Guiding Principles

CONNECT: Link what you see to other objects, ideas, and perspectives.

Guiding Questions

Ask these suggested guiding questions to use the strategy CONNECT:

  • What ties the artworks together? 
  • What ties the artwork to you?
  • What ties the artwork to the world around you? 
  • What ties the artwork to the past? 
  • How does the artwork connect to primary sources of the time (e.g., literature, music, and art)?

Suggested Activities

Asking Questions

  • After discussing a work of art with your class, distribute notecards. Have each student write down a question he/she has about the artwork.
  • Have students pass the notecard to another student, who then answers it. If they don’t have an answer, have them write another question.
  • Have students pass the notecards again, where the next student can either answer one of the questions or write an answer.
  • Repeat as many times as you would like.
  • Lastly, take turns reading the questions and answers on the cards. 

Before and After

  • Have the class talk about what is happening now in an artwork.
  • Then ask them what they think happened just before? What do they think will happen next? You can discuss with the group or have them draw the before, during (use the artwork for this one), and after in cartoon-like boxes. 


  • Select 12 artworks.
  • Ask students to work in pairs and establish a main idea or theme for 4 sets of 3 works of art. Examples: works with people in them, works that are sculptures, works that include water, works that use a lot of blue, etc. 

Personal Connections: 3 Y’s

  • Using an artwork, you may prepare students by asking them what they think the image is about and why and then focusing their attention on the theme to be explored through the 3Ys. Students may need initial clarity about the theme or topic to be explored. Then ask:
    1. Why might this [topic, question] matter to me?
    2. Why might it matter to people around me [family, friends, city, nation]?
    3. Why might it matter to the world?

Think, Pair, Share

  • Using one work of art, create a set of 16 informational cards about the artist, time period, or inspiration.
  • Distribute the cards; one to each student. You can also lay all the cards on a surface and have students pick a card that interests them.
  • Participants read their card and make a hypothesis on how it connects with a work of art. Participants share their card and hypothesize with one person.
  • Next, these participants share with another pair, and so on… until a group of 8 is made.
  • Each group of 8 presents what cards and connections they made. Facilitator interjects additional comments and connections.