ABC Teacher Institute

Photo of 3-D book created during the 2012 ABC Institute
Landscape book created during the 2012 ABC Institute; Credit: Daniel Schwartz

NMWA educators, book artists, and art and literacy specialists present this free, intensive professional development opportunity.

Empower and inspire your students though art! From July 8–12, 2019, join the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ education staff, professional book artist Carol Barton, and curriculum and literacy specialists for a graduate-level course centered on NMWA’s Art, Books, and Creativity (ABC) curriculum. The curriculum was originally designed for 4th and 5th graders, though if you enjoy the challenge of adapting lessons for students of different ages and abilities, this institute is for you!  

This free program ($30 materials fee collected upon registration) takes place for one week, Monday, July 8 through Friday, July 12, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, and includes daily homework assignments.

During the course of the week, participants:

  • Learn various book formats—accordion books, self-portrait books, pop-ups, and more—as well as writing exercises from the ABC curriculum.
  • Practice the Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) method for facilitating art discussions.
  • Brainstorm ideas for integrating visual arts with language arts, social studies, math, and science in their own classrooms.
  • Create arts-integration lesson concepts. 

No prior art experience is necessary, and classroom teachers are especially encouraged to apply. Once educators receive notification of acceptance into the Teacher Institute, they will receive information about obtaining three graduate credit hours by registering through Trinity Washington University. 

apply now!


  • Application Deadline: Monday, May 13, 2019
  • Acceptance Notification: Friday, May 24, 2019

Previous Participants’ Comments

“The ideas taught are transferable to a realistic classroom setting and schedule…The instructors actually taught to different learning styles.”

“I really like how the first project incorporates art, social studies and science. By combining effective lesson planning with critical thinking, you have not only made the lesson really engaging, but you have created a space where students see where multi-disciplines are relevant and inner-connected.”

“I am very excited about all the possibilities for integrating art. The artists’ books are new for me and I LOVE them. I know my students will be excited to work hard with these lessons.”

The ABC curriculum and professional development content presented online and in the Summer Teacher Institute were developed by NMWA and its partners between 2003 and 2010 with two grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

The 2018 ABC Teacher Institute was supported by the Leo Rosner Foundation, Wells Fargo, and the Junior League of Washington.

National Museum of Women in the Arts