Alaska Arts Education Month is here!  We’re celebrating throughout March with a different Creativity Challenge each week.  Get inspired by the week’s theme to explore music, dance, theater, cultural arts, media arts, and visual arts.  Share creations by you and your students with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter by tagging #ArtsEdMonthAK + @akartsed to join the party!  

Our Creativity Challenge for March 27th – April 1st is Nature!!

Nature is a huge part of Alaskan life. We are immersed in it daily, yet sometimes our students forget to really take a deep look at nature. How lucky we are to be able to step outside and gain inspiration from nature this Spring!

Today we’re going to share a few ways to investigate nature through the arts. Some may work in your current educational setting and some may need to be saved for a different learning landscape. 


Try one of our AAEC Art Bytes: Have you been too nervous to break out the paints with your class this year?  In this hour-long training with Alaskan artist Kristin Link. You can easily break this into several sections and show them directly with your students or use it as a training for yourself. This session features step by step instructions from planning, to sketching, all the way to a completed landscape painting. This would be suitable for 3rd grade up to adults. I know I had fun! 


Heart of the Andes painting

Compose a Landscape with this Art and Language Arts Lesson: I love lesson plans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art! This one dives into an analysis of Frederic Edwin Church’s, Heart of the Andes and follows it with an art project. This is meant for high school students.

patterns in nature art project

Patterns in Nature: For grade school, I found this awesome lesson on patterns in nature! It is suggested for 3rd grade but can be adapted for any level. The lesson combines photography and abstract art. I love that it gets kids outside, searching for patterns! 




kids playing in woods with masksOut to Play Resource Pack is an amazing primary school drama resource. This kit contains stories for different age levels. The fun part is that you, the teacher and story-teller, get to lead your class in an outdoor adventure. This packet will guide you through the dramatization of stories as well as showing you how to get your classroom to play along. How awesome to teach your students how to use their imaginations outside!! After a time of indoor and computer based learning in 2021, let’s get into the open air and celebrate nature!


painting of kenai fjords

Musical Soundscapes – Anchorage Museum: The Anchorage Museum is one of my favorite places to get lesson plans from. This one uses analysis of visual art alongside Alaska soundscapes from the Anchorage Museum. By using the natural songs of glacial crashings and water movements, this complete lesson can include a visual arts analysis and be adapted to fit almost any age and ability level. Students who are hard of hearing could focus on the visual aspects and think about the vibrations in the water. 

Follow-up with a Field Trip! If your school has the resources, a follow up trip to visit a glacier and respond through visual, audio, or movement art would be a great springtime extension activity.

We hope these ideas spark your creative thinking for this fifth and final week of Alaska Arts Education Month 2022.  Whether you create something from this list or from your own inspiration, remember to showcase your work on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with #ArtsEdMonthAK + @akartsed.  Next week we’ll host a digital gallery of all submissions from throughout the month.

Be sure to join us in March 2023 for the next #ArtsEdMonthAK celebration!  

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