Learning to Look

The Learning to Look program gives children in grade K–3 tools that encourage them to grow using skills that are within their reach. The Museums' teaching artists welcome your class to create and explore in the art studio and the museum galleries. Your students will be given the opportunity to work with a variety of media and concepts in activities that emphasize process, not product. These activities were designed to introduce concepts and skills that may be taken back into the classroom for further exploration.

Program Themes by Grade Level

  • Kindergarten: students will explore shapes and lines while learning about overlapping and patterning in a community-centered project.
  • 1st Grade: students will investigate textures and patterns in the galleries so that they're ready to work with clay in the studio.
  • 2nd Grade: there is symmetry and color all over the museum. After some color mixing, students will see what they can compose.
  • 3rd Grade: students will experiment with printmaking materials and processes incorporating rhythm and movement.

Program Overview

  • Teachers prepare students with the curriculum in their classrooms before visiting the museum.
  • During the tour students are asked to observe and discuss a thematic selection of three to four artworks. Museum staff will use the VTS (Visual Thinking Strategies) method as well as in-gallery activities to encourage students to share observations, back up ideas with evidence, and discuss many possible interpretations of artworks viewed.
  • During the studio art activity students will be asked to make connections to and explore artistic processes related to the artworks viewed in the galleries.

Tour Availability

  • Reservations are currently available for October 10, 2017–June 1, 2018. Requests will be processed in the order received.
  • Learning to Look guided visits are offered Tuesdays–Thursdays at 10:00 am and 10:15 am, but will change to Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays starting February 9, 2018.
  • Please note that the guided tour and studio art activity require a two-hour commitment.
  • Groups are not scheduled on the first free Tuesday of every month.

Schedule a Visit Online

  • A minimum of 8 weeks' advance notice is required.
  • Please note that the maximum size of a class group is 30 students. Larger groups require multiple slots. All requests are subject to availability.
  • Though Learning to Look is free, reservations must be held with a deposit check of $100 made out to COFAM. Deposits will be returned after your visit. Checks are only deposited in case of no-show or cancellation with less than three weeks notice.
  • A minimum of one adult chaperone is required for every 10 students.

Schedule a Learning to Look Tour


Things to Know

  • The Learning to Look curriculum is included in your school program reservation and will be sent with your confirmation.
  • Want to check it out before making a reservation? Order your free curriculum by downloading and printing our PDF order form.

Contact Information

Questions? Email schooltours@famsf.org or call 415.750.7696.