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Visual and Performing Arts Teacher Resources
Find Visual and Performing Arts educational ideas and activities
The ancient texts Ramayana and Mahabharata have spread throughout East Asia. They have become the basis for drama, art, and literary works for ages. Learners will watch a rod puppet performance of an Indonesian version of the timeless tale. Then, they will select and act out other scenes from this delightful story. Tip: Have younger learners make a text-to-text connection and list the traits of heroes and villains found in Ramayana and modern day comics.
Explore visual arts and illustrations by reading a picture book with your class. Begin by reading the book The Art Lesson about a writer and illustrator who collaborate on their books. Next, have your class answer study questions about the book and review art vocabulary through a whole class discussion.
This is a very skeletal activity, but provides a very interesting teaching idea. Learners discuss Sol LeWitt and conceptual art, then analyze the differences in expressing a concept through model based inquiry and aesthetic art criticism. They develop a geometric, scientific, or mathematical concept, then create an artistic image to represent it.
Introduce young readers to the comprehension strategy of visualizing by asking them to think about a place that makes them happy. After illustrating or using words to describe this place, the class moves on to an interactive game using an interactive whiteboard. Scripted directions and links are included.
Third graders investigate the use of lines in different pieces of art by creating their own ink print. In this art analysis lesson, 3rd graders identify the contours and lines of natural objects such as twigs and leaves. Students trace one of these objects in order to create a "plate" which they can utilize in an ink print.
Second graders practice dance using different speeds of music and types of movement. In this dance lesson, 2nd graders view a clip of tap dancing and analyze the speed of music in coordinating with the speed of dance movements. Students complete a choreography and performance for the lesson.
Students explore body movement. In this shapes and dance lesson, students demonstrate body movements and positions that resemble simple shapes. Students read I Spy Shapes in Art by Lucy Micklethwait and choose shapes from the book to "build" with their bodies. Students generate choreography and record their "shape" dances.
Each of the three dance lessons included here will get your class moving. The first lesson allows learners to explore how music and movement differ in meaning depending on cultural context. Lesson two gives them an opportunity to create their own simple dances. Finally, lesson three has them apply dance principles and vocabulary to each movement they make.
Young historians take a look at how the Indian tribes of California promoted a mindful relationship between people and the land. They begin to understand how the Indians were champions of conservation, and at preserving the natural landscape in which they lived. After viewing many photographs and paintings of Native Americans in their natural habitats, pupils are asked to create their own piece of art that shows themselves interacting with their natural environment. A beautiful lesson which should enhance your students' image of the natural world.
Sixth graders focus on the use of geometry when creating art. They begin to see the array of geometric concepts in works of art and architecture. Learners engage in visual art and architecture activities in order to further their understanding of the connection between geometry and art. This two-week series of lessons would be worthwhile to use with your class.
"Ballad for Americans" was a song written for performers participating in the Federal Arts Project, during The Depression. Learners will analyze the lyrics of the song and then create informational posters about other Federal Works Projects, such as the CCC and FPW. They will also get a chance to perform their own version of the song.
Patterns are everywhere, in stories, music, math, and art! Little ones explore pattern and rhythm through a series of focused activities. They analyze several Van Gogh paintings, read a pattern-rich story, participate in rhythmic clapping games, and color the scaly patterns on a snake.