In my previous post I mentioned that I have numerous resources available to me in my art room but only some are used consistently. As a new teacher one of the hardest things for me was deciphering what resources showed validity, what resources had enough appropriate information for elementary students, and what to start teaching. The Getting to Know the Artist books and dvd’s have helped me tremendously in my room with art lessons, but that isn’t the only thing that helps me when it comes to lesson planning. An effective and engaging lesson plan derives from more than one resource. From previous post that I have made here on Tenspire I have shared the importance of art integration and a few lesson plans and projects that I teach to my students. With arts integration, I use various resources with for each lesson. There are two things I consistently check each time that I make a new lesson plan.
Collaboration is Key
The first thing I check and read thoroughly are the grade level standards for the topics I choose to cover. Whether the art lesson incorporates writing, reading, science, or social studies, I go to those standards, read every line, and figure out how I can put that into my art lesson. With arts integration, collaboration is key. My first year teaching, the thought of collaboration with grade level teachers or even asking them a question about their standards frightened me. I took it upon myself to look online at the standards but did not have an understanding of what some of these standards meant, how it is now being taught, and the academic vocabulary I needed to use in the art room so students could make a connection. My second year at this school I had built up the confidence to ask teachers for paper copies of their standards and what ideas they had for me and the art room and they were willing to share ideas and teaching methods with me. I will randomly ask teachers what they are doing in their rooms or they will let me know on their own. Having paper copies of grade level standards seems silly since I can access these online, but paper copies allows me to highlight, jot down notes, and organize them in the order I would teach them in my art room. Grade level standards are something I look at weekly in my classroom.
Another resource I use consistently in my art room when creating lesson plans is a book that I purchased at the beginning of the school year titled, Arts Integration by Deborah Holland. This book is amazing! It’s geared more towards elementary level, in my opinion, but these lessons could be changed to accommodate a secondary level if needed. This book has more than 20 of art teacher Deborah Holland’s best lesson plans. These lessons integrate art with math, science, social studies, and language arts. I love that each of these lessons are new for me or provides me a new way to teach something I have taught in the past. These projects also include every art medium such as clay, paint, watercolors, pastels, and more. The book gives me step by step procedures, materials needed, and resources that I may want to use when teaching.
There are many more resources I use when focusing on arts integration but these two are the first things I pull out of my file cabinet each time and they’ve proven to be successful each time!