Office of Arts & Special Projects

Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Visual Arts



The publication of the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Visual Arts: PreK-12 is truly a milestone for the New York City Department of Education. For the first time, schools at all levels can implement Visual Arts education programs that are both sequential and comprehensive. Teachers have been provided with guidelines for implementing rich and creative instruction, and supervisors have been given a template by which to structure and evaluate programs. Our partners in the cultural and university communities have worked with us to establish the Blueprint as a common frame of reference to advance our mutual goal: an excellent education for all New York City public school students.



We are proud to release the revised 2015 edition of the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Visual Arts: PreK-12. This new version includes a reworking of Strand 1 that is detailed and scaffolded across grades, and directed towards specific skills. This version also includes new documents to address arts instruction in PreK settings, Common Core alignment, family engagement, art as text, discussion and questioning in the art room, and Specific Considerations in Visual Arts for arts studio practice and observations. There are updated sections on addressing the needs of students with disabilities and those of English language learners, and assessment and planning. Bibliographies and website resources have been updated and all websites have active links. We are confident that the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Visual Arts: PreK-12 will remain an essential tool for New York City arts teachers.


Download the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in Visual Arts

Download the Specific Considerations for Visual Arts


How to purchase through FAMIS (internal)
How to purchase as an individual or external organization



Sample Curriculum Maps for Arts Instruction


The Office of Arts and Special Projects is pleased to offer teachers of the arts a series of sample of Curriculum Maps to support their instructional planning. These Maps were developed by teams of veteran educators in Dance, Music, Theater, and Visual Arts with a deep commitment to the integrity and talent of New York City arts teachers. Informed by their respective Blueprints for Teaching and Learning in the Arts, each team developed dynamic introductory Curriculum Maps for four different grade levels: early elementary, upper elementary, middle, and high school.


Each Map has several defined Units that consecutively span an entire school year. These Units provide a sample comprehensive series of teaching and learning experiences, assessments and instructional modifications. Furthermore, each Map contains two fully developed lesson plans for teacher reference and use.


Click here for Sample DOE Arts Maps



Student Achievement in Visual Arts: Drawing


Exemplary Student Work


To understand what constitutes exemplary artwork in assessing student progress and achievement, artwork must be viewed in relation to the Blueprint benchmarks and indicators. Student Achievement in the Visual Arts: Drawing references the Blueprint and offers a comprehensive look at exemplary student work in benchmark grades 2, 5, 8, and 12.


Click here to download Student Achievement in the Visual Arts: Drawing



High School Sample Introductory Course Syllabus in Visual Arts


Click here to download



NYC Arts Commencement Assessment in Visual Arts: High Schools


Click here for more information



Visual Arts Units


Click here for more information


Office of Arts & Special Projects