Virtual Classroom

Online Art Programs

Virtual Classroom at the McMichael

As a supplement to the regular in-gallery programming offered by the McMichael, the Creative Learning Team is now available to virtually visit your classroom using the video technology of your choice.

Each program is a 60-minute-long live online engagement led by a McMichael educator or instructor for a group of up to 15 students. The programs are available in English or French and can be booked together as a two-hour package, or separately as one-hour units. If requested, teachers will be able to book multiple groups for simultaneous program delivery.

At the time of booking, teachers will receive an information package and a link to online resources which can be used as pre/post-visit activities.

The McMichael Creative Learning Team uses the ZOOM platform for program delivery. If requested, other platforms including Google Meets, Microsoft Teams etc. may be accepted. Please note, the booking teacher or a designated teacher assistant will act as the host for each virtual session. If needed, the McMichael will provide a free, pre-visit online tutorial to help teachers prepare for the program.

A.J. Casson, Little Island, 1965

A.J. Casson, Little Island, 1965, oil on canvas, 75.5 x 88.5 cm, Donated by Miss Adele E.G. Curry and Dr. B.H. Gaylord Curry

McMichael Virtual Classroom:
The Group of Seven

Grades 4 to 8

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Group of Seven’s first exhibition in May 1920, the McMichael unveils two new virtual engagement programs: Virtual Guided Viewing of the Group of Seven Works and the Virtual Landscape Studio. Both programs are geared towards grade 4 to 8 students.

Lawren S. Harris, Icebergs, Davis Strait, 1930

Lawren S. Harris, Icebergs, Davis Strait, 1930, oil on canvas, 121.9 x 152.4 cm, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. H. Spencer Clark

This virtual interactive program, led by a McMichael educator, explores some of the most iconic works of the Group of Seven in the McMichael’s collection. Guided viewing of the works and group activities will encourage students to learn how to identify the elements and principles of art while discovering the Group of Seven members’ personal style and stylistic developments while learning about their choice of subject matter.

Driving Investigative Questions: 

  • How have the artists’ techniques been expressed through the elements and principles of art to create a unique artistic style?
  • Older students can explore further by discussing how the individual style of the artist contributes to the collective style of the Group of Seven.

Curriculum Connections: 

Visual Arts, Language & Media Literacy, Social Studies

Program Outline: 

Welcome and Gallery introduction
→ Explain your role and introduce students to the Group of Seven and their connection to the McMichael.

Making Connections
→ Establish language for discussion of artworks, including use of interactive activities to help students identify elements and principles of art.
→ Explore how artists create different styles in their artworks, such as uses of colour (i.e. Complimentary, Analogous and Monochromatic), or stylization of lines and shapes.

Taking it Further
→ Discuss how artists use a personal style to create meaning or tell a story through their artwork.
→ Explore collective versus individual identity through discussion of how the individual style of each artist contributed to the collective style of the Group of Seven.

Program Objectives: Learning Outcomes:
  • To implement innovative technology within the creative process
  • To explore and identify the elements and principles of art
  • To explore and identify the many different styles of Canadian art
  • To creatively respond to the many different styles of the Group of Seven
  • To move students towards an understanding of what makes us individuals within a larger community, and how artists cultivate their own personal identity
Students will…

  • Think in a creative capacity and implement the use of technology
  • Detect different compositions and elements/principles of design
  • Detect the differences between elements/principles of design and learn how to describe them
  • Learn how the elements/principles of design can help create different styles of art
  • Gain an understanding of the different styles of art and how the artists create certain styles
  • Learn to recognize the difference between personal and collective identity, as conveyed through various artworks
  • Create lasting memories that will enrich their lives

Inspired by the Group of Seven, this studio instructs students on how to go from a series of initial sketches to a completed piece of art, all while discovering the modernist take on the landscape genre.

Conducted live by a McMichael instructor, this process-oriented studio includes an exploration of the many techniques used by Group of of Seven as students learn tips and tricks for creating a truly unique landscape. The presentation will include close looking at reproductions of the Group of Seven artworks and pre-recorded videos as well as live instruction and a final collective art critique.

Basic material choices will be given to help accommodate what participants have on hand at home. Pre- and post-visit step-by-step activities will be provided with the booking.

Program Outline: 

Welcome and Introductions
→ Establish the focus of the studio, discuss the Group of Seven and the Landscape genre, review elements and principles of art.

Thumbnail Sketching Activity
→ Explore photographs of locations painted by members of the Group of Seven and respond by creating four small sketches to use as inspiration for a larger piece of art.

Drawing Studio
→ Create a polished piece of art in response to the sketches that were created earlier.

Collective Art Critique
→ Share completed works and constructive criticism in a group discussion.

Secondary Objectives: Learning Outcomes:
  • To discuss and experiment with different stylistic approaches to drawing and painting the Canadian landscape
  • To review the elements of design and their role in the creative process
  • To explore a variety of materials, tools, and techniques to respond to design challenges
  • To explore and identify the many different styles of Canadian art
  • To respond creatively to the many different styles of the Group of Seven
Students will…

  • Demonstrate an understanding of composition, using principles of design to create artwork based on the Canadian landscape
  • Use elements of design in artwork to communicate ideas and personal responses to the Canadian landscape
  • Identify strengths, interests and areas for improvement as creators of art

Pre-visit Activity:


A viewfinder is a simple tool that allows artists to isolate or crop a scene within a simple rectangular shape. By looking through the rectangular shape, the artist can choose which area of the landscape to use as inspiration. The artist can move the viewfinder closer or further away from his or her face to change the size of the chosen area!

Post-visit Activity:


Now that you’ve completed your artwork, it’s time to frame it. Some of the most famous works of art around the world are placed in extravagant frames while others are framed very simply. It’s up to you to determine the style of frame that best suits your piece. The possibilities are endless!


Bookings are available weekdays from 9:30 am to 4 pm. The timing of the programs and breaks can be adjusted to the teachers’ schedule and needs.

At the time of booking, please be prepared to provide the following information:

  • The program(s) you are interested in booking
  • The grade level(s) and total number of students who will participate
  • Your anticipated times and breaks
  • Your preferred dates

Please book as early as possible to secure your spot and communicate any special programming requests at the time of booking.


Pricing is based on a rate of $50 per hour of programming per group of up to 15 students.

To learn more about other upcoming booking offers and programming details, sign up for the McMichael’s Ed Flash e-newsletter at or by emailing [email protected].


A deposit of 50% of the total contracted fee is due at the time of booking. The balance is due on the day of the program. The McMichael accepts VISA, MasterCard, American Express, cash, debit, or cheques (payable to McMichael Canadian Art Collection).


Any cancellations or program modifications must be received at least 5 days prior to the scheduled delivery. Cancellations made within 5 days of the scheduled delivery will be charged 50% of the contracted rate.


Inquiry form below
Tuesday to Friday  |  8 am to 4 pm
905.893.1121 ext. 2209  |  1.888.213.1121