woody guthrie center EDUCATION


“Watch the kids. Do like they do. Act like they act. Yell like they yell. Dance the ways you see them dance. Sing like they sing. Work and rest the way the kids do.

You’ll be healthier. You’ll feel wealthier. You’ll talk wiser. You’ll go higher, do better, and live longer here amongst us if you’ll just only jump in here and swim around in these songs and do like the kids do.

I don’t want the kids to be grown up. I want to see the grown folks be kids.” — Woody Guthrie

Woody Guthrie was born to humble beginnings, but he didn’t let that stop him from making a difference. That’s the lesson everyone should take away from the Woody Guthrie Center®. Not only does the center teach others about the artist’s life and work, but it also highlights him as an example of the potential in all of us.

Woody's Classroom

Woody’s Classroom

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Woody's Classroom

A one-stop shop for educational materials, Woody’s Classroom offers lesson plans and activities to teach students about Woody, his music, and the historical context of his work.

Woody’s Workshop

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Woody's Workshop at the Woody Guthrie Center

Woody’s Workshop encourages young musicians ages 12-18 to think independently, work cooperatively, and discover their own creativity.

Woody's Workshop at the Woody Guthrie Center

School Tours

As an educational facility, the Woody Guthrie Center encourages creativity. Field trips to the center inspire students to use their creativity to demonstrate true learning and understanding of their world.

Educators face many challenges, so the center makes resources available to educators and students for free. The staff enjoys customizing the many lessons available at the center to your curriculum.

Request a Tour

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To begin a discussion about scheduling a free field trip to the Woody Guthrie Center for your students, please submit the form below.

We request the form be completed at least 2 weeks prior to a scheduled visit. 

An education representative will contact you to schedule a pre-visit meeting to discuss your needs and answer any questions you may have.

  • Please include details regarding subject lessons, specific information, or questions.
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The Teaching Woody Guthrie Collective

The Teaching Woody Guthrie Collective, originated in 2020, includes cross-disciplinary college faculty. Their purpose is to share teaching resources, exchange ideas for assessment, create interdisciplinary curriculum and contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning.

The Collective includes:

Court Carney is a Professor of History at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he teaches courses on Black History and American Cultural History. He is the author of Cuttin’ Up: How Early Jazz Got America’s Ear (Univ. Press of Kansas).

Michele Fazio is Professor of English and Co-coordinator of the Gender Studies Minor at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke where she teaches courses on contemporary U.S. ethnic literature, servicelearning, and working-class studies. She co-edited the Routledge International Handbook of Working-Class Studies.

Mark F. Fernandez is the Patricia Carlin O’Keefe Distinguished Professor of History at Loyola. In 2012, he was named the Seventh Annual Woody Guthrie Fellow by the Woody Guthrie Foundation and BMI Music Publishers.

Gustavus Stadler is William R. Kenan Professor of English at Haverford College where he teaches courses on 19th- and 20th-century US literature and popular culture. He is the author of Woody Guthrie: An Intimate Life (Beacon Press, 2020).

Aimee Zoeller is the director of sociology and coordinator of women, gender, and sexuality studies at Indiana University Purdue University Columbus. She is a three-time recipient of the Indiana University Trustees’ Teaching Award.


  • “Integrating Folk Music into Educational Curriculum.” Folk Alliance International Conference. May 2022. Kansas City, MO.
  • “Teaching Woody Guthrie and the Precarity of the Present.” Working Class Association Annual Conference. June 2021 (Youngstown, Ohio and online).


Want to connect with the Teaching Collective? Contact Aimee Zoeller.