Learning to Look (Grades K–3)

The Learning to Look program gives children in grades K–3 the tools that encourage them to grow using skills within their reach.To deepen student engagement at the museum, teachers receive free curriculum materials to use in their classrooms before their visit. The Museums’ teaching artists welcome your class to create and explore in the museum galleries. During the tour, students observe and discuss a thematic selection of four to five works of art. Museum staff and docents use Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) as well as in-gallery activities to encourage students to share observations, back up ideas with evidence, and discuss many possible interpretations. While in the studio, students continue to explore the lesson theme through activities that emphasize process, not product. These activities introduce concepts and skills that may be used in the classroom for further exploration.

Program Themes by Grade Level

  • Kindergarten: students explore shapes and lines while learning about overlapping and patterning in a community-centered project.
  • 1st Grade: students 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 see what they can compose.
  • 3rd Grade: students experiment with printmaking materials and processes incorporating rhythm and movement.

Tour Availability

  • Registration for school programs (October 8, 2019 –May 22, 2020) will open July 15, 2019. As the City of San Francisco’s Museums, we prioritize SFUSD schools in the booking process. All other requests are processed in the order received. The Learning to Look Reservation Request Form is available here.
  • Learning to Look guided visits are offered Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 10 am and 10:15 am.
  • 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.
  • The Learning to Look Program is free. If you need to cancel or change your reservation, please let us know at your earliest convenience. Cancellations made with less than three weeks notice means we will be unable to fill the slot and other students will not be able to attend.
  • A minimum of one adult chaperone is required for every 10 students.

Schedule a Learning to Look Tour

Contact Information

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