K-12 Teachers

Tours for K-12 School Groups

Guided tours engage students in discussions about the artwork on view, while encouraging critical thinking and the development of higher-order processing skills. All hands-on art activities relates to a theme or artwork from the tour. Guided tours are led by full-time and part-time museum education staff. During the summer season, guided tours last 60 minutes, (90 minutes for The Art of Observation), and include hands-on activities in the museum galleries.

Recommended for grades K-8
Available June 17 – August 22, 2014
Available for summer camp groups, year-round schools, and home school groups.
With a focus on fun hands-on activities, students examine and explore art from various countries and cultures on this interactive tour designed specifically for summer visitors. Register online.

Recommended for grades 8-12
Available June 17 – August 22, 2014
Introduce your students to how the skills of observation transfer between the art museum and the science classroom, or laboratory.  Students will compare and contrast their observations with those of their classmates.  Students will also consider how memory, communication, and previous experiences may impact observations. Register online.

Requesting a K-12 Guided Tour

Before requesting a K-12 Guided Tour, please check this calendar for tour availability. Tour times listed on the calendar are currently available for the number of students listed in parenthesis.


This calendar will be updated as often as possible, but it does not reflect a “real-time” schedule of K-12 tour reservations.

Request a guided or self-guided K-12 visit.


Self-guided groups or teacher-led school tours are permitted in all of our galleries. We highly recommend that educators preview exhibitions prior to the student visit to assure the content in each gallery is age appropriate. 

Self-guided visits must be scheduled in advance.  


What to Expect during a Guided Tour at the Nasher Museum of Art

  • Inquiry-based tour approach where students and Gallery Guide discuss artworks.
  • Opportunity to practice critical thinking skills.
  • Focused discussions on a selected group of about 6-10 works of art.
  • All guided tours meet multiple North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Standards.
  • Tours engage multiple learning styles.

Special Needs

Help us create an inclusive program. Please inform us in advance of any students with cognitive, emotional or physical disabilities in your group. We will do our best to adapt the program to best meet everyone’s needs.

Class Size

Classes will tour the museum in groups of 10 -15 students. Usually we can accommodate a maximum of 45 students per tour time.

Chaperones for Guided Tours

–Grades K-5: 1 chaperone for every 5 students.
–Grades 6-8: 2 chaperones for every 15 students.
–Grades 9-12: 1 chaperone for every 15 students.

Chaperones for self-guided groups: We require 1 chaperone for every 5 students.


K-12 school groups may eat lunch or snacks in the Community Classroom only if this space is reserved in advance. The Community Classroom seats a maximum of 32 people. Weather permitting, school groups may picnic on museum grounds in designated areas only. Outside food and drink are not permitted anywhere else in the museum or on museum grounds.


Bus scholarships are available for a limited number of K-12 guided field trips to the museum. Please contact nashered@duke.edu, or call 919-684-1169, to find out if your school qualifies.


Contact the Education Associate
nashered@duke.edu / 919-684-1169


Explore Words & Pictures

The Nasher Museum and Durham Public Schools teachers recently collaborated to produce a number of K-2 lessons and downloadable resources that integrate visual arts into the language arts curriculum. These resources, which address Common Core standards and engage 21st Century Skills, are available online for free, thanks in part to a grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit wordsandpictures.nasher.duke.edu

Teacher Workshops

If you would like to learn about Teacher programs through the Nasher’s Educators listserv, please send an email message to sympa@duke.edu and include “Subscribe Nasher-Teachers” (without the quotes) in the subject or body of your e-mail. To be added to our snail mail list send your name and address to nashered@duke.edu.  

Teacher Resources

The Education Department develops a number of materials for teachers to use with their students including background information about exhibitions, pre-visit and post-visit activities, images and lists of selected resources. Teachers who attend teacher programs or schedule a guided or self-guided tour receive folders with these materials. These materials are also available upon request. You can request materials by sending an email to nashered@duke.edu or calling (919) 684-1169.