For Educators

Educator Resources

Use our free, teacher-vetted lessons to help your students understand the power of words and take full advantage of a field trip to Planet Word. Resources were designed based on feedback from a council of local educators, are standards-aligned, and include in-the-moment teaching and facilitation supports. The ready-to-go Google Slides format allows our resources to be instantly implemented in your classroom or easily customized to meet your students’ needs. Lessons are available for elementary, middle, and high school students.


Field Trips

Student Planet Wordshops

Dive deeper with one of Planet Word’s educator-facilitated wordshops. Each wordshop can either be added to an in-person, self-guided gallery visit to the museum or offered virtually.  All offerings are Common Core standards aligned.

Wordshops are designed for classes of 35 or fewer and last an hour unless otherwise noted. Virtual wordshops cost $125; in-person wordshops cost $200, plus the cost of the self-guided gallery tour, if interested. Both are FREE for DMV Title I schools and DMV non-profit organizations serving disadvantaged populations. DMV is defined as D.C., Maryland (Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties) and Virginia (Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church, and Prince William counties).

Go Bananas for Idioms (grades 3–5)

Unleash the creative and comic potential of idioms and learn about the difference between literal and non-literal meanings. The program features a matching game, an opportunity to create and share an idiom drawing, and heaps of idiom-based humor — all delivered in 45 minutes.

Request a virtual wordshop                    Request an on-site wordshop                    Additional details

Words Matter (grades 4–7)

The way we tell our own story impacts everyone around us. Using videos included in the Words Matter gallery, students analyze a personal narrative to understand storytelling techniques, all while connecting to broader themes and social issues. This wordshop concludes with students telling a story of their own.

Request a virtual wordshop                    Request an on-site wordshop                    Additional details

Sounds Like Poetry! (grades 5–7)

Delight in sprightly “i”s and “e”s or wallow in long, mournful “o”s as we explore how poets play with the sounds of words to evoke specific feelings and tones in their work. Students will also practice those techniques in a short writing activity.

Request a virtual wordshop                    Request an on-site wordshop                    Additional details

I’m Sold! (grades 7–10)

Guide your students through several advertising copywriting techniques that make ads memorable and persuasive. The program will finish with students writing their own copy, while discussion centers the idea of being a savvy consumer.

Request a virtual wordshop                    Request an on-site wordshop                    Additional details

On-Site Field Trips

Watch books come to life, sing your favorite song, and learn why words matter at Planet Word! Planet Word is pleased to welcome groups for on-site, self-guided museum visits. Title I schools are free, always.

For more information, visit our School and Youth Group Visit Resources page.

Looking to make a special, specific connection to our exhibits? Customize your group visit with one of our themed-experience guides. Learn more

Your Voice at Planet Word

Story Table Youth Essay Contest

Planet Word would like to hear from the young people of the DMV: What often overlooked book has had an impact on your life? Two winning essayists will have their books added to the Story Table interactive in Planet Word’s Schwarzman Family Library and be invited to help record the audio interview that forms the basis of the interactive experience.

Winners will be announced in mid-December.

Educator Workshops

Planet Word virtual educator workshops are designed to demonstrate Planet Word’s vetted and standards-aligned resources through interactive participation. Workshops model activities and museum-based teaching techniques that you can implement with your students, grades 3–12. Connect with a network of fellow educators who care about empowering their students with a love of words and language.

Join us monthly to learn more about what Planet Word can offer you and your students.

Commitment to Literacy

Every child has a right to read. However, not every kid in our hometown has equal access to age-appropriate, culturally relevant reading materials. Planet Word works within a network of community partners to help address this need, making appropriate reading materials available to young people who need them.

Own Your Story Project

As part of our ongoing commitment to getting books to kids, in September 2020, Planet Word partnered with Shout Mouse Press to deliver books by and about District youth to District youth — for free. In January, Planet Word worked to distribute more books to more kids in conjunction with a virtual program for the mentors and mentees at Turning the Page.

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