Be a White House art detective! Students will use clues and special detective packs to explore the artwork in the White House collection. Acting as "detectives," they will locate important symbols of the executive branch in portraits of significant historical persons, White House furnishings, and other items in the White House collection. Students will conclude the program by planning their own portraits, using symbols from their own lives and times.

For Educators  ›  Pre-Visit Lesson & Activities

This pre-visit lesson plan and accompanying image sets were designed to prepare students for our Executive Detectives I: K-2 in-school program, a free outreach program available to teachers in the DC Metro Area.

If you are an educator outside of the DC Metro Area, this lesson includes several engaging activities perfect for classroom use. Instructions for each image set and reproducible can be found within the lesson plan.

Pre-Visit Lesson Plan and Background Information  ›  



Image Sets  ›  

»  "President Lincoln and Tad" [PDF]

»  "American Symbols" [PDF]

»  "White House Art Tour (K-2)" [PDF]

* These materials are for educational use only and unless otherwise noted, copyrighted by The White House Historical Association

Program Related Online Resources  ›  

For more information on the White House art collection and American symbols:

»  The White House Art Collection

»  Art In the White House

»  Bird Watching Expedition

»  The White House: Arts Museum

»  White House: Symbol of Leadership K-3 Lesson

»  The Fourth of July at the White House

»  Architecture

White House History Online Resources  ›  

»  Picturing the President's House

»  White House Time Machine

»  The President's House and Its People (Betty Monkman)

»  The President's House (William Seale)

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Standards & Correlations

Executive Detectives I (K-2)