Welcome to the NRM Curriculum Lab

Access lesson plans, projects, and resources to connect the art of Norman Rockwell with art, language arts and social studies learning

Activities & Class Plans

Featured Curricula

  • Freedom of Speech: Establishing a Foundation for Class Meetings

    Grades K-2

  • Golden Rule: A Personal Reflection

    Grades 3-5

  • Read Aloud Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges

    Grades 3-5

  • Golden Rule Poetry Anthology

    Grades 6-8

    Featured Curricula

    • Freedom of Speech: Establishing a Foundation for Class Meetings

      Grades K-2

    • Golden Rule: A Personal Reflection

      Grades 3-5

    • Read Aloud Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges

      Grades 3-5

    • Golden Rule Poetry Anthology

      Grades 6-8

      Curriculum Themes

      Four Freedoms

      Born amid the turmoil of World War II, the Four Freedoms have since become one of its greatest legacies, a testament to the paramount importance of human rights and dignity. Brought forward by one of America’s greatest presidents and immortalized by one of its most beloved artists more than seventy-five years ago, the Four Freedoms continue to inspire, resonating across generations as strongly today as they did in their time.

      Explore the Four Freedoms Curriculum

      Civil Rights

      Responsible for helping to shape the perception of American society and culture in the 20th century, Rockwell was at times a documentarian and a mythmaker. By transforming a blank canvas into a portrayal of a young African-American girl courageously enduring a hate-filled crowd on her walk to school, Rockwell depicted Ruby Bridges as a modern day Joan of Arc.  Following his break with The Saturday Evening Post in 1963, Rockwell began to create paintings that allowed him to address more substantive matters.

      Explore Civil Rights Curriculum

      Norman Rockwell's Artistic Process

      A natural storyteller, Norman Rockwell envisioned his scenarios down to the smallest detail, yet at the easel he found it difficult to paint purely from his imagination.  Rockwell turned to photography as an efficient, accurate, and liberating means to satisfy his literalism.  By photographing his props wherever he found them he no longer had to assemble together the disparate objects his narratives required. By photographing far-flung settings he was able to introduce true-to-life backgrounds. And by freeing him from the drawbacks of live models, photography dramatically expanded his vocabulary of available postures and possible expressions. “Now anybody could pose for me,” Rockwell said, and he took full advantage of the opportunity.  

      After choosing the best photographs to tell his story, Norman Rockwell began the process of translating these images into his finished painting. First, a detailed charcoal drawing was required with which he developed and refined his narrative and worked out compositional details. After transferring his charcoal study to canvas and sealing it with thinned shellac, Norman Rockwell began the demanding process of laying down paint. Surrounded by all of the reference materials he had collected for the work at hand, his photographs played a final role as he tacked snippets cut from them to his easel as he worked.

      Explore Artistic Process Curriculum

      Education Programs @ Norman Rockwell Museum

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      Exhibition: Rockwell, Roosevelt & the Four Freedoms

      • The George Washington Museum and the Textile Museum

        FEB 09, 2019 - MAY 06, 2019

        Located in the heart of GW’s Foggy Bottom Campus, Washington, the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum fosters the study and appreciation of art, history, and culture—both within the university and throughout the global community.

        ADDRESS:
        701 21st Street, NW
        Washington, DC 20052

      • Mémorial de Caen

        JUN 04, 2019 - OCT 27, 2019

        The Mémorial de Caen is a museum and war memorial in Caen, Normandy, France commemorating World War II and the Battle for Caen. More generally, the museum is dedicated to the history of the twentieth century, mainly focused on the fragility of peace. Its intention is "pay a tribute to the martyred city of the liberation" but also to tell "what was the terrible story of the 20th century in a spirit of reconciliation"

        ADDRESS:
        Le Mémorial de Caen
        Esplanade Général Eisenhower
        CS 55026
        14050 Caen Cedex 4

      • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

        DEC 15, 2019 - MAR 22, 2020

        Houston has been hailed as America’s most diverse city, a reflection of how the nation will look in just a few decades. By its nature, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, along with its Glassell School of Art, and its two house museums—Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, and Rienzi—embodies the character of this city through the Museum’s staff, visitors, mission, programs, and collections.

        The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, houses an encyclopedic collection of more than 65,000 works of art created throughout the world, from antiquity to the present.

        ADDRESS: 
        1001 Bissonnet
        Houston, Texas 77005

      FOUR FREEDOMS CURRICULUM ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:

      Curriculum Authors: Cheryl Paulsen and Karen Romeo-Leger, with Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Tom Daly, Patrick O’Donnell

      Digital Platform: Rich Bradway, Adage Technologies