School Programs

The Huntington offers docent-led school programs free of charge for students K–12. Programs are held WednesdayFriday during morning hours. All school programs are:

  • guided by docents trained in K12 informal education approaches and techniques

  • 90 minutes in length
  • differentiated for all ages and abilities

  • facilitated with the Huntington Standard:

    • Observe & Describe – What do you see?
    • Explain & Interpret – What does it mean to you?
    • Reason with Evidence – What makes you think that?
    • Wonder & Question – What questions do you still have?


*School program reservations for 2018-19 are now closed.
2019-2020 school programs will be available Spring 2019. See Teacher-Led School Tours if you wish to bring your students during public hours.

Current Programs

Library Programs

  • Paper, Pens & Prose: Discovering Early Manuscripts

    Students discover the way in which the first books were printed and produced, how paper and inks were made, and the role of the medieval scribe. In the Library Hall, students visit original manuscripts, including Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales along with early printed treasures, such as the Gutenberg Bible. A classroom activity follows the gallery experience, where students try their hand at calligraphy, illumination, and bookbinding.

    • - Grades: 5–8
      - Accommodates: 40 students maximum
      - Offered: 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, every Thursday

 

  • Explorations in American History

    This docent led program is designed to complement the American history curriculum. Through dialogue and other age-appropriate engagement strategies, students will explore how society responded to major events in our nation’s past, as well as learning about how diverse people lived throughout our history. All students will engage in close looking of primary sources in the Library Hall, as well as artworks in the Scott Galleries of American Art. Materials may include: manuscripts, photographs, and literature, through to portraits, sculptures, statuary, furniture and everyday items used in the homes of rural people.

    • - Grades: 5, 8, 11
      - Accommodates: 40 students maximum
      - Offered: 1st and 3rd Wednesdays, Jan.–May 2019

 

  • Remarkable Works, Remarkable Times

    Students discuss and decipher the fascinating stories that primary source documents reveal. Small groups of students, led by docents, delve into literature and history, exploring the expansive collection of items ranging from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to a First Folio edition of Shakespeare’s collected plays to relics of the American West.

    • - Grades: 8–12
      - Accommodates: 50 students maximum
      - Offered: 2nd and 4th Fridays, Jan.–May 2019

 

  • Learning Through the Collections

    New this year! Join us this fall as we launch “Learning through the Collections”, a new program where students explore what it means to collect, how the Huntington collection has grown, and what we can learn through our diverse collections – from the Library Exhibition Halls, to the Gardens, and into the Art Galleries. Led by docents, students will be invited to make connections across the collections. This program will focus on close looking at primary sources, inquiry, dialogue and other age appropriate engagement strategies.

    • - Grades: 3–12
      - Accommodates: 40 students maximum
      - Offered: Every Wednesday

Art Programs

  • American Art

    Students develop critical thinking and communication skills on this dialogue-based tour, which uses diverse artworks from 1690s to the 1980s. Theme-based tours encourage students to look, think and discuss their ideas and perceptions. Docents lead small groups of students through the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art, where students explore a wide-range of pieces, from early American vernacular art in the “Becoming America” exhibition to 19th-century Hudson River School landscapes and 20th century pop art.

    • - Grades: 4–12
      - Accommodates: 50 students maximum
      - Offered: Every Thursday and Friday

 

  • European Art

    Students explore the Huntington’s collection, focusing especially on 18th-century British and French art displayed in the home of Henry and Arabella Huntington. Docents lead small groups of students through one of the great Gilded Age residences of America and small groups take in-depth looks at paintings, sculptures and decorative arts.

    • - Grades: 4–12
      - Accommodates: 50 students maximum
      - Offered: Every Wednesday and 3rd and 5th Thursdays

 

  • Discovering Art

    Now for available for 3rd grade students. Explore the Huntington Art Gallery as docents introduce young learners to concepts in art such as line, shape, color and texture through dialogue and tactile materials. Small groups visit a variety of artworks, from portraits to statues, housed in and around the original home of Henry and Arabella Huntington.

    • - Grades: K–3
      - Accommodates: 50 students maximum
      - Offered: 1st and 3rd Fridays

 

  • Learning Through the Collections

    New this year! Join us this fall as we launch “Learning through the Collections”, a new program where students explore what it means to collect, how the Huntington collection has grown, and what we can learn through our diverse collections – from the Library Exhibition Halls, to the Gardens, and into the Art Galleries. Led by docents, students will be invited to make connections across the collections. This program will focus on close looking at primary sources, inquiry, dialogue and other age appropriate engagement strategies.

    • - Grades: 3–12
      - Accommodates: 40 students maximum
      - Offered: Every Wednesday

Garden Programs

  • Adaptations in a Changing World

    Students explore adaptations that allow plants to thrive in desert-like environments. Through observation and hands-on activities in the Desert Garden and comparing the plants in other Huntington gardens, students will learn how plants’ color, shape, and surface texture can be adaptive and to predict how plant forms help them function in a changing environment.

    • - Grades: 3–5
      - Accommodates: 50 students maximum
      - Offered: Every Wednesday and every Thursday

 

  • Seeds, Soil & Surprises

    Students discover the joys of sensory learning while visiting stations on roots, leaves, and seeds. Classes visit both the Teaching Greenhouse and the Conservatory for Botanical Science and plant their own seeds to take back to the classroom.

    • - Grades: K–2 Kindergarten groups are limited to visiting between Jan.–May 2019
      - Accommodates: 50 students maximum
      - Offered: Every Wednesday

 

  • Japanese Garden

    Presented by the San Marino League, this program introduces students to traditional Japanese gardens as an art form and contrasts them with traditional European-style gardens. Students visit a 19th-century Japanese house and Zen garden, examine garden sculpture and native Japanese plants. During their tour students will have the opportunity to wonder and to enjoy moments of serenity.

    • - Grades: 4–12
      - Accommodates: 40 students maximum
      - Offered: 2nd, 3rd, 4th Wednesdays and 2nd and 4th Thursdays

 

  • Poetry in the Chinese Garden

    Using poetry as an entry point to the culture of Chinese gardens, students immerse themselves in the garden experience. They compare Chinese and Western landscape styles, learn about the role of literature in the garden, and create and share their own two-line poems inspired by what they see.

    • - Grades: 4–12
      - Accommodates: 40 students maximum
      - Offered: 2nd and 4th Thursdays, Jan.–May 2019

 

  • Learning Through the Collections

    New this year! Join us this fall as we launch “Learning through the Collections”, a new program where students explore what it means to collect, how the Huntington collection has grown, and what we can learn through our diverse collections – from the Library Exhibition Halls, to the Gardens, and into the Art Galleries. Led by docents, students will be invited to make connections across the collections. This program will focus on close looking at primary sources, inquiry, dialogue and other age appropriate engagement strategies.

    • - Grades: 3–12
      - Accommodates: 40 students maximum
      - Offered: Every Wednesday

Preparing for your School Program Visit

Preparing for your School Program 
Bus Route Map
Teacher Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost for docent-led school programs?

All school programs are provided at no cost to school groups. Schools may continue their visit after their program at no cost, so long as they have the proper number of chaperones at no cost. Self-guided visits are available for teachers who wish to bring their students on field trips during regularly scheduled public hours. Regular admission fees apply. Guidelines and how to schedule a self-guided field trip

Self-guided homeschool visits are also available at no cost on non-holiday Mondays during public hours. For guidelines and to schedule a visit, please contact schoolprograms@huntington.org.

 

What time do the school programs begin?

All docent-led school programs begin at 10 a.m. We ask that schools arrive between 9 and 9:30 a.m. to be able to begin promptly at 10 a.m.

 

What is the minimum number of students needed to participate in a program?

Groups must have at least 25 students to reserve a program (most of our programs will accommodate multiple classrooms.) If you are a homeschool group who cannot meet the 25-student size requirement, you can also visit on a Homeschool Monday visit. Self-guided homeschool visits are available on non-holiday Mondays during public hours. For Homeschool Monday guidelines and to schedule a visit, contact schoolprograms@huntington.org.

 

How many chaperones are required?

We require one chaperone for every ten students. The adult chaperones must accompany the students throughout the visit and are responsible for the group’s behavior while visiting The Huntington. No more than one adult per four students will be allowed for the school program. No infants, siblings or strollers are allowed on docent-led school programs.

 

Can I bring multiple grade levels to a school program?

Yes - you can bring more than one grade level to a program but you must still meet the following requirements. For K–5 school groups, you can bring up to two different grades on a field trip (e.g. 1st and 2nd grade or 4th and 5th grade). If you are a 6th–8th grade, you can up to three different grade levels. If you are a 9th–12th grade group, you can bring up to four grade levels. You must still meet the program-specific grade level requirements for each participating student.

 

Are lunch facilities available?

The Huntington has a picnic area located near the bus drop off where students may eat lunch. There is a limited amount of picnic tables/seating available. A protected lunch area is not available on rainy days. Students will need to leave lunches at the picnic area upon arrival, since food and drinks are not allowed on the grounds.

 

What is the next step after requesting a program date online?

After you have requested your preferred program dates, you will be notified within two weeks whether you are registered for a program or wait-listed for a program. If you are registered for a program, you will receive pre-visit preparation material via email and asked to confirm your scheduled visit.

 

Am I guaranteed a program in the 2018-19 school year if I submit a request between July 30-Aug. 6?

No – due to the popularity of the school programs, the number of reservations we receive exceeds the number of program dates available. All reservations that do not receive program confirmation will be added to a wait list.

 

Is bus funding available?

The Huntington offers limited bus funding assistance. If you are a public school, we can fund up to $500 dollars on a case-by-case basis towards your transportation costs. You will need to submit a Transportation Reimbursement Request Form and you can contact schoolprograms@huntington.org for more information.

 

What if it rains?

All library and art programs are provided rain or shine. Garden programs run on most rainy days and we provide rain ponchos to students. On rare occasions, we will cancel a garden program because of torrential rain which makes it unsafe to walk in the gardens. A protected lunch area is not available on rainy days. If rain is expected, please ensure students dress accordingly.

 

I was waitlisted for the program I wanted - when will I find out if a date becomes available?

Dates become available when we receive cancellations from registered school groups. While we cannot predict when we will receive a cancellation, we will contact those on the waitlist for that program/date as soon as possible.

 

 

Teacher-Led School Tours

Teacher-led school tours are available for teachers who wish to bring their students during public hours. More

Contact Us

schoolprograms@huntington.org

School Program Sponsors

Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Bartlett Tree Experts
The Capital Group Companies, Inc.
Compass Group
East West Bank
Edison International
The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation
Gardner Grout Foundation
The Langham Huntington, Pasadena
Margaret Mary and Owens Miller Charitable Trust
MATT Construction Corporation
Molina Healthcare, Inc.
Dan Murphy Foundation
Edward A. and Ai O. Shay Family Foundation
The Walt Disney Company
Wells Fargo