School and Youth Group Visit Resources

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.

Request a group visit

Group Visit Logistics

Find all the information you need to have a smooth visit to Planet Word with your school or youth group. We’re looking forward to your visit!

All groups of 16 or more people must make a reservation via the form at the bottom of our Group Visits page. There you will also find our general inclement weather, cancellation, rescheduling policies, and more.

Groups are scheduled at one of three time slots (10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.). Please arrive at the time of your reserved group visit. Groups that arrive more than an hour after their scheduled arrival time may be denied entry. All groups must leave at the conclusion of your time slot unless prior arrangements have been made. We do not allow re-entry for large groups once they depart the building.

We’re committed to the health and safety of our visitors and our staff. Please review our current Health and Safety guidelines.

For up-to-date driving, metro, or city bus directions, visit the Plan Your Visit page. Groups arriving by school or charter bus can unload on 13th St and walk to the entrance on K St. There is no on-site parking for private cars or buses.

When you arrive, please send the leader to the welcome desk to alert staff to your arrival. A staff member will greet your group on the bus or guide your group to an available space within the museum and provide a brief welcome and orientation to Planet Word.

Large bags, backpacks, or lunches will be stored in a rolling bin in a secure location for the duration of your visit.

Many of the museum’s galleries are small. Large groups should plan to divide into groups of no more than ten to move through the galleries. When you arrive, museum staff will advise you on rotations through the galleries.

The museum features galleries on three floors. If you’d like to plan rotations in advance, please review this Museum Map.

Please be conscious of other visitors as you move your group through the galleries. Museum staff may redirect your group to avoid crowding in high-traffic areas.

The museum requires at least one adult chaperone for every ten visitors under the age of 17. Chaperone numbers count towards group totals; groups that arrive with fewer than the required number of chaperones may be denied entry.

Chaperones MUST be present and engaged with the students at all times while in the museum. Unchaperoned or misbehaving groups are subject to being escorted out of the museum and may not be allowed admission in the future.

We rely on adult chaperones to help model positive visitor behavior for the students in their care. Chaperones may be called upon to demonstrate how to engage with exhibits, help their students take turns with hands-on activities, and model sharing space with other museum visitors.

Download our chaperone guide.

Thank you for practicing these museum visitation rules with your students before arriving and during your visit:

  • Groups must stay with their chaperone at all times.
  • Planet Word is a shared space. Please take turns, be respectful, and only post content appropriate for all ages.
  • Masks are recommended but not required for entry to the museum, but we request that all visitors who are sick or feel unwell please stay home.
  • We encourage visitors to speak with the exhibits, but please do not scream. The exhibits work best if you speak clearly, directly into the microphone.
  • Please be gentle with our hands-on experiences.
  • Walk, do not run, in the museum.
  • Food and drink are not allowed in the galleries.
  • Listen for and follow any instructions from Planet Word staff.

For more information on Planet Word’s accessibility efforts, including a sensory map and an editable social narrative, visit our Accessibility page.

Come on in! As with the museum galleries, only one group of up to ten students and one adult may visit the museum shop at a time. Chaperones must monitor students while visiting the shop. If you have a large group, please do not all plan to visit the shop at the same time.

Groups may not eat on-site at Planet Word unless they have reserved an event space. We encourage most groups to eat lunch at Franklin Park, directly across 13th St from the museum. The fully renovated Park has seating, a children’s play area, nearby restaurants and public restrooms.

If you need to take a short snack break, you may step into the museum’s courtyard. Food or water needed for medical reasons may be consumed in the stairwells.

If you cannot find the answer to your logistical questions, please email [email protected]. For programming or pedagogical questions, email [email protected].

Learning at Planet Word

Make your visit to Planet Word the strongest possible educational experience. Find information and resources on ways you can enhance your visit below.

At Planet Word, we believe in learning by doing. Our mission is to renew and inspire a love of words, language, and reading, so every exhibit offers students an opportunity to read, speak, orate, self-reflect, or sing — out loud! As a result, we don’t offer guided tours.

We also don’t believe in mandating a right or wrong way to speak or write. Instead, we celebrate all the beautiful ways human beings use language to communicate. We are a museum about language in general, though most of our content is presented in English.

Planet Word offers free, teacher-vetted lessons to help your students take full advantage of a field trip to Planet Word. Each grade-banded unit, aligned with one of our ground-breaking exhibits, includes a pre-lesson, extension lesson, post-lesson, and a project-based activity. You know your students best, so you can choose to use all, some, or none.

We understand that you might have something specific in mind. If you:

  • would like help thinking through small-group rotations;
  • would like recommendations on targeting your visit to a specific curricular connection or learning goal; or
  • are interested in a workshop, lesson, or educational activity not included in a standard museum visit,

Please email [email protected]. We’ll be happy to help.