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Educator resources

We want to be a resource for you as an educator and encourage onsite and off site learning about the arts. Our education team is always working to develop, implement and research new and adventurous approaches to teaching and learning. Below are some of those opportunities. If you have questions for us that are not answered here, please reach out to our education department at

Digital Resources for K–12 Teachers & Parents

These engaging exercises are designed for K–12 teachers and parents with students at home. Students may work independently, in pairs, or alongside a teacher or parent.

The arts are a valuable tool for building crucial critical thinking skills that may be applied to any subject. All curriculum design is guided by current Colorado state and common core standards.*

If you use any of these resources and would like to provide feedback on your experience, please contact

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Don Quixote and Sancho

Observe, Interpret, Analyze
Spend time with an artwork of your choice, discovering how much you can find and understand the longer you look.

View exercise

Find Your Feelings
Search the eMuseum for artworks that relate to you!

View exercise


Explore a Virtual Uptopia
Take a virtual tour of Becky Wareing Steele’s Utopia: A New Society for All

View exercise

Poetry in Art:  “I Am” Poems
Consider the perspective of a character from a work of art in the FAC eMuseum. Worksheets available in Spanish.

View exercise

See, Think, Wonder
This exercise provides a framework for observing, describing, reasoning, questioning, and investigating. Worksheets available in Spanish.

View exercise

Shifting Perspectives
Help your students consider new perspectives using evidence.

View exercise

*Depending upon the exercise, common core standards include: 
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas. (Observing and Describing)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy and CCRA.R.7
Read closely to determine what a text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words. (Reasoning)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy-Key Ideas and Details
Ask and answer questions of a text, referring to details and examples, explaining explicitly and drawing inferences. (Questioning and Investigating)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.6 and W.3 Point of View and Purpose
Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. (Exploring Viewpoints)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy-Integration of ideas
Make connections between text of a story and visual presentation of the text; Analyze how visual elements contribute to the mood, meaning, tone, or beauty of the text. (Comparing and Connecting)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy-Key Ideas and Details
Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text. (Finding Complexity – Parts and Purposes)


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Educator Articles

Teaching Critical Thinking through Art with the National Gallery of Art

Based on the National Gallery of Art’s popular Art Around the Corner professional development program for teachers in Washington, D.C., this five-part, self-paced online course provides everything you need to begin creating a culture of critical thinking and collaboration for any classroom, subject, or level. You do not need an art background or museum access to successfully integrate the “Artful Thinking” course materials into your teaching. Your focused attention, willingness to experiment, and commitment to trying new discussion practices with your students is all that is required.

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Why Field Trips And Arts Education Aren’t Just Frills

Education policymakers have seen arts classes and cultural field trips as far less important than reading and math skills. Now there’s evidence that those experiences can have significant benefits, especially for disadvantaged students.

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NAEA Digital 10 Lessons the Arts Teach Poster

Excerpted from the Elliot Eisner’s, The Arts and the Creation of Minds, this piece makes a great addition to any classroom.


What School Leaders Can Do to Increase Arts Education

As building-­level leaders, school principals play a key role in ensuring every student receives high-quality and equitable arts learning as part of a well-rounded education. Building on the first release of What School Leaders Can Do to Increase Arts Education in 2011, this updated guide offers three concrete actions school leaders can take to increase the arts in education in their schools. Each action is supported by low- or no-cost strategies — outlined in this guide — that school leaders have used and found effective.

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How School Leaders Can Inspire Daily Creativity

The buzz of an alarm signifying a new day, the smell of freshly brewed coffee, the turning of a key in a car ignition, the wheels of a bike moving in smooth repetition, and music and stories filling our ears as we make our daily commutes. Innovative ideas, methods and practices shape and inspire the world in which we live. Each day, we experience the contributions of great leaders, thinkers and doers that make our lives more efficient, safer, gratifying and full of creativity.

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Native Knowledge 360°

Native Knowledge 360° (NK360°) provides educators and students with new perspectives on Native American history and cultures. NK360° provides educational materials and teacher training that incorporate Native narratives, more comprehensive histories, and accurate information to enlighten and inform teaching and learning about Native America. NK360° challenges common assumptions about Native peoples—their cultures, their roles in United States and world history, and their contributions to the arts, sciences, and literature.

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Inside a New Effort to Change What Schools Teach About Native American History

Students who learn anything about Native Americans are often only offered the barest minimum: re-enacting the first Thanksgiving, building a California Spanish mission out of sugar cubes or memorizing a flashcard about the Trail of Tears just ahead of the AP U.S. History Test. A new curriculum from the American Indian Museum brings greater depth and understanding to the long-misinterpreted history of indigenous culture.

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Expanding Creative Horizons

Touring Programs

Enrich the minds and imaginations of your students with the ageless power of art. We offer a variety of FREE tour options for educational groups of all ages, sizes, and abilities.

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Professional Development

As part of the Kennedy Center Partners in Education, the FAC partners with school district 11, UCCS Presents and school district 20 to provide classes in Arts Integration.  Also, the Fine Arts Center’s Bemis Art School offers certificates of completion for art classes. Often these hours qualify for professional development hours that must be maintained as a teacher.

Educator Workshops

Art Class Catalog

Talented in Art Program

We offer Gifted and Talented in Art programs for School District 11, for grades 3-5. For over 25 years we have offered programs to teach high levels of art standards. Multiple week art classes in varied mediums culminate in an art show and reception for the students who participate.

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Student Matinée Programs

The award-winning and critically-acclaimed Fine Arts Center Theatre Company produces an annual season of musicals, comedies and dramas. Bring classes and groups to our student matinées for an enriching experience to last a lifetime. The variety of theatre experiences will leave your students wanting more!

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Fourth Grade Passport to the Arts Program

With Art We Thrive

In an effort to maximize learning opportunities and incite a lifelong love and appreciation for the arts with area youth, the Fine Arts Center is proud to announce the Passport to the Arts program for fourth grade students and their families. Learn More

Image above: Doug Hyde, Hopi Basket Dancers, 1985 (detail)