Elementary & Middle School Programs:
PAFA offers interactive, curriculum-based tours that are recommended for elementary students (grades K – 8). These interdisciplinary tours promote critical thinking and visual literacy skills as well as encourage students to collaborate and present their findings to the class. All tours are led by trained guides and teachers will receive materials to help prepare students for their visit. Each visit includes three components: learning to look, discussion and response, and a hands-on project in response to the theme of the tour.
Due to generous funding provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, we are able to subusidize the cost of a limited number of buses for Philadelphia School District and Archdiocese students. For more information about pricing, scheduling and other logistics, see our main School Group Tours page.
Art and Social Justice: Bring to life key moments of social and political change in the 20th and 21st centuries by examining the way artists chose to depict them. Students will engage with labor issues, women’s rights, civil rights and environmental concerns using objects in the collection. (2nd – 8th) Historic and/or Hamilton Building
Furness’ Factory for Art: Explore the inside and outside of Frank Furness and George Hewitt’s historic landmark building. Look at designs, patterns, and structural elements taken from nature and American factories, while learning about important moments in architectural history. (4th – 8th) Historic Building
Telling Tales: Teach students to uncover the stories in paintings through comparing and contrasting, poetry writing and drawing. Tour meets significant goals in PA Language Arts curriculum standards. (K- 8th) Historic and/or Hamilton Building
Art Speaks: An art and language arts tour designed specifically for School District of Philadelphia 4th grade students, which provides free admission and transportation. Art Speaks is funded by Target and additional support is provided by TD Bank through the TD Charitable Foundation, the Hamilton Family Foundation, The Christopher Ludwick Foundation, and generous individual contributors. (4th grade) Historic and/or Hamilton Building.
Picturing America: Learn about our country’s history and character by studying its art. Important moments from colonialism to the Civil War will come to life using portraits, landscapes, still lifes and sculpture. Tour meets significant goals in PA Social Studies curriculum standards. (4th – 8th) Historic Building
Natural Wonders: Using all five senses, explore the American landscape through pictures to learn about different way that artists capture the beauty of the natural world and to practice capturing your favorite scenes in nature. (1st – 4th) Historic and/or Hamilton Building
Science & Nature in Art: Travel around the globe, visiting different landscapes and drawing elements from nature (weather patterns, rock formations, botanical specimens) in journals. Students will also discuss how people in other disciplines – literature, geography, philosophy – turn to the natural world for inspiration. (5th - 8th) Historic and/or Hamilton Building
New ideas, New Methods: Look at a variety of contemporary art mediums and practice forming original interpretations, making and supporting judgments, and discovering new ways that artists use surprising materials and techniques to create beautiful objects. (2nd – 8th) Historic and/or Hamilton Building
HerStory: Discover women artists of the 20th & 21st centuries in the exhibition The Female Gaze: Women Artists Making their World. Encounter themes of community, identity, social change, nature and ecology in the galleries and even discuss ideas about collecting art. Students will engage in a variety of activities to learn about these themes.
Teachers may purchase an additional lesson, which occurs after a tour. Each lesson includes a teaching artist, lesson, and the materials.
Perspective Drawing: After a tour, the class will regroup in the galleries for an extended lesson about the principals of composition and practice key drawing skills. Instructors will use objects from the permanent collection to teach these lessons.
Book-making: Students will learn the basics of making books of various styles depending on age level and experience. This lesson blends the literary and visual arts while teaching students to create art that is also functional.
Printmaking: Whether it’s etching, relief, or monotype printing techniques students will learn about artists working in that medium, discuss the process, and make their own prints to bring home.
High School Tour Topics
Grounded in our collection of American art from the 18th century to the present, tours can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your classroom curriculum. These tours can be designed around art studio lessons, books read in class, and writing assignments for example.
African American Art
Women in Art
Religion in Art
Early American History, 1805 – 1876
Social Justice in Art
Special Tour Opportunities
The Female Gaze: Women Artists Making their World November 17, 2012 – April 7, 2013
112th Annual Student Exhibition dates May 11, 2012 – June 2nd, 2013
PAFA School of Fine Arts Studio Tours
Call or email to inquire if your class is eligible for this experience. If available, tours will be added to your scheduled museum visit.
For more information or to schedule a tour and drawing lesson, contact Sarah Holloran, Tour Coordinator at 215-972-2069 or email@example.com.
The Academy Visit Program (K-12) is funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Art Speaks, A Target Field Trip, is supported by
Additional support provided by TD Bank through the TD Charitable Foundation, the Hamilton Family
Foundation, The Christopher Ludwick Foundation, and generous individual contributors.