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Art teachers were STEAM-ing before STEAM was cool!

Friday, September 9, 2011

What (ART SKILLS) should my child know?

Since I teach art classes that are not in the public school system, I am responsible for creating my own art curriculum. Teach whatever I want?!? You'd think that would be great (and it is, sort-of)! But sometimes it can be overwelming to know where to being. And how do I know what I should be teaching? What are other children at this age learning in art class? 

The home school group I teach for deals with a different time period each year. This year, the entire cooperative will focus on the 1500's-1700's. Knowing that, I start by brainstorming art ideas. I look at the major art movements of that time and make a list of art that is iconic to the time.

Then, I focus on the current calendar. I look at what is happening throughout the year in terms of holidays and celebrations and ask around to see what the children will be learning in their other classes. I start plugging projects into my calendar, making sure I'm offering the children an opportunity to work in a variety of media: clay, collage, paint, etc.

One of my favorite resources to make age-appropriate decisions about my curriculum I found through the NH Department of Education's website. It is called the Miami-Dade County Competency Based Curriculum.


This is a wonderful resource for parents and educators who want to make sure that their students are getting a well-rounded art experience. It is not a full-blown curriculum with a list of projects. What it is is a list of skills and experiences, organized by grade-level. While that may be too general for some, I like it because I can adapt these skills and experiences to whatever subject or series I am teaching. It's great for classroom planning and for making sure that my projects and curriculum as a whole are multi-layered and challenging. A great reference to have on file!

Check it out!

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