Instructional Process  |  Planning Process


What is a Kid Curators® School Museum?

Kid Curators® museums are 3-dimensional school exhibitions created by students as part of the classroom curriculum. Students conduct research about the museum topic, design displays to show what they’ve learned, and interpret those displays for visiting audiences. Students of all ages—kindergarten through high school—can create a school museum.

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Kid-created school museums are a great way to get students involved in and excited about learning. Almost any curriculum unit can be transformed into an interesting museum design project. As students develop their school museum, they not only learn a great deal of academic content, they also learn how to conduct research, write for a unique audience, and communicate with a visiting public. As students create their original displays, they learn and practice the important skills of teamwork, creative and critical thinking, and problem solving.

If you are considering a school museum project for your students, the possibilities are endless. School museum projects can be single classroom, grade level, or full school projects that engage students of all ages – kindergarten through high school.

Visit Video Stories and photos to see student-created exhibit examples of past projects or view the Kid Curators channel on Vimeo.


Why consider the school museum process?

In today’s world, effective learners are not just consumers of information but also constructors and even curators of information. To thrive in today’s complex, global, technology- rich world, acquisition of knowledge is not enough. Students must also be proficient using and communicating knowledge creatively. To do so students’ need to know how to ask and investigate questions, find and manage information, analyze and synthesize ideas, create valuable products, solve problems, collaborate, and communicate effectively in writing, orally, and visually. Kid Curators is an apt learning metaphor.

To Learn More

– Students as Knowledge Curators: An Apt Metaphor for Today’s Learner
– K-12 Curators: What Kids Learn by Designing Exhibitions

You may also want to visit the following websites
– See the Hewlett Foundation’s definition of Deeper Learning

– How might a school museum project develop these knowledge, skills, and beliefs in your students? See the Partnership for 21st Century Skills Framework for 21st century learning

– How might a school museum project develop these 21st century skills in your students? In A Whole New Mind, author Daniel Pink outlines 6 “aptitudes” for success in today’s world—story, design, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning.

How might a school museum project develop these aptitudes in your students?


How do students create a school museum?

The Kid Curators® model (below) operationalizes the metaphor of kids as curators. In this process, students learn with a clear purpose in mind—to create an original school museum that will be of interest to a visiting audience. In school museum projects, content is reframed as an information “design” problem where students create an exhibition about the curricular topic they are studying.