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Art-Sense (middle)

Last changed: 05/20/2019 12:23pm
6 , 7 , 8 Music Visual Art Theatre Dance
Theatre English
Arts/PE Program Alignment
2 45 min


Typically two 45-minute sessions per classroom or one 90 minute session.
However, the length of the sessions can be adapted to fit the Art Specialist's schedule.

If preferred, the Teaching Artist can offer a one session version of the program.

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 program sessions or for follow-up/reflection in the classroom between sessions to deepen student learning (ex. Seeing a Sport, Listening to the Environment, Identifying an Object, What Am I Listening To?, What's That Food?, Trust Walk Observations)



Easel and large pad of paper with markers

Paper (unlined) and Pencil for each student

Copies of handouts for students as needed

Materials or supplies specific to making collages in Session Two, if selected by the Visual Arts Teacher



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 or surfaces other than carpet for writing and/or drawing related to the activities.

An accessible outdoor space near the building for comparing and contrasting sensory experiences inside and outside in one activity



I can demonstrate focus/concentration and sensory awareness by using one or more of my 5 senses to notice specific details when observing a person, place or thing.

I can use sensory recall and appropriate grade-level vocabulary to vividly describe a sensory experience by speaking, writing or drawing/labeling and share observations with a partner.

I can apply my observations and imagination to add vivid detail to a realistic or abstract Visual Arts Project (alternatively a Music, Dance or Theatre project).



A process for student artists: Observe – Recall – Create – Repeat

In Art-Sense, students discover the joy of using their 5 senses to effectively “see” and describe people, places and things as they develop their own personal artistic vision.

Theatre naturally supports learning in a variety of art forms. Engaging Drama activities take students on a journey that builds concentration and observation skills, heightens sensory awareness, sharpens sensory recall and stimulates the imagination.

Students will:

Session One - Sensory Awareness: Working “alone together” students are guided by the Teaching Artist to turn off their autopilot and tune in to details in their immediate surroundings. Following each activity, they reflect and communicate their observations by drawing, writing and/or speaking to a partner in order to compare and contrast what they experienced and validate each unique perspective.

Session Two – Sensory Recall: Learning to go beyond just remembering in words, students build the tools needed to place themselves “in the moment” and fully re-sense their experiences. With partners or teams, students discover they can actually “see” what others are hearing, tasting, touching, etc. Sensory responses then become the inspiration for designing realistic or abstract art projects.

Individually or in small groups, participants create a simple collage using color, shape, words, texture, etc. to artistically reflect their sensory experiences. Alternatively, students might complete the session by brainstorming/planning how to apply what they learned to a larger follow-up project selected by the Visual Arts Teacher.

This program works well as a Theatre/Language Arts/Visual Arts collaboration in which the series of sensory exercises culminates in a detailed experience in an outdoor environment that then serves as inspiration for writing poems or descriptive paragraphs and creating a related Art project.

* See Additional notes for Music, Dance or Theatre variations



The skills developed in Art-Sense not only offer a way of working on a variety of Visual Arts projects, but can also support translating the experiences into composing/arranging Music/Sound, creating Dance/Movement sequences, or bringing added reality to Drama scenes. Students can also write related poetry, essays or descriptive narratives.Though the database format does not provide space for including Arts standards for each discipline, appropriate ones can be selected.

If a larger collaboration is desired, schools may book Art-Sense in conjunction with Vivid Vocabulary so that students can design and implement a project supported by the Teaching Artist, the Language Arts Teacher and the Visual Arts, Music, Dance or Theatre Specialist.

The Teaching Artist can include character development exercises to support a project focusing on portraits.

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

*All ACTive Learning Through Drama 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 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
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ACTive Learning Through Drama with Barbara Washer