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School’s in session. Time to plan a field trip!

With a new school year underway, many educators across the region are researching and planning field trips to complement classroom learning with fun and educational out-of-the-classroom experiences!

Visiting an art museum may only seem relevant to art educators; however a field trip to The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, with it’s customizable, themed tours lets teachers and students of varying subjects use the visual arts to explore and discover related concepts.

Want more information about our Field Trips? Scroll down to find answers to 6 commonly asked Field Trip questions!

What’s included in a school field trip to the Museum?
The Westmoreland offers FREE docent led, interactive, activity-based, age-appropriate tours for K-12 students, and transportation for public schools may be subsidized through private funding.

Field trips include a tour and can include, depending on how long an educator wants the field trip to be:

  • gallery activities,
  • art making activities,
  • lunch spot in the Community Room/Museum garden for brown-bag lunches,
  • and/or a Museum Shop visit.

What tours are offered?
The Museum offers a wide variety of interactive elementary, middle and high school tour options:

  • Kindergarten Tour- for kindergarten students! Each kindergarten tour explores landscapes, still life paintings, and portraits with interactive gallery activities during each session to keep these little learners engaged and increase their understanding of the art!
  • Pennsylvania and American History – for history classes! This tour is designed primarily for 4th grade students, but can be adapted to fit the curriculum needs of any social studies class. Students will learn about Pennsylvania history, in relation to American and World history, by analyzing artworks that relate to Native American History, Colonialism, African American History, the Industrial Revolution, the Steel Industry in Pittsburgh and beyond.
  • Language Arts Tour – for English classes of any grade level! Students will explore art through a variety of dialoguing and writing activities in poetry or prose. Music and drama options are also available for this tour.
  • STEAM Tour – for science, technology, engineering or math classes! Students will examine a number of artworks that reflect upon the topics in their subject matter and/or discover the use of unusual materials and processes that relate to aspects of STEM. Activities like creating gallery layouts using gallery schematics, dimensions, and artwork can be employed within the galleries or studio!
  • Emotions and Expressions – one of our most popular tours for all grade levels! Students will analyze how artists use a variety of technique and materials to deliver an emotional impact. As they participate in gallery activities, students will be encouraged to discuss what they see in the artworks and why they think the artist chose those approaches.

*With the exception of our PA History tours, all tours at the Museum have been adapted to provide multiple opportunities for gallery activities.*

What types of activities can students do on the tour?
Visiting educators and the Manager of Education will select activities that are age appropriate and specific to the class’ curriculum need

Activities may include

  • writing (narratives, poetry, point of view, short plays),
  • dialoguing and theatre (students create dialogue for and perform the people in the paintings),
  • music and art (students select and discuss art works that ‘feel’ the way different pieces of music ‘feel’),
  • math (students create gallery layouts using gallery schematics and dimensions and art work and dimensions),
  • creating a still life (students create a variety of still life set ups in response to various artworks),
  • and additional art making activities.

How long do the tours generally take?
Kindergarten-Grade 3: 1-2 hours.
Grades 4-12: 2-4 hours.

All tours that run 3-4 hours include a 30-minute lunch break for the students. Students are invited to bring a bagged lunch that can be eaten in the Museum’s Community Room.

How many students can come on a tour?
The amount of students per tour is usually 20-30 students, and we can accommodate multiple tours at a time. For example, if an educator would like to bring all of the 6th grade history students in their school, we would plan a seamless field trip experience that would have groups of students starting their tour at different times and in varying locations in the Museum.

Can I customize a school tour?
Absolutely! Actually, we highly encourage educators to collaborate with the Museum’s Director of Education & Visitor Engagement to develop specialized tours that meet and exceed classroom and curriculum requirements!

Interested in setting up a tour for your students? Contact he Museum’s Education Department at 724.837.1500, x119 or education@thewestmoreland.org

Tagged: School Tours