIFORNIA: Students learn about basket making through Pomo basket weaver Corine Pearce.

NEIGHBORS Jaime Guerrero glass girl

NEIGHBORS: Students learn about the work of Magdalena Pedro Martínez and Jaime Guerrero and explore the way each artist uses the figure to portray significant aspects of Mexican and Mexican-American life.

BORDERS Ofelia Esparza Day of the Dead altar

BORDERS: Students learn about Día de los Muertos observances in East Los Angeles and in Teotitlán del Valle, Mexico and examine the artistic traditions and the translations within and between the celebrations.

NATURE Preston Singletary glass

NATURE: Students explore the work of glass artist Preston Singletary and his work based on the Tlingit origin story Raven and the Box of Daylight.

TEACHERS Therman Statom glass

TEACHERS: Students explore the work of glass artist Therman Statom and how he employs art as catalysts for social change and its positive impact on communities.

MUSIC Geoff Stelling banjos

MUSIC: Students explore the work of the artists in the MUSIC episode and investigate connections between musicians and their instruments and between American music and American history.

CELEBRATION Yoshiko Yamamoto

CELEBRATION: Learn how to make block prints at home with Yoshiko Yamamoto

SERVICE Ehren Tool

SERVICE: Students explore the work of ceramic artist Ehren Tool, who creates clay cups on the potter¹s wheel and embellishes them with military images.

INDUSTRY Bethanne Knudson Stephan Michelson

INDUSTRY: Students explore fabric construction while considering ideas of hand work, the marketing of textiles, and humans' use of textiles.

HOLIDAY Susan Garson

HOLIDAY: Watch how-to techniques videos featuring artists from the episode.

FORGE Chloe Darke

FORGE: Students explore the work of metalsmith Chloe Darke, who produces traditional silverware for Old Newbury Crafters.

Tanya Aguiñiga installation

CROSSROADS: In two separate guides, students explore the work of furniture and textile artist Tanya Aguiñiga and potter Jeff Oestreich.

Terese Agnew quilting

THREADS: In two separate guides, students explore the work of quilter Terese Agnew and weaver Consuelo Jimenez Underwood.

Philip Moulthrop woodturned mosaic bowl

FAMILY: In two separate guides, students learn about the Moulthrop family of woodturners and bootmaker Lisa Sorrell and bootmaker Lisa Sorrell.

Joyce J. Scott Man Eating Watermelon Beadwork

MESSAGES: In two separate guides, students explore the messages in the sculpted beadwork of Joyce J. Scott and the jewelry of Thomas Mann.


PROCESS: In two separate guides, students explore the work of jewelry artists Roberta and Dave Williamson and book artist Julie Chen.

Teri Greeves Beaded tennis shoes

ORIGINS: In two separate guides, students explore beadworking with Teri Greeves and weaving with Jim Bassler.

Community Education Guide - Penland weaving

COMMUNITY: In three guides, students explore the work of Mary Jackson, Penland School of Craft, Pilchuck School of Glass, Mississippi Cultural Crossroads, Richard Notkin, and Einar & Jamex de la Torre.

David Gurney Tree of Life

LANDSCAPE: In three guides, students explore the work of George Nakashima, Jan Yager, David Gurney, Kit Carson, Richard Notkin, and Denise Wallace.

Jan Yager Tiara of Useful Knowledge

MEMORY: In three guides, students explore the work of Tom Joyce, Jan Yager, Pat Courtney Gold, Einar & Jamex de la Torre, Sam Maloof, and Sarah Jaeger.