Student Tours at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art

Student tours at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art are different from the typical museum tour. They’re free, highly
interactive, object-based experiences led by a team of professional educators
called gallery teachers. The gallery teachers customize tours
specifically for the student’s grade levels and subjects. At the museum, students engage with
original works of art through close looking, critical thinking, and rich
conversations. Student groups often participate in guided activities like
writing and sketching that integrate works of art with classroom curriculum. Some programs extend the experience with pre- and post-visit activities such as classroom readings, presentations, and
discussions. This video is designed to help teachers prepare their students
for a meaningful and engaging tour at the Amon Carter. I think a gallery teacher-led tour helps
to support what I’m teaching in the classroom by integrating other subject
and makes it relevant for my students. When we’re preparing to come on a field
trip here, I like to talk with the gallery teacher about what types of
field trips that they offer and to discuss what aspects of our curriculum
that they can match up with the art that is currently on the walls, so that the
curriculum and the art go together. When we’re preparing to go to the Amon Carter Museum, I use prints from the teaching resource center. I like to use
videos if I can, if there’s anything that has any history behind an artist, or any
of the work of art, I use that and I get them from the TRC. I definitely use the
museum’s website. I’ll look through it first for just a few images that may or may
not be on the tour, but might relate to it in some way. While at the museum,
gallery teachers provide students with a welcoming environment to view and
discuss works of art at length and encourage them to share their thoughts
and ideas. Students discover the Amon Carter’s
collection of American Art through sustained looking, guided inquiry,
personal interpretation, and independent exploration. An inquiry-based method
allows students to hone their critical thinking and writing skills. They also
gain confidence looking at and talking about art and connect with works of art
on academic and personal levels. Bringing students on a museum tour
ignites their imagination and exposes them to endless creative possibilities.
Make sure that you connect the student artworks to things that you’ve
discussed in the classroom, to topics that they are studying in their core
subjects, to current events that are happening in the world around them, so that it’s not an extraneous experience, but it just enhances what they’re
experiencing in daily life. Once my students have been here, they reflect on
their experiences. They reflect on what they’ve learned. And I really think it’s
where art kind of collides with every subject. That is more valuable than what
I can offer in the classroom alone. I feel like the Amon Carter is a partner
with me and I can bring my students here to make all subjects relevant. Have an idea of what might capture your
own students imagination as they walk through the different galleries. I think
planning the trip and having a focused goal of what you want to achieve is a
really important thing. They’re not just looking at a piece of artwork. They’re
looking at something that has history behind it. I want them to know that
they’re going to learn something new and they’re going to be able to bring that
back and teach somebody else. I would have to say probably my favorite thing about
coming to the museum would be to get to see their expressions, because many of them
don’t come to museums. They’re not regular museum goers. It’s just not a
part of their everyday life, and so for them to have their eyes open, to actually
tour a museum and see what it’s like and feel that they can be part of a museum
and it’s not an intimidating experience. Please contact us to learn more about
student tours and other museum programs and resources. We look forward to seeing
you and your students at the Amon Carter. I really feel like it helps so
much with critical thinking. So, is it worth my time? Absolutely. It’s helped
transform my curriculum and the way I teach in my own classroom.

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