Effortlessly Communicate Your K-8 Curriculum With These Student Handouts

Near the end of this past school year, my colleagues and I were beginning to dive headfirst into revamping our instructional practice for next fall. Amping up the rigor of our standards, identifying assessments to measure growth and clarifying how we communicate learning outcomes  to students were just some of the tasks we were to ponder over the summer break.

This is not the first time I’ve been in this situation. It seems like every 4-5 years, a new framework comes along and we are asked to evaluate, and, many times, transform how and what we teach.

All of these upgrades to our curriculum and pedagogy make me wonder: How do I communicate both the changes in and the increased rigor of the curriculum to my students?

We were provided with a generic template of how we could list our standards and benchmarks to let our students read about the knowledge they should gain in our classes, but I wanted to show them.

I thought it would be helpful if I could visually identify and explain all of the topics, techniques, materials and experiences that students would be immersed in during their time with me. Communicating student learning goals would advance to a whole new level!

I decided to create a simple, graphic handout listing the terms, topics, and technical aspects that we cover in class. It’s like a snapshot of the course all on one page. Of course, this page doesn’t include any of the humanistic experiences and benefits that come from creating and experiencing art. However, it does make for a quick, effortless way to communicate the standard-based outcomes to my students. Feel free to download my example below!


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I can give a copy of this page to my students at the beginning of the course and have them refer to it all quarter long. As a class, I imagine us crossing off each term as we explore it in our lessons. We’ll discuss how and why we covered the concept and how it can improve our studio thinking capabilities. We’ll continue to spiral through the curriculum as we revisit these terms and concepts again later in the quarter or the following year in 8th-grade art.

As we approach teacher workshop in the fall, I’ll be thrilled to share this form with the other art teachers in my district. It would be valuable to have our sequenced curriculum visually documented to help all K-12 students discover, review, and reflect. I bet our administration will be impressed with this as well!

Creating a form like this is easy with a solid curriculum in place but can be overwhelming if you’re not grounded and organized from the start. AOE’s course Designing Your Art Curriculum is the perfect place to solidify your plan no matter what level you teach. You’ll be on the fast track to creating documents like this to make organizing your instruction a breeze.

Looking for the other grade levels? You can download and use them all below or tweak to fit your needs.

Kindergarten and First Grade

Click here for the K/1 download.


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Second Grade and Third Grade

Click here for the 2/3 download.


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Fourth Grade and Fifth Grade

Click here for the 4/5 download.

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Sixth Grade

Click here for the 6th-grade download.

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And, if you’re looking for even more curriculum resources, check out this resource list!

PRO Learning Packs
(Ask your administration to pay for a PRO membership. See more info here!)


If you’re looking for High School versions, you can find those right here!

How do you communicate your curriculum with your students?

How else could you use these documents?

Tracy Hare

Learning Team

Tracy is a middle school art teacher from central MN who strives to create rich, meaningful content and resources through her Art Ed PRO Director role at AOE.


  • K Hyman

    Love these downloads! Thanks for the share.

  • Tery Castrogiovanni

    These handouts are amazing! Great job!

  • Nyl

    There are some amazing posts and resources listed here on The Art of Ed, but this post has got to top them all! Love the simple handouts…. A request to make them for middle school as well?! Please?!? ☺️

    • Hi Nyl- there is a 7th and 8th grade example in the article!

  • Kate Kostenbader

    Thank you again for your simple, clean methods to organize and teach!

  • Kerry Harrison Adie

    I love these handouts! Do you have a customizable handout available?

    • Erica Carlson

      I agree, this are fantastic, but without it being “editable”…well, it means many will be simply recreating the wheel to get to a similar ending. Please share actual doc if you are willing??? Pretty please!

  • abbyartnfun

    There are great! And I agree with the previous post. I would love a customizable handout!

  • Kiara

    WONDERFUL handouts. Please, please, please consider releasing an editable version! This would be a game-changer for my curriculum.

    • Doris Benter

      Hello, I managed to create my own version of the handout using Google Slides. This way, I could customized the way I needed fr each grade level.

  • Majken Elsberry

    As a new K-8 Art teacher, these are tremendous!! Is there one available for 6th grade by chance?

    • Tracy Hare

      6th grade is on deck!

  • Martha

    Can I ask what program you used to make these handouts? Was it just microsoft word? I have tried to make engaging worksheets in the past, and it feels like word fights me on every shape!

    • Abby

      What year is your Word program?

      • Martha

        2011…should I get a newer version?

        • Abby

          I have 2011 as well. I always use Publisher mode (or whatever it’s called) when I need to do a lot of shapes, text boxes, and repositioning. You can open a new publishing template or at the bottom left of a new document there is a row of layout options. If you click the one that has an arrow on it that will take you to the publishing layout view.

    • Tracy Hare

      Yes, Martha- these were made in Word. It can be tricky but if you use the text wrapping and positioning options it makes it easier.

      • Martha

        Ok i will keep trying then! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Elizabeth Castor

      you can construct them on MS Word and then go to save as and select PDF. (I recently realized that not everyone looks at my webpage on a computer or even on a computer with Word and the PDF files can be opened by virtually all systems so I have changed over all of my files on my class websites. ALSO, PDF acts as a “lock up” for the info so that tech savvy kids can’t change my words/rubrics and other vital info as easily. I still keep the original word doc too for revisions when they’re needed I just don’t publish it)

  • Kim Alfes

    Thank you for such a great starting point! It arrived at a perfect time for me.

  • Desiree Morse

    I wish there were high school ones

  • Alli Watkins

    Is there a 6th grade one? I agree a customizable one would be great too! These are wonderful!

  • Verity Madsen

    What a great resource. As I teach in Australia I will use these ideas as a starting point for our new Arts curriculum. Thanks AOE Is there one for year 6????

    • Tracy Hare

      Hi Verity- 6th grade is on its way!

      • Lynne

        Hi Tracy, I think this is brilliant! When/how will we receive the 6th grade?

  • Lilly

    I wish I could change out a few vocab words! Some are too difficult for my students at that grade level. Is there a way to edit a section?

  • Julie Bulissa Kohl

    Is there one for 6th grade?

  • ElizTownsend

    Thanks for the fabulous resource tool!

  • Suzy the Art Teacher

    These are awesome!! Thank you so much – I am going to use them as a template to create my own for 6th-8th grade. I use power point as a design software – it’s much easier to control (text boxes, colors, etc) than Word and it’s not outdated like Publisher.

  • Kelly Ann

    HIGH SCHOOL PLEASE!!!!!!! these are awesome!

  • Hi Everyone! Just wanted to pop in to say that a 6th grade version has been added to the end of the article. Thanks for your patience!

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  • mary

    As a K-4 teacher with multiple buildings, these handouts will be so helpful. Thanks so much! Any chance on splitting the elementary so there is one for each level?

  • HHyer

    Maybe I was hallucinating, but I could have sworn I saw a separate 7th and 8th grade curriculum handout somewhere in the website…was I dreaming or are there separate ones!? I love these! It’s nice to have a guide and the layout is perfect!! Please let me know if there are more detailed 7th and 8th grade separate handouts and where I can find them…I would love to use thes this school year!
    Thank you for all you do to help out middle school art teachers…I am in love with this website :) …H Hyer

  • Michelle Melendez

    Love this! THANK YOU!!!

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  • This is so great – really will help me determine where my students are at.. Thank you for making the effort to do this.

  • Ingrid Bookhamer

    These are so helpful; thanks! Is there any chance that there are some for early childhood in the works too? Thank you so, so much!

  • Hi Tracy. I love these handouts. I can see handing them out at the beginning of every unit to articulate learning objectives and revisit the form at the end to reflect on the learning process and outcomes! May I ask what books/articles you and your staff referred to when you did your summer research? I am particularly interested in better understanding assessments and grading through the lens of an Art Educator. Thanks! ~Jenell

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  • Tiger

    Congratulations and thank you for sharing your excellence; the ultimate graphic design applied to our own business visually and with vocab. Maybe we can all send in our fave links to images/video that best illustrates, too; including master works examples and exposure to masters.

  • deeagust

    Wish there was an editable version for 6th, 7th and 8th.