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Review by Megan Leppla, Common Sense Education | Updated April 2014

MoMA Art Lab

Interactive projects, cool prompts, and famous works inspire creation

Subjects & skills
  • Arts

  • Character & SEL
  • Creativity
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (3 Reviews)

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Pros: The basic drawing tools are great for digital doodling, and the art activities provide an excellent introduction to art.

Cons: The limited content may require some creativity to keep older kids interested.

Bottom Line: The overall experience is very open-ended, making it easy to bounce between creating and exploring art.

MoMA Art Lab makes incorporating the arts into your classroom easy. The activities provided might connect with some of the work you're already doing with your students, but the focus remains on the arts. Activities like Create a Shape Poem are an obvious link to literacy skills, while others might require a bit of creativity. Create a Mobile introduces the concept of balance and movement, but it's on the teacher to find a way to connect that with student work. Short paragraphs within each activity share interesting facts about artists, with potential for incorporating into other subjects.

MoMA Art Lab is a wonderful window into the museum's collection, sharing an introduction to modern art that is accessible for all ages. Those teachers interested in integrating the arts into their classroom should consider using this app as a way for students to explore visual arts at their own pace. Its simplicity makes it easy for a student with any level of experience to get started.

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MoMA Art Lab is a free app for any budding artist or art enthusiast. Included are drawing and collage tools, art inspiration, art activities, a camera for screen capture, and a gallery. Want to take a trip to the Museum of Modern Art without going to New York City? MoMA Art Lab lets kids take a closer look at work from the museum's art collection. Students can get ideas for how to use the digital tools provided within the app, or get some inspiration to make art offline. Activities reference artists like Alexander Calder, Elizabeth Murray, and Sol LeWitt to encourage kids to create in a similar style. However you decide to get creative, you'll get a chance to explore art basics like line, shape, and color.

Students can experience creative play while practicing basic art skills. Some activities, like the group drawing of an "exquisite corpse," encourage collaboration, while other activities would most likely be used for self-paced exploration. The open-ended nature of MoMA Art Lab makes it difficult to track student progress, but the focus on play allows students to explore freely.

The activities introduce basic art techniques with a focus on line, shape, and color. Prompts provide enough context for kids to get started while remaining vague enough to encourage deeper exploration.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

The app opens on a blank canvas surrounded by inspiration from artists. The simple drawing and collaging tools make it easy to get started, but the limited content may require some creativity to maintain interest of older kids.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Activities lead kids into projects inspired by artists from the MoMA collection. Create a Shape Poem makes a clear connection to literacy skills, connecting adjectives to identify the different parts of your drawing.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Kids can get started anywhere, with rich resources for learning about the arts. Any artwork made is stored in a private gallery. Gallery share features are disabled, but can be enabled from the iPad settings.

Teacher Reviews

(See all 3 reviews) (3 reviews)
Featured review by
Cathy H. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Moorlands Elementary School
Kenmore, United States
Great app to gradually release young students to using iPad to independently think and create
Another simple, elegant app - if a Kindergartner can figure out how to use it and produce quality pieces to share or app smash with other apps, zip think it is a winner. ...
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