K-12 Resources

UMMA has a long tradition of service to K-12 students and educators of southeastern Michigan. Over 5,000 children visit the museum each year, most in class tours. Young students tour the Museum in small groups and are encouraged to discover their own relationship with the art.

UMMA Docent Tours

Academically enriching and great fun, docent-led tours enable K–12 students to understand art, history, culture, geography, and much more. Tours may also focus on a particular culture such as monuments of China, ceramics in Korea, or American history. Alternatively they may be thematic and address units like neighbors and communities, shapes and colors, friends and family. 

UMMA’s creative and experienced docents will always work with teachers to tailor tours to make them appropriate to the individual classroom curriculum. A docent will contact the classroom teacher to discuss the theme, content, and logistics of the tour.  Docent tours develop observation skills and visual literacy, confidence and critical thinking.

UMMA Docent tours are always free. Tours for school groups are available by request at least three weeks in advance. The Museum can accommodate up to sixty students in one visit.

Request Tour

Subsidies to defray school bus charges are available. Please see Bus Parking and Reimbursement.

UMMA's docent-guided school tours are supported by the Richard and Rosann Noel Fund for Museum Education, Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor, the Dr. Albert Bennett UMMA Education Fund, and other generous donors.

UMMA Curriculum Based Tours



Shape Up! Colors and Shapes

Social Studies

Family Portraits: Who am I? What is a Family? 

1st Grade


Spring into Art! Weather, Seasons and Art
Art on the Move: The science of Motion Seen in Art

Social Studies

Cooperation Central: Getting Along 

2nd Grade


Art Rocks! You Need Rocks and Minerals to Make Art

Social Studies

My Community, My World: What is a Community? 

3rd Grade


Light it up! Properties of Light and its Cultural Symbolism

Social Studies

History Mysteries: Think like an (Art) Historian 

4th Grade


Material Matters: Properties of Matter are Important to Art

Social Studies

Regions of the United States: Explore Cultural and Geographic Differences


Write for understanding, Look for inspiration 

5th Grade


Science Sleuths: Use art to Practice the Scientific Method


Read A Single Shard, Explore the History and Science of Korean Ceramics

Social Studies

Picturing America: American History and Culture Through Art.
Based on NEH initiative.

All Grades

Teachers may request that writing be used as an activity in any tour but writing and literacy may also be the focus of a tour as in the 4th grade tour above. 

Self-Guided Tours

If you wish to lead a self-guided tour, please review carefully UMMA’s Museum Visit Guidelines before bringing a class to the museum. To ensure the best experience for all gallery visitors, we require that you schedule at least three weeks in advance. 

To best prepare your students for their visit, you may also wish to review what is in the galleries or check out UMMA’s public programs.  

Schedule Self-guided Tour

UMMA offers seasonal opportunities for K-12 teachers to engage with art and each other. If you have questions about upcoming events, please contact Grace VanderVliet at



Museum Visitor Guidelines

In order to make the UMMA experience a good one for everyone, we ask group leaders to assure that students follow these guidelines. Please share with chaperones.

Planning For Your Group

  • The Museum can accommodate up to 60 students in one visit.
  • Kindergartners may participate in a tour during the second semester of the academic year when they have settled into the routine of schooling. Kindergarten maximum attendance is two classes (up to 50 students) 
  • A coatroom is available. Museum floor plans may help plan routes through the museum. 
  • Students who need accommodations are welcome in the Museum. When requesting a tour, please note how we can help you most fully participate. It is helpful for us to have information about the following in advance: students with diabetes, interpreters, physical mobility concerns, and individual aides. The building and restrooms are wheelchair accessible. Diaper changing tables are available in restrooms. Gender-inclusive restrooms are available on the second floor of the Museum. ASL interpreters and CART services are available upon request. For any questions about the tour or to share accommodation needs, please email 


Protecting Works of Art
You will see many great original works of art when you visit the Museum. Please help us to protect them so that other visitors might enjoy them, too.

  • Please do not touch the works of art.
  • If writing, please use pencils in the Museum.
  • Please leave gum, food, and drinks behind—they are not allowed in the galleries.
  • We know there is a lot to see! Please walk rather than run.
  • You do not need to whisper. Visitors should enjoy talking, but not shouting, while in the museum.



Number of Chaperones

Elementary-age students must be accompanied by:

  • one adult chaperone per six children for K–2,
  • one per eight children for grades 3–5, and
  • one per ten for older students.


How to Be A Great Chaperone

We hope you enjoy your tour while focusing on your role as a chaperone to facilitate the best possible visit for students. This includes looking after the safety of objects and students. 

  • UMMA tours are interactive and we don’t mind waiting for students to think and respond. We encourage chaperones to refrain from having side conversations or interrupting before the students have a chance to respond.
  • Please support the students by staying with your group and turning off cell phones.
  • To keep the focus on the school students and the art, we encourage alternate arrangements for young siblings and strollers. 


Directions to the Museum, Bus Loading, Unload, and Parking

For groups traveling to the Museum by bus, the drop off/pick up location is on South University from the westbound lane just before State Street.  Please enter the accessible Frankel Family Wing by the large metal swing sculpture. Bus parking is available at Briarwood Mall which can be found by driving south on State Street. 

Reimbursement Information

We recognize that the need for bus funds is great. To maximize the number of schools that receive reimbursement, we offer $100 per bus, per visit. We will provide up to $300 per school, per year. Bus reimbursement is not available for self-guided groups. 

To receive payment: 

  1. Follow your district’s procedure to schedule a bus as soon as you have made arrangements for a docent tour.
  2. When the tour is completed, your school pays the transportation company in full. 
  3. Within three months after your tour, mail (1) the transportation invoice and (2) a letter on your school letterhead to the museum. The letter must include: 
    • Name of school and complete address
    • Teacher’s name
    • Grade level
    • Date of the field trip
    • School tax ID number (UMMA may follow up to ask for a completed W9 tax form)
  4. Address it to: 

Education Department

The University of Michigan Museum of Art

525 South State Street

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1354


The University will send your school a check 6-8 weeks after receiving your invoice. 

We look forward to seeing you and your class at the Museum of Art! 


To schedule a tour or visit please click here. You will find space at the end of the request form to provide additional information about your request or ask questions.

We ask every teacher to review the Museum Visit Guidelines before bringing a class to the museum.You may also wish to get information on special exhibitions or check out UMMA’s public programs prior to your visit. UMMA also offers professional development in the form of teacher workshops several times a year.

K-12 Tours at UMMA

Let our staff work with you to create a custom tour with lasting impact.

"I had chills when I saw these pieces. Integrating arts experiences into the core content areas, and getting off campus to see art really, truly does get into their hearts and minds and enriches their worlds.

Thank you to the docents, for helping to make these experiences possible!"

High School Educator - Ypsilanti, MI