Planning for exhibition is preparing a full timeline of what needs to be prepared for the event.

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Topic: Planning

Email 6 (of 10)

Planning for exhibition is preparing a full timeline of what needs to be prepared for the event.

Since you have already selected your exhibition date, you can work backwards to design a complete exhibition management schedule that includes time for students to prepare what they will exhibit.* 

Share your schedule with your students and make time to integrate their feedback. They can help you understand their needs and identify challenges that you may not have anticipated. Their comments will also help you identify which students need additional support preparing for the exhibition. Remember that fate favors the prepared, and having a road map to follow is a great way to drive a successful event.

*Some teachers prefer to integrate students in co-design during the entire exhibition planning process.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Dress code thoughts for in-person exhibitions and/or exhibitions with students appearing on camera: Before the day of the exhibition, review the dress code and make sure that there is a clear understanding about how students should present themselves for the event. Even if the exhibition takes place online, if there are video or recorded elements, make sure they understand the dress code. Be mindful when discussing the dress code that students may not own certain items and may have difficulty obtaining them for the event, so create opportunities for students to share that with you privately before the exhibition. 
  • How much time do students have to prepare their work for exhibition?
  • How much time is allotted for them to reflect on their work and prepare presentations?
  • What obstacles or challenges did students raise in the timeline? How can you address these? Ask the students to brainstorm solutions with you.

Activity 1: Take a good look at the amount of time you have until exhibition and break it down into pieces.

Activity Notes: 

Add up the amount of time you actually have to get the work done. Look at how many days until the exhibition and break down the time you have available with your students. How will you divide time? If you cut it up into ½ hr blocks of time how will that help you allocate time?

Activity 2: Take your previous schedule and cut out ¼ of the time you initially gave yourself.

Activity Notes: 

In the event that some step takes too long or other unseen factors affect your schedule, time can be lost. Use this opportunity to try and imagine what you’d do in this situation so you can design solutions without the stress of the last-minute change looming over you.

Case Study

The first time Sam had students participate in a formal exhibition, they neglected to plan out all of the aspects of the exhibition. They assumed it would be as simple as giving the students a checklist a few nights before. The night of the exhibition, some students arrived late while others didn’t show up at all!

A couple students were dressed inappropriately. After Sam investigated what happened, they realized that students had difficulties with transportation because they took the bus, and others didn’t even own a suit to wear.
The second time around, Sam took more time to plan for different contingencies, and created spaces for students to raise issues before the night of the event. They also organized a class potluck so that students could stay after school instead of having to arrange separate transportation to come back in the evening.

While there were still issues that came up the second time, Sam recognized that exhibition planning is a work in progress and that they would develop expertise as they continued to create opportunities to share student work.


Below is a preview of some of the additional readings, videos, comics, and other resources to enhance your learning regarding this email’s topic. You can review these materials in full by going to the course landing page.


Sample Exhibition Poster
This a sample invitation that was used to advertise an in person exhibition.
  Sample Audience Orientation
A presentation for parents & guardians that explains what an exhibition will look like and what will be showcased.

You can help us!

If you have any resources that you think people would benefit course participants, email us at Simply put “Exhibiting Student Work Resource Submission” in the email subject. Send us the file and remember to tell us which email lesson you think it should be a part of in the body of the email. We’ll review it and get back to you if we decide to use it!

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