School Visits

On weekday mornings during the school year, the Library's Department of Education and Public Programs offers a variety of structured programs for elementary, middle and high school classes visiting the museum. These programs are 2.5 to 3 hours long, and are limited to 40 - 50 students per program. Teachers of grades 6-12 may also elect to bring their group for a self-guided museum visit.

School group comes to the JFK Library

All museum visits by school groups must be scheduled in advance. To schedule a self-guided visit, please call the Group Tour Coordinator at 617.514.1589.To explore booking a guided museum program, please complete the reservation form at the appropriate grade level below. 

Please note that due to the coronavirus public health conditions, we encourage group members to wear masks to boost the comfort level of the staff and your fellow participants. Learn more about Virtual School Programs for your classroom today.


Guided Programs for Elementary School Groups

Our museum programs for grades 3-8 extend and enrich classroom studies in American history, Civics, and English Language Arts.

To explore booking a guided program for elementary students, please fill out a reservation interest form.

Civil Rights, Civic Action | Grades 3-5

This program helps students make connections between the organized nonviolent actions of the civil rights movement and civic action for justice today. By examining photographs of less well-known civil rights activists and learning how they used the tools of democracy to fight for justice and equality, students discover what led President Kennedy to deliver his Televised Address on Civil Rights. Students use a graphic organizer in the exhibit galleries to identify civic actions taken during the Kennedy Administration and make connections to civic engagement today.

Allow 2 ½ hours. For further information, email esther.kohn@nara.gov.

First Children: Caroline and John Jr. in the White House | Grades 3-5

Led by a museum educator, students use the activity book, "A Tour with Tony: A White House Mouse" to explore this temporary exhibit which features artifacts, photographs, video, and documents related to President and Mrs. Kennedy's young children. This biographical program includes the Museum's introductory film and visits to selected permanent exhibits that highlight key events in John F. Kennedy's life. The First Children exhibit closes on January 8, 2023.

Allow 2 ½ hours. For further information, email esther.kohn@nara.gov.

Who was John F. Kennedy? | Grades 3-5

Students at election night exhibit

Students become biographers for the day as they explore John F. Kennedy's early years, his presidency, and the contributions he made to our nation and the world. They analyze historic photographs and documents, view films and television footage, and examine objects in the museum as they gather and record information in our "Biographer's Workbook."

Allow 2 ½ hours. For further information, email esther.kohn@nara.gov.

Presidential Campaigns and Elections | Grades 4-5

Using the 1960 election as a case study, students learn the steps to becoming President of the United States. Students explore objects, photographs, and documents in the museum to discover important information about the 1960 election. The last part of the visit includes an interactive game based on the steps to the presidency. A final discussion draws on students' hopes and ideas to guide the next President of the United States.

Allow 2 ½ hours. For further information, email esther.kohn@nara.gov.


Guided Programs for Middle School Groups

To explore booking a middle school program, please fill out a reservation interest form.

Leadership for the 60s | Grades 6-9

In this docent-led program designed for groups who are often visiting the Library for the first time, students explore the challenges John F. Kennedy faced as the nation’s leader and learn about the big ideas he put into action. A souvenir booklet of open-ended questions gives students historical context and encourages them to evaluate John F. Kennedy’s decisions and actions as president. The program, led by museum docents, includes an introductory group discussion about John F. Kennedy’s leadership qualities, the introductory film, guided exploration with booklet, and a wrap-up discussion.

Allow 2 hours. For further information, email katherine.gilliland@nara.gov.

"The Most Powerful and Precious Right": Ensuring the Right to Vote Past and Present | Grades 6-8

This program introduces students to the importance of voting and the struggle for voting rights, past and present. Students examine primary source material -- documents, photographs, and video -- to learn about racial discrimination in voting during the Kennedy years and strategies that public officials, activists, and everyday citizens used to address it. The program also explores voting rights today and actions students can take to protect this “most powerful and precious right” for everyone. Students use a graphic organizer in the exhibit galleries to identify civic actions taken during the Kennedy Administration and make connections to civic engagement today.

Allow 2 ½ hours. For further information, email esther.kohn@nara.gov


Guided Programs for High School Groups

Students in 1960 election exhibit

Words and Deeds: Examining John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address | Grades 9-12

Students explore the museum with a focus on the pledges John F. Kennedy made in his inaugural address. By critically examining the events of the early 1960s, students will consider the extent to which President Kennedy followed through on his pledges. Prior knowledge of the address is helpful but not required.

Allow 2 hours. For further information, email katherine.gilliland@nara.gov.

For the following high school programs, allow 3 hours. Between 20-50 students can be accommodated per session except for Launching into the Sixties program which can accommodate up to 40 students.

The following programs are currently on hiatus. Please fill out this form and you will be contacted as soon as the program is available.

Approaching a DBQ: An Introduction for AP Students | Grades 10-12

Students work on a document-based question similar to those on the AP exam using documents from the Kennedy Library archives, and strategize tactics for successfully analyzing primary sources. (This program is currently on hiatus.)

Civil Rights Confrontations: 1960-1963 | Grades 9-12

Students investigate the civil rights movement of the early 1960s--its goals, its major events, and the outcomes of these events. This program focuses on the Freedom Rides (1961) and the integration of the University of Mississippi (1962). (This program is currently on hiatus.)

The Cold War Heats Up | Grades 9-12

Students analyze the Cold War’s impact on the politics and people of the early 1960s, and are introduced to conflicts between the US and the USSR over Berlin, Cuba, and space exploration. (This program is currently on hiatus.)

Launching into the Sixties | Grades 9-12

Acting as members of President Kennedy’s Press Office, students are given an assignment to prepare a briefing for the President on topics that may come up in a specific press conference. To fulfill this assignment, they explore the museum and use primary source documents. (This program is currently on hiatus.)

The Rhetoric Surrounding Civil Rights in the Early 1960s | Grades 9-12

Students analyze the rhetoric surrounding civil rights in the early 1960s, focusing on a speech by Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett, a section from Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail, and President Kennedy’s June 11, 1963 speech on civil rights. (This program is currently on hiatus.)