Arts Across the Curriculum

Arts Across the Curriculum is comprised of arts-infused digital media instructional resources, providing teachers and students with innovative and engaging media content and tools to help them meet key requirements and goals in core curriculum areas, while bringing arts into the classroom. Each resource is built around a media segment (3-5 minute video) identified by curriculum experts and advisors as aligned with instructional objectives and standards, and complemented by supporting materials, including background essays, discussion questions, activities, assessments, and interactives that can be seamlessly integrated into classroom instruction.

  • Symbolism, Setting, and Post-World War Urbanization: Edward Hopper's House by the Railroad

    Edward Hopper’s famous painting House by the Railroad is featured in this video from Picturing America Onscreen. As the railroad tracks rattle by a once-grand Victorian home, so intersect the themes of modern progress and historical continuity. Students explore the period of urbanization and growing feelings of isolation in America after World War I, make ELA connections in studying the significance of symbolism and setting, write an ad to sell the house in the painting, and enrich the study of the play Our Town in the accompanying discussion questions and classroom activities.

    Grades: 6-12
  • The Gilded Age: Architecture for the Elite | Treasures of New York: "Stanford White"

    This series of videos from Treasures of New York: Stanford White presents the Gilded Age, an era of great wealth and remarkable architecture. Through video, discussion questions, and classroom activities, students explore how architecture, literature, and art reflect the issues and concerns of the time period, and how the era still resonates today.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Public Art in the Gilded Age | Treasures of New York: "Stanford White"

    Learn about the famous statue sculpted by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, “Diana of the Tower,” that sat atop Stanford White’s Madison Square Garden during the Gilded Age in this video from Treasures of New York: Stanford White. Through video, discussion questions, and classroom activities explore how public art reflects society and serves as a vivid connection to history.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Passage for Two

    Using video from Great Performances: Dance In America: NY Export: Opus Jazz, students examine Jerome Robbins’ famous ballet and complete associated English Language Arts activities. The activities include answering text-dependent discussion questions, completing a close read of the video and exploring important literary elements like characterization, narrative structure, and mood.

    Grades: 7-8
  • Analyzing its Geometry and Energy Efficiency | Treasures of New York: "Hearst Tower"

    Students solve a real-world mathematical problem involving the area of a triangle and learn about how energy conservation is applied to architectural design using video from Treasures of New York: Hearst Tower. Utilizing text-dependent discussion questions and classroom activities called “teaching tips,” students have an opportunity to take a deep dive into mathematics, STEM content and the arts.

    Grades: 6-8
  • Saarinen’s St. Louis Gateway Arch, Monument Design, and Westward Expansion

    Explore monument design and Westward Expansion in this video about the St. Louis Gateway Arch. Eero Saarinen’s famous arch sits on the Mississippi River and is considered the “gateway to the West.” Saarinen’s structure commemorates Thomas Jefferson and his efforts to open the West through the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Built in the 1960s, the Arch remains the tallest arch in the world. 

    Grades: 6-9
  • Black Hawk and Catlin: Native Americans Then and Now

    Explore issues connected to representation and point of view in depictions of 19th century Native Americans by George Catlin and Black Hawk in this video from Picturing America On Screen. Catlin’s paintings provide testimony not only to the country’s fascination with American Indians but also to the artist’s ambition to document disappearing frontier cultures. Black Hawk’s work provides invaluable visual testimony to the nation’s Native American heritage and reveals intriguing details of the Lakota people—from manner of dress to social customs. In doing so, he captures a way of life that was fast disappearing as settlers moved West in increasing numbers and tribes were moved to reservations.

    Support material challenges students to define culture and asks them to consider how Native Americans see themselves today. While it may be valuable to look to history to help understand Native American culture, tribes are still very much alive today and have redefined themselves as a living culture. Students are asked to think about stereotypes held about Native Americans and to research and learn more about a Native American tribe today.

    Grades: 4-12
  • Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You | Race and Representation on Television: Norman Lear’s Good Times and The Jeffersons

    Student examine issues of race and representation on television in this media gallery from the American Masters documentary Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You. Students learn about the history of the 1970s shows Good Times and The Jeffersons, the Black Panthers, and how the Civil Rights Movement continues to influence media today. Social Studies and ELA connections push students to think about how stereotypes are present in television shows and to analyze their own experience watching TV.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Women on Women: Gloria Steinem on Marilyn Monroe

    Using animated video from In Their Own Words: American Masters Digital Archive, students examine the life of Marilyn Monroe through the eyes of feminist icon Gloria Steinem.

    Grades: 7-12