Teachers and artists bring curriculum to life for students through ArtsSmarts 

Minister Brown, teacher Rachelle Ward and artist Linda Shaw Packard observe as Queen Charlotte students begin making paper mache animals as part of their ArtsSmarts project.

Island teachers and artists are working collaboratively to enrich learning and engage students in new and creative ways. 

There are eight projects happening Island wide right now during the 15th year of ArtsSmarts, a national initiative that fuses everyday learning with the arts. Projects allow students to apply what they are learning in various subjects through arts-based activities that include dance, music, theater or fine arts. 

“I commend Island teachers and artists for taking the initiative to apply for, and coordinate ArtsSmarts projects,” said Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Jordan Brown. “Working together, teachers and artists are creating engaging and meaningful learning experiences for students and designing beautiful art for their schools.” 

Projects are currently underway at Mount Stewart Consolidated, École Évangéline, West Kent Elementary, Queen Charlotte Intermediate and Eliot River Elementary. 

Grade 7 students at Queen Charlotte are creating a 3D Prince Edward Island ecosystem completely out of paper mache. The Scientifically Artistic Ecosystem project encourages students to combine their knowledge of science with fine arts while building valuable collaboration skills. They will craft local animals such as coyotes, foxes, rabbits and owls out of paper mache. The 3D ecosystem is one of three ArtsSmarts projects happening at Queen Charlotte this year.

Students, teachers and artists will be sharing photos and videos of their progress on these projects using the hashtag #ArtsSmartsPEI on social media. Exhibitions will be held in May at schools, Confederation Centre and Eptek to showcase the students’ hard work and creativity.

ArtsSmarts is a program of the Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture and provincial partners including the Confederation Centre of the Arts, Commission scolaire de langue française, Public Schools Branch, Creative PEI, PEI Crafts Council, UPEI, PEI Teacher’s Federation, PEI Human Rights Commission, Fédération culturelle de l'Î.-P.-É., and the Eptek Art & Culture Centre.

Media contact:

Media contact:
Jean Doherty
Education, Early Learning and Culture
jmdoherty@gov.pe.ca 902-314-5702


Queen Charlotte Intermediate School

Scientifically Artistic Ecosystem
Rachelle Ward, teacher and Linda Shaw Packard, artist
25 Grade 7 students are working on painting various background images to represent the environment of a Prince Edward Island ecosystem. This class will work collaboratively with other students to create one final display of a full ecosystem complete with paper mache animals. During the project, students will call on their knowledge of science, fine arts, language arts and technology.    

Scientifically Artistic Ecosystem (2)
Rachelle Ward, teacher and Linda Shaw Packard, artist
33 Grade 7 students will work together to build and put together 16 three-dimensional paper mache animals that represent the Island’s ecosystem. They will craft and create coyotes, foxes, rabbits, owls, mice and frogs and in the end pair it with a background created by another class. During the project, students will call on their knowledge of science, fine arts, language arts and technology.

Four Styles of Jazz
Sylvia Andrew, teacher and Rowan Fitzgerald, artist
Grade 9 students will learn to perform four different jazz charts that represent four different styles of music. For their final performance, students will also include an improvised solo. The goal is for students to finish the project having gained the skills necessary to organize a jazz combo and perform as part of ‘Always on Stage’ during the summer on Victoria Row in Charlottetown. Throughout this project, students will call on their knowledge of music history, language arts and health.

Mount Stewart Consolidated

Books Have Something for Everyone!
Mary Kendrick and Eric Doucette, teachers and Megan Handrahan, artist
18 Grades 3 and 4 students will research and become familiar with the many different genres of fiction including science fiction, horror, fantasy, adventure, humor, etc. The students will then create and design their own unique character to feature in a novel for each respective genre. The characters will be displayed in the school library.

École Évangéline

Notre Francophonie 2019
Chuck Arsenault, teacher and Maurice Hashie and Darin Foulkes, artists
225 students from kindergarten to Grade 12 will be encouraged to reflect on their ties with the school and community by creating a video to showcase their heritage and their learning environment. Grade 9 students will conduct a survey to help students reflect on their role in the Francophonie. The results will be compiled and used to create a song and to help decide how each class can contribute to the video Notre Francophonie 2019. During this project, students will call on their knowledge of music, French language arts, technology and social studies.

Bande dessinée - Intimidation
Marcel Landry and Charles Bernard, teachers and Lynn Gaudet, artist
15 Grade 5 students will create comics using wooden panels surrounding the theme of bullying. Initially, the students will be taught the specific elements of creating a comic and will discuss and come to more fully understand bullying. During the project, students will call on their knowledge of the arts, French language arts, health and social studies.

West Kent Elementary School

Les tambours de la paix de la réconciliation
Gillian Caissie, teacher and Gary Torlone, artist
17 Grade 5 Immersion students will learn about different and diverse cultures including the First Nations’. Collaborating with the artist, students will measure and steam wooden strips to form a frame for a drum. They will also soak, measure, cut and stretch goat skins across the drum. Once the skins are sewn into place, students are given the opportunity to decorate their instruments with objects that symbolize peace and reconciliation. During this project, students will use their knowledge of math, science, music, social studies and art.         

Eliot River Elementary School

Books Come to Life!
Stephen Coleman, teacher and Terry D. Stevenson, artist
Grades 4, 5 and 6 students will partake in a novel study to determine the key elements in a novel. They will then use various mediums of art to create and showcase a major theme, symbol or icon that they have highlighted from the novel. Students will work on individual sculptures and combine their work into one final, collaborative piece. During this project, students will call on their knowledge of language arts, science, health and visual arts.

General Inquiries

Department of Education and Lifelong Learning
Holman Centre
Suite 101, 250 Water Street
Summerside, PE C1N 1B6

Phone: 902-438-4130
Fax: 902-438-4062