Have a lesson, teaching idea, or art-making technique you want to share with your peers? 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 offered for presenters and participants.* Lesson Lab presenters also receive a gift bag of $100 worth of arts supplies in their particular discipline!

Want to Host a Lesson Lab?
Any arts teacher is welcome to propose a Lesson Lab to be held at their school. Propose a Lesson Lab here.

*NOTE: After all Lesson Labs, district-managed school teacher attendance will be entered into Learning Hub; teachers will need to complete the ISBE online survey to receive credit. Charter/contract/options teachers will receive paper copies of their evaluations/evidence forms on-site.


Upcoming Lesson Labs

January 24th: LEARNING CENTERS IN THE MUSIC CLASSROOM

Music MILAs (Managed Independent Learning Activities), also known as learning centers, can actively engage students, give them ownership over their learning, allow teachers to intervene, reteach, assess, and diversify small-group instruction, and appeal to a wide array of students. Participants in this Lab will learn how to set clear student expectations and responsibilities for implementing MILAs and experience activities and assessments easily adaptable to multiple grade levels.

Who should attend: Music teachers in grades K–8

January 24th, 2019 | 4:30PM – 6:00PM
Mitchell Elementary School, 2233 W Ohio St, Chicago, IL 
Host: Diana Nevills
Clock hours offered: 1.5

March 13th: CHOREOGRAPHING THROUGH FILM

Participants in this interactive Lab will engage in hands-on artmaking through a series of lessons on choreographic devices. You will use a variety of technological resources to create, manipulate, and present choreography, including iPads, the Dance Maker app, the Pic Stitch app, iMovie, Loopideo and Videoshop. You’ll also learn to retrograde, repeat, accumulate, segment, and manipulate the elements of dance through use of film editing.

Who should attend: Dance teachers and Media Arts teachers in grades 6-12

March 13th, 2019 | 4:30PM – 6:00PM
Ravenswood Elementary School, 4332 N Paulina St, Chicago, IL
Host: Christine Reed
Clock hours offered: 1.5

March 19th: ENSEMBLE TEACHER TOYBOX

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

April 9th: INCORPORATING DANCE HISTORY INTO YOUR CURRICULUM

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


Lesson Lab Resources

Download valuable presentations and handouts from previous Lesson Labs.

LESSON LABS 2018-19

MUSIC-READING SKILLS THROUGH ONLINE COMPOSITION
Created by Katie Colby (Jones College Prep)

LESSON LABS 2017-18

KILN OPERATION BASICS
Created by Gina Szulkowski (Steinmetz College Prep) and Haydee Lopez (Kelly High School)

THORP TV: STUDENT-CREATED, STUDENT-PRODUCED TELEVISION
Created by Maximilian Vikhter (OA Thorp Scholastic Academy)

HOW TO CREATE A GUITAR PROGRAM (EVEN IF YOU DON’T PLAY) 
Created by John Perryman (Andrew Jackson Language Academy)

ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY: LESSON PLAN SWAP-AND-SHARE
Created by Frank Cademartori, Lana Bjornson, and Mike Gleason (CICS-Irving Park)

GRAFFITI: STREET ART IN THE CLASSROOM
Created by Alex Mendez (Inter-American Magnet School)

MAKING DIGITAL PUPPETS WITH ADOBE CHARACTER ANIMATOR
Created by Juan Zayas (Von Steuben HS)