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The Arts In Every Classroom: A Workshop for Elementary School Teachers

Discover some new ideas about working with the arts in this video workshop for K-5 classroom and arts specialist teachers.

A video workshop for elementary school teachers; 8 one-hour video programs plus Classroom Demonstration Materials video, workshop guide, and website.

This video workshop provides new ideas about working with the arts for K-5 classroom and arts specialist teachers. The eight one-hour video programs show workshop leaders from the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts working with Learner Teams — teachers, principals, and arts specialists — from three elementary schools. The Learner Teams work through a curriculum unit based on a multi-arts performance piece by Cirque du Soleil. Classroom segments show school children engaged in the same lessons. Learner Team members then begin to design their own arts-based units, and return to their schools to put into practice what they learned. Web and print materials provide context and activities for using the videos in workshop sessions. Audio and video demonstration materials needed to teach the classroom lessons in Programs 1-4 can be found on the Classroom Demonstration Materials videotape, which is provided free to buyers of the set of workshop videotapes.

Workshop Overview

These eight workshop programs introduce key concepts about the arts and arts education. They are designed to be viewed sequentially:

  • Programs 1-4 present a unit of study that integrates four art forms: theatre, music, dance, and visual art. The unit of study is based on a multi-arts performance piece, Quidam, by the world-famous troupe Cirque du Soleil. Each program includes several lessons that build on each other, each with activities and discussion. You can use the lessons in this unit in your own classroom — this website includes PDF files of lesson plans and support materials.
  • Programs 5-6 demonstrate a step-by-step process for developing your own multi-arts curriculum unit, using the Quidam unit as an example. This website includes the plans and support materials you’ll need to use this curriculum design process in your own school.
  • Programs 7-8 explore practical experiences of using the arts in elementary school classrooms. Members of three Learner Teams — teachers and principals who participated in workshops 1-6 — are seen in their own schools, using what they learned and discussing their experiences.

In this workshop, classroom teachers and art specialist teachers will:

  • discover the power of a multi-arts curriculum;
  • incorporate the arts into your curriculum;
  • learn arts-based teaching approaches;
  • find classroom-ready ideas and lesson plans;
  • investigate a process for curriculum design that can help you teach the arts and other subject areas, more effectively, and
  • see teachers from three schools begin to bring the arts into their classrooms.

In eight one-hour programs, workshop leaders from the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts work with Learner Teams made up of educators from elementary schools in Arlington, Virginia; White Plains, New York; and Memphis, Tennessee. Each Learner Team includes the school’s principal, an arts specialist teacher, and two classroom teachers. You also will see examples of elementary school students working with the same material as the Learner Teams. In the last two programs, the Learner Teams apply what they learned to their own classrooms.

A companion to the workshop is The Arts in Every Classroom: A Video Library, K-5. The video library is a series of 14 documentary programs showing classroom and arts specialist teachers using the arts in a variety of successful ways in elementary schools around the country.

Workshop Audience

The Arts in Every Classroom: A Workshop for Elementary School Teachers is an eight-part professional development workshop for K-5 teachers.

Workshop Components

Each workshop session is approximately two hours, which includes one hour for viewing the program plus one hour of on-site preparation, discussion, and activities. You can participate in this workshop as part of a group or on your own. If you are taking this workshop alone, you are your own facilitator. To download program guides, readings, and handouts, use the Support Materials for each workshop.

How to Use This Workshop

Planning Workshop Sessions

This site and the printed guide provide all the information you need to conduct your workshop sessions. For each session, you will find:

  • background material, including key concepts, vocabulary, teacher notes, materials, and lesson plans you can use in your own school;
  • on-site session guides, with timed discussions and activities for before, during, and after the program; and
  • between-session homework and activities to pursue on your own.

On-Site Sessions

Each on-site session consists of three parts:

1. Getting Ready

In preparation for watching the program, you will engage in 10 to 25 minutes of discussion and activity (for specific times, see the individual sessions).

2. Watching the Program

Then you will watch the 60-minute program. You may want to consider the questions posed in this guide while viewing the program and discuss them later.

3. Suggested Activities and Discussion

Wrap up the session with an additional period of activities and discussion (for specific times, see the individual programs).

Optional Extended Workshop Sessions

For Programs 1-4, you may choose to explore the optional four-hour sessions of on-site activities and discussion that can significantly enhance your understanding of these programs. You can use this material to enrich or replace the two-hour sessions of these programs.

Between Sessions (On Your Own)

Homework Assignments: Exercises and activities reinforce practices learned in the previous program and prepare you for the next one.

Reading Assignments: Reading assignments support your understanding of the current program and introduce you to topics for the next program.

Ongoing Activities: Continue your personal investigations and reflections in your daily activities. In addition to the specific ideas listed for each program, here are some ways to enrich your overall experience of this workshop:

  • Keep a journal. Include your thoughts, questions, and discoveries about the arts in education from what you experience in the workshop and in your own classroom.
  • Attend a show at a museum, theatre, dance company, or orchestra in your community. Share this experience of the arts with workshop participants and students in your classroom.
  • Watch the programs in The Arts in Every Classroom companion video library. See teachers, students, administrators, and others at work in classrooms where arts play a vital role in teaching and learning.

Hints for Facilitators

Each week, one person should be selected in advance to facilitate the workshop session. You may choose to have two people share the responsibility, with one facilitating Getting Ready and the other facilitating Suggested Activities and Discussion.

Use these tips to plan and conduct a successful session:

  • Plan Your Session
    Review the entire session on the web or in the printed guide, including the readings and background materials. Plan how you will conduct the suggested activities.
  • Bring Necessary Materials
    Check the list of general materials needed, such as flip charts, pens, and scratch paper. Also, be sure to check the Getting Ready section for the specific program for videotapes, readings, and handouts you’ll need that week.
  • Record Your Discussions
    Ask someone to take notes or record the session.
  • Explore Extended Workshop Sessions
    If you have time, use these in-depth, on-site activities to expand or replace the two-hour sessions of Programs 1-4.

Materials Needed

For each workshop session, you will need:

  • Wi-fi access and computers to stream the video programs;
  • a whiteboard or flip chart, a few pages of paper for each participant, and writing materials;
  • printed copies of the guide to the complete workshop;
  • enough print copies for all participants of the handouts for that week’s program (check the Getting Ready section for that week’s program to find out which handouts you will need);
  • enough print copies for all participants of the readings for that week’s program (check the Getting Ready section of that week’s program to find out which readings you will need); and
  • any other materials specified in the Getting Ready section of that week’s program.

Buying or Borrowing Quidam

Program 1 includes the opening sequence of Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam. Participants are encouraged to view Quidam in its entirety, ideally after watching Program 1 and before watching Program 2. Teachers who use these lessons in the classroom also are advised to show students the Quidam tape in full.

You can purchase a DVD of the whole Quidam performance at http://www.amazon.com/Cirque-du-Soleil-Audrey-Brisson-Jutras/dp/0767840135, at other online sellers.

You also may be able to borrow the Quidam DVD at your public library. If you obtain a single copy for all participants to share, you may wish to set a time when participants can view Quidam together or establish a schedule for participants to borrow the DVD.

Viewing Video Library Programs

Participants may want to develop a similar system for sharing the DVDs of The Arts in Every Classroom companion video library.

 

Workshop Participants and Contributors

Instructional Designers

Content for The Arts in Every Classroom: A Workshop for Elementary School Teachers was developed by the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts (SCEA), in collaboration with Lavine Production Group and KSA-Plus Communications.

SCEA Staff

Kim Wheetley, director of the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts, holds the UTC Lyndhurst Chair of Excellence in Arts Education. He served on the writing committees for the National Standards for Arts Education and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) Arts Education Standards for teachers.

Susanne Burgess is the music specialist at Solvang Elementary School in Solvang, California. She previously was director of music at the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts. She has worked with all age groups from newborn to college, teaching general and choral music in public and private schools, conservatories, and community organizations.

Scott Rosenow is the director of the Southeast Institute for Education in Theatre at the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts. He has taught and directed theatre at the elementary school, middle school, high school, and university levels.

Project Collaborators With SCEA

Kathy Blum is the headmaster at Cliff Valley School, a private elementary school in Atlanta, Georgia. She previously was director of theatre at the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts and has provided professional development for elementary and secondary school teachers throughout the country.

Kathy DeJean is the dance specialist at Lusher Alternative Elementary and Middle Schools in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has taught, danced, and choreographed in schools and professional dance companies in the United States and Europe.

Ann Rowson Love is the education director at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans, Louisiana. She previously was director of visual art at the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts and is a museum educator.

Hazel Lucas is a curriculum coordinator at Browns Mill Elementary School in Lithonia, Georgia. She previously taught fifth-grade social studies there, and has given workshops in visual art education in the United States and China.

Workshop Leaders

Kathy Blum, Susanne Burgess, Kathy DeJean, and Hazel Lucas appear as on-camera workshop leaders for The Arts in Every Classroom: A Workshop for Elementary School Teachers.

Participating Schools

Learner Teams’ Schools

Classroom demonstrations were filmed at:

Browns Mill Elementary School, Lithonia, Georgia

Yvonne Butler, principal

Hazel Lucas, fifth-grade teacher

Lusher Alternative Elementary School, New Orleans, Louisiana

Kathy Hurstell Riedlinger, principal

Kathy DeJean, dance teacher

Carolyn DuBois, fourth-grade teacher

Marti Dumas, fifth-grade teacher

Kathy Guidry, kindergarten teacher

Megan Neelis, second-grade teacher

Amanda Newberry, theatre teacher

Wallace A. Smith Elementary School, Ooltewah, Tennessee

Lisa Miller, principal

Learner Teams in the Workshop Programs

From Drew Model School, Arlington, Virginia

Janice Adkisson has been principal of Drew Model School since 1999. Previously she held positions as program development coordinator, supervisor of early childhood, and supervisor of staff development for Arlington Public Schools. Prior to joining the district staff, Adkisson was director of research and information for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) and served as manager of the Computer Alliance for the National School Boards Association. She has taught elementary grades in Maine, New Hampshire, Michigan, and Maryland. Adkisson received her master’s degree from George Mason University and her doctorate from George Washington University.

Stephanie Ellison has taught fourth grade at Drew Model Elementary School since 2000. Her collaboration with a local Arlington theatre group and the school art and music staff has helped her make Virginia history especially exciting for her students. Prior to joining the school district, Ellison taught fifth and sixth grades in Moreno Valley, California, and Moses Lake, Washington. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in reading from Central Washington University.

Walter McKenzie is Drew’s instructional technology coordinator and a veteran classroom teacher of 14 years. His professional interests include curriculum integration, multiple intelligences, and the arts. His book, Multiple Intelligences and Instructional Technology: A Manual for the Mind, was published by the International Society for Technology in Education in May 2002.

Angela Snead has taught kindergarten and preschool at Drew Model School since 1999. Since the start of her career, she has collaborated with colleagues to integrate the arts into her teaching. Snead holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and a master’s degree in education from Marymount University.

Connie Usova has worked as a visual art teacher at Drew Model School since 1990. She received her undergraduate degree from Carlow College and, in addition to graduate coursework at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, earned a master’s degree in education at George Mason University. She brought to Drew 15 years of experience in arts education, including work at a highly diverse, inner-city school outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; a private school in Charleston, South Carolina; and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

From Kingsbury Elementary School, Memphis, Tennessee

Brett Lawson, principal of Kingsbury Elementary and a native of Jonesboro, Arkansas, received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Arkansas State University and his master’s degree in leadership from the University of Memphis. He has taught music at Crawfordsville and Marion schools in Arkansas and at Munford High School and Cherokee Elementary School in Tennessee. Lawson became assistant principal at Kingsbury Elementary in 1998 and principal in 2001.

Lokita Glover has been a third-grade teacher in the Memphis City Schools since 1996. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education at the University of Memphis.

Thomas Raphael is an Orff music specialist teacher at Kingsbury Elementary. He received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Syracuse University in 1998. Raphael served as band director in the St. Charles Parish Public School System in New Orleans, Louisiana, before becoming an Orff music teacher and band director at Kingsbury Elementary.

Angela Tillery has been a kindergarten teacher in Memphis city Schools since 1998. She earned her bachelor’s degree in science from LeMoyne Owen College in Memphis. She currently teaches kindergarten at Kingsbury Elementary.

From Ridgeway Elementary School, White Plains, New York

Sandi Cangialosi has been principal of Ridgeway School since 1999. Prior to coming to White Plains she worked as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal in the New York City Schools. As a teacher, Cangialosi was trained by the Metropolitan Opera in its Writing Original Opera With Children series. As an administrator, she founded the Professional Performing Arts School, a public middle/high school for students who demonstrate a serious desire to study for a career in the arts.

Monica Bermiss has taught third grade in the White Plains Public Schools since 2000. Previously, she was an elementary school teacher in Harlem, New York, for five years. In addition to academic programs, she has a long history of working with youths, ages six to 19, at a camp in Huguenot, New York.

MaryFrances Perkins is a visual art teacher in the White Plains Public Schools. She has more than 30 years of experience working with both regular and special-needs children of all ages. She has held teaching positions at the Hudson River Museum and with the Board of Cooperative Educational Services. Perkins has worked on summer art projects with the City of White Plains as well as the Youth Bureau. She earned her bachelor’s degree in art education from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, and master’s degree in art therapy from the College of New Rochelle in New Rochelle, New York.

Joan Roberts, a second-grade teacher at Ridgeway, has been teaching since the mid-1980s. She has taught in Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, and Ohio. Roberts has a bachelor’s degree in science from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She served as a building substitute at Ridgeway for more than a year before becoming a full-time teacher there.

Workshop Credits

The workshop was produced by Lavine Production Group in collaboration with KSA-Plus Communications and the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts.

Advisors to the Project

Arnold Aprill is the executive director of the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, a network of 30 Chicago public schools, 45 professional arts organizations, and 11 community organizations dedicated to co-planning whole-school improvement through the arts.

Deborah Brzoska is the director of arts education for the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, Washington, which has been recognized by the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities as one of nine districts in the nation with exemplary K-12 arts education.

David Diaz Guerrero has been a documentary photographer for more than 30 years. He has been a recipient of a Colorado Humanities and Arts grant, an NEA Collaborative Project grant, and a Colorado Council on the Arts Visual Artist fellowship. He has taught as a visiting artist in several schools in Colorado.

Joseph Juliano Jr. is the director of fine arts for the Hamden Public Schools in Hamden, Connecticut, where he supervises programs in all the arts for grades K-12. In addition, he is president of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, an association of artists and educators serving young people. He also is on the steering committee of the Arts Education Partnership and is chair of the Interdisciplinary Committee of the Consortium of National Arts Education Associations.

Donald J. Killeen is national program manager of the National Arts Education Consortium, Department of Art Education, Ohio State University. He has more than 20 years experience teaching and administering in higher education settings both in the United States and internationally. From 1997 to 2002, he directed the Transforming Education Through the Arts Challenge, a five-year national education reform initiative designed to link comprehensive arts education with national and local efforts to reform our nation’s schools.

Sally Nogg, a first-grade teacher at John F. Kennedy Elementary School, Brewster, New York, is an early childhood specialist who has been a classroom teacher for more than 25 years. She began teaching at the secondary level but after six years moved to primary grades. Her teaching experience ranges from living and teaching on Indian reservations in Arizona and New Mexico to working in an inner-city school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She specializes in diverse populations and developmentally appropriate practices.

Martha Rodriguez-Torres is the principal of P.S. 156, The Waverly School of the Arts, in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York. When she started at Waverly, it was a relatively low-performing school with only 17 percent of the children reading at or above grade level. She made the school into an arts magnet school and improved student performance outcomes.

Vicki Rosenberg is vice president and chief operating officer of the Council of Michigan Foundations. Before taking this position, she was senior program officer with the Getty Grant Program, a subsidiary of the J. Paul Getty Trust, where she managed national programs designed to improve the quality and status of arts education in American public schools.

Wayne Walters is principal of the Frick International Studies Academy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Previously he was assistant principal at Northview Heights Elementary School, where he fostered a music program for inner-city children. He also was an elementary and vocal music teacher at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, also in Pittsburgh.

Stella Yu is associate director of the Mayor’s Office of Art, Culture, and Film in Denver, Colorado. She has a background in fine arts, arts education, and business and is an accomplished visual artist who spent many years as a visual art specialist teacher.

Video Production and Project Management

Lavine Production Group, based in New York City, New York, produces documentary films and television programs on a variety of topics. It specializes in education and the arts.

Kaye Lavine, project director and series producer

Miriam Lewin, producer

Susan Perlman, associate producer

Gary Bradley, supervising editor

Laura Young, editor

Theresa Liberatore, segment producer

Claudia Mogel, segment producer

Reynelda Muse, workshop host

Jeff Williams, additional editing

David Hogoboom, field camera

Peter Pearce, additional field camera

Carl Anderson, series animation

David Sherman, series theme music

James Krieger, post production sound

Carol Stein, post production supervisor

Print Materials and Web Development

KSA-Plus Communications, based in Arlington, Virginia, helps educators, public interest organizations, and businesses communicate more effectively with their many publics. The company provides a range of services including strategic communications planning, communications training, and Web and print materials development.

Adam Kernan-Schloss, project team leader

Bonnie Jacob, project manager

Geoff Camphire, production manager, Web and print

Susan Gillespie, production manager, Web and print

Steve Kramer, production editor, Web and print

Sarah Hope Zogby, production editor, Web and print

Mina Habibi, Web and graphic design

Maria Nicklin, series logo, Web and graphic design

Michael Smith, financial officer

Arts Education Standards

National Standards for Arts Education

Developed by the Consortium of National Arts Education Associations, National Standards for Arts Education outlines basic arts learning outcomes integral to the comprehensive education of every American student from kindergarten to grade 12. The consortium published the national standards in 1994 through a grant administered by the Music Educators National Conference. National Standards for Arts Education are published on ArtsEdge, the website of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

The Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) Model Core Standards

These standards for licensing teachers represent principles that should be present in all teaching regardless of the subject or grade level taught. They are intended to serve as a framework for the systemic reform of teacher preparation and professional development. The core standards currently are being translated into standards for discipline-specific teaching, including mathematics, English language, science, history/social studies, elementary education, special education, and the arts.

INTASC is a consortium of state education agencies, higher education institutions, and national educational organizations dedicated to reforming the education, licensing, and professional development of teachers.

Opportunity-to-Learn Standards for Arts Education

Developed by the Consortium of National Arts Education Associations, these standards for schools address curriculum and scheduling, staffing, materials and equipment, and facilities. These recommendations provide a comprehensive guide to the types and levels of support necessary to achieve the national standards for students.

The print version of Opportunity-to-Learn Standards for Arts Education is available from MENC Publications Sales, 1806 Robert Fulton Drive, Reston VA 20191-4348, (800) 828-0229.

The Arts in Basic Curriculum Project based at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, has devised “Arts Education Program Assessment Worksheets” based on exemplars from the Opportunity-to-Learn Standards for Arts Education.

  • Dance
  • Music

State Standards for Arts Education

The National Conference of State Legislators provides a web link with a thumbnail summary of arts standards in the 50 U.S. states. You also can access the link from the NCSL home page by clicking on Public User and using the search engine.

Standards

The national standards also feature summaries of how children learn and experience the art forms, with observations on how the arts can be taught effectively at grades K–4, 5–8, and 9–12. The  summaries below apply to grades K–5, which are the focus of The Arts in Every Classroom.

Theatre, Grades K–4

How Children Learn Theatre, Kindergarten–Grade 4

Theatre, the imagined and enacted world of human beings, is one of the primary ways children learn about life — about actions and consequences, about customs and beliefs, about others and themselves.

They learn through their social pretend play and from hours of viewing television and film. For instance, children use pretend play as a means of making sense of the world, they create situations to play out and assume roles, they interact with peers and arrange environments to bring their stories to life, and they direct one another to bring order to their drama and respond to one another’s dramas.

In other words, children arrive at school with rudimentary skills as playwrights, actors, designers, directors, and audience members. Theatre education should build on this solid foundation.

These standards assume that theatre education will start with and have a strong emphasis on improvisation, which is the basis of social pretend play.

In an effort to create a seamless transition from the natural skills of pretend play to the study of theatre, the standards call for instruction that integrates the several aspects of the art form: script writing, acting, designing, directing, researching, comparing art forms, analyzing and critiquing, and understanding contexts.

In kindergarten through fourth grade, the teacher will be actively involved in the students’ planning, playing, and evaluating, but students will be guided to develop group skills so more independence is possible. The content of the drama will develop students’ abilities to express their understanding of their immediate world and broaden their knowledge of other cultures.

Source: National Standards for Arts Education, published by Music Educators National Conference (MENC). Copyright © 1994 by MENC. Used by permission. The complete National Arts Standards and additional materials relating to the standards are available from MENC, The National Association for Music Education, 1806 Robert Fulton Drive, Reston, VA 20191, telephone: 800-336-3768.

 

Theatre, Grades 5–8

How Children Learn Theatre, Grades 5–8

In theatre, artists create an imagined world about human beings; it is the role of the actor to lead the audience into this visual, aural, and oral world.

To help students in grades five to eight develop theatre literacy, it is important that they learn to see the created world of theatre through the eyes of the playwright, actor, designer, and director. Through active creation of theatre, students learn to understand artistic choices and to critique dramatic works.

Students should, at this point, play a larger role in the planning and evaluation of their work. They should continue to use drama as a means of confidently expressing their worldview, thus developing their “personal voice.”

The drama also should introduce students to plays that reach beyond their communities to national, international, and historically representative themes.

Source: National Standards for Arts Education, published by Music Educators National Conference (MENC). Copyright © 1994 by MENC. Used by permission. The complete National Arts Standards and additional materials relating to the standards are available from MENC, The National Association for Music Education, 1806 Robert Fulton Drive, Reston, VA 20191, telephone: 800-336-3768.

 

Music, Grades K–4

How Children Learn Music, Kindergarten–Grade 4

Performing, creating, and responding to music are the fundamental music processes in which humans engage.

Students, particularly in kindergarten to grade four, learn by doing. Singing, playing instruments, moving to music, and creating music enable them to acquire musical skills and knowledge that can be developed in no other way. Learning to read and notate music gives them a skill with which to explore music independently and with others.

Listening to, analyzing, and evaluating music are important building blocks of musical learning. Further, to participate fully in a diverse, global society, students must understand their own historical and cultural heritages and those of others within their communities and beyond.

Because music is a basic expression of human culture, every student should have access to a balanced, comprehensive, and sequential program of study in music.

>Source: National Standards for Arts Education, published by Music Educators National Conference (MENC). Copyright © 1994 by MENC. Used by permission. The complete National Arts Standards and additional materials relating to the standards are available from MENC, The National Association for Music Education, 1806 Robert Fulton Drive, Reston, VA 20191, telephone: 800-336-3768.

 

Music, Grades 5–8

How Children Learn Music, Grades 5–8

The period represented by grades five to eight is especially critical in students’ musical development.

The music they perform or study often becomes an integral part of their personal musical repertoire. Composing and improvising provide students with unique insight into the form and structure of music and at the same time help them develop their creativity.

Broad experience with a variety of music is necessary if students are to make informed musical judgments. Similarly, this breadth of background enables them to begin to understand the connections and relationships between music and other disciplines.

By understanding the cultural and historical forces that shape social attitudes and behaviors, students are better prepared to live and work in communities that are increasingly multicultural.

The role that music will play in students’ lives depends in large measure on the level of skills they achieve in creating, performing, and listening to music.

Source: National Standards for Arts Education, published by Music Educators National Conference (MENC). Copyright © 1994 by MENC. Used by permission. The complete National Arts Standards and additional materials relating to the standards are available from MENC, The National Association for Music Education, 1806 Robert Fulton Drive, Reston, VA 20191, telephone: 800-336-3768.

 

Dance, Grades K–4

How Children Learn Dance, Kindergarten–Grade 4

Children in kindergarten to grade four love to move and learn through engagement of the whole self. They need to become literate in the language of dance in order to use this natural facility as a means of communication and self-expression, and as a way of responding to the expression of others.

Dancing and creating dances provide them with skills and knowledge necessary for all future learning in dance and give them a way to celebrate their humanity.

Dance education begins with an awareness of the movement of the body and its creative potential. At this level, students become engaged in body awareness and movement exploration that promote a recognition and appreciation of self and others.

Students learn basic movement and choreographic skills in musical and rhythmic contexts. The skills and knowledge acquired allow them to begin working independently and with a partner in creating and performing dances.

Experiences in perceiving and responding to dance expand students’ vocabularies, enhance their listening and viewing skills, and enable them to begin thinking critically about dance. They investigate questions such as, “What is it?”, “How does it work?”, and “Why is it important?”

Practicing attentive audience behavior for their peers leads to describing movement elements and identifying expressive movement choices. Students learn to compare works in terms of the elements of space, time, and force or energy and to experience the similarities and differences between dance and other disciplines.

Through dance education, students also can come to an understanding of their own culture and begin to respect dance as a part of the heritage of many cultures. As they learn and share dances from around the globe as well as their own communities, children gain skills and knowledge that will help them participate in a diverse society.

Source: National Standards for Arts Education, published by Music Educators National Conference (MENC). Copyright © 1994 by MENC. Used by permission. The complete National Arts Standards and additional materials relating to the standards are available from MENC, The National Association for Music Education, 1806 Robert Fulton Drive, Reston, VA 20191, telephone: 800-336-3768.

Source, Dance Standards: This article/quote is reprinted from National Standards for Arts Education with permission of the National Dance Association, an association of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. The original source may be purchased from: National Dance Association, 1900 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1599;
or phone 703-476-3421.

 

Dance, Grades 5–8

How Children Learn Dance, Grades 5–8

Through creating, performing, and responding to dance, middle school students can continue to develop skills and knowledge that enhance the important development of self-image and social relationships. Cooperation and collaboration are emphasized at this age, fostering positive interactions.

Dance education can offer a positive, healthy alternative to the many destructive choices available to adolescents. Students are encouraged to take more responsibility for the care, conditioning, and health of their bodies (both within and outside the dance class), thus learning that self-discipline is a prerequisite for achievement in dance.

Students in grades five to eight develop a sense of themselves in relation to others and in relation to the world. As a result, they are ready to respond more thoughtfully to dance, perceive details of style and choreographic structure, and reflect upon what is communicated.

The study of a particular dance provides a unique and valuable insight into the culture or period from which it has come. Informed by social and cultural experiences, movement concepts, and dance-making processes, students integrate dance with other art forms.

Source: National Standards for Arts Education, published by Music Educators National Conference (MENC). Copyright © 1994 by MENC. Used by permission. The complete National Arts Standards and additional materials relating to the standards are available from MENC, The National Association for Music Education, 1806 Robert Fulton Drive, Reston, VA 20191, telephone: 800-336-3768.

Source, Dance Standards: This article/quote is reprinted from National Standards for Arts Education with permission of the National Dance Association, an association of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. The original source may be purchased from: National Dance Association, 1900 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1599;
or phone 703-476-3421.

 

Visual Art, Grades K–4

How Children Learn Visual Art, Kindergarten–Grade 4

In kindergarten to grade four, young children experiment enthusiastically with art materials and investigate ideas presented to them through visual arts instruction. They exhibit a sense of joy and excitement as they make and share their artwork with others.

Creation is at the heart of this instruction. Students learn to work with various tools, processes, and media. They learn to coordinate their hands and minds in explorations of the visual world. They learn to make choices that enhance communication of their ideas. Their natural inquisitiveness is promoted, and they learn the value of perseverance.

As they move from kindergarten through the early grades, students develop skills of observation and learn to examine the objects and events of their lives. At the same time, they grow in their ability to describe, interpret, evaluate, and respond to work in the visual arts.

Through examination of their own work and that of other people, times, and places, students learn to unravel the essence of artwork and to appraise its purpose and value. Through these efforts, students begin to understand the meaning and impact of the visual world in which they live.

Source: National Standards for Arts Education, published by Music Educators National Conference (MENC). Copyright © 1994 by MENC. Used by permission. The complete National Arts Standards and additional materials relating to the standards are available from MENC, The National Association for Music Education, 1806 Robert Fulton Drive, Reston, VA 20191, telephone: 800-336-3768.

 

Visual Art, Grades 5–8

How Children Learn Visual Art, Grades 5–8

In grades five to eight, students’ visual expressions become more individualistic and imaginative.

The problem-solving activities inherent in making art help them develop cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills. They select and transform ideas; discriminate, synthesize, and appraise; and apply these skills to their expanding knowledge of the visual arts and their own creative work.

Students understand that making and responding to works of visual art are inextricably interwoven and that perception, analysis, and critical judgment are inherent to both.

Their own art-making becomes infused with a variety of images and approaches. They learn that preferences of others may differ from their own. Students refine the questions that they ask in response to works of art. This leads them to an appreciation of multiple artistic solutions and interpretations.

Study of historical and cultural contexts gives students insights into the role played by the visual arts in human achievement.

As they consider examples of visual works of art within historical contexts, students gain a deeper appreciation of their own values; the values of other people; and the connection of the visual arts to universal human needs, values, and beliefs. They understand that the art of a culture is influenced by aesthetic ideas as well as by social, political, economic, and other factors.

Through these efforts, students develop an understanding of the meaning and import of the visual world in which they live.

Source: National Standards for Arts Education, published by Music Educators National Conference (MENC). Copyright © 1994 by MENC. Used by permission. The complete National Arts Standards and additional materials relating to the standards are available from MENC, The National Association for Music Education, 1806 Robert Fulton Drive, Reston, VA 20191, telephone: 800-336-3768.

Additional Arts Resources

Teachers can draw on numerous organizations and websites for virtually every aspect of arts education, from curriculum planning and professional development to performing and funding works of art.

In addition to these national resources, state and local arts organizations offer many kinds of programs that can enrich learning in your classroom. Your state arts council is an excellent gateway to artists in your area as well as organizations that can provide technical assistance, funding, materials, or other kinds of support.

Advocacy, Materials, and Support

Dance

Music

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Visual Art

Advocacy, Materials, and Support for Arts Education

Dance

Music

Theatre

Visual Art

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