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Artistic Inspiration

Last changed: 05/01/2018 12:36pm
4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 Theatre Dance Music Visual Art
Theatre English
Arts/PE Program Alignment
2 45 min


Two 45-minute sessions per classroom

The length of the sessions can be adapted to fit the Art Specialist's schedule.

The program can be designed and scheduled to introduce, integrate throughout or serve as a follow-up to the selected Visual Arts curricular unit.

In-School Short Term Residency
All year
$250 0
yes In-Person


Props needed for Drama activities to supplement available classroom resources

Originals for handouts or prompts to be used with activities during class or for individual follow-up and reflection


Easel and large pad of paper with markers, if available

Paper (unlined) and Pencil for each student

Copies of handouts for students as needed

Materials or supplies specific to the art project to be designed


Open space in classroom or multi-purpose space large enough for entire class to participate on their feet simultaneously or spread out to work in small groups.

Access to tables/desks and chairs for writing and/or drawing related to the activities.

Possible suitable outdoor space near the building for sensory exploration


I can demonstrate focus and concentration by using one or more of my 5 senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste and/or smell) to notice specific details when observing a person, place or thing.

I can use appropriate grade-level vocabulary to vividly describe by speaking or writing what I see, hear, smell, touch and/or taste in a sensory experience.

I can use sensory recall as inspiration to design a project in Visual Arts and to add vivid details to my work.



Living in a fast paced society consistently surrounded by multiple stimuli can blur students’ view of the world around them. In Artistic Inspiration, Drama activities help students effectively use their 5 senses to clearly “see” people, places and things. Students develop self-regulation skills and demonstrate personal responsibility as they individually pause, observe and reflect in order to identify and recall details from their surroundings to inspire their own creative visual arts designs and/or to understand and appreciate the work of others.

What students will do:

By engaging in theatre exercises, students will sharpen observation and concentration skills, heighten sensory awareness, expand sensory recall and stimulate the imagination. In the first session, students will participate in a series of improvisational Drama activities designed to focus their awareness in the moment, wake up their senses and help them fully experience details in their immediate environment. They will then reflect on and communicate those observations by drawing, writing, and/or speaking to a partner. In the second session students choose words or phrases that most accurately and vividly describe a shared sensory experience and combine them to create a descriptive paragraph or poem that becomes the inspiration for their own individual or collaborative designs. The project chosen can be realistic or abstract using any medium (sketch, photograph, sculpture, collage, painting, etc) selected from the grade-level Visual Art curriculum.


If desired, the writing piece could be created in collaboration with or under the supervision of the Language Arts Teacher.

Alternatively the Artistic Inspiration program could be linked to the Music or Dance curriculum.



If desired, the exercises can also include character development, if the selected project focuses on portraits.

At least one of the activities is best done outdoors, weather permitting.

A writing piece is generally incorporated into the process either as a response to the activities in preparation for the design or as a follow-up description of the work. If desired, the initial planning could also involve the Language Arts or Writing Teacher

*All ACTive Learning programs have been developed and implemented by a professional Theatre Educator in collaboration with classroom Teachers and Arts Specialists.


1-3 are welcome if desired by the Art Teacher

Grade 4

Grade 4: Writing Standards: Text Types and Purposes #3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. d. Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
Grade 4: Speaking And Listening Standards: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas #4: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
Grade 4: Visual Art: Creating: Anchor Standard 1:1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. a. Brainstorm multiple approaches to a creative art or design problem.
Grade 4: Theatre: Creating: Anchor Standard 1.1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. a. Articulate the visual details of imagined worlds, and improvised stories that support the given circumstances in a drama/theatre work.

Grade 5

Grade 5: Writing Standards: Text Types and Purposes #3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences. d. Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
Grade 5: Speaking And Listening Standards: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas #4: Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
Grade 5: Visual Art: Creating: Anchor Standard 2.3: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. Identify, describe, and visually document places and/or objects of personal significance.
Grade 5: Theatre: Responding: Anchor Standard 8.1: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work. a. Justify responses based on personal experiences when participating in or observing a drama/theatre work.

Grade 6

Grade 6: Writing Standards: Text Types and Purposes # 3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
Grade 6: Speaking And Listening Standards: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas #4: Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
Grade 6: Visual Art: Creating: Anchor Standard 2.1: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. Demonstrate openness in trying new ideas, materials, methods, and approaches in making works of art and design.
Grade 6: Theatre: Responding: Anchor Standard 8.1: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work. a. Explain how artists make choices based on personal experience in a drama/theatre work.

Grade 7

Grade 7: Writing Standards: Text Types and Purposes # 3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. D. Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
Grade 7: Speaking And Listening Standards: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas #4: Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
Grade 7: Visual Art: Creating: Anchor Standard: 1.1 Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work. Apply methods to overcome creative blocks.
Grade 7: Theatre: Responding: Anchor Standard 8.1: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work. a. Identify the artistic choices made based on personal experience in a drama/theatre work.

Grade 8

Grade 8: Writing Standards: Text Types and Purposes # 3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. D. Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
Grade 8: Speaking And Listening Standards: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas #4: Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
Grade 8: Visual Art: Creating: Anchor Standard 2.1: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work. a. Demonstrate willingness to experiment, innovate, and take risks to pursue ideas, forms, and meanings that emerge in the process of art-making or designing.
Grade 8: Theatre: Responding: Anchor Standard 8.1: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work. a. Recognize and share artistic choices when participating in or observing a drama/theatre work
Get to Know Our Arts Provider:

ACTive Learning Through Drama with Barbara Washer