School Tours

The following popular programs are offered year round. All tours meet Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) and Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS). Optional studio activities can be incorporated into your visit. Don’t see what you are looking for? Telfair Museums staff will work with you to create a tour that meets your needs or learning objectives. To schedule a tour, call 912.790.8827

Click here for information on preparing your students for a Telfair Museums Tour  »

Museum Discovery: What is Art? Grades Pre-K-3 | VA, ELA*
Young learners will explore the entire museum in search of art. A discussion-based tour of paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, and more, will help define what art is. Looking to artists’ works for a better understanding and appreciation of a variety of art forms will provide students with a new perspective of the world around them. Visit the ArtZeum after the tour for a fun way to explore art with your hands. Build a life-long relationship with art through real-world connections.
Owens-Thomas House The Owens-Thomas House: Step Back in Time Grades 4-12 | VA, SS
Learn about the history of Savannah, the Regency architecture of William Jay, historic preservation, and the only intact urban slave quarters in the city, which includes crafts from the Acacia Collection of African Americana.
Thinking Through Art: Creative Responses Grades Pre-K-5 | VA
Docents will lead discussion-based tours of the museums’ permanent and temporary exhibitions at the Telfair Academy and Jepson Center. Allow your students to explore art and practice collaborative problem solving with observation and verbal skills. Other techniques to responding to art, including VTS, sketching, and writing.
glasshouse_150 ArtZeum & Technology: Hands On, Minds Open Grades Pre K – 5
Telfair’s two-level interactive learning center allows students to explore art with their hands and minds. More than 20 activity stations based on the museums’ art collection include a recycling garden and playhouse; geometric shape exploration; magnetic sculpture wall; architectural building blocks and much more. The Technology and Art Gallery features interactive art and games. Students are sure to enjoy this unique museum experience!
Art through the Senses: Look, Touch, Hear Grades Pre-K-12 | VA
Go beyond looking in this tour. Multisensory activities and props will engage students in seeing, hearing, and touching as a means to better understand art. Guides will introduce elements and principles of art in a variety of ways so that each student is able to have a meaningful museum experience. This tour can be specialized for students with disabilities.
EDU_150_004 Learning through Looking: Sketch about It Grades 4-12 | VA, ELA
Look closely, what do you really see? Spend some extra time with each work of art and get to know it with pencil and paper. Pick an exhibition that sparks your interest, or let us make a suggestion. Bring your own materials, or let us provide you with a small handmade sketchbook to capture your museum experience. Guided sketching is the focus of this tour; contextual information and group discussion will be shared along the way.
artzeum_tours Architecture: Past and Present Grades 6-12 | VA, SS
Explore one, two, or all three of our sites inside and out. The Telfair Academy, the oldest public art museum in the South, and the Owens-Thomas House, one of the finest examples of English Regency architecture in America, are both National Historic Landmark buildings designed by English architect, William Jay in the early 19th century. The Jepson Center, designed by Moshe Safdie and constructed in 2006 provides striking contrast and links the Telfair’s future with its past. This tour will not focus on the art hanging on the walls, but the walls themselves. Discover each building from its design, construction and preservation. Don’t miss a single architectural element.
Romantic Spirits: Nineteenth-Century paintings from the Johnson Collection July 25, 2014 – February 15, 2015
RS_thmb01 Southern Styles: An Overview of Painting Grades 3-4 | VA*
This exhibition of Southern art offers a wide array of genres, including still lifes, landscapes, history paintings, and portraits, an ideal collection for discussing different types of painting and the purposes they serve. On this tour, students will be introduced to each type of painting and then engage in discussions about particular works employing Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS). Students will then be able to make informed comparisons between works of art and consider the different ways in which we value art.
RS_thmb02 Picturing the Civil War: Southern Perspectives Grades 5, 8 | SS, VA
This tour will help bring the Civil War to life for your students. Docents will lead students through a visual history of the war, from its outbreak to combat and its aftereffects. Students can connect what they already know about the Civil War and its impact on the South to the imagery on display in the galleries. In addition to building on critical thinking skills in making meaning from works of art, students will consider how an artist’s personal perspectives can shape the ways in which historical events are presented.
*For pre-visit lesson designs to enhance your experience at the museum, please click here »
Whitfield Lovell: Deep River August 15, 2014 – February 1, 2015
Deep-River-installation Drawing from the Past: Interpretation and Application of a Contemporary Artistic Process Grades 4 | VA, ELA*
Docents will lead students through a captivating installation that exhibits universal themes of identity, freedom and passage and prompt them to respond to what they see in various ways including Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), writing, and sketching. After the tour, students may be challenged to apply Lovell’s artistic process in the studio, thinking creatively and expanding their artistic skills through drawing a self-portrait and selecting an object to pair it with.
Deep-River-installation-150-x150_2 Digging Deeper: Personal Meaning in Deep River Grades 11-12 | VA, SS, ELA*
Lovell’s installation offers a unique opportunity for students to be confronted head-on with art and artifacts that tackle larger ideas of identity, freedom and memory. Truly a sensory experience – with found objects, drawings on salvaged wood, and a mound of dirt filled with artifacts – this work will offer students countless entry points to engage in an in-depth discussion of these larger issues. Docents will lead students in formulating their own ideas through the use of VTS as well as contextualize their understanding of Lovell’s work within the framework of American history and the African American experience.
Port City: The Savannah River Through Artists’ Eyes September 12, 2014 – January 4, 2015
PortCity_150 Tide Chart: The History of Savannah’s Port in Pictures Grade 8 | SS, VA
This tour traces the history of Savannah and the river, from the early days of Tomochichi and Oglethorpe up to the present, the images themselves creating the basis for this story that’s nearly 300 years in the making. Students will draw information from the images they see, discussing changes to the landscape and the economic and political factors that brought them about. To expand on this information, students will each sketch an image representative of a particular time period to create a visual timeline as a class.
Savannah Collects
October 3, 2014 – January 18, 2015
EDU_150_003 Collect and Connect: How We Value Art Grades 5-6 | VA, ELA
Savannah Collects is a unique exhibition with an eclectic mix of objects each acquired by a local Savannah household. This wide variety of artwork provides an ideal forum to discuss larger ideas of art, such as how we value art and what universal themes appeal to both the artist and the viewer. As a further extension students will write their own narrative from the perspective of a work in the exhibition that demonstrates creativity, voice, as well as an understanding of why the work was created and what purpose it serves now.
The Visual Blues
January 30, 2015 – May 3, 2015
The Blue in Blues: Visualizing the Harlem Renaissance Grade 5 | SS, ELA, VA, M
This exhibition beautifully illustrates the overlap between music and the visual arts. In this tour your students will better understand this connection not only by seeing works of art but also by listening to related musical passages, thereby creating a dialogue between them. Docents will lead discussions that allow students to reflect critically on these relationships while also contextualizing the work at hand within the scope of the Harlem Renaissance. Students will come away with a more personal view of the Harlem Renaissance and its significance as a means of giving a powerful voice to African Americans in the early twentieth century.
Poetry in Pictures: The Art and Music of the Harlem Renaissance Grades 9-10 | SS, ELA, VA, MA
Students will connect with the themes of the Harlem Renaissance on several levels. The visual art itself, from artists like Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence, illustrates the strong connection to jazz and the blues that were so central to the movement. To reinforce that notion, students will simultaneously listen to musical passages and discuss how one relates to and draws inspiration from the other. Students will explore recurrent themes that arise in the context of the Harlem Renaissance, hearing the poetry of Langston Hughes before writing their own poems in response to a work in the exhibition.
In Living Color: Andy Warhol and Contemporary Printmaking
February 27, 2015 – May 17, 2015
Bright Ideas: Color as a Tool for Expression Grades K-6 | VA, ELA*
This dynamic and engaging exhibition is literally full of color and provides a perfect setting to discuss the elements of art. This tour can be altered to accommodate any grade level – younger students will focus on simpler ideas about color and older groups can discuss more complex ideas present in works of art. The works assembled here, with many sets of variations on a theme from artists like Andy Warhol and Josef Albers, provide an ideal environment to make comparisons and draw conclusions about the role of color in art.
True Colors: Subtlety and Subversion in Art Grades 9-10 | VA, SS*
This tour allows students to explore and compare various techniques of printmaking as well as different styles of art, ranging from color field to pop art. Docents will lead a discussion that encourages students to think critically and make judgments in comparing multiple works. Students will examine the subversive nature of modern art in the work of artists like Andy Warhol and John Baldessari, making deeper connections between disciplines, drawing from their knowledge of history to inform opinions on how art can be reflective of a moment in time.