The museum offers reserved live, interactive online learning programs led by docents on a daily basis, except for Wednesdays and federal holidays. All programs are subject to scheduling availability. Programs can be customized to last from twenty minutes to one hour and will be hosted live in an encrypted, password-secure meeting on the Zoom platform. Interactions between Freer and Sackler docents and the students may occur via video chat and/or the chat box. Teachers and program coordinators may make specific requests regarding program length, platform, and chat options.

Choose from the following program topics or design your own program. Each program is tailored to meet grade-level and curricular needs. A Freer and Sackler virtual museum educator will contact the program coordinator to request a virtual meeting to discuss the group, online learning needs, and the logistics for the interactive learning program several weeks before the scheduled program date.


Program Topics

Grades Pre-K–2

Animals and Nature in the Arts of Asia

Why do people create works of art to express their relationship with nature? Through storytelling, movement, and close looking at flowers, plants, and creatures (both real and imagined!), students will discover ways in which artists express important ideas and feelings about the natural world. Students may “jump into” works of art and imagine what they might hear, feel, see, and smell; draw their own creature; and move and roar like a dragon.

Visit this website to view works of art students may examine with docents during the program:
Learning Lab: Animals and Nature in the Arts of Asia

Grades 3–5

Eat and Celebrate

How does art help us understand the lives of people of different times, places, and cultures? Students will investigate scenes and objects of daily life in works of art across Asia to discover what people in the past valued and how they celebrated through food and rituals. What foods were important and how they were grown or made? How and when were certain foods eaten? What special meaning did some foods have for people and why? Through the objects they examine, students will compare daily life in the past to how they live today.

Visit this website to view works of art students may examine with docents during the program:
Learning Lab: Eat and Celebrate

Symbols in the Arts of Asia

How are art and fashion used to communicate concepts such as values, identity, and power? Students will identify and interpret designs and objects across Asia that reveal cultural associations and societal values. Students may conclude the program by drawing a symbol that reflects their identity or one of their personal values.

Visit this website to view works of art that students may examine with docents during the program:
Learning Lab: Symbols in the Arts of Asia

Grades 5–12

Arts of Devotion

How does art preserve and communicate beliefs? Students will examine works of art from the major religious traditions and philosophies that originated in Asia to learn religious stories and devotional practices central to each. Students will learn to identify symbols and designs in artworks that communicate the values of these belief systems and faith traditions. Teachers may request a focus on one or a combination of the following topics: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Daoism, Confucianism. Teachers may indicate which belief systems and/or faith traditions they would like their students to discuss in the “additional information” section of the tour request form.

Visit this website to view works of art that students may examine with docents during the program:
Learning Lab: Arts of Devotion

Eat and Celebrate

How does art help us understand the lives of people of different times, places, and cultures? Students will investigate scenes and objects of daily life in works of art across Asia to discover what people in the past valued and how they celebrated through food and rituals. What foods were important and how they were grown or made? How and when were certain foods eaten? What special meaning did some foods have for people and why? Through the objects they examine, students will compare daily life in the past to how they live today.

Visit this website to view works of art students may examine with docents during the program:
Learning Lab: Eat and Celebrate

Symbols in the Arts of Asia

How are art and fashion used to communicate concepts such as values, identity, and power? Students will identify and interpret designs and objects across Asia that reveal cultural associations and societal values. Students may conclude the program by drawing a symbol that reflects their identity or one of their personal values.

Visit this website to view works of art that students may examine with docents during the program:
Learning Lab: Symbols in the Arts of Asia

Customize a Program

Do you have virtual field trip concept in mind that you do not see advertised here? Do you teach a language immersion class? Select the topic for your program or the works of art of your choice. Please be sure to indicate your topic and other ideas in the “additional information” section of the tour request form. Our virtual museum educator and docents will work with you to refine your ideas and offer suggestions. We also offer tours in the following languages: Hindi, Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin.

Limited-Time Topics

We will offer limited-time only and seasonal virtual field trip topics throughout the year that will only be available for a limited time.

Ghosts, Monsters, and Demons

Available October 11–November 5, 2021
Available for Grades 3–12
How does art communicate how we imagine the supernatural? Students will meet scary ghosts, giant demons, and helpful monsters in works of art from China, India, and Japan. Students will learn about customs, religious stories, and folktales that feature heroes, guardians, and supernatural beings.

Visit this website to view works of art that students may examine with docents during the program:

Learning Lab: Ghosts, Monsters, and Demons

Artful Movement

Available October 14–December 14, 2021
Available for Grades Pre-K–6
How do the acts of participating in conversations about art and engaging in movement promote social and emotional learning skills? Students will pair breath, stillness, and movement exercises to recreate a story inspired by a work of art, to explore the senses, and to discover mind-body connections. Through close-looking activities, students will describe, analyze, and connect with a work of art. Students may conclude the program with words to indicate their moods and affirmation statements to express their resilience and power. This program was developed in partnership with the mindfulness education non-profit Create Calm. 

Lunar New Year

Available December 13, 2021–February 4, 2022
Available for Grades Pre-K–8
Reservations for this program will open on November 15, 2021. More information coming soon!

Scheduling a Virtual Field Trip

  1. Choose a topic, day, and time that work for your group.
  2. Submit a request at least four weeks in advance using the online form.
      • Submitting a form does not guarantee a reservation.
  3. A Freer and Sackler virtual museum educator will follow up to request a phone call or virtual meeting. Please respond promptly to the e-mail.

Request a program

Things to Know

  • Requests are handled on a first-come, first-served basis and depend on availability.
  • Please indicate any special needs as “additional information” on the request form.
  • Please call the tour scheduler immediately at 202.633.1012 to report cancellations and changes.
  • To encourage engagement, we request that students and teachers have their cameras on for the duration of the virtual field trip.
  • To encourage participation, we request that teachers assist facilitators by calling on students to answer questions.

Support for virtual field trips is provided by The Jacob K. and Marian B. Javits Foundation in Honor of Marian B. Javits.