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Walker School Tour Program

Young students

Expand learning beyond your classroom through the arts!

More than just a fun field trip, our on-site and virtual school tours are the perfect companion to what you’re already doing in the classroom. Each tour connects directly to K-12 curriculum standards and can be used for any subject area—all you have to do is let us know what you need.

Choose from more than 15 preset tours, or work with one of our Museum Educators to design a custom experience just for your students. Whichever path you choose, your visit is completely FREE!

FAQ for Educators

About Walker School Tours

Our highly trained Museum Educators have worked with Curriculum Specialists across Arkansas to design our tours to meet K-12 curriculum standards. Guided tours typically last one hour and focus on four to five works of art. Each tour is themed around an essential question, and each tour stop uses a specific guiding question to scaffold the conversation back into the theme and standards of your classroom.

Museum Educators primarily use the dialogical model, a process of student-centered exploration that is designed to deepen critical thinking and discussion skills. That process allows each tour to be conducted at the appropriate level for the class while still promoting student growth.

Thanks to the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation, we offer reimbursement for transportation (up to $250 per class) and a substitute (one per class) to every school that signs up. Additionally, we can provide a free, nutritious sack lunch for each student.

If you need additional assistance, please reach out to

Book a Self-Guided School Tours Book an On-Site School Tour Book a Virtual School Tour

Special Tours and Workshop Add-On

Career Days

On-site Grades K-12 April 23 & May 28, 2024

Join Crystal Bridges staff on a Tuesday when the museum is closed to the public for a behind the scenes look at the variety of careers it takes to keep a museum open and running smoothly. From culinary to accounting; graphic design to horticulture; the career possibilities are endless. Career Day tours last one hour and include lunch and reimbursement for transportation and substitute teachers. While available for all ages, career days are designed to aid school counselors and career orientation instructors reveal a myriad of careers associated with arts, culture, and creative economies.

Abstract art

Mindfulness Tour

On-site Grades 7-12

Today’s fast-paced world often causes students to struggle to slow down and notice the beauty of the world around them. The practice of mindfulness and slow looking at art can help combat this struggle and foster a sense of personal well-being. Crystal Bridges offers students the tools needed to combine the aesthetic appreciation of art with the practice of mindfulness. Students will experience deep looking techniques which help to calm the mind and body and create a connection between art and wellness. The use of art, architecture, and nature can help students learn how to reduce stressors and increase the ability to focus on the present moment.

Children viewing the artwork We the People

Custom Tours

On-site Virtual Grades 3-12

Looking for a more personalized experience for your students? Let our Museum Educators work directly with you to design an educational experience tailored to your students’ grade level, curriculum, and objectives. Every custom tour is designed to meet state standards and integrate seamlessly into your classroom instruction.

Some custom tours recently created include “Japanese American Artists,” “Food and Culture,” “Kinetic Sculptures,” and “The French and Indian War.”

Note: Custom tours must be requested at least three weeks prior to the intended tour date.

Art Educator demonstrates a technique to a group of children

Workshop Add-On

On-site Grades K-12

In preparation for our upcoming gallery and studio expansion, we are piloting addon experiences that complement and enhance our K-12 tours. These hour-long workshops are completely free and take place after the guided tour and lunch. Activities will vary depending on the tour selected but could include individual or group artmaking as well ageappropriate demonstrations. During this pilot, availability may vary depending on your preferred date and time. Please indicate your interest in a workshop on your tour application.  

Introductory Tours

Crystal Bridges aerial view

Me and My Museum

On-site Virtual Grades K-2

What is a museum? Let us introduce your students to what you can find in a museum. Through hands-on activities, conversations, movement, storytelling, and sensory experiences, students will interact with a variety of artworks to build an appreciation for art and self-expression while supporting classroom learning.

In the Round

On-site Virtual Grades 3-12

What elements make three-dimensional art different from two-dimensional art? Centered around visual art appreciation, this tour, creates a platform for collaborative thinking for students to perceive and analyze sculptural works. Ranging from classical to contemporary artworks, “In the Round” is tailored for students with a passion for creativity and a curious eye for artistic expression. It generates an immersive experience where every piece tells a story.

Pedestrian bridge from the north tower to the north forest

The Art of Architecture

On-site Virtual Grades 5-12

Discover how the architecture of Crystal Bridges is as stunning and inspirational as the artwork found inside! On this tour, students will discover the architecture of Crystal Bridges. From conception to completion, students will learn the intricacies of how the museum was designed and built. They’ll learn about our founder Alice Walton and her vision for a museum that promotes art, architecture, and nature, as well as architect Moshe Safdie, who brought that vision to life. Students will also learn about the Bachman-Wilson House and its architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Core Subject Tours

painting of a young girl sitting in chair reading a book

The Writing is on the Wall: Stories in Art

On-site Virtual Grades 3-12

What do authors, playwrights, and artists have in common? They are all storytellers. While authors and playwrights use words, artists use visual clues. By learning to “read” a work of art you can gain understanding of the characters, setting, and plot just as you would from a book or play. You might even be inspired to create your own story!

Big Red Lens by Frederick Eversley

Art and Science

On-site Virtual Grades 5-8

Throughout history, artists and scientists have shared a passion for discovery and innovation. By utilizing close observation and the scientific method, students will explore the connections between art and science, growing their deductive reasoning skills and expanding their understanding of how knowledge is applied in the real world.

Gabriel Dawe, Plexus No. 27

Art and Math

On-site Virtual Grades 5-8

Math is all around us, from patterns in nature to measurements for cooking. Math can also be found in artworks. Some artists intentionally utilize math as a key component of their work. Common math themes in our collection include scale, perspective, angles, geometry, and prisms. By investigating and discussing these themes, we can learn to look at art and math in new ways.

The Stories of U.S.

On-site Virtual Grades 3-12

How do artworks tell the stories of the United States and its people? We are a diverse people, having come here from many places around the world for many different reasons over time. Each of us has a unique story to tell about our families, their histories, and lives. This tour takes students through American history via artworks that help to tell the complex and fascinating story of the mosaic that is life in the United States.

Citizenship 101

On-site Virtual Grades 9-12

All citizens of the United States have a responsibility to understand the rights and privileges that come with that status. Art is a great catalyst to spark dialogue, deepen understanding, and elevate conversations around our civil rights and responsibilities, national history, and the impact of national expansion. As an American art museum, our collection is especially helpful when exploring the value of individual voices in a democracy, the founding of our country, and key historical events.

Literature Tours

On-site Virtual Grades 7-12

Enhance your classroom’s exploration of literature by seamlessly integrating visual art into the world of books. Tailored to suit the specific book your class is currently reading, Museum Educators will curate a unique tour that reflects the themes, characters, and plot of any literary masterpiece. Elevate your classroom experience and create a lasting impact on your students’ understanding of literature.

Literature Tours at the museum can be based on any book, play, or story you choose. Examples of past Literature Tours include tours based on Homer’s Odyssey, To Kill a Mockingbird, the musical Hamilton, Slaughterhouse 5, Romeo and Juliet, and Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Artistic Process

Beth Lipman, Belonging(s)

Art and Innovation

On-site Virtual Grades 5-12

Throughout time, artists have always found new ways to be creative and inventive with their craft. Whether it be through discovering different mediums, exploring unique subjects, or enhancing a pre-existing method. Through the lens of innovation, students will look at artworks from different periods of time and discover how new processes of art making have impacted the art world and continue to do so today!

Twenty-Five Gallon Four-Handled Stoneware Jar in reddish and yellow tones.

Materials and Techniques

On-site Virtual Grades 9-12

Art is made from a variety of materials, processes, and techniques. Some are very recognizable, such as painting and drawing, and some we might not be as familiar with. Every artist, whether formally trained or self-taught, must work through the benefits and challenges of each material and technique to find which one gives them the desired effect. Learning and understanding each process might inspire you to create your own masterpiece.

Perspectives in Art

Kerry James Marshall, Our Town

Black Excellence in Art

On-site Virtual Grades 3-12

Embark on an exploration of the past, present, and future perspectives of Black artists who harness the transformative power of art to highlight inequities, celebrate triumphs, and foster awareness and empathy for the resilience and the diverse narratives that are the Black experience.

Celebrating Women Artists

On-site Virtual Grades 3-12

Women’s voices are a catalyst for change in art and society. They have been crucial in artistic innovation, creating unique styles and processes that have shaped the art world. By examining and analyzing these artists and their works, we can start to understand how they confronted and influenced various social and political issues through their art.

Young woman in front of mountains holding basket full of flowers

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

On-site Virtual Grades 3-12

Embark on a vibrant journey through the rich tapestry of Hispanic heritage with artists such as Alfredo Ramos Martinez, Carmen Herrera and Gabriel Dawe. These artists seamlessly blend traditional techniques with contemporary influences to explore the convergence of culture, identity, and perseverance.

Native North American Art

On-site Virtual Grades 3-12

Explore Native American art that is centered on storytelling and challenges the stereotypical expectations of Indigenous art. Crystal Bridges celebrates artistic excellence and cultural diversity in American art. The many different stories told through Native American art create an understanding of the many voices asking to be heard. Hear the stories through their art and acknowledge the Native American place in the American landscape of art.

Self-Guided Visits

students in the galleries

Self-guided museum tours are another way for you to take your students to learn at Crystal Bridges. You can arrive at your own convenience, schedule your day as you need to, and still receive reimbursement for bus and substitute teacher costs as with guided tours.

Your arrival and departure depend only upon your schedule – if early arrival works best, come early before the museum opens to enjoy the sculpture trails. If you need to arrive later in the day, you can stay as long as you like. The only differences are that your group will be responsible for their own lunches and will not receive guided tours from Museum Educators. Please join us at Crystal Bridges for a day that you create for yourselves!

Book a Self-Guided School Tour

College and After-School Student Group Tours

Sponsored by:

GoGo Squeez, Kimberly-Clark, and BoozmanHof Regional Eye Clinic & Optical Shop