PreK-12 School Programs

Discover the power of meaningful museum experiences!

CLICK HERE to flip through our School Catalog!

* SMA’s school experiences utilize active learning techniques to build twenty-first century learning skills.

* All programs are aligned with TEKS and Common Core strands.

* A maximum of fifty (50) students may be registered per experience. Multiple visits/times may be scheduled to accommodate entire grade levels.

* School experiences are ALWAYS free for students, teachers, and required chaperones.

* Busing reimbursement is available for schools throughout Region 5, Texas, and Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. CLICK HERE for details.


Picture your class at the STARK Art & History Venues this year and discover the power of meaningful museum experiences! See the links below to register your class for a school tour, for information from our 2019-2020 catalog and to read the full descriptions about our current tour offerings. The Stark Museum of Art offers your students the opportunity to explore connections between visual art, history, language arts, and natural science while engaging with our extraordinary collection.

We are committed to providing active learning experiences dedicated to building twenty-first century learning skills. All programs are aligned with TEKS and Common Core.

School experiences at the Stark Museum of Art are free for schools, teachers, and required chaperones. Busing reimbursement is available for schools throughout Region 5, Texas and Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.

We look forward to seeing you and your students during the 2019-2020 school year! Please note, we request that school tours have a minimum of 10 students and a maximum of 50 students per visit.


Check out these other educational offerings:

Tour Offerings:

Pre-K – Kindergarten

Designed just for early learners, these 1-hour programs combine interactive songs, story time, play, and art-making.

Give Me a Beat – NEW!

Clap your hands and make a sound – because we’re exploring rhythms all around! Students will stomp and clap as they explore rhythms in art, find their groove during the story Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins, discover the noisy fun of a rhythm circle, and create their own musical instrument during their visit to the Art Studio.

P is for Pottery

Dig in to the art of pottery! Students will learn about the ancient art of pottery, connect pottery with everyday tasks like eating and drinking, enjoy a special story featuring The Pot that Juan Built by Nancy Andrews-Goebel in the American Indian gallery, and make their own clay pot in the Art Studio.

Shapes, Shapes Everywhere

We’re going on a shape safari! Students will look all around in the galleries as we find triangles, circles, squares, and more, sing songs about shapes, enjoy a special story featuring Perfect Square by Michael Hall, and practice manipulating shapes as students create original collages in the Art Studio.

Texas Round-Up

Everything’s bigger in Texas – including a visit to the Stark Museum of Art! Cowboy and cowgirl up as we head to the ranch to discover all things western! Students will stalk wild horses and buffalo in the galleries, sing western songs around a make-believe campfire, hoot and holler during the story There Once Was A Cowpoke Who Swallowed an Ant by Helen Ketteman, and illustrate their own cowboy or cowgirl portrait in the Art Studio.

A is for Artist- NEW!

Grab your painting smock and palette because we are going to discover our inner artists! Go on an art adventure in the galleries as we explore the alphabet of art – colors, shapes, and artist’s tools! Students will find new ways to express themselves as we sing songs about colors and shapes, touch artists tools, enjoy a special story featuring The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle, and create their own painting in the studio using watercolor paints. Students should dress for mess during this program just to be safe!

First – Third Grade

First through third grade programs are 1.5-hours, which include a 45-minute Museum visit and 45-minute Art Studio visit. These programs use interdisciplinary approaches to ignite student interest in the arts.

Folktales and Fairy Tales

Once upon a time in a faraway land, students practiced storytelling and illustration at the Museum! During this program students will explore folktales and fairy tales while they visit the galleries and create their own illustration of a traditional folktale in the Art Studio. This program is aligned with Fine Arts and English Language Arts and Reading TEKS.

Art of Animals

Discover the animals living in the Museum! Search high and low for mammals, birds, and insects and uncover how artists create works of art featuring animals. Students will create their own animal-inspired work of art in the Art Studio. This program is aligned with Fine Arts and Science TEKS.

Seasons of Art

There’s art for every season! Explore the sights and sounds of fall, winter, spring, and summer across North America during an adventure through the galleries. Students will document the seasons using sensory language and sketching activities. Students will create a work of art inspired by the seasons in the Art Studio. This program is aligned with Fine Arts, Science, and Social Studies TEKS.

Texas, Our Texas – NEW! (Available Spring 2020)

Tug on your boots and get ready for a great big Texas adventure from the Hill Country to Big Bend! Students will explore the galleries during a jaunt through Texas history while seeing paintings from the 1800s and 1900s and learning about state symbols through glass and ceramic sculptures. In the Art Studio, students will create their own original work of art about the great state of Texas. This program is aligned with Fine Arts and Social Studies TEKS and is the perfect match for your
Texas-themed unit!

Fourth – Eighth Grade

Fourth through eighth grade programs are 2-hours, including a 1-hour Museum visit and 1-hour studio art experience. Programs focus on language arts, social studies, and the arts.The following programs are available:

Language ARTS!

Uncover how artists and writers use the same language. Students will use language arts activities to explore the Stark Museum of Art’s collection, comparing and contrasting, writing poetry, illustrating a prediction, distinguishing fact and fiction, and writing their own opinion of a work of art. Students will create a multimedia illustration of a poem in the Art Studio. This program is aligned with Fine Arts and English Language Arts and Reading TEKS.

Treasures of the Collection

Discover your inner artist! Learn about the elements of art and explore masterworks in the Stark Museum of Art through sketching and journaling activities while connecting with social studies, language arts, and history curricula. Students will create an original work of art inspired by their visit to the special exhibition while in the Art Studio. This program is aligned with Fine Arts TEKS.

Do All Indians Live in Tipis?

Explore the American Indian collection at the Stark Museum of Art. In the galleries, students will be introduced to the Southwest American Indian tribes and grapple with common myths and frequently asked questions. Students also have the special opportunity to handle authentic, contemporary American Indian items while learning how American Indian arts and crafts continue to thrive today. Students will learn traditional Navajo techniques for weaving and create their own woven bookmark in the Art Studio.This program is aligned with Fine Arts and Social Studies TEKS.

Your Art, Your Voice – NEW! (Available Spring 2020)

Artists voices echo through their hands and artwork. During this two-hour program, students will learn how artists have used their voices to highlight historical issues concerning land and animal conservation as well as human rights. In the Art Studio, students will create an original collaborative collage expressing an idea or topic that they care deeply about. This program is aligned with Social Studies and Fine Art TEKS.

Ninth-Twelfth

Ninth through twelfth grade programs focus on fine art and careers. These programs offer a range of opportunities to engage with the Museum’s collection and staff, including tours and studio art experiences.

Think Like an Artist

Step into the shoes of an artist and explore the Stark Museum of Art through an artist’s eyes during this 1-hour experience. Students will learn basic observation skills while identifying big ideas, key details, and what makes a work of art a masterpiece, all while learning about how the art observation can be used in a wide assortment of careers. This program is aligned with Fine Arts TEKS.

Highlights of the Collection

Experience highlights of the Museum’s collection during this 1-hour experience. Students will visit the galleries with a Museum educator and learn about western art while encountering significant works by artists such as John James Audubon,Charles Russell, Frederic Remington, and the Taos Society of Artists. This program is aligned with Fine Arts TEKS.

SMArt Jobs

Explore the many careers available in the museum profession during this 2.5-hour behind-the-scenes look at how a museum exhibition is created. Students will meet key Museum staff, discuss career paths and opportunities, and use critical thinking and problem solving skills to create their own to scale, mock gallery in the Art Studio. This program is aligned with Fine Arts and Mathematics TEKS and is also available in an abbreviated format for classroom outreach.

Gallery Sketching

Discover the art of sketching in the galleries during this 1-hour program. Students will learn how drawing is the foundation of all arts, as well as practice observational drawing skills, and learn techniques used by artists for centuries. Students of all drawing abilities are encouraged to participate. This program may be combined with additional high school offerings. This program is aligned with Fine Arts TEKS.

Special Exhibition Tours

Dive deep into our current special exhibition during this 1-hour tour experience. Students will visit the current special exhibition with a museum educator to look closely while unpacking topics and ideas presented. Conservation Art: Federal Duck Stamps & Prints is on view through January 4, 2020, and The Drawing Experience will be on view February 15 – September
26, 2019.

Museum and Garden Combination Programs

The Stark Museum of Art and Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center offer combined school field trip experiences for K-8 students. These programs integrate science, art, and history, and provide students the opportunity to explore topics deeply at both venues. These programs are 4.5 hours long and may include an outpost tour. Students will spend approximately 2 hours at Shangri La and about 2 hours at the Stark Museum of Art. Students should bring a sack lunch for a half-hour lunch break. Driver should be prepared to shuttle between venues.

Art for Conservation – NEW!

5th – 8th Grades

Fall 2019

Discover what you can do to be a wildlife conservationist during this 4 1/2 hour program! At Shangri La Gardens, students will explore the swamp wetland habitats that waterfowl call home. We will discuss migration and the importance of habitat conservation. This lesson DOES include a boat ride. At the Stark Museum of Art, students will go on a duck chase with a visit to our special exhibition Conservation Art: Federal Duck Stamps and Prints and learn how artists have helped protect animals and habitats for over one hundred years. After visiting the galleries, students will visit the studio to create their own conservation collage. Students will spend approximately 2 hours at Shangri La Gardens and 2 hours at the Stark Museum of Art. Students should bring a sack lunch; there will be a 1/2 hour lunch break at Shangri La Gardens. The bus driver should be prepared to shuttle students between Shangri La Gardens and the Stark Museum of Art during this lesson.

Picture Perfect Weather – NEW!

1st – 4th Grades

Spring 2020

Experience the best of the Stark Museum of Art and Shangri La Gardens! At Shangri La Gardens, students will embark on an adventure to learn to use various instruments to measure and record the weather. We’ll discuss temperature, wind conditions, precipitation, clouds, and more! This lesson DOES include a boat tour. At the Stark Museum of Art, students will become weather chasers as they adventure through the galleries and discover the beauty of weather in art– cloudy skies, snowy storms, and scorching suns. During the studio art experience, students will create an original work of art inspired by their weather chasing journey. Students will spend approximately 2 hours at Shangri La Gardens and 2 hours at the Stark Museum Art. Students should bring a sack lunch; there will be a 1/2 hour lunch break at Shangri La Gardens. The bus driver should be prepared to shuttle students between Shangri La Gardens and the Stark Museum of Art during this lesson.

These programs have limited availability. To schedule your program, email a request to Jamie Massa at jmassa@shangirlagardens.org.