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Art Tales: Not a Box

Age 4 through Grade 1

The National Gallery of Art will offer a selection of in-person and virtual tours (using Zoom) for fall 2022.

Requests for all tours (October 3 – December 2) will be accepted from August 1 – November 4, 2022

Art Tales is a tour designed for our youngest learners. This tour includes the reading of Not a Box by author Antoinette Portis, exploration of two works of art, and an art-making experience.

Book Summary


In Not a Box, a rabbit uses its imagination to transform a cardboard box into a race car, a robot, and a spaceship. With a little imagination, the ordinary becomes extraordinary!

Looking and Learning Skills

During the Art Tales: Not a Box tour, students will discover how artists use their imaginations and draw inspiration from the world around them to create modern sculptures and paintings. On this tour, students will:

• Observe, describe, compare, and contrast works of art.
• Create a three-dimensional, multimedia work of art.
• Feel a sense of belonging in a museum setting.

In-Person Tour Information

Length: 60 minutes
Meeting location: East Building Atrium

Virtual Tour Information

Length: 60 minutes
Materials needed: cardboard box, glue/tape, crayons

Examples of Works Featured on Tour

Additional Resources

Tours must be scheduled at least four weeks in advance. Groups must contain at least 15 students.

Once your tour has been scheduled, you will receive an email confirmation in 10 business days.

Watch a video (grades 1-4) or download a presentation (grades 4-12) (PPT, 4MB) to show your students what to expect on their tour. Please review museum policies, location, parking, accessibility, security, lunch options, and other important visitor information.

Our tour scheduler is available to answer questions on Monday through Wednesday between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. (September through May). Please contact her at (202) 842-6249 [email protected].

Also see our Frequently Asked Questions about School Tours.

We greatly value your feedback about your school tour experience. Please submit this form to share your feedback.