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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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School Map

What is the make-up of a community? Who are its members and what activities do they carry out? These questions guide research on the surrounding community, offering a platform where English Language Arts and visual arts integrate. Research focuses on sites, services they provide to the community, and the people who work within them. Students […]

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Sunlight and Ocean Life

Students deepen an understanding of the importance of sunlight and water, the interdependent relationships within an ecosystem, and the need of sunlight and water for plants’ and animals’ survival. Students research, observe, describe, and compare diversity in ocean layers. Students design and create a low-relief mural translating research into a visual representation of oceans layers, […]

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Gold Rush Protagonists: Biographical Portraits Overview

By extensively researching the Gold Rush period and the effect this massive migration had on California towns and mining sites, students develop a biographical portrait representing one of the period’s protagonists. Students independently develop a graph considering modes of transportation, basic needs of ’49ers, and questioning the impact this period had on people and towns. […]

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Anti-Bully Campaign

In looking at the pivotal theme of injustice within the literary story Matilda, by Roald Dahl, students identify various forms of mistreatment they witness at school and home. Through much discussion, students identify the conflict and discover empathetic approaches when writing anti-bulling commercials. Commercials are professionally filmed and showcased to teach how not to be […]

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Dramatizing Slow and Rapid Changes to Our World

How does erosion and weathering affect our earth’s surface? What events in nature can change our landforms quickly? These are the questions that inspire students to investigate the effects of slow and rapid processes. Using creative movement, pantomime, and interactive theatre, students physically embody and characterize the processes that change our landforms. Students organize and […]

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Light and Sound Waves Produced through Shadow Plays

Students participate in activities that illustrate their research into the phenomena of how light interacts with objects by traveling from place to place and how sound vibrates and travels through sound waves. By using the theatrical approach of shadow plays, students observe and experiment in creating shadows to communicate various fairytales and reflect on the […]

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California History: Voices from the Past

In exploring early California history, students ponder, “What did the missionaries wish to accomplish? How did the Native Americans receive these new visitors? What relationships were formed among soldiers, missionaries, and Indians?” Through student-produced monologues and character exploration, students bring history to life, representing all viewpoints from early Spanish exploration to the colonization of California.

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Matter All Around (and within) Us

Students embark on an embodied learning journey through their NGSS Physical Science unit. Applying a range of improvisation and choreographic techniques, students create dances about their investigations into particles of matter, separating mixtures, and chemical reactions. The project culminates with a dance performance, interspersed with spoken word, to communicate students’ scientific knowledge to an audience […]

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“The Better to Understand Story Structure With”: Retelling Traditional Fairytales with a Twist

As a foundation for understanding literature and comprehending basic story structure, students analyze two traditional fairy tales, break them into essential story elements (characters, setting and plot), and illustrate their versions of the tales with a slight twist. New settings are selected for each tale based on geography lessons, flora and fauna research and how […]

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The Magical Changing World

Students embark on a creative movement and visual art exploration into the wonders of our ever-changing planet. Through analyzing images, physical embodiment of a geologically themed story, and tangram picture making, students begin to learn how the earth is in constant flux. Students explore the fast and slow changes, rocks forming and eroding, and the […]

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Modeling Energy Transfer with Creative Movement and Visual Art

In this project, students integrate creative movement, visual art, NGSS Physical Science, and English Language Arts writing. Students imagine what energy looks like and create a prop to symbolize it. They collaboratively create group statues to express the process of energy transfer through living systems. Their statues of the sun, producers, consumers, and decomposers are […]

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Kinder Life Science Dances

Kinder students engage in a rich learning journey combining life science with collaboration, creativity, and plenty of dancing. Incorporating a variety of creative movement activities, with poetry, lyric writing, and reading, students physically and verbally express science concepts and processes, such as the commonalities and differences between what plants and animals need to survive. The […]

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