Teacher Resources

My colleagues and I are pursuing a new project that we hope, when complete, will round out a suite of instructional resources for art teachers. But what is the list of resources needed to make teachers feel like they have everything they need to be successful?

People of Pilatus by Johanna Little, art teacher
People of Pilatus by Johanna Little, art teacher

Below is a list of the things we hope to provide in three distinct parts. As you look over it, think about your own experience. What else would you need or want to support you as a teacher? Please keep in mind, this is support from a curriculum and instruction perspective.

We have a local curriculum document that defines the expected learning outcomes for each level/course. This is the document that describes what to teach and assess, but not how. The curriculum is articulated through standards, benchmarks, and indicators that meet or exceed state standards. This document is tight — teachers are expected to teach the program of studies.

Our program of studies is currently in revision. Teachers have a draft that was developed this past summer and will be asked to provide feedback on the draft so the revision can be completed.

The curriculum guide (as I will call it for now… I would love suggestions for the right name for this) will provide many specific suggestions and guidance for teachers to help them implement the program of studies successfully. Elements of this guide will be closely tied to the program of studies (which is tight) but many other elements of the guide will be loose — the teacher will have flexibility and discretion. This guide will include:

  • Art Program Overview including program description, philosophy, underlying assumptions, as well as definitions and examples of big ideas, key concepts, and essential questions as they apply to our curriculum
  • Planning Guide including instructional planning guides and suggestions, lesson ideas including many that are fully articulated (see Model Resources below), course-long pacing guidelines, lesson pacing guidelines, and classroom strategies for timing and pacing
  • Assessment and Grading Guide including assessment philosophy, list of available assessment tools (see Model Resources below), criteria and strategies for assessing challenging elements of the program of studies (such as craftsmanship), teacher strategies for managing assessment and grading, and differentiation strategies
  • Ethics Guide including resources, strategies and suggestions for teaching copyright, plagiarism, and other ethical issues in art
  • Creative and Design Thinking Guide including various creative and design thinking models, idea development strategies, artwork planning strategies, reflection strategies, and suggestions for using sketchbooks at various levels
  • Media Guide including media resources, media skill sequencing suggestions and developmentally appropriate media guidelines
  • Responding to Art Guide including guidelines on essential questions, questioning and critique strategies, aesthetics models and strategies for teaching aesthetics
  • Vocabulary Guide including new and review vocabulary recommended for each grade level/course
  • Art History Guide including appropriate ways to integrate art history in art lessons, an artist list cross-referenced to art forms and big ideas, and an art styles and movements list cross-referenced to artists, lessons, and big ideas

Many great resources that have been fully developed are available to teachers. These resources are the most flexible of this three part suite of teacher resources. Teachers may pick and choose which of these they wish to use, or develop their own. Model resources include:

  • Lesson plans
  • Assessment tools
  • Instructional strategies
  • Charts, posters, and handouts
  • Presentations and instructional videos

Now that I’ve typed this all out I’ve changed my mind. This looks like too much work!… Ok, I’m kidding, but this is going to be an ongoing project. If you have any ideas to make it better, I’d love to hear them.


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