ArtCore modules are inspired by big ideas, driven by essential questions, and connected to core subject areas by weaving creative engagement, artistic principles, and the studio habits of mind throughout. 

With purposeful alignment to national and state academic and arts standards, ArtCore modules foster engaging instruction rooted in assessment of student learning.  

Generally, ArtCore arts integration follows a set of flexible design guidelines. Click on the image to the right to download these guidelines.

As a result of deep collaboration, contextual adaptation, and supported risk-taking and reflection, the ArtCore team present a diverse sample modules linked to life skills, social studies, math, science, and more! Click on a subject area to view sample modules.

So what's the big idea?

Big Ideas emphasize the importance of asking simple questions. A simple, “why does this matter?” or “how does this relate to me?” are the most crucial in engaging students to tackle new ideas.

Big Ideas encourage a classroom community built by the curiosity of students. With curiosity at the base, students find more space to participate comfortably. 

Here are just a few Big Ideas generated by ArtCore teachers and artist weavers: 

  • Engineering our own civilizations teaches us how the parts of a civilization make up the whole, and gives us a foundation for learning about other civilizations old and new. 
  • Exploring relationships between individual, culture, and civilization.
  • Through narrative storytelling and informing ourselves of differing cultural perspectives, we will transform our vision of a singular historical trajectory into a vibrant web of multiple histories.
  • We can enhance our relationship with math by understanding where our math anxiety comes from, what it looks like, and how it affects us.
  • “Allow yourself to be inspired by the world. Allow the world to be inspired by you.” – poet, Alex Dang, Cultivating self-identity through the understanding of the Studio Habits of Mind. 

essential questions

The philosophy of ArtCore is built by student and teacher inquiry. Fostering curiosity in the classroom allows for new perspectives, generating a more comprehensive understanding of all subject areas. 

When students feel comfortable asking questions, they feel comfortable providing answers. When the walls between “right answers” and “wrong answers” are blurred, conversations worth exploring multiply. 

studio habits of mind*

The purpose of the Studio Habits of Mind are to endow each student with the confidence and critical thinking skills to understand their own unique process throughout all academic fields. A unique framework all it’s own, the eight Studio Habits of Mind are not restricted in use to a particular grade level, experience level, subject area or teaching methodology. They are adaptable, transferrable, and non-hierarchical. Though their definitions may transform as they are integrated into a classroom community, the eight remain the same.

  • Develop Craft and Skills: learning to use and care for tools, materials, and media
  • Engage & Persist: learning to embrace problems of relevance and struggle through challenge
  • Envision: learning to form ideas, picture mentally what cannot be directly observed, and evaluate ideas to move them forward
  • Express: learning to create works that convey an idea, feeling, or personal meaning
  • Observe: learning to attend to visual contexts more closely than ordinary looking requires, to have a critical eye, and to see things that otherwise might not be seen
  • Reflect: learning to think and talk with others about the learning process, compelling or challenging aspects of work, and unique interpretations
  • Stretch & Explore: learning to take creative risks, reach beyond one’s own capacities and prior experience and knowledge, and explore playfully without a preconceived plan
  • Understand [Our] Art Worlds: learning about culture and history, current practices and innovation, and interacting with others through art forms

For a deeper dive into the Studio Habits of Mind, check out our series of videos, created by Media Arts Institute. 

*The Studio Habits of Mind were developed by researchers at the Harvard Project Zero.

Hetland, L., Winner, E., Veenema, S., & Sheridan, K. (2007). Studio Thinking: The real benefits of visual arts education.  Teachers College Press.