About the Online Curriculum

Art is a valuable tool for developing and nurturing creativity, imagination, and critical thinking—elements integral to learning. Art helps us explore and connect science, math, history, and literature. It reflects our unique histories, encourages us to contemplate the human condition, raises important questions about society, and provides innovative suggestions for our future.

The Fabric Workshop and Museum's Online Curriculum utilizes the museum's collection as a vehicle for exploring interdisciplinary ideas and concepts. Designed for K-12 use, these lessons offer an array of interdisciplinary suggestions that will enliven and enrich your curriculum.

Please note that each lesson includes the following tools:
  • Learning strategies based on National Education Standards
  • Themes that connect art, language arts, math, science, and social studies
  • Age and grade appropriate concepts
  • Vocabulary

Also see: PA State education standards (PDF)

Robert Venturi, Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, In collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Grandmother, 1983 (detail), Hand silkscreen on cotton sateen, Width: 56 inches, Photo: Will Brown.

Pattern and Rhythm: Pattern Collages

Designed for students in grades K–6, this lesson uses the Philadelphia architect Robert Venturi's Grandmother fabric design as inspiration to teach about shape, color motifs, and screen-printed patterns. Students will work together to create organic and geometric shape collage artworks of their own.

Jim Hodges, In collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, You, 1995 (detail), Silk flowers and thread, 192 x 192 inches, Photo: Will Brown.

Art from New Materials: Create a Landscape Installation

This lesson intended for use with students in grades 4-8 uses Jim Hodges' work entitled, You, which is created entirely from deconstructed silk flowers sewn together to form a sculptural floral veil. The activities focus on how artists use new materials in their work, often recycling from found objects or untraditional materials.

Maria Fernanda Cardoso, In collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Cardoso Flea Circus, 1996, Maria Fernanda Cardoso performing Cardoso Flea Circus at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, 6 December 1996, Acrylic and oil on cotton canvas, hand silkscreen on nylon taffeta, various fabrics, steel, brass, video, various props, and fleas, 96 x 116 inches in diameter (closed), Photo: Will Brown.

Performance and Participation: Design a Performance Space

This lesson is designed for students in grades 2-8, and takes inspiration from Maria Fernanda Cardoso's Cardoso Flea Circus, which simulates a real flea circus and incorporates research from these nineteenth century novelty performances. The accompanying activities investigate ways that artists may use performance to create environments and engage their viewers in the action.

Renée Green, In collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Mise-en-Scène: Commemorative Toile, 1992 (detail), Hand silkscreen on cotton sateen, Width: 57 inches, Photo: Will Brown

Art and Society: Social Critique Design

This lesson designed for high school students looks at how artists have critiqued their societies. It focuses on Reneé Green's Mise-en-Scène: Commemorative Toile, an installation of an upper class, French parlor, in which the artist has subtly altered a toile upholstery design to deconstruct the institutional discourses of history. Students will create written responses to Green's work and develop their own designs for toile patterns that combine imagery in order to communicate concern about a social issue.