Using Art Explorations to Reach All Students

Artist: Molly Gaston Johnson

Type: Professional Learning

Program Availability: In-Person, Virtual

  • Using Arts Exploration to Reach All Students | Young Audiences New Jersey


In this professional learning program with visual artist Molly Gaston Johnson, teachers will learn how to use basic elements and principles of design as a means of communicating ideas. Through designing their own artworks in a series of exercises that build from simple and quick, to more intentionally social-emotionally driven, and then curriculum-driven, participants will learn how to share a design language with their students. Participants will learn to create abstracted visual representations of ideas and use those visual creations as a starting point for verbal and/or written explanation of concepts represented. These experiences help participants to invite students to express their understanding of curriculum concepts and/or social-emotional concepts by employing the elements and principles of design.


In-Person or Virtual

Recommended Participants

  • Teachers
  • Paraprofessionals
  • Visual Arts Specialists

Learning Intentions

Participants will:

  • Engage first-hand in the excitement of learning the language of design.
  • Analyze the meaning of a concept and appraise options for how to create an abstracted visual design that represents that concept.
  • Assess their work in comparison with responses on the same topic.
  • Differentiate the nuance of meaning created in small design choices.
  • Engage in guided reflection.
  • Analyze the visual work of others and draw clues from these creations that connect to meaning.
  • State how personal reflections connect visual facts in the work they are analyzing to the meaning they have understood.
  • Examine nuance through comparing one design to another.
  • Reflect on the creative development of the students they work with and consider content for an Arts Individualized Education Plan for one student.

YA Connections

  • NJSLS-VPA: Artistic Process; Creating; Anchor Standard 1: Conceptualizing & Generating Ideas
  • NJSLS-VPA: Artistic Process; Responding; Anchor Standard 7:
  • Perceiving and Analyzing Products
  • Social Emotional Learning 

Professional Standards for Educational Leaders

  • Standard 4: Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment

Price & Info


Workshop Cost per Day: $1400

Workshop Materials Fee: $100.00

Additional Fees: In-Person Program Travel Fee - $95 per day; Virtual Program Technology Fee - $45; (On-Demand programs are not charged travel or tech fees)


Audience Limit: 25 participants per session

Program Length: (1) 90-min Session (Additional time available at $300/hour)

Workshop Minimum # of Days: 1

Appropriate For Grade(s): Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, All Grades



Curriculum Connections

Curriculum Connections