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Projects are co-designed by artist-teacher teams to meet the needs of individual classes.

The following projects demonstrate the power of art to make learning meaningful and engaging. Lesson plans are meant to serve as guides rather than comprehensive instructions. We hope that you find these projects inspiring. Adapt, modify or simplify these projects to best support your students in becoming active participants in their own learning.

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Exploring Life Cycles

Second-grade students use visual and performing arts to enhance understanding of a variety of life cycles: butterfly, frog, and plant. Techniques used include prop making, performance, singing, poetry, and songwriting. Students enhance their tangible artwork by adding creative movement in time for final performances.

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Wacky Body Machines

Physical science studies provide the foundation for creative activities with second-grade students. Creative movement enhances lessons on actions, motions, force, and push and pull. Students build “wacky machines” that combine illustrations and collaborative movement activities. To plan, organize, and record their movements, students use charts and corresponding descriptions of each movement. For their final assessment, […]

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Arctic and Antarctic: Fact or Fiction

What are the two poles of our planet, and how does the environment differ in those two places? Do the same animals live in the Arctic and in Antarctica? Students in several Flying Hills kindergarten classes learn to compare and contrast the Arctic and Antarctica by way of detailed, nonfiction visual arts books. Created over […]

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Tales of Three

Kindergarten students write, design, illustrate, and present short works of narrative fiction modeled after traditional folk tales. Over the course of eight weeks, students utilize a variety of visual arts techniques to help deepen their understanding of elements of story such as character, setting, problem/solution, and resolution. Conversely, students discover more art concepts through their […]

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Animal Poetry Collages

First graders explore the subjects of their South African animal research by creating animal poetry collages that exemplify their understanding of content and their developing figurative language skills. Addressing ELA research and writing standards, students write a series of poems from the perspective of and/or based upon assigned South African animals. Then, students compile their […]

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A Poetic Approach to Weather

Special education students familiarize themselves with weather, its role in nature, and its impact on people by creating a collection of poetry and visual arts projects. Poetry forms explored include “I Am” poems, haiku, free verse, and acrostic. Art forms used include collage, watercolor resist, and diorama. Students’ final presentations consist of a live reading […]

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Puppetry for the Articulate Eye

In honing their skills as independent, enthusiastic readers, and confident, articulate speakers, students engage in comprehensive readings and analysis of short scripted versions of The Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Ugly Duckling. Their keen observations and interpretations are translated into a series of puppet theatre performances, each with a focus on character development, symbolic […]

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Scientific Observation through Literature

Learning by direct observation and investigation, students create science journals. The journals are extended and revised to connect to the fable ”The Tortoise and the Hare.” Students’ individual storybooks are an artistic representation of nature and of the stories it teaches us.

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Developing Observational and Engineering Skills in a Study of Plants

Combining and applying the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics with sculpture, students construct two-dimensional and three-dimensional models of plants at differing scales. . Recording their scientific observations and inquiry of a variety of plant materials (flowers, leaves, seedlings, etc.) and specimens of pollinators form the Natural History Museum, students create botany journals to document their […]

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Close Observations of Rocks and Minerals in the Geology Lab

Students become amateur geologists as they transform their classroom into a geology laboratory. They examine and evaluate specimens of rocks, minerals, and fossils from the Natural History Museum. Students explore cause-and-effect relationships inherent in the rock cycle and perform experiments to grow crystals in the classroom. They create journals to categorize information, record observations, and make […]

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Investigating Mechanical Energy with Creative Commercials

Exploring the properties of mechanical energy and its forms (force and motion, potential and kinetic energy), students work together to compose song lyrics and theatrical scripts to trace the conversion of motion energy into other forms of energy. Students further design and create a physical product prototype to be used in their commercial presentations, demonstrating […]

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Spirals of Theodorus

This project was founded on the idea that math is not merely problems on worksheets but a specific way of understanding and recording the world. To help students recognize the prevalence of underlying visual patterns in nature and man-made compositions, they are tasked with analyzing the defining characteristics of Theodorus spirals, replicating those qualities, and […]

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