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Mrs. Acopan's buzzzzzy 2nd graders explore POLLINATION with STEAM teacher-Mrs. Terawaki, Visual Arts Teacher-Miss Beth, and Garden Teacher-Miss Tricia! Learn more about STEAM learning and Arts Integration!


Learn about how our teachers are using instructional strategies from Marcia Daft's Moving Through Math.


Constructivism: Actively Building Arts Education
Learn about constructivism and how arts educators can utilize it effectively.


Mrs. Golis' 1st graders learn about folktales through Hula Ki`i.



The Third Graders in Mrs. Ren's class conducted observations at the Maui Ocean Center and did research to learn about how animals adapt to survive in the coral reef habitat. In collaboration with Ms. Beth, our Visual Arts Teacher, they applied their observation skills by using shape and contour drawing to create an oil pastel of their chosen fish. They also learned about light and shading to create coral and rocks. In the end students discovered that even though animals have adaptations to survive, they can't protect themselves from human activity damaging the coral reef. Their choices make an impact on their learning and the coral reef habitat.




Mr. Dan from Honolulu Theater for Youth teaching vocabulary words in Ms. Jenson's first grade class.

Essential Question: Why put (vocab) words into our body?

Student Response: "So we can see what the word looks like."


Pōmaikaʻi Elementary School is the only public arts integrated school in Hawaiʻi.


Research has been an integral part of the development of Pōmaikaʻi school. Our schoolʻs success has been built on action research conducted in partnership with the Maui Arts and Cultural Center supported by the John F. Kennedy Center Partners of Education program. Pōmaikaʻi’s research has been presented in our state as well as nationally.


Recent case studies at Pomaika‘i Elementary (the only public school in Hawaii with a whole-school arts integrated curriculum!) indicates their students are developing positive non-cognitive traits like creative problem solving , drive, communication and collaboration … significant skills for a successful future!


"The Inspired School"

Pomaikaʻi Research Summary



Thank you to the Maui Arts & Cultural Center for producing this beautiful summary of Dr. Jamie Simpson Steeleʻs research report conducted in 2012-2013, researching the question: How does an arts integrated elementary curriculum affect studentsʻ academic and social success in middle school? Read about the noncognitive factors in an elementary school-wide arts integrated model.




Link to the full research document:
Happy and Vibrant:
Noncognitive Factors in Elementary School Arts Integration
Jamie Simpson Steele, Ph.D.
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, College of Education



Through our partnership with the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, we have benefitted from professional development and other resources from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.



The Kennedy Center’s Definition for Arts Integration


Arts Integration is
an APPROACH to TEACHING in which students construct and demonstrate
through an ART FORM.
Students engage in a
which CONNECTS an art form and another subject area and meets
in both.



According to the Kennedy Center

In Arts-Integrated Curriculum, the arts become the approach to teaching and the vehicle for learning. Students meet dual learning objectives when they engage in the creative process to explore connections between an art form and another subject area to gain greater understanding in both. For example, students meet objectives in theater (characterization, stage composition, action, expression) and in social studies. The experience is mutually reinforcing—creating a dramatization provides an authentic context for students to learn more about the social studies content and as students delve deeper into the social studies content their growing understandings impact their dramatizations. For Arts-Integrated Curriculum to result in deep student understanding in both the art form and the other curriculum area, it requires that teachers engage in professional development to learn about arts standards and how to connect the arts to the curriculum they teach.


For more information about Pōmaikaʻi's arts integration strategies