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KIDS ROCKWELL Art Lab is open Thursday - Monday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., and closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Plan your visit

School Tours & Field Trips

Bring Your Students to The Rockwell

Consider the Museum an extension of the classroom, where important topics are brought to life through art. Your tour can be self-guided, or led by one of our friendly docents, who encourage curiosity and discussion through works of art.

Our creative educational tours are aligned with New York State Learning Standards in core subjects including Language Arts, Social Studies and U.S. History. School tours are free for students and their chaperones, with optional art-project add-ons starting at just $25.

School Tour Options

Rockwell educators are standing by to help you design a tour best suited for your students and your classroom’s curriculum, with engaging options for grades pre-K through 12. Popular tours include El Dia de los Muertos, Westward Expansion and Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Art & Culture.

Educators provide pre- and post-visit materials to help you make the most of your Rockwell experience. These materials were created in collaboration with skilled grade-level teachers to include activities, a Museum guide and essential vocabulary to give your visit the biggest impact.

The pre-kindergarten tour provides young children with an introduction to an art museum. Students learn through manipulation of natural materials and touch objects while learning about the artwork. Students also participate in an age-appropriate clay project which they bring home after the tour, inspired by the Museum’s collection of Native American Pottery.

The kindergarten tour provides students with interactive, hands-on experiences in the galleries, including singing and drumming. During the tour, students observe and learn about different cultures and explore aspects of nature, texture, color and pattern.

The Native American Kindergarten tour supports grade level curricula and the New York State Common Core Native American Listening & Learning Strand.  Students learn about the ancient way of life of some of the Eastern Woodland Indians such as the Lenape, Wampanoag and Iroquois; also the Lakota Sioux of the Great Plains region.  Students will explore how different geographical regions influenced the different lifestyles of Native people. Contemporary Native American art is included to highlight Native cultures living today. The tour includes experiential learning utilizing touch objects, music, drumming and singing.

The first grade tour explores artists’ representation of family. Students engage in observation of paintings and sculptures that depict various elements of family life including celebrations, apprenticeships, storytelling and animal families. Concepts of family traditions are also examined in this tour. Students engage in questioning strategies that include interactive observation and discussion.

The second grade tour examines elements of community through paintings and sculptures in the collection. Students also learn how the museum building itself has served the local community first as a city hall and fire station and then as a museum. Students examine concepts of tradition, celebration and apprenticeships within Native American communities and learn how new communities were created by people moving out West. Students engage in questioning strategies that include interactive observation and discussion.

For this tour, students learn about westward movement in the development of our country, and how art teaches us about the past and present. We discuss how paintings, sculptures and historical objects can record people’s daily lives, history, ideas and stories.

The third grade tour explores Native American art and American art. Students learn how culture is expressed and portrayed through art. Students learn how art teaches us about cultures past and present: how paintings, sculptures and historical objects can record people’s daily lives, history, ideas and stories. Students engage in questioning strategies that include interactive observation and discussion in small groups.

The fourth grade tour connects classroom study of Haudenosaunee life and culture to the Museum’s extensive collection through experiential, hands-on activities and discussion. Students will be encouraged to investigate and discuss the artifacts, objects, and artwork in the new Haudenosaunee Gallery. The program includes an artmaking activity in which students make a traditional cornhusk doll, which they will bring home after the tour. Students will also enjoy engaging in hands-on conversations about animal hides, musical instruments, and a variety of other objects from the Museum’s education collection.

For this tour, students learn about westward movement in the development of our country, and how art teaches us about the past and present. We discuss how paintings, sculptures and historical objects can record people’s daily lives, history, ideas and stories.

The fifth grade tour examines how artists play a vital role in shaping peoples’ perceptions of the American West both in the past and present. Students explore concepts of abstract and representational art and the materials artist use. Students engage in questioning strategies that include interactive observation and discussion in small groups. The tour culminates in a written “Compare/Contrast” worksheet activity.

Offered only in the fall, in conjunction with our Day of the Dead exhibits and community celebration, this tour explores the customs and traditions of El Dia de Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, which is based on ancient traditions traced to the Aztec civilization in Mexico. Today, El Dia de Los Muertos celebrations combine Native American and European customs and are practiced among Hispanic, Mestizo and Indigenous peoples from the American Southwest and Mexico. It is a festive and joyful time to welcome home the spirits of deceased loved ones as well as honor their memories. Students create art pieces in memory of a loved one or historical figure during the program, which will be displayed on an ofrenda in the Museum’s Education Gallery and returned after our community program.

This tour explores artists’ unique styles, techniques and inspirations. Focusing on artistic elements, we tour the galleries, looking at and discussing various pieces from our collection. The tour can be geared toward middle school, high school, or college students.

By listening to selections of the Museum’s new audio tour and engaging in group discussion, students will learn about artists’ diverse histories and how artistic practice and activism have long been intertwined in ways that are not always obvious. On this tour, students will get a glimpse into what being an activist means through different periods of American history, including present day issues and topics including LGBTQ+ activism, feminism, race and prejudice, animal rights and more. Students will consider how to best use their own personal strengths and interests to put their voices to work for causes they care about. Explore the work of a wide range of artists including Virgil Ortiz, Juane Quick-to-See Smith, Frank Stella and more. Optional 45-minute facilitated art project.

The Spirit of the West tour examines the works of artists who documented and interpreted the West’s uncharted landscapes and its indigenous inhabitants during much of the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries. Students learn how artists and photographers influenced early conservation policy, public attitudes about western lands, native populations and the concepts of “Manifest Destiny.” Students will also compare and contrast the viewpoints of contemporary Native American artists, whose work seeks to challenge years of stereotyping and to present a contemporary Native American voice. Students engage in questioning strategies that include interactive observation and discussion.

Scheduling a Visit

School tours are free for students and chaperones, but must be scheduled in advance. Submit a pre-registration form (below) and a member of the Education staff will contact you to discuss the details of your visit.

  • Tour availability: Tours may be scheduled during regular museum hours, but must be booked at least two weeks in advance.
  • Group Size: One chaperone is required for every 10 students. Depending on the size of the group (75+ students), we will work with you on an appropriate schedule to accommodate the entire group.
  • Cost: School Tours are offered free of charge. Art projects add-ons are an additional $25 per classroom.
  • Delayed Arrival: If you are running late on the day of your scheduled visit, please call Admissions at 607-937-5386.
  • Accessibility: The Rockwell strives to ensure full and safe participation for all. Please provide any accessibility requests or information on your pre-registration form so that we can best prepare for your visit. All galleries, restrooms and education spaces can be accessed with a wheelchair and can be reached by elevator.

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Tips for a Successful School Trip

  • Prepare students by reviewing and using the pre-visit materials provided by Rockwell educators.
  • Review The Rockwell’s Museum Manners with your students shortly before your visit. Encouraging good, positive behavior will enhance your class’s museum experience.
  • Inform chaperones of their role to assist with implementing the Museum Manners on the tour and to set a positive example for the students to follow
  • Reflect on your Museum experience when you return to the classroom by reviewing the post-visit materials. An important part of this learning experience is the opportunity to share their experience and formulate their own opinions about what they saw and learned.
  • Rockwell educators will follow-up with a teacher survey. We encourage you to use this tool to help us evolve and grow our school tour program to meet your needs.

School Tour Request Form

School and Contact Information

School Address(Required)
Main Contact Name(Required)
Best time of day to contact you
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Group Information

Visit Information

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Please select 3 choices for your visit date, in order of preference.
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Preferred Arrival Time(Required)
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General highlight tours are one hour in length; consider adding an extra 30 minutes to allow for time to peruse The Rockwell on your own and shop in the Museum Store.
Preferred Departure Time(Required)
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Select Tour Type
*Please note: These programs include art-making components, and will cost additional $25 (per classroom)
To best complement what you are teaching in the classroom, please share with us the focus you’d like to cover during your time at The Rockwell.

Questions? Contact Us

Ann Recotta, Education and Volunteer Programs Coordinator
607-974-5505 | recottaa@rockwellmuseum.org

The Rockwell’s school tour program is made possible in part by support from Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes, Inc., The Hilliard Foundation, and Chemung Canal Trust Company.