Series: Arts Integration with David Cooper: Greek Mythology in the Classroom & Museum

The Power of Arts Integration: Series Overview
Lesson Objective: See how teachers are integrating the arts into their classrooms
All Grades / All Subjects / Engagement

Thought starters

  1. How can arts integration increase student engagement?
  2. What can you learn about integrating the arts in your classroom?
  3. How do the teachers use resources from the Getty Museum?
Wow, I cannot wait to incorporate this museum's resources in my teaching this year! I am a first year teacher, so this really helped mold my teaching style. Thank you for sharing. ?
Recommended (0)
Arts integration not only makes learning more enjoyable it also makes teaching more enjoyable. Thanks for sharing this resource. Here are some free art-based lesson plans that teach close reading skills and cross-curricular concepts Feel free to share and adapt.
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I'm excited to use the database for future lesson plans. These outside sources will be so helpful in engaging the students. I've never thought about analyzing art using science based thinking, and how it is bridging the gap for students.
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The Arts so engaging, and thrilling. Many children learn better when there is a picture, object or 3d object that can kind of reinforce an idea or hit it home. It's different than the usual day in day out grind of school, and kids respond so well to change in the learning environment. The teachers are using the online resources to engage their classes through a study of environment and looking at the change in environment since the picture was created.
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brilliant example which is so transferable to many contexts in using primary sources for learning..
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  • The Power of Arts Integration: Series Overview Transcript

    00:00:03 The arts are for everyone and art just captivates the students

    The Power of Arts Integration: Series Overview Transcript

    00:00:03 The arts are for everyone and art just captivates the students and it opens up a world of learning and experience. Part of our mission as a museum is to ensure that as many students as possible have access to our collection.

    00:00:22 And so, our approach is to work closely with teachers to develop arts-integrated lessons across the curriculum.
    00:00:30 [TITLE: The Power of Arts Integration: A Video Series Overview]
    00:00:34 At the Getty Museum, the Education Department is committed to providing high quality resources and professional development to teachers across the country.
    00:00:44 We have a resource that is online, really focused on ELL strategies, using our still life as the primary source.
    00:00:52 The idea is to build relevant, sustainable content that other teachers can be inspired by and use in their classroom.
    00:01:01 We really wanted to teach the teach the teachers about arts integration. What we’re hoping is the teachers will take ownership and kind of change their teaching practice and do arts-integrated lessons in the classroom.
    00:01:13 Classroom teachers across the country have different resources available to them, but the digital world has opened up a whole new set of resources to teachers. We have over 200 lessons available on for free for teachers.
    00:01:26 [TITLE: Search Lesson & Activities on]
    00:01:28 Now Common Core aligned in terms of standards, as well as national and state standards - lessons and resources that have been created either by classroom teachers themselves or alongside museum educators and artists.
    00:01:42 My name is Antoinette Pippen. I am a 5th grade teacher at the Alexander Science Center School.
    00:01:48 Looking at this work of art, would you say that it is balanced or imbalanced?
    00:01:54 In class I engage my students in a discussion about the health of an ecosystem based on an observation of an art piece. And through that exploration, we can delve deeper into the science standards.
    00:02:08 Do you think that it’s a balanced ecosystem?
    00:02:11 No. There’s not enough biodiversity for it to be a healthy ecosystem.
    00:02:18 The students are getting a lot more science and scientific thinking through studying art. It frees them to think about things from different perspectives and it allows them to understand that there’s no right or wrong answer, necessarily.

    00:02:32 But there’s better justified answers. There’s more evidence for particular answers. And that’s really the same in art and science. And there’s so much available to you online. I was able to download high-resolution images through the Getty website. There is an extensive database of different works of art just at your fingertips.
    00:02:52 [TITLE: Search Lesson & Activities on]
    00:02:55 Most teachers have access to a museum. Even if it’s a small, regional art museum. Our goal is to provide lessons where the content can be transferred to a different set of objects in a local collection. So, perhaps teachers use our collection in their classroom, but then make a really valuable and rich connection in their community.

    00:03:19 And what our resources hopefully do is inspire teachers to do just that.
    DAVID COOPER [sync]
    00:03:24 Now I’d like to focus on the identification of who is this a statue of and why.
    00:03:30 I teach 6th grade Social Studies. This unit focuses on Greek and Roman mythology, so this lesson is going to help them when they see these Greek and Roman gods in art form, either at a museum or in an image in front of them. But it’s also going to help them understand why the Greeks included these mythological figures in their art and their culture.
    00:03:51 Well, we think it’s a statue of Artemis because Artemis always has a short tunic. And if you look at her shoes closely, there’s like a crescent moon.
    00:03:59 If they’re identifying those attributes in actual art objects it hooks them in ways I haven’t found anything else does.
    00:04:08 To have the strongest collaboration with teachers we need to be sensitive to the challenges that impact their profession. And Common Core is one. So, we’re sharing in the same challenges that they are and we’re trying to collectively figure out how to do it. We’re learning alongside them.
    00:04:26 Congratulations. You guys did such an incredible job at really thoughtfully planning out the lesson steps for a pretty complex project.
    00:04:34 My name is Lorenza Arengo-Yarnes and I am a 5th grade elementary school teacher. With the Language Arts lesson the students are creating the art piece and then writing an opinion piece about it.

    00:04:48 The Common Core element is citing evidence. When we think about the Common Core, these standards are not just isolated to reading and writing and to science or in math. It’s also connected in the arts. Being able to look at a piece of art and if you’re going to have an opinion about that piece of art, what is your evidence for that.

    00:05:09 I believe in the arts because I- I think that having that Common Core connection really enhanced all of their learning.
    00:05:16 When the Common Core came out I know some teachers were a little bit like, “Oh my gosh,” but I was really excited about it actually because when I started reading a lot of the standards, I was like this is what we’ve been doing in museum education for so long.

    00:05:28 In Common Core you’re reading texts closely and making inferences, so that’s what looking at a painting is. We’re closely reading the painting, just looking and making inferences directly from what we see.
    00:05:41 My name is Lindsay Young and I teach 9th through 12th grade English Language Development. My students are not only in mild to moderate special education, but they’re also long-term English language learners. In this lesson, the goal was that they make literal observations and evidence-based inferences.

    00:06:01 It’s just so important with English language learners to have a visual representation of what I’m asking them to do.
    LINDSAY YOUNG [sync]
    00:06:08 Today we’re going to read portraits like we would read a story. So, things I can point to – the children are wearing white dresses. It looks like silk or satin.
    00:06:21 So, you have a student. They have a really challenging time with reading. And then you’re trying to get them to do this critical analysis, which is also challenging. So, the thought process is look at art, teach them how to analyze, then they’ll know how to analyze so then you can have them look at a text. And now the challenging thing is no longer the analysis because they know how to do that.

    00:06:44 Now, the only challenging thing that we’re dealing with is reading.
    LINDSAY YOUNG [sync]
    00:06:47 Can anybody wear silk or satin?
    No, just upper class people.
    00:06:51 When they’re like rich.
    LINDSAY YOUNG [sync]
    00:06:53 Rich. Exactly. You guys are expert inference makers.
    00:06:58 I think people underestimate the impact engaging with works of art has on people, kids in particular. Because they’re so open in terms of everything they take in. They are the future ambassadors for the arts.
    00:07:14 That’s looking great. It’s very expressive.
    00:07:17 I’m Amanda Yates-Garcia and I’m a teaching artist. And I’m working with the 5th grade teachers here at the school in collaboration with the Getty Museum. One of the great things about schools working with museums, kids can go and really be inspired by what they’re seeing.

    00:07:32 In art there is science, literature, history, and culture. So, it’s just a really great alliance uniting all of those different things in this project-based, immersive way where kids feel a sense of ownership and authority over what they’re doing.
    00:07:49 Most of us when we see a work of art, we have a visceral reaction. We love it. Or, you know, it doesn’t move us. But when something moves us, it makes us want to learn more.

    00:08:02 These objects, they have a life. And these objects live on when they are talked about and written about and inspiring people to create something. And that we’re entrusting teachers to do everyday.
    00:08:29 ***FILE END***

School Details

Prairie Vista Middle School
13600 South Prairie Avenue
Hawthorne CA 90250
Population: 936

Data Provided By:



David Cooper
Antoinette Pippin
Lindsay Young
Lorenza Yarnes
Elizabeth Escamilla
Veronica Alvarez
Sandy Rodrigues
Amanda Yates-Garcia


Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Collaboration

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Planning

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Engagement

Lesson Idea

Grades 9-12 / ELA / Tch DIY


Professional Learning


English Language Learners


English Language Arts