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Crossroads - Rural and Urban Communities

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Age Levels Primary (5 to 8 years old), Elementary (9 to 12 years old)

In this collection, students will:

  • Differentiate between the characteristics of rural settings and urban settings in artwork.
  • Discuss how a rural community’s needs and values differ from an urban community’s needs and values and how this can be observed in art.
  • Identify examples of urban communities and rural communities by recognizing visual clues in various artworks.
  • Compare and contrast how their community is similar to and different from other communities. 
  • Describe the characteristics of each type of community.  

Students successfully complete this Learning Lab by:

  1. Choosing 4 pieces of artwork and answering the companion questions. All questions are open-ended and are intended to stimulate subjective analysis, conversation, and/or critical-problem solving. The main purpose of these questions is to allow students to analyze their own community.
  2. Once students have finished answering questions, it would be best for an educator to start a conversation about what they have learned, using the guidelines included below. 
  3. Several worksheets are included at the end of this collection. Educators may decide which worksheets are the best fit for their class, and use as many or as few as they need. These worksheets should be adapted to highlight or promote the features of the local community. Having a list of upcoming events, community organizations or charities, and/or community landmarks is advised.


Harlem Cityscape with Church

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Grandma Moses Goes to the Big City

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Third Avenue

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Workers Houses, Flushing Bay

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Festival

Smithsonian American Art Museum

H Street Parking

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Country Come to Town

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Hay Ride

Smithsonian American Art Museum

New York City

Smithsonian American Art Museum

This is Harlem

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Deserted Town

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

City Street Scene

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Feast Day: San Juan Pueblo

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Early Youth of Babe Ruth (Old North Beach Amusement Park)

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Soldiers reading newspapers

Archives of American Art

Urban Worksheet

Kate Wilcox

Rural Worksheet

Kate Wilcox