Lesson Plan

Curate a "Pride in my city" digital exhibition

Learn how museums curate exhibits and create pieces for your own digital exhibit showcasing city pride. (Chicago PLN Collaboration)
Luke J.
Technology coordinator
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Students will be able to...

  • Understand and identify how a museum organizes its collections
  • Analyze why they love their city
  • Create a digital exhibition full of curated and created artwork showcasing pride in their city
English Language Arts
text analysis
using supporting evidence
writing clearly
Social Studies
civic engagement
cultural understanding
Grades 4 - 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 The Hook

Send students to The Museum of Natural History Panorama Virtual Exhibit (http://www.mnh.si.edu/panoramas/) and have them explore the museum.


Student Instructions

Explore the Museum of Natural History and find your favorite exhibit. Show your neighbor how you got there from the main lobby. What other things are nearby your favorite thing? How are they similar or different?


2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Exploring

Lead a class field trip to a local museum (keep in mind the purpose is to analyze exhibits and layout).  Have students create a graphic organizer with their favorite exhibit and what kinds of pieces are part of that exhibit.

Teacher should also model correct behavior and challege students to find more specific similarities between parts of the exhibit (e.g. In the Aztec exhibit, there are cases with jewelry, or thrown weapons, or pottery. It's not all mixed together, there are levels of similarity).

Student Instructions

Students must create a graphic organizer of their favorite exhibit they see. If resources are availble, students should photograph or record video of an exhibit. They should pay special attention to layout and exhibit progression. 

3 Guided Practice

Lead a discussion on students favorite parts of the museum and the other pieces nearby it. Explain that musuems often place similar pieces or objects together to build an exhibit. Elicit a few examples from the students. Show the MindMup app/website to students and explain how it works. A mind map is a way to group and organize ideas.

Explain the final project. The goal is to develop a sense of community and appreciation for our city. Students will create a digital exhibit showcasing everything that they love about their city. They will include photographs, articles, and artwork showing things they love about their city. 

Student Instructions

Students will work in small groups to create a mind map about what types of exhibits their virtual museum will have as well as what would be shown within each exhibit.

4 Independent Practice

Free, Paid
Free, Paid
Free, Paid

Divide the class into groups of 3-4. Lead a guided "App Playground" to try out all the tech tools. By the end, groups will choose one tool or teachers may select the tool for each group.

The assignement is to create a virtual museum exhibit showcasing all the things they love about their city/town. The exhibit should have photographs taken by the students, artwork created by the students, and other pictures/photos from other sources. Pieces should be grouped similarly to give a more encompasing portrayal of the great parts of your city.

Student Instructions

In groups, choose a tech tool to create your virtual museum on. Each member should be responsible for taking photos and creating art. Along with each picture, students must include a story or an example of why/how the object makes your city wonderful. Items in the exhbit need to be grouped thoughtfully and organized the best way possible.

We want students to develop a sense of civic pride and citizenship. Examples could include food, culture, architecture, people, sports, music, festivals, events, art, and nature. All the different exhibits will build identity in your city and hopefully give students pride in their neighborhood.

5 Wrap-Up

Free, Paid
Free, Paid
Free, Paid

Prepare students for exhibit by practicing presentations. Optional: Peer review and record practice presentations.

Student Instructions

Students showcase exhibits at the My City Museum Grand Opening Night where fellow classmates, teachers, parents, and staff are invited. Afterwards, all exhibits will be posted on classroom or school website for people to visit virtually.