Even though most of our school trips to Washington, D.C. focus on history or science, there are other subjects that you can highlight on your next tour. Planet Word opened in the Fall of 2020 and is the only museum dedicated to linguistics and the English language in the D.C. area. Learn more about what the museum has to offer and why you should add it to your school trip itinerary!

Located a few blocks northwest of the White House, Planet Word took over the historic Franklin School building. This interactive museum aims to connect students with language entertainingly and educationally, and the fun begins as soon as you arrive.

Before entering the museum, groups can interact with the Speaking Willow Tree. As you walk beneath the branches, you will activate speakers that play clips of hundreds of different languages. Students (and adults) will enjoy that motion-activated light feature as well.

Once your group enters the museum, you’ll take the elevators to the top floor where students will learn about the origins of language.


One of my favorite exhibits was the “Where Do Words Come From?” exhibit that features a 22-foot tall talking word wall. A short presentation will explore how the English language is a mix of several different languages. Students can answer questions and interact with the word wall by speaking into different microphones around the room.

The next room allows students to learn new languages. Different screens around the room display speakers (and signers!) from all over the world that will teach you a few phrases in their native language. During our visit, the team learned a few phrases in Korean, Cantonese, French, and Navajo, but there are 31 different language ambassadors you can speak with during your visit.


Take the stairs or elevator down to the next floor for more hands-on learning. This floor is where the fun really begins, with interactive exhibits like karaoke that teaches you parts of speech, a humor gallery that educates you on idioms and turns of phrase, and a magic library where stories fly off the pages. While visiting the library, make sure to try and find the hidden poetry nook.
Down one more flight of stairs, and your group will return to the ground floor where a few more exhibits focus on the power of words. The final exhibit is the “Words Matter” room. This exhibit asks visitors to think about the power and influence words have on our lives. Students can listen to a few different stories played on screens around the room – each discussing how words either empowered or harmed the story-teller during their life. Students can also share their own stories in a recording booth in the middle of the room.


Planet Word does a fantastic job balancing education and entertainment, and general admission is free (with a suggested $15 donation to support the museum). Timed tickets need to be reserved in advance, so be sure to talk with your Student Travel Consultant if you want to add this attraction to your itinerary!

Interested in learning more about our Washington D.C. educational tours? Check out our Browse Tours page to explore our itineraries and destination cities. Or, book a meeting with one of our Student Travel Consultants today!