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The community of Art21 Educators is always creating and experimenting with new lesson plan ideas in their classrooms. Every two months, we invite a new educator to share what they’ve been working on in the Art21 Magazine as an Educator-in-Residence.

Here, you can find their creativity exercises and reports from the classroom:

Tricia Fitzpatrick

High school science teacher
Cawthra Park Secondary School, Mississauga, Ontario

Investigation: Where Art Meets Science
In an investigation with her 9th grade applied science class, Tricia Fitzpatrick’s students learn what makes Mars red, and create rust artworks through experimentation.

Decay: Ecology of a Nurse Log
Tricia uses the curiosity of a student to prompt a lesson on sustainable ecosystems.

Jack Watson

Art history and visual arts teacher
Durham School of the Arts, Durham, North Carolina

Art + Action: Creating a Platform for Social Justice
Jack shares his recent experience with launching a social justice collective at his high school in Durham, North Carolina.

Unit Plan: Layering Experience
This unit plan encourages students to find their own methods of exploring shared experiences and spaces.

Bad Art
This creativity exercise asks students to make “bad art,” as a way to allow for experimentation and playful collaboration.


Shannah Burton

K-6 art teacher
New City School, Saint Louis, Missouri

Mind Maps
This creativity exercise asks students to create artworks that build mental links between ideas.

Museums: A Critical Exploration
This lesson plan engages students in institutional critique on a trip to the Saint Louis Art Museum.

This creativity exercise teaches students that an #artselfie is worth more than its number of likes.


Don Ball

High school art teacher
Cawthra Park Secondary School, Mississauga, Ontario

Visualizing Verbs
This creativity exercise engages students in creating their own connections between actions and visuals.

Systems & Instructions
This lesson plan asks students to create their own connections between following instructions and the instructions themselves.

Writing Poems About Art: A Looking Activity
This creativity exercise encourages students to create their own connections between words and images.

Dictation Drawings
This creativity exercise asks students to connect with individual artworks on a fundamental, descriptive level.