School Workshops


School workshops combine interactive gallery experiences with hands-on artmaking in the Ford Learning Center studio classrooms. Each workshop offers learner-centered activities and open-ended discussion inspired by works of art. School workshops are available for students from preschool through 12th grade and are led by highly trained Teaching Artists. School workshops support classroom learning while offering students the opportunity to explore 5,000 years of human creativity through original works of art. Strongly aligned with state and national learning standards, these interactive experiences teach students about art, improve visual literacy, empathy, and critical thinking skills while encouraging creative expression.



Grades 3–5

Did you know there are over 600 dragons in the Nelson-Atkins collection? Students learn about dragons from Eastern and Western cultures in the museum’s galleries and discover the creature’s role in art. Guided by gallery inspiration, students manipulate clay to create three-dimensional dragons.

Find workshop details and pre-/post-workshop resources by clicking below.

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Grades K–3

Come explore dragons, mermaids, and other fantastic creatures in the Nelson-Atkins collection. Then use some of the characteristics of those creatures in your own “combination creature” collage. What would you call your creature? In what kind of habitat would it live? What superpowers might your creature have? Discuss all of this and more in this journey into creature creativity!

Find workshop details and pre-/post-workshop resources by clicking below.

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Scribble Bot

Grades 5–8

In this workshop Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math come to life! In the galleries, students explore mark-making techniques of artists in the museum’s collection. In the classroom they tinker with simple circuitry to create a motorized mark-making machine. Lots of FUN for all!

Find workshop details and pre-/post-workshop resources by clicking below.

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Shapes and Color

Grades Pre-K–1

What are primary and secondary colors? What is the difference between a geometric and an organic shape? Get students excited about identifying shapes and colors, discovering them in works of art at the museum. Students apply their learning in the Studio Classrooms by creating a mixed media work of art with paint and collage.

Find workshop details and pre-/post-workshop resources by clicking below.

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Days: Thursdays, Fridays
Times: Th/Fri: 10:00 am, 12:30 pm
Length: 90 minutes.

Group Size: Minimum of 6 students, and maximum of 64 students per Workshop request.

Chaperones: 1 chaperone per 16 students is required; please round up for additional chaperones. The ideal chaperone assists with group behavior management and gallery transitions. No more than 2 chaperones per 16 students; paraeducators cannot be a chaperone. Children and siblings under 18 years of age are not eligible to be chaperones.

Workshop Cost: The $120 workshop fee includes art supplies and museum staff for one Nelson-Atkins Studio Classroom. Each classroom is designed to accommodate up to 16 students. The total number of students registered will be divided into groups of 16 or less to determine the number of Studio Classrooms your group will require.  Payment is due at the time of registration.

  • Example: I have 61 students total. I will need 4 Studio Classrooms. My total cost for Studio Workshops will be $480.

Schoolwide Title I schools in the Kansas City metropolitan area are eligible for the Nelson-Atkins’ Incentive Grant Program. The Incentive Grant Program underwrites workshop fees and provides a $200 stipend to offset trip expenses for classified schoolwide Title I schools in Missouri and Kansas. A minimum of 16 students is necessary to receive the funding. Maximum group size depends on the individual tour and workshop. More information is available at this link.

Validation of Incentive Grant benefits for qualifying visits will be included with your confirmation email. Requests from groups falsely claiming Title I status will be canceled.



How to book: Select a School Workshop and complete the Request for the number of Studio Classrooms your group will require.

When to book: At least three weeks’ advance notice is required. After submitting your request, you’ll receive a request acknowledgement email.

How to pay: Payment is due at the time of registration and requires a credit card to process. If your school is classified as a schoolwide Title I school, enter the promo code TITLE1 and click “submit” at the top right corner of the registration screen before entering any other information. Requests from groups falsely claiming Title I status will be canceled.  

Workshop Confirmation: Workshops are not confirmed until a confirmation email is received. Confirmation will arrive within 10 business days.

COVID-19: Workshops follow the museum’s overall COVID-19 safety policies. Please visit our Safety Guidelines page to check on our current policies related to COVID-19, including the status of masks.

The Nelson-Atkins does not have indoor dining spaces for school groups bringing lunches with them. School groups are welcome to eat sack lunches outdoors. In the case of inclement weather, the museum cannot provide an indoor eating space. Middle and high school groups of up to 45 students are welcome to make a reservation at Rozzelle Court Restaurant two weeks before their field trip. Contact for reservations or more information.

NOTE: For clarity of communication, each teacher needs to register for their own class. Please do not schedule for others.


To cancel or make a change to your scheduled workshop, please email Please include your name, phone number, confirmation number, name of school, date and time of your scheduled visit. Workshop cancellations require a minimum notice of three business days prior to the scheduled visit. Except for weather cancellations, groups who cancel without three days’ notice will not receive a refund. 

All changes to the date and time need to be submitted through a new workshop request. At least three weeks’ advance notice is required for submitting all changes. 

Prior to Submitting a School Workshop Request: 

  • Consult with your school’s administration; are you a school-wide Title 1 school in the KC metro? 
  • Check district and school calendars: Schedule around testing days, school assemblies, half days, and any other student events/programming. 
  • Know approximate travel time to and from your school 
  • Check bus scheduling calendar, maintenance days and availability 
  • 1 adult chaperone is required for every 16 students 
  • Have a credit card available to make payment at time of registration. 
  • The museum is CLOSED on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. So no onsite tours or workshops available on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. 

School Workshop Social Narrative (PDF) School workshops Social Story 2022.pdf 


For additional information please email 

We look forward to working with you!