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Listen, Look & Do!

Bring your Pre-K and Kindergarten students to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum!

About Listen, Look & Do!

Listen, Look & Do! is an exciting program combining:

  • Story time (LISTEN)

  • Museum exploration (LOOK)

  • Related fun activity (DO)

The Listen, Look & Do! program is based on experiential learning. With a variety of standards-driven themes available, student groups are encouraged to return for all nine programs. As we all know, repeat visitation creates a fun and familiar learning environment in the museum.

Through the twelve different themed tours we offer, you can choose a program that best suits your teaching needs.

  • Alphabet and Animals

  • Black History

  • Colors and Shapes

  • Communications

  • Community Helpers

  • Fairy Tales

  • Feelings

  • Five Senses

  • Food

  • Transportation

  • Weather

  • Women’s History

Program Options

Alphabet and Animals

Do you know what letters spell your name? Can you identify which letter of the alphabet your favorite animals name starts with? Through reading The Furry Animal Alphabet Book, students will be practicing their ABCs while having fun and learning about new and interesting animals. Students get to travel through our William H. Gross Stamp Gallery, deciphering riddles written to help identify a variety of animals on stamps. Afterwards, students will play a matching game, using the alphabet and animals that they just learned about!

Black History

Come celebrate Black History at the National Postal Museum. Students will learn about jazz great—and Washington, DC native—Duke Ellington by listening to the story Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and his Orchestra. Students will pretend to be part of Duke’s band as they travel by train to perform for audiences all over the country. They’ll learn the names and sounds of the different instruments and play a game to compare and contrast them. Finally, they’ll have fun playing instruments as they get to really be part of the band!

Colors and Shapes

Have you ever noticed how many colors and shapes surround us each and every day? After reading The Day the Crayons Quit students will get the opportunity to explore the variety of shapes and colors “hidden” in the museum! Afterwards, students will re-examine the reply Duncan from The Day the Crayons Quit wrote to determine if he used all the shapes and colors they learned about during their visit to the museum.


Grandma may live far away, but writing a letter to her is a great way to stay close! Join us as we explore the theme of letter writing. Participants will learn how letters can be used to communicate to others about ourselves as well as a way stay in touch with loved ones. Students will enjoy Dear Juno, the story of a young boy that stays in touch with his grandmother in faraway South Korea by sending her pictures that he draws. Then students practice the entire letter writing process—together we’ll explore the museum to get ideas about what to write, compose a letter as a class, prepare the letter for delivery (envelopes, addresses and stamps!) and finally mail their letter at the museum’s Post Office!

Community Helpers

Who are the people that we meet as we’re walking down the streets of our neighborhood? One familiar face is that of the letter carrier. Come learn about this job at the National Postal Museum! Students will follow the journey of the character Little Letter that can’t wait to get delivered in the story Let’s Deliver the Mail. We’ll talk about a variety of community workers and how to identify them in our neighborhoods. Then we’ll focus on the job of letter carriers and learn how they collect, sort and deliver the mail. Finally, the students will pretend to be letter carriers themselves, collecting and delivering mail around the museum with real mailbags!

Fairy Tales

In this program, students will enjoy learning about the elements of a fairy tale, including key phrases such as “once upon a time” and “happily ever after,” groupings of 3’s, good vs. evil characters and—most importantly—problem solving! Together we will read Fairy Tale Mail about a queen trying to answer all the mail she receives from characters in Fairy Tale Land needing help to solve problems. Students will get a chance to help the queen handle all that mail she has been receiving by sorting her mail at the Railway Post Office, work together to write their own fairy tale using all the elements we discussed, and act it out in a puppet show!


How do you share your feelings with someone far away? After reading The Giant Hug, students will examine objects in the museum that convey or elicit feelings such as happiness and sadness. From there, learners will play a fun game where they use their faces to interpret a variety of emotions we express each and every day.

Five Senses

Using the story I Hear a Pickle (and Smell, See, Touch, and Taste It, Too!), participating students will hear about a variety of ways we use our five senses. While visiting select locations in the museums, visitors will see objects from our collection that incorporate the senses. Afterwards, we’ll play a stamp matching game, in which students will need to determine if a stamp image depicts sight, sound, smell, touch, or taste.


The delivery of food has played a significant role in our postal history. Visiting learners will hear all about it after reading Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast together. After looking at some food-related collection items, we will match postage stamps with food imagery to the USDA’s Choose My Plate healthy eating recommendations.


Did you know that different kinds of transportation are designed for the jobs they do? Discover all the different kinds of transportation used to deliver the mail in the charming classic children’s book The Seven Little Postmen. Afterwards, we’ll explore the museum to see all kinds of transportation including trains, airplanes, trucks and even a horse-drawn wagon! Finally, students will have the opportunity to plot their own mail route using different modes of transportation!


After reading Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book school groups will travel to an assortment of exhibit locations within the museum. At each, students will be shown an object and must decide if the object relates to wind, rain, sun, or snow. Using their knowledge, this program’s activity incorporates group work as student teams try to answer word puzzles about a variety of weather events.

Women’s History

Using DC Comic’s The Big Book of Girl Power as a starting point, young learners will examine personality traits unique to female superheroes. Afterwards, facilitators will take students around the museum to “meet” women in postal or philatelic history that share similar skills and characteristics to our beloved comic book legends. From there, we will provide students the opportunity to “design” their very own female superhero.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my group right for this program?

  • Target age: PreK and Kindergarten (4, 5 and 6 years old)

  • Accommodates: up to 25 students

  • Tour duration: 45 minutes

When is this program available?

  • This program takes place on Tuesdays through Fridays at 10:30 am and 11:30 am.

  • There is no charge for this program, but reservations at least four weeks in advance are required.