Connecticut Core Standards


Arts Educator Resources

Understanding/Implementing CT Core Standards in the Classroom

Connections between the arts and CCSS fall into three general categories:
  • Basic: Communicating through language (reading/writing, listening/speaking) about the arts, using the Tier 3 vocabulary (aka, Academic language) of the arts.
  • Intermediate: Interpreting and conveying the meaning of language within the arts – such as by reading and interpreting the text of a play, film, or song – to enhance the effectiveness of artistic communication.
  • Advanced: Communicating through the arts, both as creator/performer and as interpreter of artistic work. When the arts are approached as forms of text, many CCSS standards apply to the arts. 
Common Core Implementation for All Students

Classroom Integration Resources

  • Common Core Questions for Discussing Artworks: Art Inquiry + Common Core Anchor Standards in Reading – This website offers sample questions—each aligned with a Common Core Reading Anchor Standard—that can be used with students to analyze and interpret works of art. Many of these questions came from the modeling of museum-teaching practice that took place in American Art at the Core of Learning, a learning community for museum educators in Chicago organized and sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art. These questions—many long used by museum educators—support the practice of reading closely and thinking analytically that is specifically called for in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The standards also call for teaching with diverse text types, including visuals, and for reading across texts. This resource is intended to help teachers incorporate American art in their teaching repertoire in ways that address the standards. ( 
  • Video: Reading a Painting - Teaching with art can help educators address the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts. In this video, Sarah Alvarez, Director of Teacher Programs at the Art Institute of Chicago, demonstrates how teachers can facilitate close reading of art in the classroom using techniques developed in museums to make connections to the CCSS-ELA. This video is part of a series about teaching with artworks. ( 
  • Teaching In and Through the Arts: Three School Case Studies - This video documents Case Studies of three schools—Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston, Santa Fe School for the Arts and Sciences, and Capital City Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.— and demonstrates the power of the arts to build richness and relevance in the classroom, and to help students develop powerful skills and mindsets. ( 
  • Video: Literacy Through Creative Dance –In this short video, high school students analyze literary elements of a poem in order to then create and perform dance movements that interpret its meaning. (teaching
  • Illuminating Standards Video Series – What would it look like if standards were met with depth, and imagination? The Illuminating Standards Project, a collaborative project of Expeditionary Learning and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, showcases a video collection of long-term, interdisciplinary, arts-infused, community-connected projects illustrating how to make standards come alive in project-based learning. The videos could be used in a professional development setting to have staff examine the relationship between meeting the demands of state standards and the creation of powerful learning experiences for students.  (
  • The Arts Education Partnership website- helps educators better understand and apply connections between the arts, 21st century literacy, and the Common Core. (
  • 40 Resources and Tools for Deeper Learning: Resources include a video series with supporting materials including rubrics, lesson plans, research, and strategy documents. (

Online Resources

  • Wadsworth Atheneum School & Teacher Programs: Programs, Tours and Resources
  • iCONN Dashboard for State Department of Education-provides all students, faculty and residents of Connecticut with online access to library and information resources including licensed databases and specialized research information. (
  • Tween TribuneThis news website by the Smithsonian provides daily news articles for students. Articles are selected by professional journalists working in collaboration with teachers and students. As a Smithsonian resource, it has a plethora of science and history focused articles. There are also articles in Spanish, different lexile levels, technology, a junior version for grades K-4 and more. (
  • The Hartford Courant Newspaper in Education Program is an online interactive classroom resource to help teachers connect students to the news. Many of the resources list Common Core Standards.  Programs have been specifically designed to address the needs of Connecticut students in social studies, geography, science, math, and language arts.  Resource pages are written by educators, museums, nature centers and other professional organizations. Current offerings include: Cartoons for the Classroom, Front Page Talking Points, Geography in the News, Green Room, News Video, Pulse of the Planet, This Week in History, Use the News and Words in the News. ( 
  • The Washington Post Newspaper in Education Program allows all teachers to access topical NIE Curriculum Guides on a variety of topics in all subject areas. Common Core Standards aligned to the suggested activities are listed at the end of the most recent curriculum guides. (
  • SELA website provides teachers and students nonfiction articles that are Common Core aligned. Each article offers a choice of five different Lexile levels, making it easy for an entire class to read the same content, but at level that is just right for each student.  High interest articles are updated daily on such topics as: War and Peace, Science, Kids, Money, Law, Health and Arts. (

Resources for Unit/Lesson Development

  • Guiding Principles for the Arts—provides guidance in making connections to literacy and other areas of study (David Coleman for  
  • Fine Arts and the Common Core—ideas and resources for teaching the Fine Arts aligned with Common Core State Standards (
  • Building Language Skills by Talking About Art- Grades 3-5 (developed in partnership with the J. Paul Getty Museum for the Teaching Channel)
  • National Gallery of Art - NGAkids Art Zone offers an entertaining and informative introduction to art and art history. The website features computer-based activities, suitable for all age groups, that encourage exploration and creativity.
  • VISIBLE THINKINGThis website is for teachers, school leaders and administrators in K-12 schools who want to encourage the development of a culture of thinking. Many resources for classroom use are described in detail. ( 
  • See, Think, Wonder Visible Thinking Routine – This is a routine for exploring works of art/photographs and other interesting things; it encourages students to make careful observations, thoughtful interpretations, and sets the stage for inquiry. (  
  • See-Wonder-Think Strategy Sample Video Lesson demonstrates a routine that helps students to analyze and interpret art and/or photography. It was developed by Visual Thinking. ( 
  • Video Playlist: Educating Digital Citizens  (
  • 40 Resources and Tools for Deeper Learning: Resources include a video series with supporting materials including rubrics, lesson plans, research, and strategy documents. (