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School Programs

We use our collection of fine art to teach children a wide range of topics

Museum School Programs for All Ages

Summer Programs

This summer, we’re excited to offer programs for grades K-12 that focus on learning about environmental science through comics. Using the Valued Species: Animals in the Art of Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei and Un/Natural Selections: Wildlife in Contemporary Art exhibits, students will learn environmental science vocabulary and STEAM concepts while enjoying wildlife art in the Museum’s new contemporary art exhibits and create comics to illustrate those points. Topics (age-dependent) include; invasive species, endangered species, keynote species, flagship species, symbiosis between species, climate change, habitat, and extinction. Each program is specifically designed for different grades and skill levels.

Don’t forget to check out our community art exhibit Woven Together: Art and Arachnids featuring K-12 student art! The comics program mentioned above can be adapted for this spider-themed exhibit. Beyond Beauty, a video from the Museum’s educational video series Bisoncast, is playing in the Wapiti Gallery and can be incorporated into programming for grades 7-12. An optional spider craft can be added to the program for grades K-6.

School-aged children and accompanying adults are admitted free of charge when participating in our school education programs unless otherwise noted in the course description. Each Teton County educator participating in our program will receive a complimentary museum membership.

For information regarding all of our available programming please click here.

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Example Programs by Grade Level


Animal Tracking

Approximately 45 minutes

Children follow a trail of animal tracks through the Museum learning about animals and art as they go. Select either the general animal tracking tour to learn about four different animals or the specific animal tour to focus on one animal (bear, wolf, bison, or mountain lion). The activity ends with time in the Children’s Gallery and optional art-making in the Museum classroom.

This program supports the Wyoming Department of Education’s Early Childhood Readiness Standards for Language: Listening and Understanding; Social Emotional Development: self-concept, self-control, pro-social behavior; Approaches to Learning: engagement and persistence; Mathematics: geometry and spatial sense, patterns, and measurements; Physical Health and Development: fine motor skills; and Creative Arts.



Young Illustrators

Approximately 60 minutes

This program helps students gain an understanding of the similarities between visual artists and authors.  Students participate in basic drawing lessons.  These lessons are intended to provide students with the necessary tools for completing an illustration to accompany a story.  Students complete a treasure hunt in the galleries looking for “narrative” paintings, create an illustration for a painting title, and write a short story response to a painting or sculpture.

First Grade

The Art of Weather Watching

Approximately 60 minutes

This program helps students gain an understanding of the natural world through observations and experiences. Students participate in activities designed to increase their awareness of weather and use their senses to describe weather. Students find examples of different types of weather in the paintings and relate the weather conditions to personal experiences.

Exploring Color

Approximately 60 minutes

In this program, students explore their personal feelings about color. Students hear a story about color and discuss color choices. Students observe how artists use color. They participate in a game designed to challenge their perception and memory of color observed in paintings.

Poems Paintings Present

Approximately 60 minutes

Students look at paintings as an inspiration for poetry. After hearing a few poems told through paintings in the Museum, they are inspired to write and illustrate their own poems in the Museum.

Second Grade

Observing Animals

Approximately 60 minutes

Students use mammal specimens and games to develop wildlife observation skills, followed by a discussion about the importance of field observation for scientists and artists. They also look at the tools artists use to record field observations.

Wildlife in Winter

Approximately 60 minutes

Students look at paintings and learn how animals use migration, adaptation, and hibernation to survive in the winter.

Third Grade

Plains Tribes and the Bison

Approximately 60 minutes

Students learn why bison are so important to the Plains Indian tribes. The program covers hunting techniques, uses of bison, and the decline of the bison. This lesson ends with an art project in the Museum classroom.

Fourth Grade

Early Explorers in the West

Approximately 60 minutes

Students learn about some of the early explorers by viewing a slide show of paintings by John Clymer. These images beautifully show the life of the fur trader as well as scenes from the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Students view John Clymer’s studio in the Museum and look at paintings by explorer-artists such as Karl Bodmer, George Catlin, and Alfred Jacob Miller.

Fifth Grade

Landforms of Wyoming

Approximately 60 minutes

Through examining the paintings of Carl Rungius, students explore landforms found throughout Wyoming including mountains, buttes, canyons, cliffs, valleys, and lakes.

Children’s Book Illustration Residency

Approximately 60 minutes

Each Spring we invite our Bull Bransom Award winner, for best children’s book featuring animal illustrations, to spend a week in Jackson Hole. The illustrator travels to local elementary schools to explain their process and instruct students. Contact us for more information.

Middle School

Wildlife Sculpture

Designed for art students with a particular interest in sculpture, the tour includes indoor and outdoor sculpture at the Museum. Discussion covers location, attachment to base, pose and attention to detail, and a variety of sculptural media and processes. Students get the chance to explore their personal preferences for sculpture through the “Token Response” game played in the galleries. Students sculpt or sketch on their own using works from the collection as inspiration.

Middle School Studio Project

High School

The Studio Project

Studio Art Hour in the Museum

This Museum high school studio class is designed for art classes who want to sketch from the masters. The Museum provides drawing boards, pencils, colored pencils, and watercolor paints. Students may sketch from paintings or sculptures in the galleries and then return to our classroom to add color with paint. These sessions may be scheduled over several weeks if desired.

Blacktail Contemporary Art Tours

Students view new contemporary works acquired for the collection at the Blacktail Gala Collection event. Museum curators discuss artists and their unconventional materials and processes. Blacktail tours are scheduled annually during the month of February.

Styles of Wildlife Art

Approximately 1.5 hours

Students are introduced to the styles of art found at the Museum through a slide show featuring our collection, including primitivism, romanticism, realism, impressionism, abstraction, and expressionism/fauvism. Students consider their personal preferences for subject matter and style through the “Token Response” game played in the galleries. Each student has the opportunity to talk about their favorite works of art and the reasons why they like or dislike certain pieces.

Writing Workshop

Approximately 60 minutes

In this museum high school workshop, students tour selected exhibitions in the Museum obtaining information about the artists and the artwork on display. Quotes from some of the artists are used to help students gain insight into the creative process. Students spend the last 30 minutes of this workshop writing in response to a piece of art in the Museum. Basic art materials such as pencils and colored pencils can be provided for illustration of the written pieces.


    For more information, please contact:

    Jane Lavino
    Sugden Chief Curator of Education
    (307) 732-5417

    Or fill out the form below (all fields are required):

    What People Are Saying

    Amazing architecture and building design provide a wonderful setting for this world-class Museum of wildlife art. Excellent and informed staff… Options for entry… Headsets available… An excellent café on site. I could spend an hour in the gift shop alone… Looking at the one of a kind, artistic, creative and beautiful offerings.

    - Nancy, Topeka, Kansas

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