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Lesson Planning

Includes thematic lesson plans, activities, materials, themes and artists.  

NAEA Instructional Resources Gallery: A special collection of lesson/unit plans curated by NAEA professionals and available only to NAEA members! 

Division Directors will provide leadership to redesigning the Instructional Resources Gallery (IRG) in alignment with the next generation of visual arts standards (to be released summer 2014); this affords an exceptional opportunity to rethink how the IRG can best support professional learning communities focused on the development of curriculum/instructional content and assessments. Stay tuned as Division Directors bring energy and insight to this primary development initiative and call upon you to contribute to the knowledge and content.

VIEW the Instructional Resources Gallery
LEARN HOW to submit your lesson/unit plan for inclusion in the Instructional Resources Gallery

NAEA Museum Education Resources. Download a list of resources from 45 art museums across the country, organized alphabetically by museum. Additional museum listings will be added periodically. Art museums provide a wide array of web-based resources for K-12 teachers. These include lesson plans, timelines, searchable databases, image banks, video clips of artists and scholars speaking about works of art, access to behind the scenes images of exhibition installations, podcasts of lectures, interactive games, special teacher blogs, free subscriptions to e-resources, and much more.

NAEA Standards represent the professional judgment of the art education field about the characteristics of preparation programs that will enable all visual arts educators to provide high-quality art instruction for every student. This collection consists of the Professional Standards for Visual Arts Educators; National Visual Arts Standards; Standards for Art Teacher Preparation; Purposes, Principles, and Standards for School Art Programs; and Design Standards for School Art Facilities.

25 Places for Kids to Learn and Experiment with Art From Karen Schweitzer. This document contains a list of sites that teach art history and theory, sites that offer easy-to use tools for mess-free creations, and sites that provide interactive games and activities.

50 Ways To Integrate Art Into Any Lesson. As children, young children, everything meant playing and art. We saw the world as a playground and a canvass. It didn’t matter whether or not we could actually draw. What mattered was the thrill of creating something beautiful. We were all artists. We still are.

AMACO® Lesson Plans feature technique sheets and PowerPoint presentations that cover a wide range of topics and offer art teachers an excellent starting point for creating memorable lessons that incorporate art history with hands-on classroom activities. AMACO provides supplies for pottery, education & crafts.

Art:21 Online Lesson Library (Seasons 1-3) is a doorway to curricular resources presenting contemporary art and artists for the classroom, hosting a wide range of thematic lesson plans for Visual and Performing Arts, Language Arts, and Social Studies curricula. Educators are encouraged to select the activities, materials, and ideas that meet their individual interests—an entire thematic unit of study, a particular hands-on project, or questions to foster dialogue. The topics provide focused ideas that cut across series themes (Place, Stories, etc.) and all of the artists featured in the broadcast. Each topic includes a range of lessons that connect current issues, ideas, and events with an exploration of the diverse perspectives of contemporary artists. 

Art Designs and Ideas for Kids. from DesignMantic. Most kids grow up with a coloring book in their hand, and for good reason. Art is endlessly fun, and a wonderful outlet to explore your creativity. An activity as simple as coloring can train your brain to think in "open-ended" answers, which means that your brain learns to consider all possible options, even ones that aren't usually thought of. Art also helps you understand more about yourself and others, since it is a way to actually see what someone else has expressed at an age when listening and understanding can be hard. Humans have been creating art since the earliest cave paintings – it's our way of expressing ourselves, and even adults continue to be amazed by works of art.

artsonia is the largest student art museum in the world! Our dream is that every child will have an online art gallery, preserving their masterpieces for all time!


ARTSEDGE—the National Arts and Education Network—supports the placement of the arts at the center of the curriculum and advocates creative use of technology to enhance the K-12 educational experience. ARTSEDGE empowers educators to teach in, through, and about the arts by providing the tools to develop interdisciplinary curricula that fully integrate the arts with other academic subjects. ARTSEDGE offers free, standards-based teaching materials for use in and out of the classroom, as well as professional development resources, student materials, and guidelines for arts-based instruction and assessment. Transform your teaching with arts-integrated resources for the K-12 classroom!

Common Core and the Arts Resources (Arts Education Partnership). The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a state-led initiative to ensure that students leave school with the knowledge and skills required to succeed in college and in their careers. The resulting changes to the expectations of arts educators can be profound. AEP is providing this (ever-growing) selection of resources to help AEP Partner Organizations, arts educators, school leaders, and policymakers develop a better understanding of the Common Core and what the movement means for the arts.

Crayola Champion Creatively Alive Children™ Professional Resources. Download free professional development resources! The Champion Creatively Alive Children series will help you implement arts-infused education in your school. Like you, Crayola knows that arts-infused education helps children acquire critical 21st century skills: creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication. The complete program includes 5 videos and guides, along with a supplemental introductory leadership guide, and additional resources to help you facilitate workshops and arts-infused education advocacy meetings--everything you need from PowerPoint presentations to flyers, handouts and evaluation forms. These resources will help transform your school culture, and infuse arts across your curriculum.

Download this introduction guide to learn more.
Introductory Leadership Guide
Bibliography Handout
Preview or Download Training Modules on Creativity, Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, and Arts-Infused Advocacy

Additional Arts-Infused Education Resources:
Reinvesting in Arts Education
Principal Journal - Champion Creatively Alive Children

Creativity Resource for Teachers from the Denver Art Museum. Free online resource for teachers nationwide. Quick facts about the site:
• Launched in January 2012, this free website provides more than 600 adaptable lesson plans written by teachers for over 130 objects from the museum’s world-class art collection.
• Developed by the Denver Art Museum in collaboration with teachers. Lesson plans and resources focus on inspiring students to think and problem-solve creatively.
• Organized in an easy way so that teachers can pick the topic they’d like to explore or enhance, then learn how to integrate art into that subject.
• Includes professional and student development tools such as webinars, virtual classroom courses, career videos, educator blogs and creativity tools.
• Easy for teachers in language arts, social studies and visual arts to provide a curriculum rooted in the arts while also meeting 21st Century Skills.

Developing an Arts Assessment: Some Selected Strategies. Use the NAEP arts assessment and field test as a case study to explore useful strategies for developing an arts performance assessment.

For kids: A creative and cool class gift. See how NAEA member, Jim Boland, art teacher at Spoede Elementary School in St. Louis, Missouri, worked with fifth-graders to design and create memorable permanent art projects such as benches and totem poles as gifts to the school.

Free Online Art Tools. Links from the National Art Education Association Webinar, April 14, 2015 presented by Cris Guenter and Theresa McGee. Take a walk on the wild side! The free digital online tools listed below may help you organize yourself as you plan curriculum, open a unit, anchor a lesson, work on digital portfolios, integrate new National Core Arts Standards and Common Core work, or directly engage your students in digital art assignments.

Getty Education Institute has developed a site for the K-12 art education community. It features lesson plans & curriculum ideas, search & index, artsednet talk and more.

Goodbye-Art Academy - Where art is action. Goodbye-Art Academy is your central resource for quality, engaging instructional videos that supplement and reinforce your teaching. Our goal isn’t to standardize, but individualize teaching. Therefore, we do NOT provide lesson plans. Instead, we provide instructional videos that enhance your ability to teach in a way that best fits your students’ needs and stimulates an active learning environment. Whether you are classroom teacher, homeschool teacher or a tutor, the Teacher account allows you to assign videos and keep track of student progress.

Incredible Art Department is an art education website for art students, parents, teachers, home schoolers and administrators. See their extensive list of art lessons, news, resources, and much more.

iPad Resources
Creating on iPads - Tricia Fuglestad
iPad Art Room
iPads in the Art Room
iPad Multimedia Tools for Creativity
Open iPad Studio II (NAEA 2012 Presentation) - Cris Guenter & Susan Gabbard
Selected iPad and iPhone Art and Art-Related Apps and Accessories
The Teaching Palette

Kid's Guide to Art. For several centuries, art has been an expression of feelings of people. Art has taken many different shapes and forms. From simple drawings and sketches that get posted on the family refrigerator to elaborate paintings that hang in some of the most famous art galleries around the world, art and art appreciation is important to have well-rounded lives.

Lesson Plans and Resources for Arts Integration from Edutopia

Montessori21stCentury’s Weblog offers a number of useful resources for kids, parents and educators to help explore the world of art. There are many different ways to learn about art, and to even participate in basic ways. School is a great place to begin to explore art and expression through painting and other artistic manners. Also, trying various home art projects can be a nice way to learn to explore different aspects of art.

The Monuments Men Education Site - History Lesson Plans. The Monuments Men is based on the true story of a group of brave men and women who hunted down and rescued millions of cultural treasures stolen by the Nazis at the close of World War II. Lesson plans, discussion questions, maps, and other features can engage learners about this little-known chapter in World War II and guide thinking about the importance of protecting cultural heritage in times of war.  The lessons are suitable for middle and high school classrooms and are linked to Common Core State Standards. Lessons include:
Is Art Worth a Life? The idea of giving up one’s life to save a work of art is thought-provoking and can be the catalyst for debate.
Priceless Art, Personal Objects, Countless Lives. This lesson plan includes a section focusing on The Astronomer by Vermeer.

New Horizons for Learning. You will find information on some of the best researched and the most widely implemented methods of helping all students to learn more successfully. The information includes a description of how the teaching and learning strategies work, where they have been applied, results, and where to find further information from experts in the field, books, websites, and other resources.

The New York Times: Learning Network is a free service that offers a large amount of information, especially on teaching resources. This website is aimed at students in grades 3-12, their teachers, and parents.

Resources for Kid Artists. Kids love art. They love to see it, experience it, and create it. Engaging kids in art education at an early age has been proven to have a profound impact on the way they learn and how they view the world. Introducing kids to art when they are young teaches valuable thinking skills that improve their comprehension and performance in other subjects like math and science.

Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO). View resources from TFAO, a nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering education in American art through advocacy, publication and research.

Your Paintings: Uncovering the nation's art collection. Your Paintings is a joint initiative between the BBC, the Public Catalogue Foundation (a not-for-profit organisation), and over 3,000 participating collections from across the United Kingdom. Your Paintings is the result of the PCF’s ten-year project to digitise the UK's entire national collection of oil paintings. 80% of these paintings are typically in store whilst the vast majority had not been photographed before this project. These artworks are now free to view and on the BBC’s website. A few years ago the BBC made a three minute film about the project that you might enjoy watching. This is the only website anywhere in the world illustrating a nation’s entire painting collection. There are over 210,000 oil paintings in the UK's national collection. These publicly owned oil paintings are held in institutions ranging from museums large and small to universities, town halls, hospitals and even fire stations. In total there are works by 36,000 artists on the site ranging from the world famous to the completely obscure. Your Paintings provides a major source of organised material for research into art history, British and international history, genealogy and topography.




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Engage with the February Mentor in the NAEA blog!

Frank Juarez
Frank Juarez is a Wisconsin artist, photographer, gallery owner, art educator, advocate and community leader living and teaching in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. In 2005, he committed his life to expose, educate and engage others on the importance of experiencing and supporting the Visual Arts. Organizing local and regional art exhibitions, community art events, facilitating presentations, and supporting artists through professional development workshops, use of social media and networking has placed him in the forefront of advancing and promoting local artists and attracting regional and national artists to interact, collaborate, network and exhibit in the Sheboygan community.

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