image of students

Photo by Mercie Ghimire

Updated Friday, June 5, 2020 
By Anna Schwarz

Hello, teachers, and welcome to the Skirball Virtual Classroom!

My name is Anna Schwarz and I’m Head of School and Teacher Programs at the Skirball. As an educator and a parent to a fourth-grader, I am especially grateful for teachers right now. Your flexibility, thoughtfulness, and care make such a difference as we all adjust to new rhythms of learning and working at home. Thank you! 

Although the Skirball is temporarily closed, we remain every bit as committed to working with you and your students to build empathy, collaboration, and resilience. On this page, you’ll find lesson plans and activities tailor-made for digital platforms that explore big ideas like community, culture, and new beginnings. Check back in the coming weeks for more!

In all the newness and uncertainty, we hope these lessons remind you and your students how important it is to be kind, creative, and optimistic. As we say during our Noah’s Ark school tours: We all face storms in life, but by working together, we can build a brighter future.

  • cards of kindness

    Build a Better World: Cards of Kindness

    Pre-K–Grade 12

    Get creative and support the helpers and do-gooders in our community by creating and sending cards of kindness! Show your students how they can make a difference by expressing themselves through letter-writing, poetry, and the visual arts.

    View the full lesson plan.

  • kids working together

    Tzedakah Seeker

    Grades 2–5

    Tzedakah is the Hebrew word for “justice” and can often be interpreted as “good deeds.” In this lesson, students will explore tzedakah through a multicultural lens by learning how different cultures highlight the ways they help others. Students will then think about the everyday actions they can take to make positive change in their own homes, communities, and the world.

    View the full lesson plan.

  • educator telling a story

    Story Collector

    Grades 2–12

    Use the power of storytelling to make connections across cultures, build strong communities, and carry on traditions from one generation to the next. In this lesson, students are encouraged to connect with loved ones, learn from the experiences of others, and become recorders of their own family and community histories.

    View the full lesson plan.

  • Kids sitting in circle

    Community Council

    Pre-K–Grade 12 

    Build connections, celebrate differences, and practice active listening with community council! This simple and powerful discussion format can be used in your virtual classroom as a daily reflection, restorative practice, or a way to come together after a shared experience. 

Anna Schwarz is Head of School and Teacher Programs. At the Skirball, she collaborates with an ensemble of talented educators to design inclusive and mindful programming for Pre-K through Grade 12 students and teachers. Prior to her work in museums, Anna was a German language teacher in Poland’s public schools. A transplant to LA (and to the US), Anna is always looking for ways to learn more about the world and how people experience it.