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. 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

3D Design & Printing

New Dimensions Workshop

This class encourages students to think three-dimensionally as they build 3D objects inspired by the museum’s collection. Students design an object using Tinkercad software. They learn to construct 3D objects through computer aided design (CAD) methods by combining simple shapes and structures. In addition, students observe how digital models become physical objects by seeing 3D printing in action.

Duration: 1-3 days

To schedule this workshop, contact Brent Bellew at 816.751.0418 or bbellew@nelson-atkins.org. Registration is not available online.

[Grades 6-12]

Ancient Discoveries

Investigate visual communication in ancient civilizations. Inspired by art in the galleries, students create a metal embossing that illustrates symbolic communication. November 15, 2019-March 29, 2020 students will visit the exhibition Queen Nefertari: Eternal Egypt.

Maximum number of students: 112
Length: 90 minutes
Cost: $7.00 per student with a minimum of 15 students. One adult must accompany every 15 students.
Availability: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; 10-11:30 am or 12:30-2 pm

Classroom Connection Resource

[Grades 2-8]

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]

Art-Worthy Animation

Discover how the relationship between art, nature, and technology has evolved over time, including a look at Land Art. In the studio classroom, students use natural elements to collaborate on a stop-motion animation.

Maximum capacity: 112 students
Length: 90 minutes
Cost: $7.00 per student with a minimum of 15 students. One adult must accompany every 15 students.
Availability: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; 10-11:30 am or 12:30-2 pm

Classroom Connections Resource

[Grades 5-8]

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: 60
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]

Curator for a Day

This class challenges students to think critically about the museum’s collection in relation to a central theme. Teams of students organize their own themed exhibition while exploring the galleries. They create a curatorial statement, write gallery labels, and present their exhibition to the class.

Duration: 1-3 days

To schedule this workshop, contact Brent Bellew at 816.751.0418 or bbellew@nelson-atkins.org. Registration is not available online.

[Grades 6-12]

Dragons

Discover the difference between dragons from Eastern and Western cultures and their distinct roles in art. Have fun manipulating clay to create a three-dimensional dragon to keep!

Maximum number of students: 112
Length: 90 minutes
Cost: $7.00 per student with a minimum of 15 students. One adult must accompany every 15 students.
Availability: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; 10-11:30 am or 12:30-2 pm

Classroom Connections Resource

[Grades 2-4]

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.

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]

Graphic Design

New Dimensions Workshop

(1 – 2 days) – This class explores the museum’s collection through digital two-dimensional design methods. Students work individually or in pairs to design their own promotional graphic based on a work of art or specific gallery. Students complete their projects using Adobe Creative Suite software and present their final designs to the class.

To schedule this workshop, contact Brent Bellew at 816.751.0418 or bbellew@nelson-atkins.org.

[Grades 6-12]

Indigenous Designs

Explore the galleries in search of distinctive designs from various cultures, including Native American art. Inspired by the collection, design a portfolio, or parfleche, utilizing colors, shapes, and patterns.

Maximum number of students: 112
Length: 90 minutes
Cost: $7.00 per student with a minimum of 15 students. One adult must accompany every 15 students.
Availability: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; 10-11:30 am or 12:30-2 pm

Classroom Connection Resource

[Grades 2-6]

Life in 3-D

Examine sculpture in the museum’s collection while discussing form, balance, and materials/techniques used to create the art. Inspired by the collection, students construct an assemblage sculpture-in-the-round using papers, cardboard, and wires.

Maximum number of students: 112
Length: 90 minutes
Cost: $7.00 per student with a minimum of 15 students. One adult must accompany every 15 students.
Availability: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; 10-11:30 am or 12:30-2 pm

Classroom Connections Resource

[Grades 3-8]

Light Painting

Connect science and art while having fun exploring circuitry, and the photographic techniques of light painting.

Maximum number of students: 90
Length:90 minutes
Cost: $7.00 per student with a minimum of 15 students. One adult must accompany every 15 students.
Availability: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; 10-11:30 am or 12:30-2 pm

Classroom Connections Resource.

[Grades 3-5]

Mythical Creatures

Search the museum for mythical creatures like griffins, dragons, and mermaids in works of art from diverse cultures and times. Create an imaginary creature to keep with collage materials, oil pastels, and watercolors.

Maximum number of students: 112
Length: 90 minutes
Cost: $7.00 per student with a minimum of 15 students. One adult must accompany every 15 students.
Availability: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; 10-11:30 am or 12:30-2 pm

Classroom Connections Resource

[Grades 1-4]

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]

Scribble Bots

Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math come to life as students explore the galleries, and tinker with simple circuitry to create a motorized mark-making machine. Lots of fun!

Maximum number of students: 112
Length: 90 minutes
Cost: $7.00 per student with a minimum of 15 students. One adult must accompany every 15 students.
Availability: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday; 10-11:30 am or 12:30-2 pm

Classroom Connections Resource.

[Grades 5-8]

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]

Shapes and Colors

Hunt for shapes and colors in the galleries, then integrate the art of color mixing with the math of geometric shapes to create a mixed-media work of art!

Maximum number of students: 112
Length: 90 minutes
Cost: $7.00 per student with a minimum of 15 students. One adult must accompany every 15 students.
Availability: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

Classroom Connections Resource

[Grades PK-1]

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]

Stop Motion Animation

New Dimensions Workshop

This class focuses on storytelling and building creative thinking skills. Students work in small groups to create stop motion animations by utilizing the museum’s collection and bringing a work of art to life. Students create their animations using iStopMotion software and develop video editing skills in iMovie. Additionally, they have the option to add sounds effects, music, and voice recordings. Student work is displayed in the Ford Learning Center for all museum visitors to view.

Duration: 1-3 days

To schedule this workshop, contact Brent Bellew at 816.751.0418 or bbellew@nelson-atkins.org. Registration is not available online.

[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]

Texture Time

Is it smooth, rough, scratchy or spiky? Discover textures in works of art and have fun using actual and implied textures to create a mixed media collage.

Maximum number of students: 112
Length: 90 minutes
Cost: $7.00 per student with a minimum of 15 students. One adult must accompany every 15 students.
Availability: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

Classroom Connections Resource

[Grades K-2]

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]