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Gallery + Classroom Program—St. Louis: A History in Photographs

Dates Available: September 8, 2017–May 25, 2018

Grade Level: K–5th, 6th–12th

Minimum Number of Students: 25 students

Maximum Number of Students: 70 students

Gallery Visited: Panoramas of the City

Program Duration: 2 hours

What was St. Louis like in the past? Students will encounter our city’s historic people and places through giant, immersive panoramic photographs. From Charles Lindbergh's homecoming and baseball games to protests and disaster relief, students will synthesize these landmark events to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of St. Louis’s growth, changes, challenges, and accomplishments.

More About This Gallery + Classroom Program
This exhibition's historic panoramas contain many rich stories just waiting to be discovered, which is why this program empowers students to learn and practice the four different skills they'll need to do just that. Each activity is rooted in higher-level critical thinking, is scaffolded for different grade levels, and helps reinforce skills used in the classroom setting.

In the Gallery
Students will visit three areas in the Panoramas of the City gallery and encounter larger-than-life panoramic photographs that depict a historic St. Louis place or event. At each stop they'll practice a different skill to help them engage with the images and the stories they tell.

  • At Stop 1 students will compare and contrast photos of St. Louis’s riverfront across time. They'll identify what has changed and what has stayed the same as our city has evolved.
  • At Stop 2 students will encounter the great tornado of 1927 from multiple perspectives. They'll learn how this catastrophic event affected different people in St. Louis at the time and imagine how those people might have described what happened.
  • At Stop 3 students will use the See-Think-Wonder routine to dive deeper into the images that interest them most. Panoramas in this section display a diverse cross-section of St. Louis history, including Sportsman’s Park in 1941, the 1937 Veiled Prophet ball, and members of the League of Struggle for Negro Rights in 1930. 

Please note that the above stops may not occur in chronological order. Also, portions of each stop may be cut out if your group arrives late.

In the Classroom
Following the tour, students will first learn more about how panoramic photographs are made. Then they'll use visual-thinking strategies to explore additional places and events in St. Louis’s history, including a march for women’s suffrage, the Forest Park balloon race, workers on the riverfront, and the Saint Louis Zoo. They'll also get to create their own composite panoramic scroll of St. Louis history.

Please note that portions of the activity may be cut out if your group arrives late. Also, if your group is over 36 students, half of the group may do the classroom first.

Accessibility Features
We're excited to share that this exhibition provides audio descriptions and touchable graphic panels of the seven main panoramas for visitors who are blind or who have low vision. These unique accessibility features are always available and free to use.

 Please read our K-12 Policiesbefore booking this program.

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Critical Thinking
Regardless of which field-trip experience you choose, all of our K–12 programs are designed to emphasize the critical thinking skills students use at museums, in the classroom, and as lifelong learners. Each one facilitates experiences in which learners can individually and collaboratively use Museum spaces, objects, and content to:

  • compare and contrast the past and the present
  • make connections between the people, places, and stories of history and their own experiences
  • comprehend and evaluate multiple perspectives and past choices
  • express and support their personal views on history

Here are some Pre-Visit Activities and other resources.

Program Modifications
We understand that many factors may cause your bus to be late. However, due to other group reservations and the schedules of our museum educators, we can't extend the length of your visit past your reservation time.

If you arrive late, we'll still do our best to deliver the program you reserved. However, modifications may be necessary depending on your arrival time. (NOTE: Excessively late groups can expect significant program changes.)

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