Tour Options

Student Programs 2012-2013

Tour Options for Student Visits at PEM

Choose from one of the following tour options. All tours are designed to promote critical and creative thinking and align with the Common Core and Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.

To schedule a guided tour or self-guided student visit, use our reservation form. Note: Self-guided visits are only available for groups of 45 students or fewer in grades 6 and above. Teachers booking self-guided groups must review their plan for the visit with PEM staff.
To discuss a self-guided visit, contact teacherprograms@pem.org or call (978) 542-1698.
To learn about teacher workshops and resources, click here.

We recommend visiting the museum before your class trip. New England educators are always granted free admission to PEM! Just show your ID. Other educators planning to bring students to the museum can contact teacherprograms@pem.org to arrange a free visit.

Asian Art and Culture
American Art and Culture
English Language Arts
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
Visual Arts

 

Asian Art and Culture

 

Yin Yu Tang, A Chinese House
Recommended for Grades K-12

Yin Yu Tang InteriorStudents have the unique opportunity to explore a traditional Chinese home in the United States. Built late in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) in a rural village in China’s Anhui Province, this residence was home to the Huang family for more than 200 years. It was moved piece by piece and re-erected at the Peabody Essex Museum over a seven-year period. Whether your students are studying art motifs, Chinese culture or world history, this program is certain to be a unique and exciting educational experience.

Grades K-5 explore the everyday life of a Chinese family living in rural China for the last 200 years by examining household objects, architecture and decorative art.

Grades 6-12 explore the architecture and symbolic decorative elements of a traditional Chinese home and how the impact of economic and political upheavals in China over the last century affected Yin Yu Tang and led to its relocation to the Peabody Essex Museum.

Students can preview the house online. When you book a school visit to Yin Yu Tang, you will receive a DVD to preview in your classroom.

Tours of Yin Yu Tang can be paired with a number of other program options. For groups visiting for just one hour, one half of the group examines the everyday life of the Chinese merchant's family in Yin Yu Tang, while the other half explores celebration in Chinese art in the exhibition Double Happiness: Celebration in Chinese Art.

A Two Merchants' Homes tour is also available. Compare and contrast Yin Yu Tang and the Gardner-Pingree House – two homes built for merchants 200 years ago and thousands of miles apart. Students consider why the houses look the way they do and what that tells us about their inhabitants and the times and places in which they lived.

Time: One hour | 45 students maximum

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 10, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades 2–4 Standards 6.1
Grades 5–8 Standards 6.3, 6.4
Grades 9–12 Standards 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 7.7, 7.10

Massachusetts History and Social Science Standards
Grade 2 Standards 2,1, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9
Grade 4 Standards 4.1, 4.2, 4.7
Grades 8–12 Standards WHI.23, WHI.24, WHII.13, WHII.32, WHII.33, WHII.34

 

Exploring Asian Art
Recommended for Grades K-8

Jan Ken PoWhat are some of the important ideas, symbols and designs in art made in China, Japan and India? Students closely examine paintings, sculptures, photographs and objects from everyday life and work collaboratively in gallery activities to gain a deeper understanding of artwork from these countries. The tour includes stops in Double Happiness: Celebration in Chinese Art, the Japanese Art Gallery and select Asian Export Art galleries. For curriculum materials related to Chinese and Japanese art, please click here.

Time: One hour to 90 minutes | 60 students maximum

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 10, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades K–4 Standards 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 6.1
Grades 5–8 Standards 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 2.10, 5.5, 5.6, 6.3, 6.4

Massachusetts History and Social Science Standards
Grade 4 Standards 4.3, 4.7

 

American Art and Culture

 

Life in the 17th Century
Recommended for Grades 3-8

John Ward HouseStudents focus on the daily life of a family living in 17th-century Salem through the examination of everyday objects and architecture, and make connections between decorative features in the John Ward House, built in 1684, and objects in the museum’s American art galleries. Students also learn to relate past and present through comparisons with their own domestic environment and furnishings.

Time: One hour | Not recommended in winter

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades K–4 Standard 6.1
Grades 5–8 Standards 6.3, 6.4

Massachusetts History and Social Science Standards
Grade 3 Standards 3.5, 3.9, 3.12

 

At Home in Salem: 1785-1820
Recommended for Grades 3-8

Gardner Pingree HouseStudents envision what it might be like to live in a historic Salem family through guided tours of the Crowninshield–Bentley House, built in 1727 but restored to reflect 1794, and the Gardner-Pingree House, built in 1805. Through careful analysis of American portraits, landscapes and sculptures in the museum’s American Art galleries, students develop an understanding of the conditions of daily life during the height of Salem’s prosperity, identify with people of the past and learn how art and culture reveal clues about the early American Republic.

Time: One hour | Not recommended in winter

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades K–4 Standard 6.1
Grades 5–8 Standards 6.3, 6.4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4

Massachusetts History and Social Science Standards
Grade 3 Standards 3.9, 3.12
Grade 5 Standards 5.10, 5.11, 5.33

 

Global Trade and Cultural Exchange
Recommended for Grades 5-8

Attention: Massachusetts fifth-grade teachers! This program is especially recommended for your students.

Moon BedAfter the Revolution, America’s international trade flourished. Salem’s seafarers competed to reach Asia in pursuit of tea, silk, spices and porcelain and other fine goods craved by the citizens of a fast-growing nation. Along the way they stopped in the Pacific Northwest to acquire furs to sell in China. Students trace the trade routes plied by Yankee ships from Salem to China, and learn about trade, world geography, art and culture. They also learn how the exchange of goods and ideas began a dialogue between nations that to this day mutually influences their economies, cultures and people.

This tour features PEM's maritime art galleries, the Chinese Export art exhibition Importing Splendor: Luxuries from China, FreePort [No. 005]: Michael Lin – a contemporary installation that animates the history of trade between China and the West and explores artistic production in the past and present, and the installation Raven's Many Gifts: Native Art of the Northwest Coast.

See below for more information on this FreePort project and for links to videos featuring artist interviews and related interactives.

Time: One hour to 90 minutes

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 10, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades 5–8 Standards 6.3, 6.4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4

Massachusetts History and Social Science Standards
Grade 5 Standards 5.10, 5.11, 5.15, 5.33
Grade 8 Standards WHI.24, WHII.13

 

English Language Arts

 

Artful Tales
Recommended for Grades K-5

Mrs. WaldoStudents take on the role of detective, artist and author in this interactive exploration of the elements of story writing. Using open-ended questions, sketching and vocabulary activities, students discover how art reveals stories about people, places and time periods. Group storytelling and self-directed learning are included in this tour. This tour can be adapted to feature a variety of exhibitions and galleries.

Time: One hour

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 10, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades K–4 Standards 5.2, 6.1
Grade 5 Standard 6.3

 

Images and Words: Writing in the Museum
Recommended for Grades 6-12

Southern CrossLink visual and verbal literacy as well as creative expression in this activity-based investigation of artworks from around the world. In this gallery tour, students sharpen critical-thinking skills by creating poems and narratives in response to critical analysis and observation of captivating works of art. This tour features a variety of exhibitions and galleries, including the special exhibition American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood (through September 7, 2015).

Time: One hour

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Writing (W) Anchor Standards 3, 4, 10
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades 6–8 Standards 6.3, 19.15, 19.20
Grades 9–12 Standard 19.25

 

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

 

Strandbeest: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen
Recommended for Grades K-12 and University

StrandbeestEmbodying the essence of STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math), Theo Jansen's kinetic Strandbeests ("beach animals") blur the lines between art, science and storytelling. Explore the Strandbeests' carefully engineered construction and unique locomotion, discover how they have "evolved" over time and see how the beests are in touch with their natural environment on the Dutch seacoast. Hands-on experiences and discussion in this touchable exhibition provoke curiosity, imagination and problem solving. See videos of the beests and learn more at pem.org/strandbeest.

Time: One-hour exhibition experience | Two hours with art activity

45 students maximum in the exhibition, 90 students maximum for two-hour program

*Note: Morning time slots for student groups are already filling up. Please make your reservations early!

 

Building Blocks: Math in Art
Recommended for Grades K-2

Shapes in ArtStudents explore the basic concepts of shape, pattern, and measurement through close looking at art from across PEM's collection. Through hands-on discovery, group discussion, and art-making, students will gain a better understanding of how visual art and math use many of the same building blocks. The tour features a range of artwork, from landscapes and portraits to sculptures and decorative arts.

Time: One hour

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core State Standards for ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

Common Core State Standards for Math
Grade K: Standards K.G3, K.MD1-3
Grade 1: Standards 1.G1, 1.MD2
Grade 2: Standards 2.G1, 2.MD1-4

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades K-2 Standards 2.2, 2.4, 2.6, 5.1, 5.3, 10.1

 

Natural Engineering: a STEAM* tour featuring Branching Out: Trees as Art and the Art & Nature Center
Recommended for Grades 4-8 | Tour available through September 20, 2015

Explore engineering and art concepts in this interactive tour while discovering the ways artists have used trees as artistic muse and medium. Through hands-on activities and discussion, students explore how the natural environment provides inspiration and solutions to the challenges facing artists, designers and architects. Students also consider the skills and processes shared by engineers and artists. This tour includes stops in the exhibition Branching Out: Trees as Art the Art & Nature Center and Raven's Many Gifts: Native Art from the Northwest Coast.

Time: One hour | 40 students maximum, unless paired with another program

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core State Standards for ELA/Literacy
Literacy (Grades 4-6): Speaking & Listening SL.4.1, 6.2; Reading Informational Texts RI.4.1, 5.3, 6.7
Science & Technical Subjects (Grades 6-8): Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: RST.6-8.7, 6-8.8, 6-8.9

Massachusetts Technology and Engineering Standards
Grades 3-5: Materials and Tools 1.1, Engineering Design 2.4

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades 4-8: Methods, Materials, and Techniques 1.2; Elements and Principles of Design 2.4; Observation, Abstraction, Invention, and Expression 3.7; Critical Response 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6; Inventions, Technologies and the Arts 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.4; Interdisciplinary Connections: 10.1, 10.2

 

Visual Arts

American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton and Hollywood
Recommended for grades 8-12 and University

Audacious: The Fine Art of Wood from the Montalto Bohlen CollectionThomas Hart Benton painted stories about American people and mined Hollywood for his signature style. After working briefly in the silent film industry, Benton became acutely aware of storytelling's shift toward motion pictures and developed a cinematic style of painting that melded European art historical traditions and modern movie production techniques. In paintings, murals, drawings, prints and illustrated books, Benton reinvented national narratives for 20th-century America and captivated the public with his visual storytelling.

Time: One hour

 

Creative Expression: Artists, Inspiration, Materials
Recommended for Grades 2-12 and University

Mega Mega PlanetWhat inspires art making? What choices do artists make? How do artists create connections to the larger global community? Can looking at art change the way you perceive the world?

These questions and others are addressed as students explore a variety of art forms, materials and techniques used by artists as a means for creative expression. Guided through a multidisciplinary approach, students sharpen their visual perception and critical thinking skills while experiencing art through a variety of perspectives. Focused on building 21st-century skills and exploring contemporary art on view in the museum, the tour features changing exhibitions and favorites from the PEM collection. This tour can highlight either sculptures in the galleries such as Josh Simpson's Mega Mega Planet and Deborah Butterfield's Willy, or selections from special exhibitions.

Time: One hour or 90 minutes with art activity

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core State Standards for ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 10, 11

 

Animals in Art
Recommended for Grades PreK-2

crouching rabbitCome see mammals, reptiles, sealife, amphibians, insects and more through the eyes of artists. Discover representations of animals from different cultures and in various artistic media. Students build valuable observation skills while learning about animal characteristics through stories and art. After the tour, students create collaborative artwork based on their experience with specific objects. In the process of discovery, students employ cooperative learning in natural science and art-based concepts.

For Educators and Students: Download Animals in Art Student Guide »

Time: 90 minutes with art activity

Related Standards

This tour aligns with or supports the following standards:

Common Core ELA- Literacy
Reading (R): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 9
Speaking and Listening (SL): Anchor Standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
Language (L): Anchor Standard 6

National Core Arts Standards
Visual Arts Anchor Standards 7, 8, 10, 11

Massachusetts Visual Arts Standards
Grades K–2 Standards 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1

Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Standards
Grades K–2 Standards 2, 4

 

Don’t miss these exciting installations and special exhibitions!

Explore fresh takes on the PEM collection and discover new exhibitions featuring some of the most brilliant artists of today and yesterday. Click here to learn more about the special exhibitions on view this year.

To work with a museum educator on a customized visit, contact teacherprograms@pem.org or call 978-542-1546.

Stickwork: Patrick Dougherty
Through December 31, 2016

Experience PEM's first environmental art installation. In collaboration with a team of local volunteers, artist Patrick Dougherty bent, weaved and flexed saplings into an architectural sculpture known as a Stickwork. The installation, What the Birds Know, provides dramatic counterpoint to the highly finished wood-frame Crowninshield-Bentley House that dates to the early 18th century.

Importing Splendor: Luxuries from China
Through December 27, 2015

Henry Fonseca The ConductorExplore PEM's superlative Chinese export art collection -- the most comprehensive and celebrated collection of its kind -- through nearly 30 selected works, including furniture, paintings and decorative objects. Created by Chinese artists in the 18th and 19th centuries for European and American markets, these works display a mastery of material and form that made them the most coveted luxurious items of their day. Learn more.

About FreePort: Exploring the roles of trade, exchange and translation in the dynamics of cultural change, each FreePort installation is an invitation to a contemporary artist to establish a unique dialogue with the museum and its audiences. Evoking PEM’s 18th-century origins in global trade, FreePort facilitates the free exchange of ideas across disciplines critical to the evolution of a 21st-century museum.

To make a school visit reservation for your class please click here.

Image credits: Students from the Bates School with Emergence of the Clowns, 1988, Roxanne Swentzell (Santa Clara Pueblo). Heard Museum, Phoenix, IAC2344A-D. Also pictured: Chilkat blanket, c. 1832, Tlingit artist. Peabody Essex Museum, E3648. Shaman's Tree of Life, 1985, John Hoover (Aleut). Anchorage Museum, 1985.50.1. Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art. Photo by Martine Malengret-Bardosh/PEM. | Students from the Bates School with Waterfall, 1999, Truman Lowe (Ho-Chunk). Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, 1999.6.4. Also pictured: Structural Landscape, 1952, George Morrison (Grand Portage Band of Chippewas). Joslyn Art Museum, JAM1955.187. Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art. Photo by Martine Malengret-Bardosh/PEM | Students from the Bowditch School (North Shore Camp Fire program) with Orpheus Charming the Animals, c. 1640, Aelbert Cuyp.The Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Collection. Golden: Dutch and Flemish Masterworks from the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Collection. Photo by Martine Malengret-Bardosh/PEM. | Students from the Bowditch School create artwork inspired by Fiery Pool: the Maya and the Mythic Sea. Photo by Walter Silver/PEM. | Arts Adventure Club participants in Yin Yu Tang, A Chinese House. Peabody Essex Museum. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.