Field Trip Descriptions

Bringing history and culture to life on a field trip to the DIA. Spark students’ imaginations, encourage wonder and discovery, invite comparisons and connections, and challenge students to step outside the familiar to experience diverse cultures and perspectives. 

Guided Gallery Experiences 

The DIA creates experiences that help each visitor find personal meaning in art—individually and with each other. On tours and in our studio at the DIA, educators can engage students of all ages in conversations and hands-on activities that encourage creativity, promote visual literacy, and develop critical-thinking skills. 

Introductory Tours 

Learning To Look | Grades K–2

Designed for our youngest learners, students will explore artwork created in different mediums made by artists from diverse cultures. Using fun hands-on activities and thinking routines like I see, I think, I wonder, students will critically look at and discuss art.

Recommended for young learners who are visiting the DIA for the first or second time.

Thinking Through Art | Grades K–12

Students will explore artworks to promote critical thinking, visual literacy, and communication and collaboration skills using Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), an inquiry-based teaching strategy. Guided by three simple questions (What is going on in this image?, What do you see that makes you say that?, What more can you find?), students will look at art, observe, evaluate, and synthesize what they see, and construct meaning individually and as a group.

Recommended for groups focusing on skill building and personal meaning making. Historical information is not layered into student discussion.

Shaping Identity: A Broad Cross-Cultural Exploration | Grades 3–12

Through discussion and a variety of activities, students explore how people of diverse cultures use art to define, reinforce, and communicate personal, cultural, and national identity. Our most popular tour!

Recommended as a general introductory tour of the museum for older students. Students explore art while learning about its historical context.

Specialty And Collection-Based Tours 

Social And Emotional Learning Tour (SEL) | Grades K–12 

Attention to social and emotional competencies can build a more caring world. Join us as we use art to explore self-awareness, community, and decision-making while building upon students’ existing social and emotional skills.

NEW! Write Way to Art Tour | Grades 6–12

Art is often inspired by stories that have been popular across time and cultures. Art can also inspire writing itself. Students will explore the intersection between writing and visual literacy by creating an original piece of writing inspired by their experience with artwork.

NEW! Objects of Devotion | Grades 3-12

Engaging with sacred objects can reveal complex stories about the devotional practices from which they emerge. This tour gives opportunities to broaden their understanding of diverse devotional and religious traditions across the world.

Shaping Identity | Grades  3–12

  • Africana: Explore art from the African diaspora.
  • Art of the Americas: Explore art from North, Central, and South America, including the Ancient Americas and Native American art from the colonial period to the present.
  • Art of the Ancient World: Explore ancient art from Africa, Asia, Egypt, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and South America.
  • World Cultures and Languages: Make connections to the classroom by exploring art from Spanish, French, or Arabic speaking parts of the world. May include Arabic, Asian languages, French, German, and Spanish art.

Science + Art Tours

Putting The Steam in Stem in Conservation | Grades 6–12

Science students observe and work with members of the DIA’s Conservation Lab while exploring works of art. Students learn how scientific investigations authenticate, date, and preserve works of art in the museum’s world-class collection. Limited to 60 students. Limited availability of one day per month. Allow one hour.

Technological Innovations Through The Ages | Grades 3–12

How do art and technology intersect? On this tour, students will explore important technological innovations expressed through artwork from ancient times to the modern world and contemplate the impact these advances have had on society today. Limited to 60 students.

Summer Experiences

Summer Escapes (June 15–Labor Day) | Grades K–12

Summer Escapes are highly engaging gallery experiences designed to energize your student group’s summer visit to the DIA. Some of our popular topics are: Time Travel, Art of the Selfie, What’s that?, Master Builders, Science by Design,and Heroes and Villains. All are designed for students in K through 12th Grade. Perfect for multi-age groups including summer camps, summer& schools, and scout groups.

Once booked, a DIA Gallery Teacher will contact you to help you select the perfect escape for your group. 

Book a Guided Experience

Gallery + Art Studio Experience 

Meaning Through Art-Making | Grades  3–8

Students engage in discussion of art in the galleries, followed by hands-on experiences in the DIA’s Art-Making Studio. Printmaking and mixed media experiences available. (Two hours). Available to schools within Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties.

Book a Studio Experience