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    Literacy through the Arts: Standards-Aligned Curriculum for History and Social Studies (webinar recording)

    The 21st century has been labeled the “visual age,” and interweaving art into all subject areas bears a host of qualitative and quantitative benefits for its learners. Join co-presenters Emily Valenza and Julie Knutson in a one-hour exploration of the why, what and how of arts integration in history and social studies.

    Literacy through the Arts

    Valenza and Knutson discuss current research on incorporating the arts into social studies, along with strategies for the creating immersive and engaging lessons that allow students to situate art history in cultural context. Throughout, focus is maintained on building the 21st-century skills that students need most: critical thinking, research, collaboration, and creativity.

    • Cultivate historical empathy and the consideration of multiple perspectives through the arts
    • Create thought-provoking Surrealist collages using primary source documents to reinforce History topics
    • Structure an interactive mask-making unit that brings biographical studies to life
    • Foster your students' sense of synaesthesia with art games to enhance their descriptive writing skills




    Teaching with Visual Art and Photography
    SAMR Model

    Attendee Feedback 

    • "I am excited to try these ideas in the fall." --Julie J.
    • "Thank you for many, many great ideas!!!" --Richard W.

    Comments? Questions? 

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    051016 Emily Valenza

    Art Teacher and Art Department Coordinator
    Kingsley Montessori School
    Boston MA

    Emily Valenza is an art educator fascinated by digital storytelling, cinematography, scientific illustration and aesthetic critique. She has been teaching art to adults and students in community centers, public, and private schools for over 13 years.

    She believes that everyone can be an artist and that being an artist in today's world means that you are constantly changing, challenging ideas, and inventing new ways of seeing and doing things. New methods of creating art are being discovered every day so there is no better or more exciting time to dive in than NOW!

    Emily has a bachelor's degree in Art Education from Penn State University and is the Arts Department Coordinator at Kingsley Montessori School in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston.



    051016 Julie Knutson
    Academic Consultant
    Follett School Solutions
    McHenry IL

    Julie Knutson is an experienced social studies educator and curriculum writer, with tenure teaching at the middle and high school levels. Julie holds an M.A. in art history, and staunchly advocates for the integration of arts education into all content areas. In 2010, while working with FotoFest’s Literacy Through Photography program in Houston, TX, she authored “Contemporary U.S. Photography,” a curricular companion to the organization’s biennial.

    Currently, Julie works as an academic consultant for Follett School Solutions. She is active in the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), serving on the board for the Future and Advancement of the Social Studies (FASSE), and also occupies a seat on the board of Students of Strength, an online academic mentoring and coaching service.


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