ArtsWork

The Kax Herberger Center for Children + the Arts

 

 

Lesson Plans

Standards Based K-12 Arts Lesson Plans

There has been an explosion of online lesson plans in the arts. Some are excellent. Many have little to do with teaching to the standards, and are, instead, craft, skit and sing–along activities.

Dance has a limited number of substantive materials online; there a more in theatre. Music has a number of sites. Visual arts has the greatest number of good sites available. Here are some of the best we could find.

All the Arts

ARTSEDGE
K–12. In Curriculum, Lessons & Activities you’ll find Standards based, teacher tested lessons for design arts, performing arts, and visual arts as well as lessons with the arts integrated into other subjects such as ESL, foreign languages, mathematics, physical education, science, and social studies. You can search by grade and by lesson title. Each lesson includes length, grade, related subject areas, overview, equipment, standards, instructional plan and strategies, assessment, resources, and author. There are hundreds of lessons. Good stuff!

Curriculum Web Links includes carefully selected and annotated links in each of the areas found in Curriculum. The links are organized by Lesson, Primary sources, Organization, Indexes. It is possible to sort the site by curriculum subject area. Kept current.

A to Z Teacher Stuff Network
K–12. Sorted by grade, there are 96 arts and crafts lessons, 30 for drama, 11 movement and dance, 14 music lessons. You need to work to find the good stuff mixed in with simple minded activities – but it is there.

California State University, Chico: Arts Lessons
K–12. Search for: Dance Lessons, Drama/Theatre Lessons, Music Lessons, Visual Art Lessons or Arts Lesson Database. Lessons based on the California standards, written by Chico students. Some very interesting materials.

Delaware Department of Education
Vignettes of classroom activities for all the arts at grades K–3, 4–5, 6–8, 9–12 and 9–12 Advanced. Based on their 1997 standards, but still some very interesting ideas.

Great Performance: PBS
4–12. Excellent dance, music and theatre arts appreciation lesson plans based on Public Broadcasting’s Great Performances. Check out the TV Schedules to see if the performance (used as motivation for the lesson) can be purchased on CD or tape. What is listed now (September 2003) is the 2002–2003 season. We assume that the 2003–04 season will be listed shortly.

Lesson Plan Central
K–12. Most of the lessons have good ideas. Some, but not all, of the lessons are based on the standards. There is a wealth of subject areas here and even though many categories seem to overlap, there seem to be different lessons in each category:

  • Architecture
  • Computer Art
  • Dance
  • Design Arts
  • Drama (even much of this is quite good, but of course some are simple minded games with little purpose
  • Drawing
  • Elementary
  • High School
  • History
  • Middle School
  • Music
  • Photography
  • Visual
  • Webquest (The lessons that have current links do send the students on interesting “quests.” We found several lessons with many dead links! Check them out before you decide to use the lesson.)

*AskEric Lesson Plans This federally funded site has teacher created and tested lessons for: architecture, art history, computers in art, music process skills, visual arts. Each lesson includes author, date, grade level, subjects, description, goals, objectives, materials, procedure, assessment.

Lesson Plans Page Click on Art Lessons and Music Lessons to find teacher–tested lesson plans that generally include technology. Each lesson includes: title, subject, grade level, objectives, supplies, time needed, introduction, Lesson Plans, closure. Search by grade.

PreK–12. Good music materials from the University of Missouri. Categories include:

  • Composition
  • Dance & Movement (grades PreK–5)
  • Instruments
  • Music Components – Dynamics & Patterns; Mood, Expression & Emotion; Rhythm & Melody; Speed & Tempo; Symbol & Scale
  • Music History/Literature/Musicians
  • Musical Styles/Types
  • Singing
  • Multiple Topics
  • Connections – Language, Math, Physical Education/Health, Science, Social Studies

McRel: Lesson Plans K–12. The Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning site has links to 19 sites with dance, music, theater and visual arts lessons or further links to sites with actual units. The lessons are carefully selected from some major and some less accessible sites. Well worth the visit.

The New York Times Daily Lesson Plan 6–12. Very thoughtful lessons based on Times articles. The articles are included with the lesson. There are more lessons for the visual arts, but the dance, music and theatre are there too. There are 50+ lessons and growing.

Utah Education Network K–12. The lesson plans in the four art forms are very well done! Search by subject and grade.

Yale–New Haven Teachers Institute K–12. Totally awesome! The work of K–12 New Haven teachers who take time at the Yale summer institute to carefully research and write lesson plans for the coming years. There are hundreds of lessons searchable alphabetically by subject, such as acting, architecture, art, dance, drama, music, music history, etc.


Dance

*Lesson Plans Page
PreK–5. One section devoted to Dance & Movement.

Multiple Intelligence Lessons and Activities
“…incorporates the use of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory with the integration of instructional technology…stations [are] set up to help the students discover the topi…[and are] designed with constructivist learning strategies for cooperative groups. Each lesson incorporates computers/technology to enhance learning. One unit for dance.”

  • Art Connection: anatomy, literature, health and dance (9th)

PE Central
K–12. There were two dance lessons here, both with standards and assessment.

Music

Baltimore Curriculum Project Lesson Plans
K–5. Based on the Core Knowledge Sequence, the music and visual arts lessons are accessible by grade and month that they are presented in these schools. Skipping the information applicable to these schools, the “core” lessons are well thought out with a logical sequence.

Continental Harmony Web
3–8. From PBS. Very well thought out. Has six lessons:

  • Music & mood – can what we hear change what we see?
  • World beat – explore the common function of music around the world
  • Sonic sketching – painting pictures with found sounds
  • Elements of music – exploring the composer’s tools
  • Musical imagery – exploring the visual power of music
  • Music, slavery & the civil war – exploring the spiritual

*Core Knowledge Lesson Plans
K–8. The lessons are from individual teachers basing their work on the Core Knowledge sequence. Interesting material. Core Knowledge is a private foundation.

Lesson Plan Search
K–12. Some good (some much less than good) music lessons K–12.

*Multiple Intelligence Lessons and Activities
“…incorporates the use of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory with the integration of instructional technology…stations [are] set up to help the students discover the topic… [and are] designed with constructivist learning strategies for cooperative groups. Each lesson incorporates computers/technology to enhance learning.

  • Art and Music of Our Time (7th & 8th)
  • Art Walk About: Develop a sense of creativity & perspective (7th–10th)
  • Culture: Life in the 1920s & 1930s (secondary)
  • Renaissance: Important Artists & Composers (6th–9th)
  • Renaissance: art, literature, architecture, expansion (senior high)

*Rock + Roll for Teachers
9–12. A wonderful set of 78 lessons for high school students from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The lessons connect the songs to the social milieu that generated them. Because of copyright issues, songs and lyrics are not provided, but they should easily be available in music stores. The writers caution, “…that some material contained in these lessons my be considered controversial or inappropriate by some students, educators, administrators and parents; it is the responsibility of individual educators to determine whether any particular lesson conforms to the accepted standards of his or her particular school or community.”

*Stomp: Percussion for Kids
K–12. Classroom lessons that use familiar objects to explore: vibration, volume, amplification, pitch, and frequency. Exciting ideas from a performance group in England. Includes three sections:

  • Younger students – 9 lessons
  • Rainforest – activities
  • Older students – simple sound, music: controlled sound, noise vs. sound, and all about rhythm.

TeachersFirst.com
1–12. At least 100 lessons. Good materials; some interactive.

Single Lessons or Units

Comparing Composers: Beethoven and Mozart
K–12. From Education World. Links to text and worksheet for high school and for younger kids.

A Different Drum
3–8. From Education World. Students invent musical instruments and learn about the properties of sound. Some of the links are inoperable, but there is enough here to be interesting.

Kodak Lesson Plans
6. An excellent project that stresses the integration of music composition, still photography, poetry, and art as an alternative means of communication. The students create a music/slide show based on the students’ original compositions.

Music Inventions
4–6. A prize winning, music and science lesson that introduces the children to vibration, sound waves, resonance, frequency, amplitude, and volume through simple experiments using rulers and rubber bands.

Theater

Drama in Education

7–13. Tested lessons for students. From England.

EdHelper.com: Drama Lessons!
6–12. Some fifty lessons from classroom teachers. Mostly high school, mostly acting. Some better than others, if teaching to the standards is a criterion.

Lesson Plans
K–12. A wonderful site, from Arizona teachers, with very well designed lessons on a variety of topics ranging from: Beginning Drama, Character Analysis, Greek Tragedy to the Elements and Principles of Design, and Emotional Intelligence.

Teaching Shakespeare
K–12. The Folger Shakespeare Library site includes Lesson Plans for elementary, middle school and high school students. Well researched and field tested materials. Updated 2002.

*The World of Puppets
K–2. A ten day unit that introduces the children to puppets from Japan, Vietnam, Java and Bali. Activities are included to make the work interesting and memorable for the students. Good links. As so often happens, the strength is on learning about the type of puppet. The students are expected to create puppet shows with no teacher advice about performance. Check out The Theatre Book to get some hints about helping the children learn about story creation and performance.

Child Drama
K–12. Homepage of Matt Buchanan, Playwright and Drama Teacher. His standards based lesson plans have been forged in his classroom. He has also included his curriculum. The material looks good.

Visual Art

*Arizona Arts Education Assocation
K–12. The Arizona Arts Education Association site. It has a number of lessons by Arizona teachers in art history, art elements and principles, and cultural art. Links send you to Changing Lesson Plans at: Crayola, Art Ed Net Lesson Page, The Art Teachers Connection, Art Teacher on Net, Visual Mania. Recently redesigned and researched.

*ArtsEdNet
1–12. From the Getty, this remains an outstanding source for standards based lessons and units. The lessons are sorted by grade plus an alphabetical listing of titles.

Baltimore Curriculum Project Lesson Plans
K–5. Based on the “Core Knowledge Sequence,” the lessons are accessible by grade and month that they are presented in these schools. Skipping the information applicable to these schools, the "core" lessons are well thought out and there is a logical sequence from Kindergarten through fifth grade.

*Core Knowledge Lesson Plans
K–8. The lessons are from individual teachers basing their work on this sequence. Interesting material. Core Knowledge is a private foundation.

Crayola Lesson Plans
PreK–12 and Special Needs. A wealth of good lessons from teachers across the country. Searchable by:

  • Media (a huge list)
  • Curriculum – visual arts, language arts, math, science, social science,
  • Grade
  • Timeframe
  • Theme (also a very long list)

The Cyber Sketchbook and Digital Drawing-board
7–12. An exciting site. The emphasis is on computer generated graphics and animation, but the author continues to focus on the traditional study for drawing, painting and sculpture. Lessons in four categories:

  • Elements of Design
  • Principles of Design
  • Art History and Appreciation
  • Teaching Art with Technology

Educate the Children: Teacher Zone
K–3. From Britain. Lessons, worksheets, interactive resources and assessment based on department of education standards. Very interesting materials! When we visited, three of the six units were up:

  • Investigating Pattern
  • Viewpoints
  • Objects and Meaning, and Talking Textiles

Favorite Lessons
PreK–12. teacher tested lessons based on the standards. Copyright held by Ken Rohrer who has had good sites online for a very long time. (The drama material is not well done.)

Huntsville City Schools: Elementary Art
k–5. Nicely done lessons that include:

  • American Art
  • Animals in Art
  • Architecture
  • Art and Literature
  • Art History
  • Elements & Principles
  • Multicultural Art
  • People in Art
  • A Potpourri of Art

KinderArt
K–12. Has many lessons, some better than others. Includes:

  • Art history
  • Drawing
  • Painting/printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Cross curricular art
  • Multicultural art
  • (We do not recommend the drama materials.)

Kodak Lesson Plans
K–12. Fifteen teacher-tested units using photography. Well thought out. Standards, as such, are not listed, but the basics of the discipline are being taught.

*Multiple Intelligence Lessons and Activities
"…incorporates the use of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence Theory with the integration of instructional technology…stations [are] set up to help the students discover the topic… [and are] designed with constructivist learning strategies for cooperative groups. Each lesson incorporates computers/technology to enhance learning.”

  • Art and Music of Our Time (7th & 8th)
  • Art WalkAbout: Develop a sense of creativity & perspective (7th–10th)
  • Culture: Life in the 1920s & 1930s (secondary)
  • Renaissance: Important Artists & Composers (6th–9th)
  • Renaissance: art, literature, architecture, expansion (senior high)

*A Series of Basic Art Lessons
((link to 7–12. Tested lessons introducing kids to drawing, color, collage, mixing paint, art history. No standards statements here, but they could easily be stated. The material seems to solidly teach art knowledge and skills.

*Teach Art
K–12. Teacher tested lessons from the Sanford Company. Not the easiest to read, but the ideas are interesting.

TeachersFirst.com
K–12 lessons from the Network for Educational TV. The art lessons are particularly wonderful.

*Virtual Curriculum: Elementary Art Education
K–5. A site from an individual last updated in 1999 so some of the links are not operable, but there are good lessons that include the concept, objectives, vocabulary, materials, procedures, evaluations and links to related sites.

  • Element
  • Principles
  • The Americas
  • Europe
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Prehistory

 

Single Lessons or Units

*Art for Sale
5. A wonderful Webquest lesson that starts, “Your art brokerage firm has been contacted by a rich entrepreneur…She has decided to add three pieces from [the Pacific Northwest to her vast European art collection]. It is your job to research the art of the Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, Kweakiutl, and other tribes of the Northwest Coast and to select three pieces from that culture to add to her collection.” And the search is on. Good stuff!

*Color
3–5. An online children's book that combines artistic and scientific observation and technical skills to help students explore artists and schools of art, sharpen observation of colors, investigate the sciences of light and color. Fun!

Digital Classroom
Teaching With documents Lesson Plan: powers or Persuasion – Poster Art of World War II 9–12. From the U.S. National Archives & Records Administration. A very interesting lesson. Links to posters and a Poster Analysis Worksheet included.

Explorations in Art: Expressionism/Painting
7–12. Four units introducing: Art as Inquiry, Art in Context, and Creating Art. The text and images are ready for student use. Assignments and self- assessment are included. Written by Dr. Mary Stockrocki from ASU, based on the National Standards.

*Eyes on Art
7–12. A wonderful site! Student ready, interactive series of four lesson/units to introduce art appreciation. The authors have worked wonders to get permission to use images from major artists so that students can analyze the art elements and principles. Based on the 2001 California Visual Arts Standards, the units challenge the students to use higher level thinking and affective response to the work.

Geometry Through Art
K–6. A GREAT site with carefully explained activities that introduce the children to geometric concepts and art elements and principles. Printable grids, graphs and patterns supplied.

Kodak Lesson Plans
6. An excellent project that stresses the integration of music composition, still photography, poetry, and art as an alternative means of communication. The students create a music/slide show based on the students' original compositions.

Line, Shape, Form and Pattern
7–12. Six lessons, written by Jacky Andes an Arizona teacher, for students to explore:

  • Line
  • A Geometric Exercise
  • Shape and Form
  • Light and Shadow
  • Line and Pattern
  • Tessellations

Navajo Pottery
7–12. A unit written by Dr. Faith Clover, U of Minnesota, and Jim Alan from Navajo country. Each lesson has text for the students and is accompanied by worksheets and assignments and self assessment rubrics. Based on the Arizona Standards.

  • Introduction
  • Clay
  • Philosophy
  • Techniques
  • Navajo Firing

Political Cartooning
7–12. A unit, based on Arizona Standards, ready for student use. Ben Franklin takes the kids through the lessons. Each lesson includes a quiz, an assignment and self-assessment rubric. Written by Larry Woodson, award-winning junior high teacher, and Dr. Mary Stokrockie from ASU. The three sections are:

  • Cartoons in Context, including a caricature exercise
  • Criticizing Cartoons
  • Creating a Cartoon

Teach Impressionism

1–8. Complete with lessons, images and teacher information. Nine lessons from the High Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum and the Denver Art Museum. The artists include:

  • Monet
  • Degas
  • Caillbotte
  • Morisot
  • Monet
  • Cezanne
  • Van Gogh
  • Renoir
  • Degas