Art Lessons in the Classroom

ArtsEd Washington delivers Common Core State Standards aligned, visual arts curriculum for teachers and schools through Art Lessons in the Classroom.

Art Lessons in the Classroom supports schools and teachers in providing visual arts instruction to students.

Through a series of visual art lessons for kindergarten through grade six, foundational concepts, skills, and processes are presented within a developmentally aligned learning continuum.  While primarily integrated with literacy, Art Lessons in the Classroom also connects to concepts in math, science, and social studies.

Download the Art Lessons in the Classroom info sheet.

Our art lessons are aligned with Common Core and Washington state Essential Academic Learning Requirements for Students (EALRs).

Activities promote problem solving and critical thinking through an active and engaging approach to teaching, learning, and assessment.  Students develop knowledge and skills, while creatively investigating a broad range of art materials and artistic processes.  They also explore meaningful connections and concepts shared between visual art and reading, writing, and communication.

This comprehensive and sequential arts curriculum provides an excellent foundation in visual arts concepts. Key elements include:

  • Fully aligned with state arts standards while integrating literacy concepts in about 40% of lessons
  • Comprised of 70 lessons – 10 per grade level – with additional lesson expansions in each unit
  • Parent letters, teacher assessments, CD versions of all lesson plans, grade level handbooks, and an aligned EALR map for each lesson
  • Three customized introductory workshops to support classroom implementation
  • Online teaching resources that include images from the following Washington state collections: 4Culture, City of Redmond, Frye Art Museum, Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, and ArtsWA
  • An online discussion forum providing teachers the opportunity to collaborate on lessons, share student work, make cross-curricular connections, and access teaching resources
  • Video demonstrations and photos demonstrating skills and techniques from the lessons in the online portal.

Watch a video demonstration from the online portal.


Learn more about Art Lessons in the Classroom

Learn about the art lessons in each grade level, view sample lessons, and share our Art Lessons in the Classroom fact sheet. Hear from teachers who use the Art Lessons in the Classroom curriculum, and learn how it’s impacted their students.

For more information about Art Lessons in the Classroom, or to inquire about ordering the curriculum for your school, please contact

Please note that because we focus our work on creating systemic change in how the arts are taught, Art Lessons in the Classroom curriculum and materials are only available as a complete school set, and are not sold on an individual basis.

Development and piloting of these lessons was made possible with support from:


  • For Educators

  • Closing the Gap:

    The Vital Connection Between Equitable Arts Provision & Student Success

    A peer forum for principals, assistant principals, and district administrators/elected leaders

    Presented by

    ArtsEd Washington (Principals Arts Leadership Program) &

    the Association of Washington School Principals

    Date: Tuesday, April 21     Time: 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm

    Location: Cornish Playhouse (Seattle Center) | 201 Mercer Street | Seattle, WA 98109

    Contact: Laurie Utterback | (206) 441-4501


    Principals and educational leaders won’t want to miss this compelling opportunity in two back-to-back events to explore an engaging (and effective) path to student and school success through the arts. (Continuing Education Clock Hours available for both events.)

    In the context of an increasingly complex K-12 landscape, where new testing and assessment models mean high demands and high stakes for educators, it can be tempting to push the arts to the sidelines. And yet, the arts–which are a core subject and part of the state definition of basic education–are a powerful tool to help both your students and your school achieve success.

    The arts teach students vital 21st-century skills such as: how to think critically and solve problems; how to observe and synthesize different pieces of information, ideas, and abstract concepts; and how to apply them in new, real-world ways. And effective arts integration can deepen students’ learning and understanding of concepts across every other academic subject as well. As our state adopts new learning standards and the new Smarter Balanced assessments, there has been a shift to a greater emphasis on this kind of deeper learning and understanding. Indeed, the arts can be one of your most valuable tools in meeting many of the goals you have for your students and school, including student engagement and increased attendance.

    Join us for a dynamic exploration of how closing the opportunity gap can help close the achievement gap. This event is a “leadership only” pre-workshop to the evening public lecture, CounterpARTS in Education: The Andrea Allen Memorial Lecture Series featuring Dr. Linda Nathan.


    During the afternoon workshop, participants will:

    • Develop a deeper understanding of how inequities in provision of arts learning correlate to a growing achievement gap.
    • Explore the Creative Advantage, a unique model to reinvest in student success through the arts, with Seattle Public Schools’ Carri Campbell and Gail Selhorst.
    • Discover real-world examples of effective arts integration to teach cross-curricular concepts in two workshops: a theatre and language arts lesson from Village Theatre’s KIDSTAGE, and a visual art lesson aligned with Common Core math standards, led by art educator Carl Clausen.
    • Walk away with concrete ideas about how to close the achievement gap by closing the provision gap, and ready-to-use ideas to bring engaging, arts-integrated learning experiences into the classroom.


    Enjoy dinner on your own at one of the area’s many delicious restaurants or at the Seattle Center’s Armory. Then join us for ArtsEd Washington’s annual CounterpARTS in Education event featuring a premier thought leader in educational reform with over 3 decades of experience leading urban, bilingual schools to success through the arts.

    Why Arts?
    Confronting Issues of Race, Access, and Equity


    Dr. Linda Nathan

    Dr. Nathan will then join a panel with local Washington educators Gil Mendoza, Deputy Superintendent, OSPI, and Keisha Scarlett, Principals Leadership Coach and Former PAL Principal, Seattle Public Schools

    7:30 PM | Seattle Repertory Theatre (Seattle Center)

    Read more about CounterpARTS in Education and Dr. Linda Nathan here.

    Continuing Education Clock Hours available when you register for both the Principals Forum and CounterpARTS. Standard registration for the Principals Forum includes discounted admission to CounterpARTS in Education evening lecture.

    Standard Registration: $70 for afternoon workshop and evening lecture

    Afternoon Workshop Only (no lecture admission): $60

    Discounts available for principals and staff of ArtsEd Washington Member Schools, subject to verification. Please email to verify pricing and eligibility. Both the afternoon and the evening events take place on the Seattle Center campus with abundant parking and dining options available.


    Learn More →