Heard Museum School Tours Teachers Guidelines

School tours are offered to grades K-12, Monday through Friday.  Self guided school groups are welcome 7-days a week (please contact tour-coordinator for times).  Pre-K students must opt for a Self-Guided tour.  All guided tours are approximately 45 minutes.

Groups of 15-60 students:  Groups of this size can extend their stay to 2 hours with a 45-minute guided tour plus a Bonus Activity in our classroom.  The Bonus Tour option has start times of 9:30am and 10:30am Monday through Friday.   After a tour students go to the Dorrance Education Center with Education staff and complete a take home project that directly relates to the tour; this is a fun and educational way to create a lasting memory of the Heard Museum.  For these Bonus activity groups a maximum of 60 students can be accommodated. Groups more than 30 will be divided in half; with one half of the group touring in the gallery while the other completes the activity; each student will have the same fun and educational experience.

Bonus Activities include                  

  • Create an O’odham bracelet with a pump drill demonstration
  • Decorate a treasure box creating symmetrical designs observed on Navajo rugs.
  • Make a Navajo “Jacla” style necklace.
  • Make a necklace w/ pony beads and ornaments (ideal for k-3rd grades)


Groups of 60 to 120 students:  Groups of more than 60 students will need to select the multiple gallery option due to gallery size (please remember this is a one hour museum visit). If you have more than 120 students, two separate days must be booked.  We suggest the following tours:

Students K-3rd Grade

Every Picture Tells A Story  Explore seven regions to see how American Indian artists reflect their environments in their art work in this interactive gallery.  Each environmental region features a story as well as an activity that reinforces the importance of the relationships between land, animals and people.

Students 4th-6th Grade

HOME: Native People in the Southwest  The Heard’s permanent exhibition combines more than 2,000 of the museum’s finest pieces to tell stories–past and present–of Southwestern Native people. See a spectacular display of Hopi Katsina dolls, a Navajo hogan and Pueblo horno.

We Are! Arizona’s First People Located the Ullman Learning Center, this exhibit is the only gallery display in the state to include all 21 of Arizona’s federally recognized tribal communities. In their own voices, Arizona’s native people explain their histories, cultures and futures.

Students 7th-12th Grade

HOME: Native People in the Southwest The Heard’s permanent exhibition combines more than 2,000 of the museum’s finest pieces to tell stories–past and present–of Southwestern Native people.  See a spectacular display of Hopi Katsina dolls, a Navajo hogan and Pueblo horno.

Highlights of the Heard Museum allows students to visit all current galleries for a brief description of each (click here for a list of current exhibitions). Students learn about each exhibit’s theme, and one or two artifacts in detail.


Museum admission is free for students (K-12), teachers and chaperones.  We have an established ratio of 1 chaperone per 7 students grades 7 and under.  We have and established ratio of 1 chaperone per 10 students for grades 8 and above.  If your group size exceeds the established ratio the adult group rate of $13 per adult will be applied.  (Groups with special needs/accommodations please call Tour Coordinator for more information)

Pre-K groups will have 5 free chaperones admitted; additional chaperones will also pay the adult group rate of $13 per adult.

Bonus tour groups will pay a $5 per child materials fee.

All groups pay a $20 guided tour fee per 60 students.

Self-Guided tour groups pay a $20 self guided tour fee per 60 participants (students/teachers/chaperones)


School tours for students require a minimum three-week advance booking and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • There is a $20 guided tour fee per 60 students for each school tour.
  • No admission is charged for the students or adults/chaperones.
  • Identify three potential days for your tour before contacting the museum.
  • Self Guided School groups are charged a $20 self guided tour fee per 60 participants.
  • Walk-in school groups with no advance notice pay regular museum admission; $7.50 per student and $15 per adult.

The museum does not offer tours for youth who are not yet in kindergarten. For pre-K groups, admission is free for children; and for the first 5 adults.  Each additional chaperone will pay an adult group rate of ($13)

American Indian groups are always free, although the $20 guide fee does apply if a tour is scheduled.

Be prepared with the following information:

School Contact Name:

Cell Phone Number:

E-mail Address:

School Name:

Type of School:

e.g. (public, private, charter, home, virtual) title 1?

School Phone Number:

School Fax Number:

School District:

School Address:

City, State, Zip Code:

Date Requested:

Grade Level:

Student Count:

Adult Count:


You can sign up for a School Tour by visiting the Heard Museum Ticket Site or by downloading our Tour Request Form and faxing it to 602.252.9757, attention Children’s Group Tours.

Before Your Visit

You will receive a tour confirmation form via email and a packet from the Heard Museum’s School Liaison Committee via mail.

This packet will contain:

  • Name badge templates to copy and give to each student. Please ensure that each student wears his or her badge at all times while at the museum.
  • Expect a call from a volunteer Lead guide assigned to your school group a few days prior to your field trip. The guide will confirm your tour(s) and the number of students and adults in the group. At this time, please let your volunteer Lead guide know if you are emphasizing a particular theme in class. Advance discussion is essential to the success of your tour and will assist in overall student comprehension.
  • Tell the volunteer Lead guide about any special needs. Do any of the children have disabilities? Are there children in your class who do not speak English? We can make your tour enjoyable if special considerations are requested in advance.

Adult Chaperones

Chaperones are admitted free with the group and are expected to assist with the tour by keeping discipline and ensuring the group stays together. Chaperones are required to stay with the group at all times. An adult with a baby or small child is not considered an adult chaperone.   If more chaperones attend than the established ratio, they will be admitted at the adult group rate of $13 per person.

Grade 7 and below:

We have an established ratio of 1 chaperone for every 7 students.

Grade 8 and above:

We have an established ratio of 1 chaperone for every 10 students.

Arriving for Your Tour
  • Buses must enter the museum from Central Avenue and pull up by the bus bay along the Dorrance Education Center. Do not enter from Monte Vista Road. Students should exit the bus and meet their volunteer lead guide at this point.
  • Please arrive 15 to 20 minutes prior to your tour. If you anticipate a late arrival, please call 602.252.8840 and dial 0 as soon as possible to reach the Admissions Desk.
  • Lunches, backpacks, etc. will be left in the Dorrance Education Center. This is also the place where students will re-board the bus.
  • Restrooms are located in the Dorrance Education Center.
  • Backpacks and large carry sacks are not allowed in the galleries. If you need to carry a child’s medicine into the museum, a small paper sack will be available at the Admissions Desk.
  • Due to space limitations, school groups are not permitted in the Heard Museum Shop and Bookstore.
  • No Flash, video light or tripods are allowed in the galleries.

In mild weather, picnic tables are available in the Dorrance Courtyard for school use. Children can eat their lunches in several grassy areas including the Scott L. Libby, Jr. Amphitheater. If you have stored your coolers in the Dorrance Education Center before your tour, the guide will provide access to the room once the tour is complete. We ask that schools groups do not use the Courtyard Cafe tables.


To cancel your visit, please call at least 24 hours in advance. If you fail to make contact or leave a message with the Education Tour Coordinator at 602.251.0262, you will be charged a $25 cancellation fee.

Teacher Feedback

Please help us to make your future visits with us the best they can be by completing a short questionnaire that will be e-mailed to you. If your students are completing a Bonus activity, you may want to fill out an evaluation form then, or your guide can provide a questionnaire at the end of your visit with us.