PARENT SUPPORT for the ARTS: Elementary Distance Learning

ELEMENTARY ARTS in our K-8 Classrooms:

The ARTS curriculum in Ontario is based on four central ideas:

  • Developing creativity

  • Communicating

  • Understanding Culture

  • Making Connections

Teachers in all four of the Arts focus on:

1. Learning IN the Arts: Participation

The Arts involve the students’ senses, feelings, bodies, and ideas. 


2. Learning ABOUT the Arts: Analysis and Appreciation

Students learn about the meaning and the “language” of each of the Arts, by introducing them to both contemporary and historical artistic products. 

ARTS PAST and ARTS NOW. Seeing, experiencing, feeling, reading, writing, talking and thinking. 

3. Learning THROUGH the Arts: Inter-Disciplinary Connections

The Arts help students understand and develop their skills in other subjects. All of the ARTS are ABOUT SOMETHING. 

Dance, Drama, Music and Visual Arts can and should be connected to every other subject in the curriculum in elementary schools.


By becoming familiar with The Elementary Arts Curriculum, parents can better appreciate what is being taught in each grade and what their children are expected to learn. 



  • The CBC has introduced an exciting project that includes students and their caregivers who wish to be involved. Go to the CBC Creative Relief Fund to learn about the project overview before clicking on the green INNOVATION STREAM button for details.  Your and your children can work on a submission together.

Elementary DRAMA: Parent Links

  • Young People’s Theatre’s Inside with Imagination is a video series of activities for parents to use at home while schools are closed. 

  • On CODE’s YouTube Channel, we feature a series of videos showing teachers teaching Dance and Drama to students. You can find many ideas easily adaptable to your children. 

  • We particularly recommend Exploring Bullying: Read, Analyze, Act that features a teacher working with junior level students on the issue of bullying using both drama and movement.

  • This  American parent arts support organization is very useful for engaging in advocacy for Drama. We the Parents

CODE wants you to know that Drama in Education is NOT ONLY “putting on a play”.  Drama is embodied learning: Mind-body connections are made to deepen learning.

  • Expand beyond thinking of drama as only acquiring performance skills to an understanding of Drama as a means to explore ideas, deepen learning and develop empathy. Most of what we do in Drama does not include a performance on a stage for an audience.

  • Become comfortable with role-playing. Go into a role with your children often. Explore how characters feel and behave through thoughtful scenes (or stories) created spontaneously (improvised) in role and then edited and changed to develop the story and the ideas. The creative process see p. 19 of the curriculum gives students a voice for their thoughts, ideas, and feelings, and allows them to try out different choices using the safety of role. They are making choices for a character which provides a safe place to create and explore.

  • Engage in critical thinking see p. 23 of the curriculum with your children by discussing what choices their character made when they were in role and the outcomes of particular decisions in the role-play.  

Elementary DANCE: Parent Links

  • On CODE’s YouTube Channel, we feature a series of videos connected to current curriculum, showing teachers teaching Dance and Drama to students. You can find many ideas easily adaptable to your children. 

  • We particularly recommend the video Poetry and Movement that features a teacher working with primary level students. He is using poetry as a source for creating movement. YOU could use any book at all that your child loves to read with you.  The activities can also be adapted for older children who can create movement about a story or book they have read on their own. Perhaps challenge older children to watch the video and then plan a lesson for younger children based on strategies used in video and a book of their choice.

  • The National Ballet School has a video series for your children:

  • This video Dance Education in Public Schools by PS Dance in the USA, very delightfully demonstrates the importance of dance for EVERY student in our schools.

CODE wants you to know that Dance is NOT just about “steps”. It is a way to communicate important ideas and feelings with your body. Dance is embodied learning. Mind-body connections are made to deepen learning.


Be sure to connect with our two other ARTS provincial subject associations for more resources and parent support:

The Ontario Art Education Association (OAEA): for Visual Arts

The Ontario Music Educators Association (OMEA): for Music