Education » In the Schools » Current Programs

Current Programs

The Armory’s visual arts programs are designed to be integrated with other core curricular areas. Through the visual arts, our programs for schools offer alternative learning modalities to other content areas taught in the classroom, providing students with new ways of engagement with the subject. We also offer Professional Development programs for classroom teachers at all levels in order to build their capacity to integrate the visual arts with other curricular subjects.

Program content can include: Visual Arts Integrated with Language Arts, Visual Arts Integrated with the Sciences, and Visual Arts Focus.

For Elementary Schools

  • Visual Arts and Language Arts Integration 
    Programs are developed to use visual arts to expand on concepts presented in the language arts curriculum for students in grades Pre-K through 6th.
  • Visual Arts and Science Integration 
    Children Investigate the Environment, a program developed for 4th graders to experience art and science together.
  • Visual Arts Focus 
    Programs are developed to use visual arts to expand on concepts presented in the language arts curriculum for students in grades Pre-K through 6th.
  • Art Central
    The Armory will create a customized plan for a school, offering any combination of the above programs in order to give each student at the school an arts experience.

For Middle and High Schools

  • Visual Arts experiences exclusively focusing on building skills in a specific media such as Digital Photography and 3D Design and Sculpture for Middle Schools and High Schools.

For Classroom Teachers

  • Artist Teacher Collaborative provides training for teachers through lecture-based and hands-on sessions and collaborative coaching.

After-school Programs

The Armory offers after-school programs in various community sites.

For Elementary Schools 

Integration of Visual Arts with Language Arts

The Armory offers multi-week sequential programs for Elementary Schools designed to develop students’ visual arts skills while incorporating themes and vocabulary used in the language arts curriculum. Armory teaching artists work with classroom teachers to create and implement standards-based visual art lessons that are designed to coincide with themes, vocabulary and stories in their Language Arts curriculum. These programs provide students with new possibilities of engaging in reading, writing and speaking through direct visual arts experiences. (Our programs integrating art with language art are often called FLARE: Fun with Language Arts and Reading.)

Program Goals:

  • Improve literacy in the visual and language arts through interdisciplinary teaching approaches.
  • Develop visual art skills by working with a variety of art materials and processes in order to communicate ideas and emotions. Develop an understanding that language arts and visual arts can often be complimentary.
  • Provide classroom teachers with models for implementing visual arts lessons therefore becoming more comfortable with the visual arts.
  • View the visual arts as a way of thinking while also focusing on a specific artistic endeavor that results in a product.

Program Elements:

  All Districts & Elementary Schools ARTSCAPES (LAUSD)
Grades Pre-K - 6th 1st - 6th
Number of classrooms As many as desired 2 per packet
Number of class sessions 6, 8, 10, 12 or more class sessions for 1 – 1.5 hrs each 8 class sessions for 1.5 hrs each
Planning session 1 hr with artist and classroom teacher 2 hrs with artist and classroom teacher
Additional opportunities Field trip; student showcase; professional development (optional) 1 Field trip per class;
2 hrs of professional development for all school faculty;
Student showcase
(included)
More information Plan for Your School form Arts for LA Kids website

Integration of Visual Arts with Science

Children Investigate the Environment

Children Investigate the Environment explores the relationship between science and art. Both science and art involve close observation, experimentation and the development of new ways of understanding the world. This interdisciplinary program has existed since 1987. It is an 8-week program involving 4th graders where students explore the local natural environment. Learning takes place through hands-on experiences and active inquiry while developing students’ visual art skills. They create drawings, paintings, sculptures and on-site installations as a way of processing information and creating personal connections to their experiences and discoveries.

Children Investigate the Environment was developed as a unique collaboration among the Armory, Pasadena Unified School District, City of Pasadena Water and Power Department, and City of Pasadena Department of Public Works. This program has been recognized as exemplary by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Program Goals:

  • Provide students with visual art experiences in a natural environment while integrating science concepts.
  • Develop visual art skills by working with various art materials and processes in order to communicate their observations and ideas.
  • Give students multiple opportunities to observe natural phenomena through the eyes of artists, naturalists and scientists.
  • Encourage the exploration of the arts as a way of thinking and a process, while also focusing on a specific artistic endeavor that results in a product.

Program Elements:

  Children Investigate the Environment
Grades 4th
Number of classrooms As many as desired
Number of class sessions 8 class sessions for 1.5 – 2 hrs each (2 sessions in classroom and 6 sessions at natural sites)
Planning session 1 hr between artist and classroom teacher
Additional opportunities Display of student work (optional)
More information Plan for Your School form

Visual Arts Focus

These programs concentrate exclusively on providing visual arts instruction that is not tied to a particular content area or theme. Lessons are developed to build on one particular strand of the state education standards—artistic perception, creative expression, cultural and historical context, aesthetic valuing and connections, relations and applications, or skills in a particular media. Lesson content may also be connected to a specific Armory exhibition or the artistic practice of the Armory teaching artist.

Program Goals:

  • Provide students with sequential visual arts experiences.
  • Offer project-based learning opportunities to encourage students to develop art work from a wide variety of perspectives.
  • Provide classroom teachers with models for implementing visual arts lessons in the classroom.

Program Elements:

  Visual Arts Focus
Grades Pre-K – 6th
Number of classrooms Determined by your school
Number of class sessions 6, 8, 10, 12 or more sessions for 1 – 1.5 hrs each
Planning session 1 hr between artist and classroom teacher
Additional opportunities Field trip; student showcase; professional development (optional)
More information Plan for Your School form

Art Central

Art Central is designed as a school-wide program where an Armory teaching artist is in residency at the school, working with all classes and teachers. These visual arts programs can be integrated with other core curriculum areas such as science and language arts or it can be exclusively visual arts focus. This program culminates with a school-wide exhibition that is open to the entire community.

Art Central schools in Pasadena Unified School District incorporate all existing Armory programs into one school such as Artist Teacher Collaborative for 3rd grade classes, Children Investigate the Environmentfor 4th graders, FLARE for Pre-K to 2nd as well 5th and 6th grade classes.

In the 2007-08 school year, the Armory provided Art Central in these Pasadena Unified School District schools: Hamilton Elementary, Madison Elementary, Loma Alta Elementary and San Rafael Elementary. In Los Angeles Unified School District: Milagro Charter School and Lakeview Charter Academy.

Program Goals:

  • The arts become integral to the daily life of the school by involving all students and teachers in visual arts programming.
  • Implement a standards-based visual arts program that is customized for each particular school.
  • Support the desired content areas through visual arts instruction.
  • Provide opportunities for teachers to collaborate with Armory teaching artists in order to build their capacity to integrate the arts in their teaching practice.

Program Elements:

  Art Central
Grades All
Number of classrooms All classes in a school
Number of class sessions 6, 8, 10, 12 or more for 1 – 1.5 hrs each
Planning session 1 hr between artist and classroom teacher or 1 hr of grade level planning
Additional opportunities Field trip; student showcase; professional development (optional)
More information Plan for Your School form

For Middle and High Schools 

The Armory works with middle and high schools to provide specialized instruction that supplements and complements the existing visual arts program at the schools. Currently we’re working with Washington Middle School and Muir High School in Pasadena, providing classes in screen printing, 3-Dimensional Design and Sculpture, and Digital Photography. These programs attempt to develop and implement visual art projects that have impact beyond the classroom, moving out into the community.

Program Goals:

  • Provide students with in-depth and sequential visual arts experiences in specific media.
  • Offer project-based learning opportunities to encourage students to develop art work from a wide variety of perspectives.
  • Provide students with guidance on art “pathways” as educational and professional careers.
  • Offer opportunities for students to gain valuable art experiences to begin developing a body of work and portfolios.

Program Elements:

  Middle and High School Programs
Grades 6th – 12th
Number of classes Varies
Number of class sessions Semester-long sessions
Planning session Varies
Additional opportunities Showcases student work through displays and public art in the community
More information Plan for Your School form

For Classroom Teachers 

Artist Teacher Collaborative

The Armory has been working with the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) to implement an in-depth training program that builds elementary classroom teachers’ capacity to deliver the visual arts. The Artist Teacher Collaborative provides classroom teachers with two types of trainings: 1) A combination of lecture-based and hands-on sessions which focus on the California visual arts standards, issues of children’s development in the arts, hands-on art projects, questioning strategies when looking at works of art, and ways to collaborate with teaching artists; and 2) Armory teaching artists model art lessons in the classroom and provide coaching for school teachers.

In 2007-2008, PUSD adopted a state approved visual arts curriculum. Artist Teacher Collaborative focuses on training classroom teachers to implement this curriculum and build relationships with the language arts curriculum. Through the Artist Teacher Collaborative, we trained 18, 3rd grade teachers in using this curriculum. Based on this experience, the US Department of Education awarded a grant to PUSD and the Armory for the significant expansion of this program.

Program Goals:

  • Implement a professional development model in the visual arts led by experienced teaching artists who train and mentor elementary school teachers to successfully deliver a standards-based arts education curriculum to varied student populations.
  • Encourage sustained integration of art with grade level curriculum by fostering a greater understanding of the positive impact of art education on student intellectual and skill development.
  • Provide students with higher quality arts education as a result of teacher participation and greater arts education competency.

Program Elements:

  Artist Teacher Collaborative
Grades Classroom Teachers 1st – 6th
Number of teachers Varies
Number of class sessions 12 session, 1.5 hrs each of classroom coaching and mentoring by having teaching artist support classroom teacher in delivery of arts instruction.
Planning session 15 hrs of professional development sessions at the Armory
Additional opportunities Field trip to the Armory for each participating teacher and their class (included)
More information Plan for Your School form