Pre-K–12th Grade Museum Lessons and Tours

Pre-K- 12th Grade Museum Lessons and Tours

PAFA offers interactive, skill-based tours led by trained art educators. Grounded in the collection of American art from the 18th century to the present, each tour is centered on developing visual thinking skills and using language to understand works of art in PAFA’s galleries. Tours are one hour long and meet significant goals in National Common Core curriculum standards.


$6/Student General Admission

$3/Philadelphia School District and Charter Schools

Please inquire about bus subsidies.

For current and upcoming exhibitions information click here


Available Museum Lessons and Tours

Special Exhibition Tour. From The Schuylkill To The Hudson: Landscapes Of The Early American Republic

June 28, 2019 - December 29, 2019

An overview of the PAFA’s expansive exhibition that investigates the underexplored traditions of landscape representation in Philadelphia from the Early American Republic to the Centennial Exhibition (1876) and how that corpus shaped the better-known Hudson River School. From the Schuylkill to the Hudson places special emphasis on representations of local waterways in order to showcase the manner in which these Philadelphia water views, whether of the Schuylkill, the Wissahickon, or the Delaware, constituted some of the earliest and most influential sites within American visual culture.

Let's Look: 

An introductory tour to an art museum for early learners. Students will learn about museum manners, look at works of art, and discuss elements of color, line, and shape. Storytelling, interactive activities, and art making give students a variety of tools to engage with PAFA's collection for the first time. (Recommended for Pre-K to 1st Grade, Special Needs & Autistic Support classes)

Masterpieces of the Museum:

PAFA’s permanent collection tells the story of American Art through many objects in its 200 year history. This multidisciplinary tour offers an overview of different time periods and artistic mediums and discussions lean towards art movements, Philadelphia and American history, and artistic motivations.

Race, Gender, and Diversity in Art:

Observe and discuss the diversity of American artists in PAFA’s collection. This tour addresses important themes such as American history, race, social justice, and gender, and how a museum challenges dominant narratives in our society.

Art, Science, and the Environment:

Explore the American landscape through the eyes of artists and learn about seasons, nature, weather patterns, and how humans interact with the natural environment.

How to Talk about Contemporary Art: 

Discover the ways artists use unique materials and techniques to translate important social and cultural issues into their art. Students will use visual and cognitive skills to develop their own arguments and interpretations.

American History in Art:

Build on student learning in Social Studies and United States’ history by discussing paintings of William Penn, George Washington, Charles Willson Peale and other early American icons.

Storytelling in Art:

Through writing prompts and discussion questions, students will explore the concept of narrative in works of art. Students will learn about the artist as an “author” and the different points of view, characters, moods and settings in a story.

Women in Art:  

Examine the diverse body of work created by women artists from the 19th century to the present, including works from the Linda Lee Alter Collection. Students will have discussions about equality in the art world as well as the personal themes, motivations and inspirations of each artist.