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Whether you are a veteran art educator or it’s your first year teaching, planning your curriculum is something we all need to do. Planning your curriculum doesn’t have to be a stressor; in fact, it can actually be fun! Let’s break it down into a few must-haves to make the task significantly less scary.
Before you dig in too deep, you’ll want to check with your district to see if there is already an art curriculum in place. Some districts purchase art curriculum, have art educators work together to develop set curriculum standards, or allow teachers to create a curriculum that fits their needs. Whatever the situation is with your art curriculum, try and enjoy the process of planning. After all, what we choose to teach our young artists truly dictates our experiences.
As art educators, part of our job is to introduce students to a variety of art mediums. The exploration of new materials is a vital part of shaping our students as artists. When planning your curriculum, pay attention to the storage shelves in your art room and ask yourself these questions regarding materials:
Art teachers often have the flexibility to incorporate new and exciting ideas into their yearly curriculum planning. When you see a new idea and you know you just have to try it with your students, a little rearranging can make it possible.
Usually, your elongated list of new ideas grows after attending an awesome art education conference. That feeling of excitement about these new ideas keeps your spark for teaching alive. Carry that spark with you as you plan your curriculum and incorporate a few new ideas into your planning.
Take a look at your stack of resources from conferences, themes, or books and ask yourself these questions.
Art Standards bring us all together. Our four overarching concepts from the National Core Arts Standards are creating, presenting, responding, and connecting. As art teachers, we do all four of these things with our students every day. Boiling down the standards to these four big ideas can help you identify the best way to approach your curriculum planning. Check out how to Revamp Curriculum to meet the National Visual Arts Standards.
Spend a little time on your computer researching art standards and consider these questions.
When it comes down to it, planning a successful art curriculum will be made up of your must-haves. Your artists can tell when you are excited about teaching and will feed off of your excitement.
Focus your mindset on viewing curriculum planning as an exciting challenge and an adventure to try new things in your art room. Inevitably, every necessary task is what you make of it. So, why not make it fun and empowering?
What kind of curriculum planning is required of you?
Are you able to work with a team when planning your curriculum?
What is your favorite part about planning your curriculum?
The NOW Conference is the world’s largest online conference for art educators! This one-day event (join us live or watch on-demand for an entire year) features 20+ inspiring and innovative TED TALK-style presentations covering topics that are relevant right NOW in Art Ed!