Arts Integration Professional Development Workshops

Portland Ovations offers free & virtual professional development for teachers of grades PK – 12th.

These arts integration workshops are grounded in drama-based pedagogy, an embodied way of engaging students in academic, aesthetic and affective learning through theater and improvisation strategies. These sessions will help get your students up and moving active in and dramatic ways. All workshops can focus on virtual or socially-distanced classroom spaces. They work best for up to 20 participants. Each workshop is 1-2 hours in length or can be linked together as a series.

For information contact Sarah Coleman at


Cost: FREE (a $10 deposit per session is required to hold your spot)

To register or for more information: Email

  • Monday, November 9 (6-8PM) – Building Classroom Community from Six Feet Apart
  • Monday, November 16 (6-8PM) – Active and Dramatic Classrooms
  • Monday, November 23 (6-8PM) – Tableau in the Classroom


Active and Dramatic (Virtual or Socially-Distanced) Classrooms

Using a variety of arts strategies, teachers will practice embodied ways to engage students, across all areas of the curriculum, in sharing their knowledge and perspectives. With each strategy, we’ll talk through the role of reflection, classroom management, and additional applications.

Building Classroom Community from Six Feet Apart

This workshop shares arts integration activities focused on building community in your classroom with a new group of students. These socially distanced strategies help students get to know each other, engage in movement, and have fun together.

Building Classroom Community Virtually

This workshop shares virtual arts integration activities focused on building community in your classroom with a new group of students. These strategies help students get to know each other in the virtual space, engage in movement, and have fun together

Vignettes of Knowledge

Through drama-based strategies teachers will learn how to create short “performances” that allow students to share unique experiences and perspectives with their classmates. This lesson plan can be used as a way to get to know students better, in connection with specific curriculum, or as a form of formative assessment.

Embodied Learning in the Multilingual/ELL Classroom

This workshop shares drama-based strategies that support language development in the multilingual or integrated classroom. It focuses on how to introduce strategies so all students can participate and share their knowledge through movement and verbal language.

About the Instructor

Workshops are led by Sarah Coleman, Director of Engagement at Portland Ovations. Sarah has been teaching for almost two decades as a classroom teacher, university lecturer and teaching artist, and has worked with students from pre-kindergarten to college. She has led professional development workshops in theater, drama-based pedagogy, and arts integration for teachers across the United States and internationally. She most recently facilitated a week-long virtual professional development class in July 2020 for Tennessee Arts Academy. Her scholarly work focuses on drama based pedagogy/arts integration, embodied learning with English language learners, and justice based pedagogy in classrooms, rehearsal rooms, and onstage.

“She is really jump-starting my thinking and helping me to change / improve my teaching strategies. Thank you!” – Elementary Teacher

“The kids at the gym thought some of the activities were so fun, that they stopped to check out the fun!” – Middle School Teacher

“I get antsy in a group of people being asked to do something out of my comfort zone but it was very informative and I got past my own unease and enjoyed the workshop very much.” – Middle School Teacher

Key Words/Phrases

Arts Integration: An approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area and meets evolving objectives in both (The Kennedy Center, 2010).

Drama-based: Meaning the activities are theatre and improvisation games that have been used in classroom spaces for decades.

Active and Dramatic: Meaning the activities involve physical movement and/or invite students to use their imagination to deepen their connection to the knowledge.

Embodied: To represent (an idea, quality, or character) in a physical form.