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Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Inspirations from the Forest Learning Guide

Welcome

Teachers, Students, and Families!

Before you come inside to see this exhibition, step outside . . . because the theme is Inspirations from the Forest, and we are hoping that visitors will take this theme to heart. Reconnect with the great outdoors and think about how artists look at the world. You may want to start by visiting a local forest, park, grassland, or other natural area. Wander around and think about how painters, writers, photographers, or woodcarvers might draw inspiration from what they see. What colors, shapes, and textures do you notice first? Study the bark on trees, look up, and look down. There is so much to see and so much happening in a forest.

This Learning Guide will help you to find the connections between art and nature, to learn about a variety of artists and modes of expression, and to bring out the artist inside you. Prepare to be inspired!

Teachers:
The Inspirations from the Forest Learning Guide is designed so that younger visitors, in grades 6 to 10, may try these activities on their own; but they would also work well in a classroom setting. Skim through the activities and see if there are some that will work with your curriculum. If you are planning a field trip to the exhibition, we suggest trying some activities with your class beforehand to prepare them and enhance their understanding. Perhaps you will come up with new and interesting ways to incorporate the arts into your lesson plans when teaching history, English, math, or science. For best results, take a look at the exhibition online before starting the activities.

Parents:
The Inspirations from the Forest Learning Guide is designed so that visitors in grades 6 to 10 may try these activities on their own. We encourage parents to work alongside younger children to help them get the most out of the experience. For best results, take a look at the exhibition online before starting the activities.

Students:
This Inspirations from the Forest Learning Guide is designed for you to have fun on your own or with your class at school. Some of the activities may be cool ideas for school projects too. Try out a few of them and explore your artistic side! You may find that there are new and exciting ways to create art that you never thought of before.

This exhibition, Inspirations from the Forest, was produced by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, in conjunction with the USDA Forest Service and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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