School and Youth Group Visit Logistics and Learning Resources

School and Youth 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!

Need a refresher on our inclement weather, cancellation, rescheduling, or general group reservation policies? No problem! Please refer to our Group Visits page.

Groups are scheduled at one of three time slots (10 AM – 12 PM; 12:30 – 2:30 PM; or 2:30-4:30 PM). 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 timeslot 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 the most up-to-date COVID-19 safety guidelines on our Plan Your Visit page.

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 an adult leader to the visitor desk to alert staff to your arrival. A staff member will guide your group to an available space within the museum and provide a brief welcome and orientation to Planet Word.

As part of the orientation, staff members will direct groups larger than 10 to divide into smaller groups and provide directions to begin rotations throughout the museum. Staff members will also hand out admission stickers and styluses.

Please do not bring large bags, backpacks, or lunches with you to Planet Word.

Many of the museum’s galleries are small. Large groups should plan to divide into groups of no more than ten students and one adult 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 ahead, please review this map.

Please be conscious of other visitors as you move your group through the galleries.

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 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 help students share space with other museum visitors.

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

  • Listen for instructions from Planet Word staff members on every floor of the museum. Please also ask staff questions, we love to chat with our visitors!
  • It is okay to use a loud speaking voice at Planet Word. The exhibits will hear you best if one person speaks at once.
  • It is okay to touch at Planet Word, but please be gentle with the props and technology.
  • Photography is encouraged. Tag @PlanetWordDC and use #planetworddc on social media so we can see your photos!
  • Walk, do not run, in the museum.
  • Food and drinks are not allowed in the museum galleries.
  • Plan to wear a mask over your mouth and nose while visiting Planet Word.

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. We encourage groups to eat lunch at Franklin Park, directly across 13th St from the museum. The fully renovated Franklin Park is scheduled to reopen to the public in August of 2021 with seating, a children’s play area, access to food trucks, a restaurant, and public restrooms.

If you need to take a short snack break, please 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 questions, please email education@planetwordmuseum.org.

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 being 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 education@planetwordmuseum.org. We’ll be happy to help.