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Fall Into WMA!

How is it August already? We are really excited about a new school year at WMA so I thought I would take this opportunity to outline all the things we’ve cooked up for your students and YOU this school year!

Teacher Resources

Of course, you know about the Educator’s Lair because you’re reading it right now! But did you know that we also have 24 lesson plans on our website? The lesson plan page allows you to search by grade and subject matter and all the lessons are inspired by works from our permanent collection and works that were part of temporary exhibitions. We also plan to add 12 more lesson plans in the coming months, so make sure to check back often!

To explore our lesson plans, follow this link: https://www.wiregrassmuseum.org/lesson-plans/

A lesson plan sheet with an abstract watercolor city scape.

Tours at WMA and Bus on Us

This year through a partnership with Dothan City Schools all First, Fourth, and Sixth grade Dothan City School students can tour the museum for free. Yes…ALL! You can begin booking tours for your classes TODAY! Our tour size is capped at 36 so you might be able to share a bus with another class if your class size is small enough. Each student on tour will experience a docent led tour of our galleries and an art making activity inspired by works they’ve just encountered on tour.

Our tours are designed to boost observational skills by helping students make connections between what they see and what they know. There are no wrong answers! And we encourage students to ask questions, too.  If they are discovering details in a work and can support what they think about a piece with those details, they are boosting their observational skills which then enhance their reading comprehension skills!

A group of young girls pose with a painting behind them.

We are offering three tour options for the tour activity this year:

  • All About the ART! This option will allow your students to interact with pieces on tour by creating a piece inspired by a work on display and aligned with the Alabama State Standards for Art. With an emphasis on mixed media, students can explore which mediums they prefer and awaken their inner artist. The lesson is aligned with the Alabama State Standards for 6th Grade Art but will be enjoyable for students of all ages. This option is not integrated with other subject matter…it’s all about the ART!
  • Full STEAM Ahead! This option will allow your students to interact with pieces on tour by creating a piece of art inspired by a work on display that fuses art and science or math. Also aligned with the Alabama State Standards for Art and Math or Science. The lesson is aligned with the Alabama State Standards for 4th Grade Art, Math/Science but is sure to inspire science and art lovers of all ages. So, hop on this STEAM powered train and learn how art and science can beautifully coexist!
  • Now Read This! This option places special emphasis on language arts and literacy in response to the Alabama Literacy Act. Students will create a work of art inspired by a work on display and engage in a literacy activity such as crafting an artist’s statement about their work (reading comprehension and writing), completing a sequencing worksheet (reading comprehension), or writing a short story about the piece they created (reading comprehension and writing). We also incorporate other strategies during the lesson such as work bubbles (vocabulary), retelling directions (reading comprehension), and we emphasize good conversational skills (oral language). Also aligned with the Alabama State Standards for Art and Language Arts for 1st Grade but can be engaging for any grade level.

A group of students pose with their art teacher and their artwork in a classroom.

Because we want to make it possible for all area students to enjoy WMA, we have a program to reimburse transportation costs. Through Bus on Us, each Dothan City and Houston County school receives reimbursement for up to 8 buses covering the system-approved cost of mileage and bus driver time to the museum, during the tour, and after the museum tour for up to 3 hours.


  1. Principals notify teachers of the program and coordinate which classes/grades will receive bus reimbursement.
  2. Teachers sign up for school tours online with the Bus on Us link and submit a reimbursement form.
  3. WMA reimburses the school system for the allotted number of buses.
  4. Pre K-12 Students receive consistent arts education experiences over their school career, building their creativity and critical thinking skills!

To learn more and to book at tour: https://www.wiregrassmuseum.org/schools

Four young students sit on a bench while their docent discusses the artwork in front of them.

WMA Teens 2022/2023 Cohort

Last year we launched our first ever teen council, WMA Teens and they had an incredible first year! Our teens helped us launch our Free Little Art Supplies Libraries, a new program that gets free art supplies out into the community. They also planned and hosted our first annual Teen Night which brought nearly 200 students from 6 different counties to the museum.  We are now accepting applications for our 2022/2023 WMA Teen Cohort. If you know of any teens who love art and the connections art can make in a community, send them our way! Those selected will work together to create and implement museum programming for teens, by teens. During this school year long commitment, committee members will learn all about museum operations from the WMA Staff and they will have the chance to meet with regional artists who can help guide them in their artistic pursuits post high school. The committee will also create, prep, and host Teen Night for area teens, learning valuable skills such as budgeting, event planning, marketing/promotions, and project management. OH! And did we mention that there’s a $300 stipend for those who successfully complete the program?

For more information and to apply: https://www.wiregrassmuseum.org/wma-teens/

A group of teens and their two adult mentors pose in front of a balloon backdrop.

Professional Development at WMA

This year we are offering professional development opportunities to all area educators including a new menu of options coming soon. We plan to offer one Arts Integration Workshop at WMA this spring as well as at your own pace online classes during the fall and spring semesters. We are also working towards offering CEUs for WMA Studio Classes and Visiting Artist Series. Keep an eye on our website and social media for opportunities to learn with us!

A group of teachers post with their newly created sock puppets.

Always FREE!

General admission to the museum is ALWAYS FREE! Stop by and enjoy our galleries, explore the works on display a little more closely with our scavenger hunt, or check out a watercolor kit and create a masterpiece in our gardens. All for FREE!

A father and his two daughters create watercolor paintings in the WMA garden.

Join us the first Saturday of every month for our First Saturday Family Day where you can enjoy a FREE family friendly art activity upstairs in our studio.

A toddler and her mother create a monoprint in an art classroom.

And lastly, WMA is hosting the First Annual Pumpkin Patch, a FREE Fall Family Art Festival on Saturday, October 29th. Attendees can enjoy several free art making stations, free pumpkins to take home with you, free popcorn and lemonade, and free artist demonstrations including a glass blowing demonstration from Hot Glass Academy. There will also be food trucks on hand for a more substantial nosh and you can even buy a beautiful glass pumpkin created by Hot Glass Academy and other regional glass artists…the proceeds of which will help support WMA programs!

Artists work with molten glass, shaping it into a vase.

WMA has something for everyone and we can’t wait to see you and your students at the museum this year! If you have any questions about our offerings, don’t hesitate to reach out to me: brook@wiregrassmuseum.org

Artfully yours,