Since 1971, Close Up has partnered with educators from around the country to inform, inspire, and empower students through interactive civic education programs in Washington, DC. Close Up is the perfect complement to middle school American history courses, as we bring the lessons from the classroom to life at a variety of locations.

The Close Up program presents many learning opportunities in a supportive environment led by our outstanding faculty. Our instructors are not contracted tour guides – they are Close Up employees who have been carefully selected for our middle school programs and have undergone over 120 hours of curriculum training.

Close Up is the perfect mix of education and fun! As they take part in interactive activities at DC’s famous sites, Close Up students make personal connections to the historic places, events and people that Washington’s memorials represent. The student experience is enhanced through their interaction with peers from around the country. All of our programs include visits to Smithsonian Museums, Arlington Cemetery, the National Archives, Capitol Hill, the White House, and the famous monuments and memorials that dot the DC landscape.

While students explore DC with our staff, educators experience the nation’s capital on our one-of-a-kind Washington Teacher Program. Every year, over 1,500 teachers from all 50 states and every U.S. territory take part in this program led by our Teacher Program Specialists. The Teacher Program draws on the expertise of our many partner institutions, which provide outstanding speakers, demonstrations, and simulations designed to give teachers classroom-ready tools that they can take back to their schools and use right away!

Close Up’s Flagship Program runs weekly, starting on Sunday and ending on Wednesday. Many schools choose to extend their program by a day and add visits to colonial Williamsburg, history-rich Philadelphia, or Gettysburg. We also offer a weekly New York option for middle school groups! If you would like to vary the length or scope of your program, we are always happy to help you customize your trip as well! Contact your Close Up Representative or email us for more information on these exciting options!

Close Up programs are available year-round, so there is sure to be a week that fits your schedule. For more information, please contact us or see the links below. We look forward to welcoming you and your students to Washington, DC on Close Up!

Brochure | Brochure (Spanish) | Video | FAQ

Middle School Teacher Sample Schedule


"Everything that I learn here is taken back to the classroom. It is not a specific thing like a lesson plan or a story, but it is the whole experience. This program has profoundly affected how I teach in my classroom."

   – Caren, Teacher, CA
Educating for democracy since 1971
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