Take your class to the museum using Google Cultural Institute


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Access the Google Cultural Institute
  • Create a virtual tour or gallery
  • Share a virtual tour or gallery with students


The following scenarios show examples of how educators use the Cultural Institute in their classrooms.

Create an Exhibition

Ms. Sanchez teaches visual art in a rural school in Nicaragua. She wants to help create world citizens by educating her students about places around the world, but she is limited by a lack of funds and school supplies. Currently she is teaching her year-9 students about the history of visual art but is unable to take her children on a field trip to see national pieces in Nicaraguan history nor African, Asian, or European art. The few books she has for students are limited in the pictures and pieces they show and the magnification is often poor.

Recently, her school received laptops for students and broadband Internet access. Ms. Sanchez decides that her first Internet-aided lesson will be a virtual trip to a museum to see an exhibit that she has curated. She uses the Art Project in the Google Cultural Institute to pick a theme for her exhibition, order the pieces thoughtfully, and share it with the students. Now, her students can actually see the pieces they study, magnify them up close to see the detail at the brushstroke level, and even compare and contrast pieces side by side that are in different museums. The level of student engagement increases, and now, after a survey, she discovers that 9% of her students are interested in studying visual art, architecture, or history. After four weeks, the average visual arts grade or score for her students doubles due to the increased excitement and time the students are spending studying visual art all over the world.

Research a Historical Event

A secondary school history teacher, Mr. Bilgizan teaches his Eurasian students about African history. Designing history projects and activities takes him four to six hours for each activity and project because he must go to several sources to do his history research. He spends part of the time trying to find authentic, relevant, accurate sources.

A teacher at another school tells him about the Google Cultural Institute, so he decides to check it out. He is amazed. Museums and curators have already collated and curated exhibits taking photographs, paintings, and letters from various sources and put them in one place. It provides him a perfect place to start his research on certain topics, and it even points him to the sources of those pieces. He is able to reduce his project design and activity design time down to two or three hours, closer to the time he spends for the average history lesson. His students are also happier with the amazing visual power of the digital images and research they can do using the Google Cultural Institute.

Find lesson plans and teach history

Ms. Rikuko is a first-year primary school teacher teaching all subjects in an all-day school. She also has a family and returns home by 6:00 PM; 7:30 PM on days she does after-school tutoring. Adjusting to her teaching schedule has been difficult, and she finds she is extremely tired at the end of the day. Often, she must choose between marking papers, spending time with her family, or planning the next day’s lesson.

Her teaching coaches always tell her to apply best practices and reuse high-quality lesson plans that fit and work well for her kids. At the very least she could just edit and shape them for her students. Her mentor asks her which subject takes her the longest time to plan. Ms. Rikuko says history. Her coach points her to the Google Cultural Institute’s World Wonders education project. There she is able to find lesson plans that integrate geography and history appropriate for her students grade and year levels. She also finds she can easily make quizzes using the Art Project. This allows her to both plan lessons and mark papers the night before. When she finds time to do this during her break times, she can focus on marking and spend time with family at night.


Access the Cultural Institute

To access the Cultural Institue:

  1. Navigate to www.google.com/culturalinstitute.
  2. Click the down arrow in the top left, next to the word Explore.
  3. Choose and click the Art Project, Historic Moments, or World Wonders.

Create a virtual tour or gallery

To create a virtual tour or gallery:

  1. Navigate to www.google.com/culturalinstitute.
  2. Click the down arrow in the top left, next to the word Explore.
  3. Choose and click the Art Project, Historic Moments, or World Wonders.
  4. Explore different items in the various collections. When you see an item you like in a collection, hover your mouse over the item. Click the plus (+) button. This adds the item to your Saved Items.
  5. When you are finished collecting items, click My Galleries.  You have two options:
  6. Click New blank gallery.
  7. Click New gallery from saved items.
  8. Enter a title in the Add Title field.
  9. Add a description.
  10. If you chose New blank gallery, drag and drop the saved items at the bottom of the screen into your gallery in the order you prefer.

Share a virtual tour or gallery with students

To share a tour or gallery:

  1. From within a specific gallery (to share one gallery), click Private at the top right. This switches the gallery to a public gallery.
You can then share by any of the three methods below:
  1. Copy the URL in the address bar of the browser, and email the URL to students or teachers.
  2. From the My Galleries page, click Share in the bottom left corner.
  3. Click the Google+1, Facebook, Twitter, or Email button at the bottom of the page to share your galleries with others. Make sure you know their email address if you choose the Email button.

Classroom connections

You and your students can use the information you have learned in this lesson in the following ways:

Teacher Activities

Do it Yourself

Educational Resources

History Lesson Plans

Learn more

Additional information about the topics in this lesson can be found here:

Visit the Cultural Institute for more information!

Take Your Class to the Museum

Google Cultural Institute Product Forum


Part A. Create a Gallery Exhibition and share it

  1. Create a gallery exhibition with 10 paintings of a similar theme.
  2. Give it the title “Thematic Art.”
  3. Write a description for the gallery.
  4. Share the gallery with a friend or colleague.

Part B. Explore Compare and Contrast

  1. Search through the galleries available on the Google Cultural Institute website.
  2. When you find a piece you would like to compare, click Compare at the bottom left of the screen.
  3. Drag and drop the first piece into one of the two boxes.
  4. Search through the galleries for another art piece to compare.
  5. When you find it, drag and drop the second piece into the second, last box.
  6. Click Start Comparing.
  7. What one thing do you notice about these two pieces? Share it in the forum below!

Part C. Explore

  1. Explore public galleries created by others. Pick two that are your favorite.
  2. Explore history lesson plans related to the World Wonders Project.

Part D. How will you use Google Cultural Institute in your classroom?

Please answer all questions in order to receive credit for this project.

Please answer all questions in order to receive credit for this project.