Student Programs \\ Tour Options

American Art & Culture

Life in the 17th Century

Recommended for Grades 3-8

Students 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

Students 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.

The tour may also include the John Ward House (1684), American Decorative Arts and Maritime Art Gallery. Please note: due to the possibility of icy weather conditions, the historic houses are not available during winter months January – mid-March.

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, 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



Identity and Global Culture

Recommended for Grades 6-12

Students explore personal and cultural identity through a variety of works by artists from around the world. Engaging in dialogue, gallery activities and reflection, students examine works of art through lenses of geography, socio-political change, nature, literature, personal histories and cultural heritage. Students discover the ever-evolving nature of art and culture by delving deeper into individual artists' innovative perspectives and sources of inspiration.

The tour may also include PEM's Japanese Art gallery and the exhibitions All the Flowers are for Me, Importing Splendor: Luxuries from China, Raven's Many Gifts: Native Art of the Northwest Coast, MegaCity: India's Culture of the Streets and Yoan Capote: Immanence (on view through October 22).

Time: One hour | 50 students maximum