School Group TOURS

All gallery experiences at the Dayton Art Institute have been specifically designed to offer students unique opportunities to build meaningful connections with art. They incorporate curriculum themes including: Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. During visits students will use 21st-century skills, and it is our goal that each unique learning style is engaged during every museum visit.

The Dayton Art Institute offers four unique ways to enjoy your DAI!

Visit 3-5 artworks during a 45- or 60-minute Guided Visit:

During Art + Core Connections gallery experiences students will use 21st-century skills and enjoy activities that incorporate curriculum themes including: Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.

Visit 3-5 artworks during a 45- or 60-minute Guided Visit, then create art during a Studio Workshop:

Adding a Studio Workshop to your gallery visit helps students enhance their experience through exploration of themes and media introduced during their tour. Check out the options for Studio Workshops below.

Plan some Self-Guided DAI Roam Time:

A Self-Guided Visit puts you in charge!  Investigate a special theme or topic using What is a Masterpiece? or other DAI-prepared materials with your students. Each Self-Guided group must have two (2) adult chaperones per every six (6) students grades Pre K–2 or two (2) adults for every 10 students grades 3-12.

Create your own DAI Visit with a mix of the above!

All DAI Art + Core Connections gallery experiences are FREE for schools! All DAI Art + Core Connections Studio Workshops are $7 per student.

NEED HELP GETTING TO THE MUSEUM? We know many schools face challenges planning and affording field trips, so we offer easy scheduling options and scholarship opportunities to cover the costs of transportation and/or studio workshops. Email schooltours@daytonart.org to learn more or click here to apply online.

DAI prioritizes inclusion and access. As an ADA-accessible facility, we welcome and accommodate students of all abilities and considerations. Please share with us how the museum can best serve your students!

To register for a Pre K-12 school visit, call Rique Hagen, Museum Experience Coordinator, at 937-223-5277, ext. 332, email schooltours@daytonart.org, or Click Here to to register online. 

Please Note: Any requested visit is not on the schedule until you have received a confirmation form from the Dayton Art Institute.

school tour group

Preschool – 2nd Grade Programs

Gallery tours feature 3 or 4 stations in 45 minutes

ARTFUL CREATURES
Best for Preschool – Kindergarten; 4 stations
Join us as we look for pets, jungle animals and exotic creatures! Our youngest students will discover animals in art across cultures through close-looking, storytelling and kinesthetic movement.

Optional studio artmaking (45 minutes; $7/student)
1. Students will sculpt a creature for hands-on learning in the studio.

Art + Core Connections: Supports Fine Arts learning standards.

ART RANGERS
Best for 1st – 2nd graders; 3 stations
Young learners will use music, close-looking, story-time and in-gallery sketching to explore basic art elements such as color, shape and line. Our Art Rangers will learn Museum Manners while exploring our multicultural galleries, discovering art opposites and ways to talk about art.

Optional studio artmaking (45 minutes; $7/student)
1. Design a DAI-inspired pouch and “curate” artwork from our collection.

Art + Core Connections: Supports Fine Arts learning standards.

school tour group

3rd – 5th Grade Programs

Gallery tours feature 5 stations in 60 minutes

ART + STEM = STEAM
Using concepts of color theory, perspective, meteorology, geometry and geology we investigate how artists incorporate STEM in their work. Students will measure, calculate, experiment and observe for a hands-on experience in our galleries.

Optional studio artmaking (60 minutes each; $7/student)
Select one of two studio workshops:
1. Create a tessellation drawing using concepts of translation symmetry.
2. Experiment with wax resist watercolor painting techniques**.

Art + Core Connections: Supports STEM learning standards to transform STEM content into STEAM learning.

GLOBAL TRADITIONS
“Travel” the world and visit artworks that celebrate the cycle of life. Using art from the collection, students will dance, discuss, perform and compare birthdays, weddings, feasts and other traditions worldwide.

Optional studio artmaking (60 minutes each; $7/student)
1. Develop your painting skills using East Asian sumi brushes.

Art + Core Connections: Supports Social Studies learning standards.

FACT OR FICTION?
Reading artworks as historical texts, students uncover myths and animate historical figures. Through scene-writing, improv games and verbal analysis students learn to differentiate fact, opinion and reasoned judgement.

Optional studio artmaking (60 minutes each; $7/student)
Select one of two studio workshops:
1. Experiment with printmaking techniques and create an Andy Warhol-style monoprint self-portrait.
2. Create a mythological creature by exploring sculptural techniques and materials.

Art + Core Connections: Supports Language Arts learning standards.

MEET THE MUSEUM
Students connect with our community museum through an overview of selected collection highlights. Theatrical play, hands-on visuals and guided discussions all help bring to life the artistic processes and themes.

Optional studio artmaking (60 minutes each; $7/student)
1. Design your own printing plate and print copies using printmaking techniques (choose portrait, landscape, or abstract).

Art + Core Connections: Supports Fine Arts learning standards.

OHIO HISTORY: ART & ARTIFACT
Join us as we celebrate our Ohio heritage! Looking at art made by Moundbuilder and Mississippian peoples as well as functional objects and paintings, students create a timeline of historical events in our galleries.

Optional studio artmaking (60 minutes each; $7/student)
Select one of two studio workshops:
1. Craft a multi-media collage using found objects and upcycling techniques.
2. Learn how to make and etch Ohio symbols into a handmade scratchboard.

Art + Core Connections: Supports Social Studies learning standards.

** requires a scheduled, post-visit pickup

school tour group

6th – 8th Grade Programs

Gallery tours feature 5 stations in 60 minutes

BUILDING AMERICA
Forge connections between innovations in industry and art throughout American history! Gallery sketching, modeling and musical response activities help bridge art history and industrial developments as we consider inventions, functional objects and paintings.

Optional studio artmaking (60 minutes each; $7/student)
Select one of two studio workshops:

  1. Design and print a hand-crafted image inspired by Industrialist paintings.
    2. Create an original perspective drawing inspired by Modernist painters.

Art + Core Connections: Supports Social Studies learning standards.

DISCOVER WRITING I
Get your creative juices flowing and let our collection inspire you! Students experiment with various writing styles to create haikus, sensory poems, scenes, formal critiques and more in our galleries.

Optional studio artmaking (60 minutes each; $7/student)
Select one of two studio workshops:

  1. Deconstruct book text and use painting techniques to craft poetic pieces.
    2. Create word art inspired by graffiti and street art styles.

Art + Core Connections: Supports Language Arts learning standards.

ART OFF THE WALL
Sculpture! Come delve into the scientific and special world of sculpture. Middle school students will learn about various sculptural materials and techniques, as well as consider technology’s role in the sculptural process. In-gallery model building, mini-experiments and kinesthetic extensions will bring the DAI’s 3D works to life on this tour.

Optional studio artmaking (60 minutes each; $7/student)
Select one of two studio workshops:

  1. Build a moveable sculpture during this lesson on kinetic art forms.
    2. Practice metal embossing techniques, including hammering, to design a repoussé artwork.

Art + Core Connections: Supports STEM learning standards.

PERFORMING ART
Together, students experience the intersections between visual and performing arts. In the galleries, groups activate the artworks through dance, performance, writing and engaging discussions.

Optional studio artmaking (60 minutes each; $7/student)
Select one of two studio workshops:

  1. Sculpt a layered-paper theatrical mask. 
    2. Each student will create and costume a rod puppet.

Art + Core Connections: Supports Fine Arts learning standards.

school tour group

9th – 12th Grade Programs

Gallery tours feature 5 stations in 60 mintues, unless noted below

DAI’S STORY
Learn about DAI’s founders and how Dayton’s history impacts and influences our collection. Students outline basics of museums studies including stewardship, acquisitions, reading art labels and the role of arts in our community.

Optional studio artmaking (60 minutes each; $7/student)
Select one of two studio workshops:

  1. Create a collection-inspired print using a variety of printmaking techniques.
    2. Students work as both artist and curator by painting, matting, and writing wall labels for their own collection-inspired artwork.

Art + Core Connections: Supports Social Studies learning standards.

CHEMISTRY & COLOR
Students investigate color theory and the chemical processes of color-making used throughout art history. Utilizing interactive technology, color wheels and more we experiment with these concepts across galleries and media.

Optional studio artmaking (60 minutes each; $7/student)

  1. Experiment with color theory and value through painting, as inspired by the artist Josef Albers.

Art + Core Connections: Supports STEM learning standards.

DISCOVER WRITING II
NOTE: 90 minute gallery tour and $7 per student for writing materials
High school students build and expand upon several writing types, including: descriptive, persuasive, creative and expository. We debate, discuss and share our ideas beginning with a free-writing session and culminating in formal critique as inspired by our collection.

Art + Core Connections: Supports Language Arts learning standards.

WOMEN’S DAI
Through formal analysis, guided conversations and multi-sensorial extensions, high school students will analyze the contributions of women artists in the DAI’s collection. Students will also examine the social, cultural and political contexts of the artists’ times, consider cultural values and trends, and make modern-day connections.

Optional studio artmaking (60 minutes each; $7/student)
Select one of two studio workshops:

  1. Shape a metalwork art piece with hammer and relief techniques, as inspired by the artist Alison Saar.
    2. Examine concepts of identity through portraiture and self-portraiture through the lens of contemporary artists.

Art + Core Connections: Supports Social Studies learning standards.

Special Exhibition Museum Visits 

A variety of special exhibition tours are available – call or email for details!

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