2nd through 6th graders started the class with a trip via the internet and Art Project Google to the MOMA where we looked at the traditional idea of Art (like the floor where Starry Night is held) and then the "new" idea of Art by walking around the 2nd floor (part of the contemporary section). I also showed them Starry Night zoomed in on the site which is so mindbogglingly awesome that I couldn't resist.
We then talked about museum behavior and I went over the scavenger hunt/museum guide/question sheets and they headed into the hallway or to the boards to complete the sheet. Because the sheet was the same for 2nd-6th, I had the 2nd graders pair up because I saw them struggling with reading and understanding some of the questions even after I went over it with them. 4th-6th had a little time at the end of this activity to finish the mini project we started on their first day of art.
I thought the online museum for Kindergarten and First grade was a little over their heads so they got to hear the AMAZING book called Art Dog instead. After the book, I gave each kiddo a stack of mini post-its and had them line up looking at the reproductions. Then I asked them different questions like "find an artwork made of just shapes and lines" and they stuck a post-it to their answers. We had a little time left at then end so they practiced different skills they needed for their first project.
While it ended up being a success and almost all students were engaged in this activity, I did notice that all the classes were a little bummed they were not doing any art making during it. So, I tried to stress the importance of art history and appreciation to them. Maybe next year I will try to make it more of an artistic, creative, activity and not do it right at the start of the year when they have the itch for art after a long summer without it!