Great Art Inspired by Water

Hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 10am - 5pm

The Basics: Click here to Schedule a tour

-          School field trips must be booked at least three weeks ahead of the planned visit.

-          Must have at least 10 students to schedule a school tour. (72 students max)

-          School tours are 1 hour long, but we ask that you build in 15 extra minutes for transitions.

-          School tours are always just $2 per student.

-          Teachers and chaperones are free and we require at least 1 adult per 10 students (1:5 if children are 5 or younger)

-          The Bus is On Us!  Thanks to the Winona Foundation, your bus to and from MMAM is free!   

-          Click here for the Pre-Visit School Packet to make sure your students are ready to enjoy their tour

-          Read "Frequently Asked Questions" below and then call Heather Casper at 507-474-6626 to schedule your school today.

What Happens in the Galleries?


In general, school tours are facilitated using three approaches to ensure that a variety of learning styles are met.  Docents, or volunteer tour guides, are specially trained to facilitate an interactive experience for students.  Typically, we have one docent for every ten students.  


Students will visit three galleries for twenty-minutes each during their one-hour tour.  Each stop will highlight a different approach.  An approach is simply a way to interact with the art. 


Three Approaches

1. Longer Look

Group conversation for 20 minutes at one artwork. Students will be seated and encouraged to look, listen to others and contribute to the conversation.

o   Outcomes of the Dialogical Approach include:

-  Dialogue can intensify our affection for an artwork

-  Bridging Skills: brings students together across differences; celebrates diversity and encourages unexpected connections

-  Learn to recognize the value of their peers’ contributions

-  Learn what matters to others

-  A shared vocabulary develops among the group

-  Dialogue expands everyone’s experience of the object

2. Alone Time

Just like it sounds, students will be given 20 minutes to allow time and space to reflect on and absorb the artworks at their own pace.  Many times, we will ask students to select and artwork of their choosing and sketch, write, or just enjoy!

o   Outcomes of the Alone Time Approach:

-  Can improve psychological well being.

-  Allows students to connect with an artwork personally.

-  Alone time can play a restorative role by creating a sense of peace of calm.

-  Alone time can maximize perceptual and cognitive organization.

3. Docent’s Choice

Because the MMAM exhibits up to 10 temporary exhibitions per year, there are many opportunities to connect to curriculum in different ways.  Depending on the exhibition and students’ ages, docents select an activity or approach that they think will best suit the needs of their group.

o   Examples of some “Docent Choice Activities” might include

-  Individual Gallery Activities

·   Hearts and Yuks- Student places a card with a heart or a “yuk” on the floor below the artworks of their choice.  This is a great exercise for exploring personal choice and developing a visual vocabulary.

·   Elements of Art, or Principles of Art- Students identify an artwork that best exemplifies the element or principle listed on their card.  i.e. “texture, rhythm, light”

·   Quote/ Personal Response Cards- Each student gets a card with a quote and a corresponding question. i.e. “‘I’m not afraid. I was born to do this.’ ~Joan of Arc. Find an artwork that reflects some of your strengths.”

-  Small Group/ Pair Approaches

·   “Turn and Talks”- Facilitator poses a question and asks partners to discuss their answers in pairs or small groups

·   Storytelling- Using a variety of worksheets like “Interview an Artwork,” or “Make a Movie Poster,” teams use creative strategies to explore an artwork.

-  Others             

§  Music; instruments, recordings, sound effects, singing

§  Scarves- move like the waves, boats, sails

§  Poetry- Acrostics, haikus, read a poem

§  Books- read a story or an excerpt

§  Props- touch and hold prisms, sailor’s gear, paintbrushes, palettes, etc.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Why should we take a guided tour of MMAM?

-          Expand student’s personal understanding of art

-          Have a personally satisfying, enjoyable and meaningful experience

-          Enjoy a positive experience with museum representatives that “humanize” the museum

-          Practice personal language and communication skill development

-          Practice critical thinking skills

-          Practice evidence-based thinking skill development

-          Practice discussion skills with peers

-          Expand your student’s art historical knowledge

-          Deepened understanding of subjects taught at school


Are guided school tours free on “Free Student Tuesdays?”

No. Free Student Tuesdays do not cover guided school tours because of the additional work required to prepare for your group.  However, if you would like to bring your students on a Tuesday for a self-guided tour, students are free and adults and teachers are charged our normal $7 per person admission rate.  We still require a 1:10 ratio of adults to students for a self-guided K-12 school tour, and appreciate advanced notice. 


How do I book the bus?

Book your bus as you normally would.  We do not do this for you.  Submit a receipt, or an invoice to Operations Manager Elizabeth Indra at, after your trip to the Museum with the actual cost and MMAM will send a check!  Some limitations apply depending on distance and availability of grant funding.  Ask when you schedule your tour. 


Can we stay longer than 1 hour?

Of course!  We ask that the teachers and chaperones closely monitor students once the guided tour has ended to ensure the safety of the artworks and students.  Remember, you don’t have to see everything in one visit.  We would rather you leave wanting more, and recommend that you add no more than an additional 20-30 minutes onto the end of a one-hour tour experience. 


What times can we arrange tours?

The MMAM opens to the public at 10am, but school tours can start as early as 9:30am, and be scheduled to start as late as 3:45.  The MMAM closes at 5pm every day.  Remember, we are always closed on Mondays.  Have a few possible dates in mind before you call to check availability. 


Do you have a place we can eat lunch?

If the weather is good, we have a beautiful patio area by the Mississippi River with tables and chairs to accommodate up to 44 people on a first come, first serve basis.  However, there is not a back-up indoor space available for groups, so students might have to eat on the bus if the weather is cold or rainy.  If available, school groups can rent the Oberton Education Room (accommodates up 50 people) for $50/hour. 


We have more than 72 students! Is there a way to still come?

Yes.  We recommend splitting your group in half and visiting another Winona-based site, like the Winona County History Center, Winona Public Library, or Watkins Museum.  For other ideas contact Visit Winona. After one hour, the two groups would swap places and repeat.  The free bussing would cover this additional mileage if your site is in Winona. 


Do you offer art-making experiences?

Because we are so busy building other educational programs, we are no longer able to offer art-making experiences to accompany gallery tours.  It is something we hope to add back into our offerings in the future, so please tell us if this would have been an interest for your group.  


What will we see on our tour?

The Museum has six gallery spaces filled with original artworks from artists who were inspired by water.  Students will not get to see everything in the Museum, but will make three distinct “stops” in three different galleries.  Each twenty-minute stop will showcase a different approach to ensure a variety of learning styles are met.  For more on what happens in the galleries click HERE.  


What should I do to prepare for our class trip to MMAM?

Any preparation that you do is beneficial and is always clearly evident to our docents.  The students better understand the expectations of their time at the museum and participate more fully.  Check out our Pre-Visit Packet (adaptable for K-8th graders).