LEAPS of IMAGINATION is committed to integrating high quality art teaching into the context of grade level curriculum. We teach the skills and provide a foundation for the kind of thinking students will need as proactive members of a global society.

The fundamental creative practices of imagination, investigation, construction, and reflection, which are essential in the arts but equally important for science and mathematics learning, are cognitive processes by which students not only learn within an individual discipline but also transfer their knowledge, skill, and habits to other contexts and settings.
-from The Role of Creative Practices, National Core Arts Standards


Through critical thinking and problem solving, students learn higher order thinking skills, which are central to the creative processes.

A. Thinking Skills
Students engaged in creative practice:
1. Observe                       6. Analyze
2. Categorize                   7. Synthesize
3. Perceive patterns       8. Verify
4. Hypothesize                9. Apply
5. Represent

B. Art
Students engaged in creative practice:
1. Approach art with imagination and original thinking
2. Explore, combine, and transform materials into tangible forms
3. Develop new art skills
4. Reflect on their own art, accept and offer peer feedback
5. Refine their thinking strategies through long-term project work

C. Literacy
Students engaged in literacy studies:
1. Research/gather information from books and other resources
2. Make connections between literature, personal experience, and real world issues
3. Expand and apply vocabulary
4. Record ideas and reflections in journals
5. Write original stories

D. Place-based Studies
Students engaged in place-based studies:
1. Identify with their location and develop a “sense of place”
2. Recognize geographical characteristics of the Maine coast
3. Identify relevant features on a map
4. Design original and imaginative maps, applying knowledge of basic land features

E. Environmental Science and Field Experiences
Students engaged in environmental science:
1. Observe and identify attributes of plants and animals
2. Categorize materials, ideas, and information
3. Generate and verify hypotheses
4. Apply research to original artwork


Collaboration is the process by which two or more people or groups work together to realize common goals.

A. Collaboration

We teach learners to:

1. Solve problems collaboratively
2. Negotiate with peers
3. Reach consensus with group members
4. Respond with resiliency

B. Perspectives  

We teach learners to:

1.Take multiple perspectives and understand points of view
2. Integrate perspectives from literature, science, or geography to artwork
3. Deepen their understanding of social justice and/or environmental issues within the curricular context
4. Experience diverse artists’ and illustrators’ styles


Communication is central to art making. Students acquire a repertoire of skills, including processing, listening, speaking, questioning, and writing.

A. Oral

Students learn to:
1. Communicate insights and inferences connected to emerging themes and artwork
2. Share ideas in a small or large group
3. Share their ideas about one’s own or others’ artwork
4. Apply new vocabulary in conversation
5. Craft stories, connecting art to overarching themes
6. Reflect on direct experience in group context

B. Written

Students learn to:
1. Write regularly in a student journal
2. Develop ideas in a written form
3. Write original stories independently or with a partner
4. Conduct simple research