Sandlapper Society

Gibbes Museum of Art Field Trips & Lesson Plans

The Gibbes Museum of Art is committed to enhancing school curricula through the arts. In support of that mission, the Gibbes offers specialized tours and workshops for K-12 students in the Charleston Tri-County area. Addressing key themes and ideas found in the Gibbes permanent collection and traveling exhibitions, these interactive programs are designed to encourage critical thinking and visual literacy skills while addressing South Carolina Learning Standards.

Curriculum Connections: A (Art), L (Language Arts), M (Mathematics), S (Science), SS (Social Studies)

Guided Tours

American Identity

Explore the evolution of the American identity (individual identities and America's identity) using the Gibbes' permanent collection and temporary exhibitions as a guide. Special emphasis will be placed on South Carolina history, both European and African. Curriculum Connections: A, L, SS

American Identity: SC Learning Standards

Art Elements

Tour the museum from an artist's perspective using line, color, texture... Students will learn to recognize different media, techniques, and art styles, while focusing on the basic elements of art. Curriculum Connections: A

Art Elements: SC Learning Standards

Behind the Scenes

Students will be led by the Gibbes' own Collections Manager and Preparator for a behind the scenes look at an art museum. Students will learn answers to questions such as who works at a museum, why the lights are so dim, why it is so cold in the museum, and how art is stored.... Requires 1 hour. Curriculum Connections: A, L, M, S, SS

Behind the Scenes: SC Learning Standards

Courage by the Sea - Revolutionary Tales of the Gibbes Family

After a tour highlighting the Gibbes' collection of landscapes and portraits, students become actors in a drama that traces the history of Charleston from the Revolutionary War to the dawning of the Civil War. Perfect for students studying South Carolina history. Requires two hours. Courage by the Sea tours cost $9. Curriculum Connections: A, L, SS

Courage by the Sea: SC Learning Standards


This interactive tour, featuring gallery discussions and hands-on activities, takes students through the museum to explore the characteristics and language of portraiture. The portrait is not only an important element in the arts, but it plays a key role in history as well as cultural and individual identity. Curriculum Connections: A, L, M, SS

Faces: SC Learning Standards

General Tour

The foundation of the K-12 program, this one hour tour provides an introduction to the Gibbes' collection and temporary exhibitions. Highlighting key themes found in the work on view, the tour can be customized to focus on curriculum connections or specific curriculum goals. Curriculum Connections: A, L, S, SS

General Tour: SC Learning Standards

In Response

A custom tour that teachers can personalize to their classroom curriculum. Students will tour the museum and choose an artwork that will become the inspiration for a writing project. Note: teachers must schedule a consultation (by phone or email) with a museum educator before the tour day. Curriculum Connections: A, L, SS

In Response: SC Learning Standards

Preschool Tour

Designed for preschoolers 3-5 years of age, this beginner tour introduces children to the museum experience using the Gibbes' permanent collection as well as traveling exhibitions. While touring the museum, students will build an art vocabulary through the use of color, shape and composition activities. Requires 45 minutes and one chaperone per 5 children.

Tour Costs

Per person (groups of 10 or more)

To arrange a tour, contact Rebecca Sailor at 843-722-2706 x41 or

Ready to schedule your visit? Review our Group Tour Guidelines.

Tours can be scheduled starting at 10:00 am Tuesday-Friday. Call 843-722-2706 ext. 41 for more information or special requests. 

Educator's Guide

The Gibbes has created tools to foster in-class discussions and inter-disciplinary activities that explore science, history, and language while encouraging critical thinking and visual literacy. Materials are designed for K-12 educators and their students. The Educator's Guide transports the Gibbes to your classroom with its in-depth guide to the museum's collection. Designed specifically for educators, this resource helps students explore art through activities, discussion questions, journal entries, and more.

Landscape of Slavery explores American history, culture, and art related to the museum's  Landscape of Slavery exhibition. Activities and discussion questions help students examine works of art featuring plantations and related slave imagery from the 18th century to the present.

Visit the Gibbes Museum of Art's web site to download these valuable guides!