Susan Riley | July 2015

Using the Pixar Formula for Arts Integration

Riddle me this: have you ever seen a Pixar film that didn’t capture you in some way?  I can’t think of one!  Even their short films are incredible – have you seen the most recent one with the volcanos searching for love?  If not, check it out in the new Inside Out movie.  Moving on…

What makes Pixar’s approach so engaging?  Turns out, they have a handy formula that they use for any storyline.  They can plug in the main pieces into this formula and then the rest of the story fills itself in.

Here’s what the formula looks like:

Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

Try it with your favorite Pixar film (Toy Story, Up, Monster’s Inc, etc).  You’ll see how everything just flows together.

In today’s episode of EducationCloset On-Demand, I show you why using the Pixar formula through multiple art forms to create an outstanding arts integration lesson is so easy.  It’s so effective and my students always love it when we pull out this strategy.

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About the Author

Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, STEAM, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan