Skirball Virtual Classroom

Rooted in Jewish tradition and American democratic ideals, the Skirball’s school programs illuminate the inherent value of each human being. Through vivid storytelling and participatory experiences, our student-centered cultural programs foster empathy, collaboration, and civic engagement—essential tools for creating just and resilient communities.

Aligned with Common Core State Standards and California Arts Standards, the Skirball Virtual Classroom features a wide range of online offerings designed to uplift and energize young learners.

  • Noah’s Ark at the Skirball™ Curriculum 
    Pre-K–Grade 5

    Inspired by ancient and culturally diverse flood stories, our Noah’s Ark classroom curriculum focuses on the ways that each of us, including the youngest members of our community, can make a difference.  

    The lessons are organized into four chapters:

    Welcome (lesson 1): Learn about flood stories from around the world 
    Storm (lessons 2–3): Face challenges by finding strength in community 
    Ark (lessons 4–5): Rethink and rebuild together
    Rainbow (lessons 6–7): Build a better world that cares for us all 

    Featuring vibrant video content, streaming on YouTube, our interactive lesson plans engage students in creative expression, empathy building, and community connection. Incorporate storytelling, mindfulness, and imaginative play in your classroom and invite your students to bring their original stories to life. 

  • Bring the whimsy and artistry of Noah’s Ark into your digital learning environment! Sign up for an interactive, educator-facilitated program that uses storytelling to explore big ideas like community, culture, and hope.

  • Connect culture and history to art and storytelling with the Skirball’s online lessons and activities!

    Tailor made for digital platforms, the following resources are meant to strengthen classroom communities, celebrate hope and discovery, and explore ways to build a better world. 

  • Mindful Moment: Rainbow

    Noah’s Ark Videos

    In this series of engaging YouTube videos, meet our Noah’s Ark educators, listen to their interpretations of flood stories from around the world, and create mindful moments to practice compassion and imagination.

    Stream on YouTube.

  • Student Writing

    The Art of Storytelling

    Welcome Chapter
    Aboard Noah’s Ark, we tell flood stories from around the world. Although certain elements are unique to each story, they all share overarching themes: huge storms, safe shelters, and new beginnings. Just as important as telling stories is listening to young people share their own stories. This lesson does just that!

    Download the lesson plan.

  • Community Council in Noah's Ark

    Community Council

    Storm Chapter
    Council is a dynamic practice that invites participants to share their memories and feelings with others. Use this simple and powerful discussion format in your classroom as a daily reflection, restorative practice, or a way to come together after a shared experience. 

    Download the lesson plan

  • Student

    Story Collector

    Storm Chapter
    Everyone is a storyteller. At the Skirball, we use storytelling to make connections across cultures, build strong communities, and carry on traditions from one generation to the next. In this lesson, students will connect with loved ones and role models, learn from the experiences of others, and become recorders of their own family and community histories.

    Download the lesson plan

  • Noah's Ark exterior

    Re-Discovered Animals

    Ark Chapter
    The animals on board Noah’s Ark are made from recycled materials that reflect the personality of each creature. In this lesson, students will explore the concept of symbolism as they construct their own animal sculptures using found objects.

    Download the lesson plan.

  • Noah's Ark from Head to Tale

    Ark Chapter
    The animals on board Noah’s Ark are handmade from everyday objects like bottle caps and bicycle parts. What stories might be found in these repurposed materials? In this lesson, students will use their imaginations to write first-person narratives about inanimate objects.

    Download the lesson plan.

    Show details

    This lesson is also offered as a virtual field trip; registration opens Friday, October 9, at 12:00 pm (PT).
  • Taking Action Together

    Rainbow Chapter
    Each of us, including the youngest members of our community, can make a difference. In this lesson, students will reflect on their community’s needs and create a service-learning action plan for the greater good. 

    Download the lesson plan.

  • Making a Card of Kindness

    Cards of Kindness

    Rainbow Chapter 
    Create messages of hope and gratitude for others in your community. Show your students how they can make a difference by expressing themselves through letter-writing, poetry, and the visual arts.

    Download the lesson plan

  • Children looking around Ark

    Noah’s Ark  Flood Stories

    Pre-K–Grade 4
    Experience timeless flood stories from cultures all around the world! Told by our dynamic Noah’s Ark educators, each story invites students to travel through huge storms, create safe shelters, and celebrate new beginnings—in some tales on a large boat, but in others, a walnut shell or a hollowed-out pumpkin. Let your students’ imaginations run wild and become part of the story! 

    JOIN WAITLIST

    Show details

    The Skirball’s Virtual Field Trips can be scheduled for up to sixty-minute sessions. Programs cost $50 per group (fee waivers available). The suggested group size is 30 participants or fewer. 
  • Noah’s Ark from Head to Tale

    Grades 3–5
    Explore the whimsical animals aboard Noah’s Ark! Handmade from repurposed everyday objects—including bottle caps, bicycle parts, baseball mitts, mop heads, and rearview mirrors—each Noah’s Ark animal celebrates second chances and offers hope for new beginnings. After learning about these special animals, students will work with a Noah’s Ark educator to create their own stories inspired by found objects.

    REGISTER NOW

    Show details

    The Skirball’s Virtual Field Trips can be scheduled for up to sixty-minute sessions. Programs cost $50 per group (fee waivers available). The suggested group size is 30 participants or fewer. 

    Facilitate this activity on your own! This lesson plan is included in the Noah’s Ark at the Skirball™ Curriculum

  • Making Music

    At Home in LA

    Grades 2–5
    Tzedakah is the Hebrew word for “justice” and can often be interpreted as “good deeds.” In this lesson, which has been adapted from on-site and post-visit activities related to our At Home in LA school tour, 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 a positive change in their own homes, communities, and the world.

    Download the lesson plan.

  • students looking at architecture

    Architecture and Community

    Grade 4 
    How does culture shape the spaces in which we live? And how does our built environment influence our emotions? Ponder these questions and more while discovering the art and science of architecture at the Skirball. Take a virtual tour of our dynamic indoor and outdoor spaces, learn how the Skirball was designed to be an oasis for all, and give your students an opportunity to act as urban planners as they construct their own community building project. 

    Coming in 2021.
     
  • School Tour

    Americans and Their Family Stories

    Grade 5 
    Learn about the experiences of people who have come to the United States from around the world and the resiliency that characterizes each individual’s journey. Students learn of an American Jewish immigrant experience at the turn of the twentieth century, gain an understanding of the harrowing challenges many migrants to the US have faced—across cultures, time periods, and circumstances—and cultivate an appreciation for all who strengthen the story of our nation. 
     

    Coming in 2021.

  • Docent teaching students

    Archaeology of the Near East

    Grade 6 
    How different are we from people who lived 3,000 years ago? Connect the past, present, and future in this fun archaeological virtual adventure! Students examine and analyze the artifacts of an Iron Age town to develop hypotheses about the history, commerce, religion, and cultural practices of our ancient ancestors. Consider what traces we are leaving behind for future generations as we become the cultural heritage protectors of tomorrow. 

    Coming in 2021.