Resources for K-12 Educators

For School Visits

Please note: We are currently booking school visits for later winter/early spring 2020. We are no longer accepting registrations for the Wíwənikan and Occupy Colby exhibitions

Field Trip Experiences

The Colby College Museum of Art’s Field Trip Experiences have been created in partnership with local educators, museum curators, docents, and teaching artists. They include downloadable pre- and post-visit activities for your classroom and options for a gallery tour, studio workshop, and/or a tour of the campus. These experiences were developed based on their connection to the Museum’s collection, classroom curriculum, and Maine State Learning Results.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Betterment Fund and the Linde Family Foundation, funding is available to reimburse the complete cost of school bus transportation to and from the Museum. In addition, schools with over 50% free and reduced lunch qualify for free lunches – depending upon the size of the group and time of year, either box lunches or at the dining hall.

Gallery Tour (2 Hour):

If you would like to include our docent-led tour around the galleries as a part of your school’s field trip experience, we ask that you provide us with a full hour to ensure the most effective and meaningful visit for your school group.

*This includes time for lunch in the dining hall

Gallery and Studio Workshop (3 Hours):

The Colby College Museum of Art provides a studio workshop experience which often goes hand in hand with the themed gallery tours. If you would like to add a studio workshop experience along with your gallery visit for your school group, we kindly ask for a full two hours of your time to give both of the activities sufficient amount of time.

*This includes time for lunch in the dining hall

Gallery and Aspiration Tour (3 Hours):

Ever wondered what lies beyond the glass windows of the Colby College Museum of Art? Ever wondered what life at Colby College is like as a student? As a part of your field trip experience, The Colby College Museum of Art offers an aspiration tour, led by our student worker, around Colby’s beautiful campus. Both the gallery visit and the aspiration tour would require a full hour each.

*This includes time for lunch in the dining hall

Gallery, Studio Workshop, and Aspiration Tour (3.5 Hours):

If you would like to include all three activities into your school group’s visit, we ask that you provide us with 3.5 hours to ensure the best possible visit. Both the gallery tour and the studio workshop will require a full hour, and the aspiration tour will be abbreviated to a 30-minute tour.

*This includes time for lunch in the dining hall

Book your free Field Trip Experience at the Colby College Museum of Art to make your classroom curriculum come to life!

Field Trip Experience: Gallery & Studio

Grades K-3: Every Picture Tells A Story 

Tour Experience: Students will see that the elements of a good story are not just confined to the pages of literature, but can also found also can be found in the shapes, lines, colors, people, and objects in works of art.

Studio Workshop: Students will make choices as an artist, creating a small two-dimensional version of themselves that are inspired by the cutouts of Alex Katz and other portraits they viewed in the galleries.

Grades 4-5: The Maine Experience

Tour Experience: Students will examine Maine landscapes in order to understand what natural, human, and capital resources are found there and how these resources determine the industries in our state.

Studio Workshop: Students will make a watercolor collage postcard of their favorite Maine scene, inspired by the work of Maine artist, Alex Katz.

Grades 6-8: Geography & the Environment

Tour Experience: Students will investigate various representations of nature, the environment, and the land to better understand how and why artists interact with and interpret the world around us.

Studio Workshop: Inspired by Maya Lin’s Pin River Kissimmee, students will use the ideas of the artist, similar materials, and their own personal experiences and knowledge of nature to create their own pin art sculpture.

Grades 6-8: Civil War & Emancipation

Tour Experience: Students will explore artworks created before, during, and after the Civil War to identify examples of symbolism used to communicate artists’ perceptions of race relations and segregation in the United States.

Studio Workshop: Students will create their own “injustice” themed assemblage box using a variety of two and three dimensional materials, inspired by the work of artist Betye Saar.

Grades 9-12: Isolation & Community

Tour Experience: Students will view artworks across various artistic movements and mediums that represent images of alienation or togetherness, in order to reflect upon their own understanding of “us” vs. “them.”

Studio Workshop: Students will create a two-dimensional cardboard portrait, inspired by the Alex Katz’s outdoor sculpture, Ada Vane.

Field Trip Experience Pre- and Post-visit Activities


For Educators

Educator Evenings

K-12 Educators are invited to learn about artworks in the Museum’s collection and how to incorporate them into the classroom. This program for area elementary, middle school, high school and other educators includes gallery tours and activities, speakers, performances, take-home teacher resources, and refreshments. Those attending will receive contact hours for certification. Refreshments will be served.

For information about these programs, please contact Abigail Newkirk, Linde Family Foundation Senior Coordinator of School and Teacher Programs.

Educator Advisory Board

The Educator Advisory Board is a group of local educators chosen to meet monthly to discuss ways to engage Maine’s students and teachers at the Museum. They are charged with collaboratively designing and developing tours, activities, curriculum, programs, and evaluation for school visits and teacher professional development. Each member receives a stipend for their work on the board.

For information about the board, please contact Abigail Newkirk, Linde Family Foundation Senior Coordinator of School and Teacher Programs.

Lesson Plans

The following classroom lesson plans are for teachers who are planning a trip to the Museum. They examine objects and themes in the museum collection, and can be used in a classroom or Museum setting.