CPS Arts Lesson Labs are arts learning sessions proposed, planned, and delivered by CPS teachers for CPS teachers. Network, share content, problem-solve around classroom challenges, and engage in hands-on creation of artwork. Clock hours are now offered for Lesson Labs!

Upcoming Lesson Labs


Explore how to teach music theory concepts through facilitated composition in this Lesson Lab for Music and Media Arts teachers in grades 6–12. Using free online software (Noteflight), learn how students can make infinite mistakes, discoveries, and have their composer voice heard—all while learning music theory concepts that might otherwise be a little bit boring! We’ll use Noteflight to compose a song, discuss the technical challenges that your students (and you) might encounter, and explore real student examples.

Who should attend: Music and Media Arts teachers in grades 6–12

November 8th, 2018 | 4:30PM – 6:00PM
Jones College Prep High School, 700 S State Street, Chicago, IL
Host: Katie Colby
Clock hours offered: 1.5

November 15th: GREEN SCREEN 101

Learn how to use green screen technology in the elementary school arts classroom! Participants will work use a custom-blended learning resource to create and publish unique green-screen artwork. After publishing their work, participants will be able to explore more extensive green-screen resources.

Who should attend: Arts teachers in grades K-8

November 15th, 2018 | 4:30PM – 6:00PM
Tonti Elementary School, 5815 S Homan Ave, Chicago, IL
Host: Jonathan O’Sullivan
Clock hours offered: 1.5


We all use metaphors to get our points across when we’re working with music ensembles: “play fireworks here” or “just a gentle breeze there.” This Lesson Lab for ensemble teachers will demonstrate examples of how to incorporate toys and other props (a parachute, tennis balls, cocktail straws, water glasses, board games, and others) as visual or kinesthetic metaphors to teach musicianship and ensemble skills.

Who should attend: Music teachers and music ensemble leaders in grades 4–12

March 19th, 2019| 4:30PM – 6:00PM
Smyser Elementary School, 4310 N Melvina Ave, Chicago, IL
Host: Dan Salyers
Clock hours offered: 1.5


Encourage your students to make dance history connections while honing your questioning and discussion techniques! Participants in this Lab will engage in a close read of a work of art, followed by a movement activity—both connected to a famous dancer in history. They will then learn strategies for incorporating dance history across all elementary grade levels (K through 8).

Who should attend: Dance teachers in grades K–8

April 9th, 2019| 5:00PM – 6:30PM
Boone Elementary School, 6710 N Washtenaw Ave, Chicago, IL
Host: Gina Spears
Clock hours offered: 1.5