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Pre- and Post-Visit Activities

Please read through the following suggestions to ensure both you and your students get the very most out of your visit to the Museum.

For Teachers

  • If your class will have time to self-tour after your museum lesson, print out the self-touring journal for your students to use.
  • Use your free educator's pass to familiarize yourself with the Museum prior to your class trip.
  • Let the Museum know ahead of time what your class is studying and if there are objects you hope to see on your visit. Though the works of art on view in the Museum’s galleries change regularly, every effort will be made to include your requests.
  • Use some of the pre- and post-trip suggestions below to get your students ready for their visit and to build upon their experience when you return to school.
  • Plan the length of your visit with your students' interest and energy levels in mind.


Self Touring Gallery Journal

This journal is intended to help students (K – 5) and their chaperones explore several works of art in the Museum through looking, drawing and writing activities. The activities can be done in almost any gallery. You can let your students and chaperones decide which activity they would like to do in each gallery they visit. Or, you may choose specific galleries for each of the activities and write the gallery number by each activity. Use the floor plan on the Museum's website to see what works of art are in each gallery.


Pre-Visit Activities for Your Class

  • View the orientation video, Look, Learn, Discover: School Group Visits at the Philadelphia Museum of Art with your students. This 10-minute DVD, narrated by students, curators, and education staff, introduces the Museum's collections, what happens on a field trip, and Museum rules. Thanks to a grant from the Comcast Foundation, this DVD is free to classes visiting the Museum.
  • Print one of our pre-visit worksheets and use it with your students to generate interest in your upcoming trip.
  • Ask students to write down questions they may have and bring them along so they can ask a Museum Educator.
  • Explore this website to generate excitement about the trip.
  • Suggest some books to familiarize students with art and artists in general, and artists from the Museum's collections in particular.
  • Divide the class into small research groups to develop students' roles as "specialists" on a certain topic.
  • Please review the Museum rules with students and chaperones.


Post-Visit Activities for Your Class

  • Print one of our post-visit worksheets and use it with your students to reflect upon your experiences.
  • Have students record their experiences at the Museum in a journal using language and/or images.
  • Send examples of students' reactions to their Museum visit, such as drawings or letters, to the Division of Education.
  • Review the pre-visit experience chart to see which predictions were true and what new ideas students learned.
  • Create a class mural about the trip by passing around a large sheet of paper so students can write or sketch their impressions of the trip.
  • Have students research any issues or questions that came up during their tour.
  • Complete and return the evaluation form that was included with the confirmation.
  • Talk to other educators about the visit, and think about how the Museum can be used as a resource to enhance classroom learning.
  • Ask students to tell their parents about their trip to the Museum. Suggest they return to the Museum with their families and remind them that admission is "pay what you wish" on Sundays.

Plan to come back soon!


Museum Rules and Manners

Prior to your visit, please review the Museum rules with students and chaperones.

Out of respect for yourself, other visitors, and the art...
  • Keep your hands to yourself. Please keep a safe distance from art objects, walls, platforms, and cases. The oils, salts, and acids in our sweat can damage works of art.
  • Food, drinks, and chewing gum are not allowed in the galleries.
  • Leave lunches downstairs in the Student Center and backpacks on the bus. The Museum is not responsible for lost items.
  • Be respectful of other visitors in the Museum by using a quiet voice when walking through the galleries.
  • Make sure to only use pencils and folders in the galleries. Pens and clipboards can damage works of art.
  • Cell phones must be turned off while in the galleries.
  • Exposure to camera flashes damages works of art. Photography is permitted without flash in collection galleries; however, photography is not permitted in exhibition galleries.


For more information, please contact Education: School & Teacher Programs by phone at 215-684-7580, by fax at 215-236-4063, or by e-mail at .

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