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

Explore different ways to introduce the arts into the classroom in this video library for K-5 classroom teachers and arts specialists.

A video library for K-5 classroom teachers and arts specialists; 14 half-hour video programs, library guide, and website.

The programs in this video library show classroom teachers and arts specialists using the arts in a variety of successful ways. The 14 video programs — filmed in elementary schools around the country — along with a print guide and companion website, serve as a professional development resource for K-5 teachers seeking new ideas for integrating the arts into the classroom. Teachers featured in these programs include specialists in dance, music, theatre, and visual art, as well as classroom teachers from kindergarten through fifth grade. Programs 2 through 6 show Arts Specialists at Work, 7 through 12 present ideas for Arts in the General Classroom, and 13 and 14 address the challenges of Organizing for the Arts.

 

Library Overview

The programs in this video library show classroom teachers and arts specialists using the arts in a variety of successful ways. The 14 video programs, filmed in elementary schools around the country, along with a print guide and this companion website, serve as a professional development resource for K-5 teachers seeking new ideas for integrating the arts into the classroom. Teachers featured in these programs include specialists in dance, music, theatre, and visual art, as well as classroom teachers from kindergarten through fifth grade.

For example, you can see how:

  • all 485 students — including pre-kindergartners — in an elementary school near Atlanta, Georgia, learn to play the violin;
  • a tiny rural school on the plains of Colorado uses visiting artists to enhance learning for its students;
  • an arts-based school in Brooklyn, New York, collaborates with local artists to weave dance and poetry into the first-grade curriculum;
  • a New Orleans, Louisiana, classroom teacher collaborates with a local museum to help students develop their own visions of their hometown; and
  • dance, music, theatre, and visual art specialists approach their subjects in a variety of settings.

Programs in this video library explore a broad range of teaching methods and feature extensive classroom examples. In each program, you can find ideas and activities you can take back to your own classroom, as well as insights into the planning and implementation process. Correlated national standards for programs are indicated where relevant.

The Arts in Every Classroom: A Video Library, K–5 was produced by Lavine Production Group in collaboration with KSA-Plus Communications and the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts.

A companion to the video library is The Arts in Every Classroom: A Workshop for Elementary School Teachers, an eight-part professional development workshop for K–5 teachers.

Library Components

Program Summaries

The Arts in Every Classroom: A Video Library, K–5 includes programs grouped into four content categories that are intended to be viewed in sequence:

Introducing Arts Education introduces viewers to opinions and perspectives from a variety of educators and locations. This program consists of three short segments:

  • “What Is Arts Education?” (14 minutes). This program provides on overview of arts-based learning, including comments by the arts coordinator of an urban school district, comments from teachers and administrators in six elementary schools where the arts are being used successfully, and examples of learning experiences in classrooms using the arts.
  • “What Are the Arts?” (5 minutes). In this program, teachers, administrators, and students offer their perspectives about what the arts mean to them.
  • “How Do You Know They’re Learning?” (4 minutes). Teachers, administrators, and parents share their personal strategies for assessing whether students have learned what was taught.

Arts Specialists at Work presents five half-hour programs that give in-depth looks at the work of outstanding arts specialist teachers in a variety of elementary school settings:

  • “Expanding the Role of the Arts Specialist.” Three arts specialists share their skills and ideas with teachers in other subject areas. Dance teacher Kathy DeJean uses dance to enrich students’ experiences with language concepts. Visual art specialist Mary Perkerson gives teachers hands-on instruction in painting techniques. Theatre teacher Amanda Newberry uses dramatic play to explore and develop story-telling skills.
  • “Teaching Dance.” Two teachers with contrasting training and classroom approaches create rich dance experiences for their students. Dance teacher Kathy DeJean works with an auditioned troupe of second- to fifth-graders as they explore shape, space, and time to create a journey in dance. Former physical education teacher Scott Pivnik rehearses a West African dance with a class of second-graders, exploring the dance’s geographical, cultural, and historic context as well as its music and movement.
  • “Teaching Music.” Music specialists from two arts-based schools demonstrate different approaches to serving diverse student populations. Barrett Jackson provides violin lessons for a majority of the students at her elementary school in Mableton, Georgia, aligning her goals with process rather than performance. Music teacher Sylvia Bookhardt investigates Renaissance history with a class in choral music.
  • “Teaching Theatre.” Theatre specialists and their students investigate basic theatre skills and use theatre education as a gateway to other kinds of learning. Amanda Newberry engages children by using improvisational exercises that develop their creative listening and thinking skills. George Jackson, III, employs basic and advanced theatre skills to achieve learning goals for various age and grade levels.
  • “Teaching Visual Art.” Visual art specialist teachers use contrasting approaches to interpreting the human face. Pamela Mancini has students study historical portraits for clues about the artists and their subjects, and then create original portraits, expressing information about their subjects through expression, clothing, background, and other visual cues. MaryFrances Perkins uses a mask-making session to explore the vocabulary concept of symmetry and study the presence of masks in other cultures.

Arts in the General Classroom consists of six half-hour programs showcasing classrooms where the arts are used as keys to learning across the curriculum:

  • “Developing an Arts-Based Unit.” A team of first- and second-grade teachers at Lusher Alternative Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana, plans a year-end project that lets students show what they have learned in science, math, and English. Their classes work together to create an original, multi-arts performance based on works of art with similar themes
  • “Working With Local Artists.” Dance artist Caren Plummer, drummer Kojo Plummer, and poet Leonore Gordon work with first-grade teachers to plan and implement an African-themed learning strand. Students and teachers prepare their work for a culminating, original “never-before-seen performance.”
  • “Collaborating With a Cultural Resource.” Lusher Alternative Elementary School teams with the nearby Ogden Museum of Southern Art on a unit of study based on the work of a local artist. As a culminating project, students proudly exhibit their original paintings and poems, which explore their personal “sense of place,” in a gallery show for parents.
  • “Bringing Artists to Your Community.” In rural Idalia, Colorado, Idalia School uses artist-in-residence programs to expose students to arts-based learning. Theatre artist Birgitta De Pree shares story-telling skills with classes of kindergarten and fifth-grade students. Musician Michael Stanwood works with students and their teachers to write song lyrics that relate to their curriculum, then puts these lyrics to music.
  • “Students Create a Multi-Arts Performance.” Kindergarten and fourth-grade students collaborate on an original performance piece inspired by Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam. The program presents highlights of the creative process, including brainstorming about characters’ emotions, creating speech and movement for the characters, constructing costumes, and performing.
  • “Borrowing From the Arts To Enhance Learning.” Teachers use techniques drawn from the arts to engage their students’ minds, bodies, and emotions, adding vitality and context to day-to-day learning experiences. Penny Suazo engages students with special needs in lessons filled with color, rhythm, drama, and other sensory experiences. Monica Bermiss and her students create skits to help them understand the concept of cause and effect. Hazel Lucas culminates her fifth-grade social studies unit on family history by having her students use favorite objects to make vivid visual representations of their lives.

Organizing for the Arts offers two half-hour programs that address aspects of operating a school with an arts emphasis:

  • “Three Leaders at Arts-Based Schools.” Three administrators share their strategies. Principal Martha Rodriguez-Torres describes her role as “politician, social worker, parent, and police officer” and says that her primary responsibility is to “provide teachers the resources they need to fulfill the program.” Principal Sandra McGary-Ervin encourages use of the arts to achieve the school’s priority goal of literacy. Assistant principal Rory Pullens uses his own arts background to ensure the arts play a prominent role in day-to-day learning.
  • “Leadership Team.” Principal Kathleen Hurstell Riedlinger works closely with a Leadership Team of classroom and arts teachers as a long-term strategy to protect the school’s mission and commitment to arts-based learning. The team considers a diverse agenda including the school’s annual Arts Celebration, increasing demand for enrollment from outside the school’s neighborhood, and strategies such as peer mentoring to orient new teachers to the school’s arts-based curriculum.

How to Use This Library

Using the Programs and Web Site

These video library programs, along with the Web site, provide a wealth of practical strategies and examples that viewers can apply in their own schools.

Here are some of the ways teachers can use these programs:

  • Watch on your own.
  • Professional development. Schools and districts that are planning to incorporate arts-based material or strengthen the use of the arts can use these programs in in service courses or workshop sessions, view them in team or department meetings, or make them available for teachers to view on their own.
  • Parent and community information. By showing successful programs in action and presenting articulate viewpoints from teachers, administrators, parents, and students, these programs make strong statements about teaching the arts for their own sake as well as using the arts to promote learning in other subjects.
  • Supplements to the companion workshop. Several video library programs illustrate concepts and lessons explored in the workshop programs. Relevant video library programs are listed in the “Ongoing Activities” sections of the Workshop Web site and the “Between Sessions” sections of the print guides for each program. Most of the other video library programs provide valuable context for the workshop as a whole.

Planning Your Viewing

For each program, this site contains viewing suggestions and background material you can use. You can view the programs individually or in groups.

  • People and Schools: Who is featured in the program
  • Who Should Watch: Suggested audiences and uses
  • Before Watching: Points to consider or look for
  • Activities and Discussion: Ideas for follow-up reflection and applying what you learned
  • Interviews: Further thoughts from one or more of the people in the program
  • Additional Resources: Related video library programs, Web resources, and more
  • Arts Education Standards: Drawn from National Standards for Arts Education

Materials Needed

To watch these library programs, you will need:

  • a computer;
  • this guide; and
  • background information about the programs, available on this Web site.

For professional development, team-building sessions, or facilitated discussions, you also may need a flip chart, markers, pads, and pens for individual notes and reflections.

Tips for Group Facilitators

View these video library programs on their own or in combination with other programs. Facilitators have a great deal of latitude in using these tapes with a variety of audiences and in many different situations. The half-hour length of most programs makes them easy to use as a discussion starter or as the heart of a presentation.

Here are some suggestions for making your presentation more successful:

  • Set your objectives. Why are you showing this program to this audience? What are the insights, information, or skills that you want viewers to come away with?
  • Know your audience. What are participants’ interests, goals, and biases? Anticipate how they might react to the program, and plan how you would answer possible questions.
  • Build a presentation. Plan how you will use the program to achieve your objectives. Identify aspects of the program that you especially want the audience to see, and draw their attention to these things before you watch the program. You may wish to distribute discussion questions in advance that the audience can consider while viewing the program. After the program, take a few minutes to discuss them before you move on.
  • Know the topic. Use this Web site to learn more about the schools, teachers, and lessons in these programs. The Web site suggests additional resources, including Web links, for each program.
  • Prepare the audience. Provide participants with information that can help them get the most out of the program. For example, you might distribute profiles of the featured schools or teachers that you can find on this Web site with each program.

The Video Library Print Guide

The video library print guide provides much of the same information as this Web guide, including information about all of the library programs and ideas for viewing and using them in your school, for preservice or professional development programs, or with community members. The print guide also features the pre and post viewing activities and discussion questions found on this Web site.

Companion Resources

This video library is a companion to The Arts in Every Classroom: A Workshop for Elementary School Teachers, a professional development workshop funded by Annenberg Media. The workshop is available online via Video on Demand. For more information, visit the Annenberg Media Web site or call 1-800-LEARNER.

The workshop consists of:

  • eight one-hour video programs that introduce key concepts in teaching the arts in the elementary classroom and present a method for developing arts-based curriculum units;
  • an online guide for participants and facilitators of local workshop sessions, additional information on effective teaching practices, and other resources; and
  • a print guide containing information for participants and facilitators, including ideas for viewing and discussing the workshop programs, summaries of the programs, and plans for conducting local workshop sessions.

Production Credits

Television Production and Project Management

Lavine Production Group (LPG), based in New York, New York, specializes in documentary films and television programs about education and the arts. LPG has created several series for Annenberg Media, and also has produced award-winning programs for PBS, the Arts & Entertainment Network, and Reader’s Digest.

Kaye Lavine, project director and series producer

Miriam Lewin, producer

Susan Perlman, associate producer

Gary Bradley, supervising editor

Laura Young, editor

David Hogoboom, director of photography

Jim Furrer, camera

Theresa Liberatore, segment producer

Claudia Mogel, segment producer

Paul Gardener, additional editing

James Krieger, post production audio

Carl Anderson, series animation

David Sherman, series theme music

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, senior 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

Advisers for The Arts in Every Classroom

Arnold Aprill is the executive director of the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, a network of 30 Chicago, Illinois, 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., served as president of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, an association of artists and educators serving young people. He 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 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 of 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 (TETAC), a five-year national education reform initiative designed to link comprehensive arts education with national and local efforts to reform our nation’s schools. TETAC was funded by the Walter H. Annenberg Foundation and the Getty Education Institute for the Arts.

Sally Nogg, a first-grade teacher at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in 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 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.

Instructional Advisers

Additional material for the Web site and print guide for The Arts in Every Classroom: A Video Library, K–5 was provided by the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts (SCEA), which also provided instructional design for the workshop that is part of The Arts in Every Classroom. Located at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, SCEA is a think tank and laboratory for creative inquiry into teaching and learning. SCEA’s multi-arts focus on comprehensive arts education and arts integration provides a dynamic approach to innovative professional development and education reform.

SCEA Staff

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

Susanne Burgess is the director of the Southeast Institute for Education in 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, middle, high school, and university levels.

 

Project Collaborators to 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 curator of education 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.

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

Finding Grade-Level Programs

Finding Specific Grade-Level Programs and Art Forms

This video library showcases successful practices in dance, music, theatre, and visual art for kindergarten through grade five. Use this chart to link to programs that meet your interests and needs.

Grade

Dance

Music

Theatre

Visual Art

Kindergarten Students Create a Multi-Arts Performance Teaching Music

Students Create a Multi-Arts Performance

Bringing Artists to Your Community

Students Create a Multi-Arts Performance

Students Create a Multi-Arts Performance
First Grade Developing an Arts-Based Unit

Working With Local Artists

Developing an Arts-Based Unit Expanding the Role of the Arts Specialist

Teaching Theatre

Developing an Arts-Based Unit

Expanding the Role of the Arts Specialist

Developing an Arts-Based Unit

Second Grade Expanding the Role of the Arts Specialist

Teaching Dance

Developing an Arts-Based Unit

Developing an Arts-Based Unit Developing an Arts-Based Unit Teaching Visual Art

Developing an Arts-Based Unit

Three Leaders at Arts-Based Schools

Third Grade Teaching Dance Teaching Music

Bringing Artists to Your Community

Teaching Theatre

Borrowing From the Arts To Enhance Learning

Fourth Grade Teaching Dance

Students Create a Multi-Arts Performance

Teaching Music

Students Create a Multi-Arts Performance

Teaching Theatre

Bringing Artists to Your Community

Students Create a Multi-Arts Performance

Borrowing From the Arts To Enhance Learning

Collaborating With a Cultural Resource

Students Create a Multi-Arts Performance

Borrowing From the Arts To Enhance Learning

Fifth Grade Expanding the Role of the Arts Specialist

Teaching Dance

Teaching Music Teaching Theatre

Borrowing From the Arts To Enhance Learning

Teaching Visual Art

Borrowing From the Arts To Enhance Learning

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 for theatre, music, dance, and visual art are published on ArtsEdge, the Web site 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.

State Standards for Arts Education

Thinkfinity provides a summary of arts standards in the 50 U.S. states.

Standards Addressed

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.

Programs