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The Arts In Every Classroom: A Video Library K-5

Collaborating With a Cultural Resource Activities and Discussion

Fourth-graders from Lusher Alternative Elementary School study the work of local artist Will Henry Stevens at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, Louisiana

Suggested Activities and Discussion

Consider these questions for reflection:

  • What cultural resources are available in your community with which your school could collaborate on a unit of study involving dance, music, theatre, or visual art?
  • What units of study might be enhanced by teaching with those resources?

Improving Practice
Here are some additional ways you can build on the ideas in these programs in a variety of school and community settings:

Professional Development for Teachers

  • Plan a joint training session with current or future collaborators. Identify the skills that would be necessary to work in each other’s environment and plan a mentoring or other system for sharing these.
  • Take a course in drawing, movement, or another art form at a local arts organization. If you don’t have time for a whole course, try volunteering for an hour or two a month. Learn first-hand how the group operates, what resources they have to offer, and how you might bring these into your school.

Curriculum-Planning Sessions

  • Brainstorm possible collaborators in your community for an upcoming unit of study. How might each enhance the learning experience? Consider the benefits of working with collaborators from more than one art form.

Parent-Teacher Meetings

  • Ask parents for their ideas for potential collaborators. Ask if any parents have contacts with community resources that might work with the school on an arts-based project.

Community Collaboration

  • Become acquainted with community foundations and other organizations in your area that might fund a collaboration with a local arts organization. Learn their requirements for funding and consider what it would take for your school or project to qualify.
  • Invite representatives from one or more arts organizations to your school. Share your curriculum plans and ask your visitors to identify possible opportunities for collaboration.