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  • Arts Integration 101 (Grades K-8)

Arts Integration 101 (Grades K-8)

September 24, 2018 - April 17, 2019 Des Moines Civic Center

Creating a Framework to Teach the Arts & Core Curriculum Together

Integrating arts strategies with core subject areas deepens student understanding and strengthens the retention of information and skills learned by offering engaging, differentiated instruction.

Kennedy Center teaching artists, all skilled artists and educators, will serve as guest presenters to lead sessions on diverse arts integration strategies. Course participants will gain understanding in arts integration concepts, participate in model lessons, explore assessing student learning in and through the creative process, and acquire resources to develop integrated lessons. No previous arts skills or training required. Appropriate for general classroom educators, interventionists, those invested in ELL education, and arts advocates.

This course is presented in partnership with Des Moines Public Schools.   


Two sections of this course will be offered. Each section will meet a total of 5 times during the school year from 4:30 - 7:30 PM at the Des Moines Civic Center.* Participants are expected to attend all 5 sessions of their section.

Monday, September 24, 2018
Monday, November 12, 2018
Monday, January 28, 2019
Monday, March 4, 2019
Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Wednesday, April 17, 2019

*Locations for sessions subject to change.

  • This course is intended for general classroom, interventionists and ELL teachers, grades K-8. Arts specialists and administrators are welcome to take the course as well.
  • There are no prerequisites to take this course.
  • Course fee is $100. (Course fee is waived for Des Moines Public Schools teachers.)
  • License renewal credit through Heartland AEA is available. Information on how to register for credit will be provided at the first session. (Additional fees apply.)          

Arts Integration 101 is about exploring the vast array of possibilities within the realm of arts integration. Together, we will explore natural and elegant connections between the the four major art forms -- visual arts, music, dance and drama -- with a sampling of course subjects or classroom needs.

Educators will walk away with practical tools that can be implemented in their classrooms, while also igniting their imaginations for additional connections that arts integration can achieve.

September: "Reading Portraits as Biographies: Observe, Infer, Inquire"
with Kennedy Center Artist Jamin Carter

There’s more to a portrait than you might think. Portraits are often viewed as a mere depiction of a person when in actuality they can be read as biographies that communicate significant information about a person’s life. Join Melanie Rick, arts integration consultant and certified reading specialist, for this workshop that examines ways to teach students to view portraits as a visual text filled with meaningful symbolism in order to make the study of people and biographies more engaging. Reading portraits helps students activate and build background knowledge of, construct understanding of, and reflect on historical and literary figures across the curriculum.

November: "A Powerful Connection: Music and Poetry"
with Kennedy Center Teaching Artist Deborah Sunya Moore

Music has great potential for helping students comprehend, respond to, and interpret poetry. In this workshop, teachers examine a process for integrating music and poetry in the classroom by exploring their natural connections. Participants learn ways to help students use musical instruments, voice, and body movement to explore elements of music (such as dynamics, tempi, and timbre) and then apply their understandings to create a musical composition for a poem. The artistic process of composing music for a poem will draw on essential reading comprehension strategies and result in a powerful and personal learning experience. No previous musical training is necessary!

January: "Scientific Thought in Motion"
with Kennedy Center Teaching Artist Randy Barron

Teachers can translate many basic concepts in science into meaningful, self-assessing movement activities that put abstract ideas into tangible, visible form. In lessons that engage students in movement, participants learn the elements of dance and how those elements relate to scientific content. Participants leave the workshop with a set of immediately useful movement activities for classroom study of the water cycle and the systems of the human body, along with the skills necessary to adapt those activities to teach other curriculum ideas. Randy Barron guides teachers in easy-to-duplicate lesson plans, which draw upon students’ kinesthetic, visual, and musical intelligence to increase their achievement in science and strengthen their repertoire of learning and social skills.

March: "Acting Right: Drama as a Classroom Management Strategy"
with Kennedy Center Teaching Artist Sean Layne

Sean Layne has taken the foundational elements of acting such as concentration, cooperation, and collaboration and created a structured process, which can become the basis for effective classroom management every day. This engaging step-by-step approach empowers students to take ownership of and be responsible for their own behavior. In this workshop, teachers learn how to help students build the skills necessary to establish a sense of self-control, accountability, and teambuilding in their classroom.

April: Course Wrap Up, Action Planning and Reflection

Join us for a final gathering in community to reflect on our experiences with the guest Kennedy Center artists, share successes and challenges, and action plan for taking this work forward into our practice.


This course is already in progress. If you would like to explore enrolling in the course mid-way, please call 515.246.2356 to discuss.

Please contact Karoline Myers at 515-246-2356 with questions regarding this course.

Event Details

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Mission Moment

You Make The Difference

“Integrating the arts allows me to bring joy and enthusiasm into my teaching. I see such a difference in my students when we have arts integration in our lesson.”
- Dawn, fifth-grade teacher at Cattell Elementary School, Des Moines

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