The Old Jail Art Center


Experience the museum virtually through Distance Learning!

Engage the visual and critical thinking skills of your students while exploring current social and cultural topics through the lens of the OJAC art collection.

What to Expect: Students will enjoy a book or short video, investigate and discuss artifacts from the museum collection and create a work of art with a certified instructor. Programs are very interactive and teachers are expected to facilitate questions and pass out materials. The museum provides most of the supplies- materials will be shipped in advance of program. Fees vary per program.

Reservations: Please schedule distance learning classes at least two weeks in advance to allow for mailing of art materials. Classes are limited to 30 students, without additional fees, and connections are restricted to one to two campuses to enable instructor attention for each individual student.

Any program may be requested at your preferred date/time by contacting Education Director Erin Whitmore or call (325)762-2936.

To view our scheduled programs go to Connect2Texas and select Old Jail Art Center from the program filter.

Adinkra, Anansi and Achi!- Ghana

Grades: 2-5

Cost: $65

Length: 45 minutes

Through a reading of Anansi by author Gerald McDermott, students will explore themes of resourcefulness, selflessness and family relationships.

After viewing a Ghanese artifact from the OJAC collection students will investigate the Adinkra cloth-printing process and its importance in Ashanti culture.

Students will also discover the Ghanese children’s board game of Achi- a game that looks like a spider web and is played much like tic tac toe.

Following discussion, students will create their own game boards inspired by Adinkra cloth and the web of Anansi the Spider.

An Eye for Detail - National Vision Awareness Month

Grades: K-1

Cost: $65

Length: 45 minutes

K-1st graders will practice listening, observation and communication skills through a creative exploration of children's literature and visual art.

Following a reading of The Eye Book by Dr. Suess, students will view and discuss three works of art from the museum collection- searching for clues, details and meaning.

Each student will complete a flip book of diagrams and artwork which explores 'how we see,' 'how we protect our eyes' and 'how to look closely and focus.'

Arbor Day

Grades: 3-6

Cost: $65

Length: 45 minutes

Did you know that trees have their own national holiday?

Explore the history and traditions of Arbor Day and view In The Spring by artist Grant Wood. This is an excellent opportunity to utilize Visual Thinking Strategies in the classroom while exploring social study topics such as Recycling and Reforestation.

Students will enjoy a reading of The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein.

Students will watch to learn how to create a multi-media tree sculpture using recycled and recyclable materials.

Children's Day - Japan

Grades: 1-3

Cost: $65

Length: 45 minutes

Did you know that each May 5th is Children's Day in Japan? Join the OJAC as we celebrate the history and traditions of this ancient holiday.

Students will read A Carp For Kimiko, by Virginia Kroll and discuss ideas of tradition and change.

While viewing ancient porcelain vessels and woodblock prints with Koinobori imagery, students will discuss the Koi Fish as a symbol for character and perserverence in Japanese culture.

Using colors and designs that express their identity, students will then create their own Koinobori flag to hang at school or home to celebrate Children's Day!

While students work, they will listen to traditional Japanese children's songs about Koinobori.

Day of the Dead

Grades: 2-4

Cost: $65

Length: 45 minutes

Discover the traditions of el Dia de los Muertos with the Old Jail Art Center.

Enjoy the story of Rosita y Conchita by Eric Gonzalez and investigate the cultural significance of the Ofrenda.

Students will explore the history of Papel Picado (the art of punched paper design) and create a colorful luminaria with symmetrical designs.

Each student will also receive a small, battery votive candle to light their ofrenda or front porch at home for the holiday.

Diwali - The Indian Festival of Lights!

Grades: K-2

Cost: $65

Length: 45 minutes

Did you know that over 1 billion of the worlds population celebrate Diwali-The Festival of Lights? This year, Diwali will be celebrated around the world on October 19th!

Join the Old Jail Art Center as we explore the food, music and decorations for this special Indian holiday.

After reading the book Lighting a Lamp by author Jonny Zucker each student will create and decorate their own Diya lamp with clay, beads and a battery operated votive.

Hispanic Heritage Month

Grades: 2-5

Cost: $75

Length: 45 minutes

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with the Old Jail Art Center!

Students are introduced to pre-Columbian pottery, history and traditions through The Pot that Juan Built - a beautiful story of rhyming and repetition by author Nancy Andrews-Goebel.

Students will investigate the ancient techniques and designs of the Casas Grandes people through a short video and examination of works from the museum's collection.

Each student will sculpt and decorate a pot of their own using non-mess air-dry clay. Throughout the art project students will review mathematical concepts including: three-dimensional forms, pattern, repetition and positive/negative space.

Inspired By Mom - Mother's Day

Grades: K-1

Cost: $65

Length: 45 minutes

K-1st graders will enjoy a reading of Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman, then view artwork with mothers and children from the museum collection.

Students will learn the word “attribute,” and discuss what is special about their own parent or caregiver.

Each student will create a “Mother’s Day Edition” Newspaper to present as a gift this holiday, with a drawing and interview to complete, as well as activities based on images of the artwork they viewed during the program.

Jacob's Ladder - African American Heritage Month

Grades: 4-8

Cost: $75 per site

Length: 45 minutes

Celebrate African-American Heritage with music and art! Investigate the significance of the story of Jacob's Ladder in African American culture during the time of slavery.

Listen to a historical spiritual/ folk song and examine the painting "Jacob's Dream," by W.M. Kelly Fearing.

Students will participate in a discussion of their hopes and dreams for the future and then illustrate those dreams on rungs of an actual wooden, Jacob's Ladder toy.

Las Posadas: Christmas Traditions in Hispanic Culture

Grades: K-2

Cost: $65

Length: 45 minutes

Celebrate this Holiday Season with the OJAC and discover the history Las Posadas in Hispanic culture!

Students will enjoy a presentation including songs, a short cartoon and a reading of Uno, Dos, Tres, Posada! by author Virginia Kroll.

Following discussion, students will create their own, 3-D Poinsettia Flower to decorate your classroom before the Holiday break.

Some Spanish used in this program.

Lunar New Year - China

Grades: 2-3 or 4-6

Cost: $65

Length: 45 minutes

Grades 2-3

Explore the history of Lunar New Year while viewing artwork and artifacts from China and other Asian countries.

Students will read The Great Race by author Dawn Casey, learn about the animals of the Chinese Zodiac tradition and identify the animal and characteristics that represent their year of birth.

Each student will then create a feathered puppet to celebrate.

Grades 4-6

Explore the history of Lunar New Year celebrations while viewing artwork and artifacts from China and other Asian countries.

After an investigation of lunar versus solar time cycles, students will enjoy the story of the Great Race and explore the history of the Chinese Zodiac Calendar.

Following identification of their own Zodiac animal symbol- students will investigate Chinese tangrams.

Through this traditional puzzle-art form, students will work to create each of the animals in the Chinese zodiac using a variety of shapes. This puzzle-activity will be excellent enrichment for your students' spacial and problem solving skills!

Students will leave with a pocket-sized, reusable magnetic Tangram game they can share with friends.

May Day - England

Grades: 3-6

Cost: $65

Length: 45 minutes

Learn about the history surrounding this colorful holiday in England and explore customs that are expressions of hope after a long winter.

Students will enjoy a reading of On the Morn of Mayfest by author Erika Silverman.

Students will then observe and discuss seasonal artworks from the museum collection and then create a traditional May Day Cone, filled with floral good-wishes for their fellow classmates.

National Poetry Month

Grades: 3-5

Cost: $65

Length: 45 minutes

Celebrate National Poetry Month this April! Explore Acrostic, Haiku and Shape poetry through an artistic investigation.

This is an excellent opportunity to connect language arts and visual thinking strategies in your classroom.

Using sensory details and descriptive wording, students will compose three poems inspired by works of art in the museum collection.

Each student will create a tri-fold poetry booklet, complete with their own compositions and images from the museum collection.

National Wildflower Week

Grades: 3-5

Cost: $65

Length: 45 minutes

Students will explore the history of National Wildflower Week and view works of art from the museum collection that spotlight these beautiful plants.

Students will discuss the important role that wildflowers and native plants serve in environment conservation. (They help conserve water, reduce mowing costs, provide habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife and protect the soil from erosion. In addition, native plants often require less resources to maintain than plants that aren't native to a region.)

Students will enjoy a reading of Miss Lady Birds Wildflowers, and learn of the former First Lady's efforts to re-plant native flowers in her home state of Texas.

Following the reading, each student will begin work on their own Wildflower Journal.

Students in Texas will also receive a packet of wildflower seeds to plant at home.

Navajo Weaving - Native American Heritage Month

Grades: 1-2 or 3-4

Cost: $65

Length: 45 minutes

Your students will explore Navajo weaving traditions through a delightful children’s story, a close-up viewing of Navajo art from the museum collection and a classroom weaving activity.

Enjoy the classic children’s book, A Goat in the Rug, by author Martin Link and then investigate Navajo symbolism through authentic, antique weavings.

Grades 1-2

Each student will create a colorful paper weaving inspired by traditional Navajo animal imagery.

Grades 3-4

At the conclusion of the program, each student will create a woven vessel of their own using traditional colors and designs.

Patolli - A Mayan Harvest Game

Grades: 7-10

Cost: $65

Length: 45 minutes

Students will explore the ancient board game of Patolli and it’s social and economic role in Mayan society during the Harvest Season.

Students will view and discuss a Mayan artifact reflecting the god of Games, Macuilxochitl and the god of Maize, Popol Vuh.

Students will learn and play the game of Patolli after designing their own game board with personalized Mayan glyphs.

Pysanky (Spring Egg Decoration) - Ukraine

Grades: 1-3

Cost: $65

Length: 45 minutes

Celebrate the arrival of Spring and learn the traditional art of Pysanky, Ukrainian egg decoration.

Students will read Rechenka’s Eggs, and discover connections between illustrations by author/artist Patricia Polacco and artworks from the Old Jail Art Center’s Collection.

Each student will design their own egg in Ukrainian style, using geometric and organic designs. This project will include a review of 2D versus 3D forms, as well as the division of shapes into halves and fourths.

What Pet Should I Get? - National Pet Adoption Month

Grades: K-2

Cost: $65

Length: 45 minutes

Celebrate National Shelter Adoption Month and the newest release by Dr. Seuss!

K-2nd graders will practice listening, observation, calculation and graphing skills through a creative exploration of children's literature and visual art.

Following a reading of What Pet Should I Get? students will explore museum collection images of children and their pets. From feline to fish to fowl, students will discuss the benefits and responsibilities involved in caring for the animals that share their homes and lives.

At the conclusion of the program, students will be led through a simple voting and graphing activity that reflects the "pet preferences" of their classmates.

Winds of Change: National Energy Awareness Month

Grades: 6-8

Cost: $65

Length: 45 minutes

Wind Farms seem to be sprouting all over Texas these days!

Observe National Energy Awareness Month this October and join the Old Jail Art Center for an in-depth exploration of this very popular and sometimes controversial technology.

Students will review the difference between renewable and non-renewable energy resources.

Students will explore wind turbine and energy collection technologies.

Students will be presented with a variety of viewpoints on wind energy- including those of a State Conservation Representative, a local landowner and local artist whose work reflects the changing Texas rural landscape.

Following discussion, students will each craft a simple Windmill model that demonstrates how energy is created from motion.

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The views and opinions expressed are those of the contributing members of Connect2Texas and do not necessarily represent the views of the Education Service Center Region 11. While some content is deemed appropriate for various curriculum standards used by viewers nationwide, most content providers make an effort to tie their content to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).