School visits may be arranged Tuesday through Friday at 9:45 am. All PreK-12 student group visits are free of charge.
We are now booking school tours from late May 2024 onwards.
Trained museum educators lead our PreK–12 guided school tours. Tours are interactive and filled with activities to help students connect with works of art.
- Phillips Educators are trained in inquiry-based learning and arts integration.
- Tours are 1 hour, 15 minutes in duration. You are welcome explore the galleries in small groups with chaperones following the tour.
- Please plan to arrive 5 minutes early, and factor in additional time if your group will need a bathroom break prior to the tour.
- Visits must be scheduled at least one month in advance.
- School groups cannot be greater than 50. One chaperone is required for every 10 students.
- Unfortunately, we do not have the space and capacity to accommodate student lunches at the museum.
- Scroll down to see the school tours offered.
Before your visit, we recommend that you explore the following resources:
- Our educator resources to see some of our arts integration strategies, activities, and lesson plans.
- The Collection page to see which works are currently on view.
- The Visit page and Self-guide pages for additional information and resources.
*If you are a from a DC Public School and need funding for a bus, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Bus stipends are available on a first come, first serve basis.
*Please review our safety guidelines before your visit.
We understand that plans can change and we want to accommodate your group’s needs as best as we can. However, in order to ensure that our resources are used efficiently and that as many groups as possible can enjoy our tours, please note our cancellation policy:
- Please let us know of any cancellations AT LEAST 14 DAYS prior to your scheduled visit.
- In the event of a last-minute cancellation or multiple repeat cancellations, we reserve the right to refuse any future bookings for your school or group.
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com. We value your support and look forward to welcoming you for a tour!
2023-24 School Tours Offered
Students will look closely at works of art to identify details about characters who may become friends, places where they might spend time with friends, and activities they can do together with friends. Students will consider how the values of friendship are expressed through art.
Awakening the Senses
This tour prioritizes sensory learning. Through activities that incorporate movement, sketching, writing, and conversation, students will focus on the senses of sound, sight, touch, taste, and smell as the primary pathways to make connections to art.
Art & Storytelling
Every work of art tells a story. Through close looking at composition and consideration of setting, characters, and narrative, students will dive deep into the storytelling possibilities of selected works of art. They will use their imaginations to create narratives in drawings, written works (poetry/short story), and choreographed movements
Color, Line & Shape
This tour will concentrate on color, line, and shape, and explore how these elements of art create compositional structure. Focusing on representational art, abstract art, and art that challenges categorization, the tour will foster critical thinking and creative expression. Discussions will use the museum’s collection to explore key visual art terms and concepts. Students will learn that there is no right way, no wrong way, and no limits to making art
Nature in Art
Students will engage with the beauty of artworks inspired by the natural world. Using close looking strategies, they will identify elements of art and draw conclusions about how nature motivates and influences artists. Students will think critically about the impact humans have on the natural world as they use art to express their own relationship with the environment.
Places - Real & Imagined / Artists in Your Backyard
Students will use art to critically engage with the idea of place and community. They will work together through a variety of close-looking gallery activities to evaluate representational artworks that offer visualizations of both real and imagined places. This tour can be customized to include DC-born and DC-based artists so students can engage with artwork inspired by their hometown.
What is a museum?
Students will learn how a museum functions and how collections are created, preserved, interpreted, and enjoyed. Students will explore the key roles of the people who make a museum work, and how their diverse skill sets combine to make a vibrant, creative community. Students will be encouraged to think about how their own talents and interests may apply to such an environment. They will consider why museums matter to them now and why museums are places for lifelong learning.
Taking a Stand, Making a Change
Art is inseparably connected to identity. Whether you are the artist or the art admirer, art illuminates who we are as human beings and influences how we relate to each other and the world around us. In this tour, students will explore the relationship of identity to artistic expression by analyzing the ways in which artists use the elements of art (color, line, shape, form, and texture) to convey their expressions of identity. Students will gain a deeper understanding on the interconnectedness of identity and artistic expression to consider how art can be a powerful platform for diverse thoughts in advocacy and activism and in the sharing of historical events and personal narratives.
Shifting Perspectives & Seeing Differently
Each student experiences the world from their own unique perspective. In this tour, students will discover the importance of seeing the world through different lenses. They will analyze how different individuals can reach unique conclusions, even when accessing the same visual information. They will develop new ways to engage with art through their own personal experiences and through listening to varied perspectives in group discussions.
Creative Writing Workshop
Students will express themselves in a series of creative writing activities inspired by visual art. Students write with empathy, challenge their understanding of the world, and shift their perspectives. Exploration of published text (poems, journal entries, song lyrics, expository writing, dramatic dialogue) will provide examples for students and enhance the experience.