Educators
Engage students of all ages

School Tours and Workshops

Tours are free and last for one hour and 15 minutes.
Workshops are $7 per student and last for 90 minutes.

Browse the tours and workshops below.

Teachers may request one Docent-led tour OR one Workshop per day.
A same-day Teacher-led tour can be added to a requested Docent-led tour or Workshop.

To begin your request, please review the appropriate guidelines. You will continue to registration after that.
Tour Guidelines Workshop Guidelines

  • Collection Tours
  • Highlight Tours
  • Teacher Led Tours
  • Thematic Tours
  • New Dimensions Workshop

Ancient Odysseys

Introduce students to the four early cultures of Western Civilization–Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, and Rome. By using both primary and secondary sources, students are encouraged to think about how ancient objects communicate cultural beliefs and practices that are still relevant today. Good for teachers wanting to build on their curriculum of the ancient worlds. Background knowledge is necessary for this tour to be enjoyable.

Maximum number of students: 60

Classroom Connections Resource

[Grades 6-12]

Art is Elementary – Tour A

Introduce your students to the Nelson-Atkins! Through activities and conversations, students will forge connections with artwork by becoming comfortable in a museum and practicing art observation and discussion.

Galleries visited: Impressionism | 18th Century Italian | Chinese Furniture | Japanese Art

Available in two iterations and in ASL. For more information about an ASL tour, please contact asl@nelson-atkins.org.

Maximum number of students: 60

[Grades 3-5]

Art is Elementary – Tour B

Introduce your students to the Nelson-Atkins! Through activities and conversations, students will forge connections with artwork by becoming comfortable in a museum and practicing art observation and discussion.

Galleries visited: Abstract Expressionism | Pop Art | African Collection | Contemporary Sculpture

Available in two iterations and in ASL. For more information about an ASL tour, please contact asl@nelson-atkins.org.

Maximum number of students: 60

[Grades 3-5]

Beyond the Buffalo

This tour investigates the materials, forms and visual language in American Indian art. Students will gain insight into the daily life, culture and customs of North American Native peoples in the Woodlands, Plains, Southwest and Northwest Coast. This tour can build on students’ knowledge of American Indian history, or be a fantastic introduction to American Indian culture.

Maximum number of students: 75
Cost: Free

Galleries visited are subject to change based on availability.

Classroom Connections Resource

[Grades 3-8]

Breaking with Tradition

As students explore the museum’s collection of European art from 1860 to 1945, they will encounter the diversity and creativity of art, including Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Cubism, and more. Through discussion and participatory activities, the tour will engage students in observing and describing works of art, supporting their opinions using visual evidence, and thinking critically about how artists use the elements of art and principles of design to respond to the changing world around them.

Maximum number of students: 60

[Grades 3-6]

Chinese Collection

This tour of Chinese art will provide students an opportunity to study China’s unique and enduring visual culture. By examining authentic primary sources, students will be exposed to the philosophical, artistic, and technological accomplishments of Chinese civilization.

Maximum number of students: 60

Classroom Connections Resource

[Grades 6-12]

Featured Exhibition Tour

Queen Nefertari: Eternal Egypt
Discover the sights, sounds, and culture of ancient Egypt in this interactive tour of the exhibition Queen Nefertari: Eternal Egypt. As students explore art and artifacts related to Nefertari, celebrated wife of the New Kingdom pharaoh Ramesses II, they will consider what art objects can tell us about ancient Egyptian religious beliefs, political systems, artistic traditions, and daily life. This tour emphasizes close looking and critical thinking and can be adapted as needed.

Scheduled school tours of ticketed special exhibitions are FREE for students, teachers, and chaperones.

Maximum number of students: 60

[Grades 3-12]

French Collection

Explore art created by artists from the French-speaking world. Skilled docents use a variety of interactive, inquiry-based approaches in their gallery teaching, encouraging active looking, analysis and critical thinking. This tour will focus on art from the Medieval to Neoclassical periods.

Note: This tour does not include Impressionist or Post-Impressionist art. If you are looking for a tour including those periods, please consider Reacting, Rebelling, and Responding.

Maximum number of students: 60 students

[Grades 6-12]

German Collection

Explore art created by artists from the German-speaking world. Skilled docents use a variety of interactive, inquiry-based approaches in their gallery teaching, encouraging active looking, analysis and critical thinking. This tour will focus on art from the Medieval to Modern.

Maximum number of students: 60

[Grades 6-12]

Photography Collection

From its invention in 1839, photography has been woven deeply into the fabric of everyday life. Photography is multi-faceted including aesthetics, history, interpretation and information. This tour will focus on the innovation and imagination represented in photographic works from America and around the world.

Maximum number of students: 45

[Grades 8-12]

Reacting, Rebelling, and Responding

Centered on the museum’s collection of European art from 1860 to 1945, this tour will engage students in thinking critically about how artists reacted to the social, political, and technological changes of the modern age. Students will examine the diversity and creativity of art from this period, including examples of Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Cubism, and more.

Through discussion, debate, and written response, students will be challenged to interpret works of art using their own observations as well as information drawn from contemporary sources.

Maximum number of students: 60

[Grades 6-12]

Sculpture and Science in Summer

Every summer, the Nelson-Atkins and the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center offer a FREE museum and nature center experience for groups of children, grades K-6. Teen Guides will lead groups on a learning adventure where children will discover the power of observation and how it applies to both art and the environment. Bring your summer group to one site, have a picnic lunch, then head to the next location.

Registration for this tour has ended for 2019. Please check back in 2020 or email sbrennan@nelson-atkins.org for more information.

[Grades K-6]

Sculpture Park

The Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park is great for outdoor enthusiasts and those wanting to view art in a different kind of setting. As you meander through the museum grounds, you will stop at several sculptures to examine the materials, techniques, subject matter and artistic styles of these outdoor objects.

In case of inclement weather, the tour will be inside the museum with comparable works of art.

Maximum number of students: 60

[Grades 5-12]

Secondary Explorations

This tour is perfect for teachers looking to introduce their students to the museum, or who wish to have an overview of selected collections. Students won’t just look at art– they’ll write, draw, talk about and investigate the objects around them through student-driven activities. Students will analyze how art reflects our cultural, historical, and social world, and how art connects to students’ current lives.

Galleries Visited: Minimalism | Contemporary Art | Photography | African Collection
Maximum number of students: 60

[Grades 6-12]

Spanish Collection

Explore art created by artists from the Spanish-speaking world. Skilled docents use a variety of interactive, inquiry-based approaches in their gallery teaching, encouraging active looking, analysis and critical thinking. This tour will focus on art from the Medieval to Baroque periods.

Maximum number of students: 60

[Grades 6-12]

Teacher Led Tour: General

Can’t find a tour that’s a perfect match for your class? The Nelson-Atkins is pleased to provide an option for schools and youth-serving organizations, the Teacher-led Tour. This tour enables educators to build their own custom tour from scratch as a way to meet curricular goals at the museum. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box—from mummies to Mannerism, our collection has something for everyone.

In order to make your experience the most enjoyable, please indicate what galleries you intend to visit and what time of day you will arrive. Please also plan to bring one chaperone per 15 students.

[Grades 3-12]

The Making of America

As students sample the museum’s collection of American art from colonial times through the mid-twentieth century, they will examine the interdependent relationship between artists and the country’s changing history. Students will explore various themes, including the importance of identity in early American portraiture; westward expansion and democracy; representations of the American West; and artists’ responses to changes in modern America.

Through discussion and activities, the tour will engage students in observing and describing works of art, supporting their opinions using visual evidence, responding to art through descriptive writing, and thinking critically about how artists elicit various responses through their work.

Maximum number of students: 75

Classroom Connections Resource

[Grades 4-8]

The Sacred and the Secular

This four-stop tour will introduce learners to four different periods of European art from 1100 to 1700. Exploring Medieval, Renaissance, 17th Century Dutch, and Southern Baroque art, students will understand that art is a reflection of the time and place in which it was made and will learn what each kind of art communicates through specific visual cues.

Docents will support a student-centered experience by using open-ended questioning, activities, and providing relevant connections to curriculum and state learning standards.

Maximum number of students: 60

Classroom Connections Resource

[Grades 6-12]

Write Way to Art: American Collection

In this tour, students will hone their visual observation and critical thinking skills while engaging in a writing activity. Students are encouraged to look closely at a work of art through Visual Thinking Strategies and then take part in either an expository (grades 3-5) or persuasive (grades 6-12) writing activity. Due to the tour’s focus on writing, students will visit only two American galleries during this tour.

This activity is highly encouraged for ELL students and worksheets are available in Spanish and French for foreign language students. Please note that the tours are delivered in English.

Maximum number of students: 90 students

[Grades 3-12]

Write Way to Art: European Collection

In this tour, students will hone their visual observation and critical thinking skills while engaging in a writing activity. Students are encouraged to look closely at a work of art through Visual Thinking Strategies and then take part in either an expository (grades 3-5) or persuasive (grades 6-12) writing activity. Due to the tour’s focus on writing, students will visit only two European galleries during this tour.

This activity is highly encouraged for ELL students and worksheets are available in Spanish and French for foreign language students. Please note that the tours are delivered in English.

Maximum number of students: 90 students

[Grades 3-12]