Artists in Elementary Schools
“A Teaching Artist is a practicing professional artist with the complementary skills and sensibilities of an educator, who effectively engages people in learning experiences in, through, and about the arts.”
Eric Booth, nationally known Teaching Artist.
A Teaching Artist is a two career professional: a working artist and a working educator. As a working artist, they are involved in an ongoing process of discovery, problem solving, and refinement of skills in their discipline. As a working educator, the artist develops a knowledge base and skills in order to be an effective educator. Arizona Commission on the Arts
Why do we need Teaching Artists in schools?
Teaching Artists are a crucial resource for the future of arts education, the arts in general, and the overall process of learning. Arizona Commission on the Arts
- Classroom teachers benefit from the Teaching Artists’ expert knowledge in an art discipline when designing and teaching an arts-integration lesson.
- Students learn the art discipline in more depth and with more complexity when a Teaching Artist is involved in the arts-integration lesson.
- Students are able to experience heightened creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication skills while involved in a rich arts-integrated lesson given by a Teaching Artist alongside a classroom teacher.
Learning in and through the arts, all of Muir Elementary students are participating in arts-integration lessons throughout the Months of April and May. Through a partnership with Fresno Arts Council Teaching Artists, students experience dance, theatre, and visual arts lessons that include Common Core, Social Studies or Science standards as well as Visual and Performing Arts standards. The arts-integration lessons teach the concepts and topics students are learning through different modalities inherent in arts lessons. Kindergartens danced and illustrated the life cycle of a butterfly. First graders danced, dramatized, and drew the life cycle of butterflies and frogs; second graders compared and contrasted fairy tales by creating stick puppets of different Cinderellas, by pantomiming parts of each story, and by choreographing the magic part of the fairy tale. Third graders read about people who persevered and and drew their portraits, learned about force and energy in movement, and did pantomimes of parts of their lives. Fifth graders are exploring the topic of Immigration by creating a “Living Newspaper”, learning steps of ethnic dances, and by creating a Memory piece of artwork. Sixth graders are studying biomes and ecosystems by creating a biome landscape, creating a theatre piece to teach younger students, and by exploring the flow of energy in dance. Students are enjoying the lessons and are learning the academic concepts ways they will never forget!
Artists in Elementary Schools: Preparing community artists to collaborate with teachers to teach Common Core State Standards/ Visual and Performing Arts Standards based arts-integrated lessons in elementary schools
Teaching Artists Workshops
The Fresno Arts Council offers a series of workshops designed to train Artists to prepare and deliver Common Core State Standards and Visual and Performing Arts Standards arts-integrated lessons and units of study along -side teachers in classrooms. The Artists share their considerable art skills with teachers and students within their lessons.
Workshops include the following trainings:
- Classroom management techniques
- Student engagement strategies
- Common Core State Standards
- Visual and Performing Arts Standards
- Designing and writing standards-based arts integration lessons
- Arts assessment techniques
- Collaborating with classroom teachers
- Working with schools and marketing Teaching Artists’ services
Philip T. Manoogian