School programs at the Columbia Museum of Art are nationally recognized for their excellence in providing students of all ages state and national standards-based cross-curricular learning experiences. There are a variety of grade appropriate programs from which to choose that encourage learning through interactive activities. Programs for students in grades Pre-K through 12 can also include a meaningful, hands-on art-making experience in the studios. Suggestions for pre- and post-visit activities are included with the confirmation materials that you will receive.

Choose a program from those listed below, or contact Kayleigh Vaughn at 803.343.2163 or kayleigh@columbiamuseum.org for special requests at least one month in advance. We are happy to work with you to develop a program that complements your curriculum.

All school groups, including self-guided groups, must have a reservation.

When you are ready to book a tour for your class, click here for easy steps to get you started!

  • Animal Art Safari
  • Let's Explore
  • The Language of Art
  • The Third Dimension
  • The Alchemy of Art
  • A Conversation with the Ancients
  • Picturing America
  • The Art of the Renaissance
  • Special Exhibitions
  • Solar Art

Animal Art Safari

  • Kindergarten (tour and studio)
  • Animals can be found hidden in the corners of paintings and crouching in the foreground of relief sculpture. Students will have an opportunity to discover animals in the galleries while they learn about the ways in which painters and sculptors incorporated the world into their art.
  • (Program length: 90 minutes)

Let's Explore

  • Kindergarten (tour and studio)
  • This program focuses on the five senses and encourages discovery by placing an emphasis on children, food, animals, and other themes familiar to young children.
  • (Program length: 90 minutes)

The Language of Art

  • 1st - 5th grade (tour and studio)
  • Students discover the visual language of color, line, shape, texture and space, while learning key concepts and terms such as portrait, landscape, still life and sculpture. An exploration of the materials that artists have used through the ages is followed by a hands-on project in the studios.
  • (Program length: 120 minutes)

Lesson Plans

South Carolina State Standards:

The Third Dimension

  • 1st - 5th grade (tour and studio)
  • This program focuses on three-dimensional objects, such as furniture, sculpture, ceramics and glass. Children learn about the materials used to make these objects and discuss their uses.
  • (Program length: 120 minutes)

Lesson Plans

Common Core Standards

South Carolina State Standards:

The Art of the Renaissance

  • 6th - 12th grade (tour and studio)
  • Students discuss the Italian Renaissance and its effect on Western art. The primary focus is on European paintings in the Museum's collection, but works from special exhibitions are included when appropriate.
  • (Program length: 120 minutes)

Lesson Plans

South Carolina State Standards:

Picturing America

  • 4th - 12th grade (tour and studio)
  • Great art speaks powerfully, inspires creative thinking, and connects us to our past. Designed to connect to the National Endowment for the Humanities Program, Picturing America features a gallery tour of works in the Museum's new American galleries, followed by a studio program featuring a hands-on art activity designed to reinforce the concepts learned on the tour.
  • (Program length: 120 minutes)

Lesson Plans

South Carolina State Standards:

The Alchemy of Art

  • 4th - 12th grade (tour and studio)
  • Why would a Renaissance artist have a dog's tooth and a pig's bladder in his workshop? This program will answer this and other questions as students discover the science behind the art and the evolution of an artist's palette.
  • (Program length: 120 minutes)

A Conversation with the Ancients

  • 4th - 12th grade (tour and studio)
  • Students come face to face with the famous demigod, Hercules, as he's in a fight for his life. Students "unearth" relics of the past and discover why artists were inspired by ancient civilizations.
  • (Program length: 120 minutes)

Lesson Plans ( Elementary | Upper)

South Carolina State Standards:

Special Exhibitions

  • 1st - 12th grade (tour and studio on request)
  • Students are provided with an in-depth gallery talk on a specific exhibition. Questions and group interaction are encouraged.
  • (Program length: 120 minutes)

Japan and the Jazz Age Lesson Plans ( Lower | Upper)

Solar Art

  • 1st - 12th grade (tour and studio)
  • Students will investigate the use of solar power and the effects of solar power on art. Students will create a design using the sun. This lesson will explain the importance of solar energy as it pertains to art.

Lesson Plans ( Elementary | Middle | High School)