Educator Resources

The Education Department regularly produces educator resources for current and past exhibitions. Our mission is to help teachers and students obtain a deeper understanding of important themes and content within our exhibitions through materials that can be used before, during and after visits to the Museum

If you would like to request resource packets for a current or past exhibition, please contact 312-738-1503 ext 3842. 

Educator Guides available by Mail

Copies of the following guides can be mailed to you. 

  • Day of the Dead Teaching and Learning Guide for Grades K-12
  • The African Presence in Mexico Teaching and Learning Guide for Grades 6-12

Downloadable Educator Guides

Our House on Mango Street Curricular Unit for Grades 6-12: This unit is a tool for educators designed to be used in diverse education settings and across different subject areas.  It comprises a series of arts-integrated lessons that complements and responds to the exhibition The House on Mango Street: Artists Interpret Community, drawing from both the visual works of art presented in exhibition and Sandra Cisneros’ celebrated coming-of-age novel The House on Mango Street (1984).

An Immigrant's Perspective Curricular Unit for Grades 6-12This unit pairs works of art from the National Museum of Mexican Art’s Permanent Collection by Luis Jiménez and Carlos Cortéz with a variety of texts and text types to engage students in a discussion of the phenomenon of Mexican immigration to the United States from the immigrant’s perspective. Students interpret and respond to the artwork of Jiménez and Cortéz, literature, and literary nonfiction through their own writing, discussion, and printmaking projects.

100 Años de Posada y su Catrina: Day of the Dead 2013: The 2013 Day of the Dead exhibition was dedicated to the life of the great Mexican printmaker, Jose Guadalupe Posada. The educator guide contains background information on the life and contributions of Posada in both Spanish and English along with resources, a glossary, images and lesson plans. (File size: 10 MB)

Signature Works: 25th Anniversary Gifts to the Permanent Collection: Featured in early 2013, this exhibition featured highlighted work from our recent donation campaign. The exhibition contained work from 63 named artists and demonstrated the current direction that our collection is moving towards. The educator guide focuses on how collections are formed by curators and includes two related activities as well as an interview with Rebecca D. Meyers, the curator of the exhibition and the Museum's Permanent Collection. This guide also features alignment to Common Core literacy standards.

El Alma de Fiesta: Mexican and Mexican-American Festivals and Celebrations: The El Alma de la Fiesta exhibition, which was on display during the summer of 2012, showcased art and ephemera related to several major Mexican festivals and traditional celebrations. The guide includes reference information on these celebrations and holidays, a glossary, artwork from the exhibition and graphic organizers for a museum visit. 

Hanal Pixan: Food for the Souls - Day of Dead 2012: The 2012 Day of the Dead exhibition featured the theme of Hanal Pixan, the name given to Day of the Dead festivities in the Yucatan region of Mexico. The packet features information about the Mayan roots of this holiday and showcases the unique traditions of this region.