Today @ AK

Tour Options

One-Visit Program

Two-Visit Program

Talk to a Museum Educator
Schools who have visited for two consecutive school years with entire grade levels can consult with Education Department staff to craft a custom designed experience. This option is available for a limited number of schools each year. Please email kmacagnone@albrightknox.org and request a curriculum consultation.

See More Tour Options


One-visit Program

We hope you will be able to better introduce your students to the Gallery by performing an in-class activity before your visit. You will find this activity with the One-Visit Program options at each grade level.

Grades K–2
Grades 3–5
Grades 6–8
Grades 9–12 


GRADES K–2

The ABCs of Art (45 minutes)

Reading has the ABCs. Art has line, color, shape, and texture. A child learns these basic elements of the visual world to interpret, make evidence-based arguments, and become visually literate. Experiencing these elements in his or her own environment, as well as in works of art, is an important aspect of a child’s early education and will, according to studies, help develop reading readiness. Students will learn these basic building blocks of art and sharpen their observation skills, while being introduced to the stories art tells and the differences between painting, sculpture, and other media. Since most students are visiting the museum for the first time, they will also be introduced to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery as both a museum and an important part of the Western New York community.
Pre-visit Activity (PDF)

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 9a, 11 (New York only)*
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading: Foundational Skills 1, 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 5, 6

*Please note that artworks are used as informational texts, literature texts, or both, depending on the nature of the artwork; the artist is the author.


GRADES 3–5

Read Me a Picture (One hour)

As your students are becoming more proficient readers, this tour builds on the Kindergarten–grade 2 visit, further sharpening their observation skills and their ability to verbalize responses to works of art, elements necessary for both literacy and critical thinking. Close observation of works of art reveals evidence of an artist’s intention and helps the viewer to interpret meaning just as in literature and informational text. Students will be encouraged to approach works of art based on their own background and experience, play games to practice their observation skills, and discover how diverse artists use different approaches to express themselves. They will be introduced to the information that can be obtained from a museum label as well as different genres of art, such as portraits, landscape, still life, and complete abstraction.
Pre-visit Activity (PDF) 

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6a (5th grade only), 7, 9, 10, 11 (New York only)*
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 4a, 5, 6

*Please note that artworks are used as informational texts, literature texts, or both, depending on the nature of the artwork; the artist is the author.


GRADES 6–8

Modern Art for a Modern World (One hour)

At this age, students are learning history that enhances their understanding of the present, both in their individual lives as well as in their communities and the world at large. Art is a reflection of that history, and through observing and discussing works of art, students learn not only about the artist and the work itself, but also about the historical, technological, and cultural context in which it was created. This tour focuses on the art of different countries and eras right up to our contemporary world. Students will compare and contrast the many ways works of art reflect the time and place in which they were created and see for themselves how contemporary work reflects our own times.
Pre-visit Activity (PDF) 

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 (New York only)*
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 4a, 5, 6
  • Social Studies Standards 1, 2, 3

*Please note that artworks are used as informational texts, literature texts, or both, depending on the nature of the artwork; the artist is the author.


GRADES 9–12

Please select one tour topic from the following list:

Meeting the Artist Halfway (One hour)

(Up to 120 students per time slot)
Students in these grades will be encouraged to interpret what they see using evidence-based discussions and to express their own critical thoughts about works of art. They will also explore more sophisticated questions such as: Why is it art? Why is it in the museum? Is art always beautiful or can work that makes you feel uncomfortable be art too? They will use different questioning techniques designed to help them start exploring on their own in museums, and learn a little about how museums select and install the artwork on view.
Pre-visit Activity (PDF)

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 (New York only)*
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 4a, 5, 6
  • Social Studies Standards 1, 2, 3

*Please note that artworks are used as informational texts, literature texts, or both, depending on the nature of the artwork; the artist is the author.

Artist’s Intention (One hour)

(Up to 60 students per time slot)
What was the artist thinking? Why does a work of art look the way it does? Focusing on just a few selected artworks, your students will work in small groups to explore, in depth, what is beneath the surface in modern and contemporary art. Your students should arrive with pencils to make notes while in the galleries. Paper will be provided.
Pre-visit Activity (PDF) 

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 (New York only)*
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 4a, 5, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing 7, 8, 11
  • Social Studies Standards 1, 2, 3

*Please note that artworks are used as informational texts, literature texts, or both, depending on the nature of the artwork; the artist is the author.

Special Exhibition (One hour)

(Up to 60 students per time slot)
Tour one of the Gallery’s current special exhibitions with your students.

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 (New York only)*
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 4a, 5, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing 7, 8, 11
  • Social Studies Standards 1, 2, 3

*Please note that artworks are used as informational texts, literature texts, or both, depending on the nature of the artwork; the artist is the author.

What “Ism” Is It? (One hour)

(Up to 30 students per time slot)
Impressionism? Cubism? Abstract Expressionism? What does it all mean? This tour introduces students to many of the major art movements of the twentieth century and how they are reflected in art of the twenty-first century.

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 (New York only)*
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 4a, 5, 6
  • Social Studies Standards 1, 2, 3

*Please note that artworks are used as informational texts, literature texts, or both, depending on the nature of the artwork; the artist is the author.

What’s Your Vision? (One hour)

(Up to 30 students per time slot)
Students will focus on three to four works for fifteen minutes each, voicing their observations and interpretations in a tour modeled on the Visual Thinking Strategies method of inquiry. After each work, the museum educator will share information about the artist and the work. 

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 (New York only)*
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 4a, 5, 6
  • Social Studies Standards 1, 2, 3

*Please note that artworks are used as informational texts, literature texts, or both, depending on the nature of the artwork; the artist is the author.


tWO-visit Program

For your class’s second visit to be most effective, we require you or another collaborating educator to perform an in-class activity before their second visit to the Gallery. This activity has been designed to give students an introduction to what they will be doing in their second visit, whether it be thinking about how an artist might use math and science, getting practice in observation and detail for a writing activity, or making connections between different subject areas. You will find this activity with the Two-Visit Program options at each grade level.

Grades K–2
Grades 3–5
Grades 6–8
Grades 9–12


GRADES K–2

First Visit: The ABCs of Art (45 minutes)

Reading has the ABCs. Art has line, color, shape, and texture. A child learns these basic elements of the visual world to interpret, make evidence-based arguments, and become visually literate. Experiencing these elements in his or her own environment, as well as in works of art, is an important aspect of a child’s early education and will, according to studies, help develop reading readiness. Students will learn these basic building blocks of art and sharpen their observation skills, while being introduced to the stories art tells and the differences between painting, sculpture, and other media. Since most students are visiting the museum for the first time, they will also be introduced to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery as both a museum and an important part of the Western New York community.

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 9a, 11 (New York only)*
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading: Foundational Skills 1, 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 5, 6

*Please note that artworks are used as informational texts, literature texts, or both, depending on the nature of the artwork; the artist is the author.

Activity for Between Visits (PDF)

Second Visit: Sing and Dance Me a Picture (45 minutes)

Students will sharpen their visual skills, verbalize responses to works of art, and work cross-disciplinarily in music, movement, and art. Areas to explore include works of art inspired by music; artwork created by musicians; and the interpretation of parallel elements in art, music, the spoken word, and movement.

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts 1 (Dance and Music), 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9 and 9a, 11 (New York only)*
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading: Foundational Skills 1, 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 5, 6

*Please note that artworks are used as informational texts, literature texts, or both, depending on the nature of the artwork; the artist is the author.

Please email grouptours@albrightknox.org if you would like to participate in the two-visit program.


GRADES 3–5

First Visit: Read Me a Picture (One hour)

As your students are becoming more proficient readers, this tour builds on the Kindergarten–grade 2 visit, further sharpening their observation skills and their ability to verbalize responses to works of art, elements necessary for both literacy and critical thinking. Close observation of works of art reveals evidence of an artist’s intention and helps the viewer to interpret meaning just as in literature and informational text. Students will be encouraged to approach works of art based on their own background and experience, play games to practice their observation skills, and discover how diverse artists use different approaches to express themselves. They will be introduced to the information that can be obtained from a museum label as well as different genres of art, such as portraits, landscape, still life, and complete abstraction.

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6a (5th grade only), 7, 9, 10, 11 (New York only)*
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 4a, 5, 6

*Please note that artworks are used as informational texts, literature texts, or both, depending on the nature of the artwork; the artist is the author.

Activity for Between Visits (PDF)

Second Visit: Write Me a Picture (One hour)

Students will learn about the stories told by works of art, and complete a writing exercise that focuses on one or two artworks to sharpen the connections between visual literacy and English language literacy. Make sure each student brings a pencil to write with (pens are not allowed in the galleries); paper and clipboards will be provided.

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6a (5th grade only), 7, 9, 10, 11 (New York only)*
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 4a, 5, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing 3**

*Please note that artworks are used as informational texts, literature texts, or both, depending on the nature of the artwork; the artist is the author.

**Educators who use the student writing produced during this tour back in the classroom for additional work—including drafts, editing, and the use of technology—will fulfill additional CCRS for Writing 4, 5 and 6.

Please email grouptours@albrightknox.org if you would like to participate in the two-visit program.


GRADES 6–8

First Visit: Modern Art for a Modern World (One hour)

At this age, students are learning history that enhances their understanding of the present, both in their individual lives as well as in their communities and the world at large. Art is a reflection of that history, and through observing and discussing works of art, students learn not only about the artist and the work itself, but also about the historical, technological, and cultural context in which it was created. This tour focuses on the art of different countries and eras right up to our contemporary world. Students will compare and contrast the many ways works of art reflect the time and place in which they were created and see for themselves how contemporary work reflects our own times.

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 (New York only)*
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 4a, 5, 6
  • Social Studies Standards 1, 2, 3

*Please note that artworks are used as informational texts, literature texts, or both, depending on the nature of the artwork; the artist is the author.

Activity for Between Visits (PDF)

Second Visit: Postcards Home (One hour)

Students will discuss works of art and then “travel” in a time machine to the era in which a work of art was made. Using clues from the artwork, object label, and what they know or have learned about history, each student will take notes and then write an essay about a work of art and how they think it reflects the time and place in which it was made. 

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 (New York only)*
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 4a, 5, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing 1, 2, 10, 11**
  • Social Studies Standards 1, 2, 3

*Please note that artworks are used as informational texts, literature texts, or both, depending on the nature of the artwork; the artist is the author.

**Educators who use the student writing produced during this tour back in the classroom for additional work—including drafts, editing, and the use of technology—will fulfill additional CCRS for Writing 4, 5 and 6.

Please email grouptours@albrightknox.org if you would like to participate in the two-visit program.


GRADES 9–12

First Visit 

Meeting the Artist Halfway (One hour)

(Up to 120 students per time slot)
Students in these grades will be encouraged to interpret what they see using evidence-based discussions and to express their own critical thoughts about works of art. They will also explore more sophisticated questions such as: Why is it art? Why is it in the museum? Is art always beautiful or can work that makes you feel uncomfortable be art too? They will use different questioning techniques designed to help them start exploring on their own in museums, and learn a little about how museums select and install the artwork on view.

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 (New York only)*
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 4a, 5, 6
  • Social Studies Standards 1, 2, 3

*Please note that artworks are used as informational texts, literature texts, or both, depending on the nature of the artwork; the artist is the author.

Second Visit
Please select one tour topic from the following list: 

Artist’s Intention (One hour)

(Up to 60 students per time slot)
What was the artist thinking? Why does a work of art look the way it does? Focusing on just a few selected artworks, your students will work in small groups to explore, in depth, what is beneath the surface in modern and contemporary art. 

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 (New York only)*
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 4a, 5, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing 7, 8, 11
  • Social Studies Standards 1, 2, 3

*Please note that artworks are used as informational texts, literature texts, or both, depending on the nature of the artwork; the artist is the author.

Special Exhibition (One hour)

(Up to 60 students per time slot)
Tour one of the Gallery’s current special exhibitions with your students. 

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 (New York only)*
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 4, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 4a, 5, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing 7, 8, 11
  • Social Studies Standards 1, 2, 3

*Please note that artworks are used as informational texts, literature texts, or both, depending on the nature of the artwork; the artist is the author.

What "Ism" Is It? (One hour)

(Up to 30 students per time slot)
Impressionism? Cubism? Abstract Expressionism? What does it all mean? This tour introduces students to many of the major art movements of the twentieth century and how they are reflected in art of the twenty-first century.

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 (New York only)*
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 4a, 5, 6
  • Social Studies Standards 1, 2, 3

*Please note that artworks are used as informational texts, literature texts, or both, depending on the nature of the artwork; the artist is the author.

What’s Your Vision? (One hour)

(Up to 30 students per time slot)
Students will focus on three to four works for fifteen minutes each, voicing their observations and interpretations in a tour modeled on the Visual Thinking Strategies method of inquiry. After each work, the museum educator will share information about the artist and the work.

New York State Learning Standards and Core Curriculum

  • New York State Learning Standards for the Arts 2, 3, 4
  • College and Career Readiness Core Anchor Standards for Reading 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11 (New York only)*
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Speaking and Listening 1, 2, 3, 6
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Language 1, 4a, 5, 6
  • Social Studies Standards 1, 2, 3

*Please note that artworks are used as informational texts, literature texts, or both, depending on the nature of the artwork; the artist is the author.

Please email grouptours@albrightknox.org if you would like to participate in the two-visit program.