Arts Integrated Learning & Teaching Resources

Each summer, the Joan Oates Institute for Partners in the Arts brings together local teachers to learn and practice how to create curricula and lesson plans that integrate arts into the preK-12 curriculum. In addition, Partners in the Arts funds the implementation of arts integrated projects through the Engaging Creative Thinkers Awards.

Partners in the Arts is proud to provide some of these unit plans and programs as a free resource to help teachers working to integrate the arts into the curriculum.

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  • Joan Oates Institute Unit Plans
  • PIA Engaging Creative Thinkers Awards

    Proposals will align with one of three framework categories based on successful projects throughout PIA’s history and recent successes. New (Emerging) projects are provided with exemplars from similar themed projects and can be paired with teacher leaders from successful previous projects for peer-to-peer best practices and planning assistance.

    Community History These projects explore history, possibly of the school, local community or other defined area and utilize a variety of tools to research, explore and engage

    • Binford Middle – Centennial 2015-16
    • Carver (Chesterfield Community) High - Carver On Record 2014-15
    • Our Richmond – Sabot at Stony Point 2014-15
    • Armstrong High – Our Community 2011-12

    Environmental Explorations Watersheds, Climate, Ecosystems

    • Designed by Nature – Steward School 2014-15
    • James River – Robious Middle 2011-12
    • Reedy Creek – Patrick Henry School for Science and Arts 2013-14
    • Our Richmond – Sabot at Stony Point 2014-14

    Community Inquiry Explore, research problem solve a community issue

    • Food desert in east end/Henrico
    • Bridge Park RVA
    • Heritage/History
    • Baseball Stadium

    Select an implementation level

    Funding will be provided for one of three levels to assist schools that want to sustain/expand integrated practices and develop a network of PIA master teachers. * ALL funding amounts are sample estimates*

    Emerging (First year of implementation)

    • $2,000-5,000 to school
    • $2,900 (in-kind) 2-4 teachers attend JOI (zero cost under JOI NC-below)
    • $2,000 (in-kind/supported) Coaching/planning with PIA staff and previous teacher leaders
    • $2,000 (in-kind/supported) workshops for full staff/team as needed

    Sustaining (Second year of implementation)

    • $1,500-2,500 to school
    • $1,300 2 teachers (new) attend JOI
    • $2,000 coaching/planning
    • $500-1,000 stipends to teacher-leaders to plan with Emerging Awards


    • $1,500 to school
    • $1,300 2 teachers (new) attend JOI
    • $1,500 coaching/planning
    • $500-1,500 stipends to lead teachers to plan with awards and assist with providing workshops
  • Partnership Resources and Lessons

    DSL + PIA

    Using the UR Digital Scholarship Lab project Visualizing Emancipation, Rita Driscoll and MaryLee Wetzel created lesson plans for grades 6-12 that allow students to explore the history and geography of this significant aspect of U.S. history.


    Working with the Patrick Henry School for Science and Arts (PHSSA) and the Visual Art Center, PHSSA teacher and JOI 2012 alum, Amanda Medhurst adapted the JOI Unit plan she created with Lee LaPradd into four week-long intersession projects.

    Modlin Center for the Arts

    PIA works to enrich students’ experience of arts integration by partnering with the Modlin Center to offer master workshops in schools by performing artists, followed by students’ attendance at Modlin events presented by these artists.

    University Museums

    UR’s museums and galleries offer opportunities to connect PIA Award projects with exhibitions that center on fine arts, history, and the natural sciences. Museum visits and presentations by museum staff are developed in collaboration with teachers leading these projects.