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Javagirl
Javagirl asks:
Q:

My child's school currently has no art classes.  What resources might you suggest for a middle school art class with course outline and project ideas?

My daughter attends a private Christian School. The school has both a wonderful drama department and a great music program.  I am a freelance artist with an education background in fine arts. However, I do not  hold a degree in education. The school has expressed an interest in having me instruct art classes for the middle school level.  I would love it!  However,  I want to make sure that my instruction would be age appropriate and that the children would have a well rounded experience with fun hands on projects and still learn about visual arts in relationship with art history and cultures.  What resources might you suggest to help these students get the most out of this long awaited art class?

Question asked after reading: http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_...
In Topics: Private School, My Relationship with my child's school, Creative arts
> 60 days ago

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elanaleoni
elanaleoni writes:
First off, kudos for taking the initiative for teaching art formally in a completely new environment for you. In addition to reaching out to parents in this community, I'd suggest you connect with educators that are currently teaching art in middle school. If you're on Twitter, there's a great chat on arts education, where you can find a wealth of resources and experts in the field. It happens every Thursday at 4 pm PDT/7 pm EDT -- simply just search for the hashtag: #artsed and join in the conversation by using the #artsed hashtag in your tweets. The weekly topics of the chat are announced here: http://www.edutopia.org/groups/artmusicdrama. Also, Edutopia has many examples of how to teach art in the integrated studies approach you're mentioning: http://www.edutopia.org/arts-education-art-music-report. Hope this helps!

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BanterAboutArts
BanterAbout... , School Administrator, Teacher writes:
Yes you can!  If you have the heart to bring visual arts into your daughter’s school, you have accomplished half the battle. You are a professional artist so you are qualified to teach. You are a visual artist. The best teachers impart what they know. Students are looking for mentors who are willing to freely share their body of knowledge and impart skills that they can carry forward.

It’s been my experience that students at this age level are highly capable.  It’s simple to create a course plan for this age level: Choose an artist, explore his or her life, and help your students “converse” with that artist’s body of work by creating a work in the style of that artist. Hold a class critique at the end of each project. Fashion your course as you remember being taught in your college courses, don’t dumb down art. And finally, remember the outcome depends on the quality of the materials—when teaching a student to paint, use stretched canvas, good brushes, and quality paint.

I am an arts and writing mentor who works with students at the middle and high school level and have been an advocate for elevating the arts in education for more than a decade. The bottom line is that students desire opportunities to develop their creative language and to promote their work within a supportive community.
> 60 days ago

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BanterAboutArts
BanterAbout... , School Administrator, Teacher writes:
Here's two more resources that may be helpful for you (oops, hit the post button too fast):

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artaddict
artaddict writes:
Not sure where you are but here are a few ideas:
1. Check your state's art department (yes, the government), they may offer grants for Artists in Residence, and have a few (pre-screened/approved) to choose from.
2. Check with the nearest art museum. They typically have a program that reaches out to the local schools and can typically provide the art (posters).
3. Create a volunteer program (talk with the principal and the PTO, they may fund it).
4. Create a project (Donorschoose.org) and let the public know about it, they can help fund, provide supplies, or even artists.
5. Contact your state art educators' association, ask them.
6. Contact NAEA (National Art Educator Association) http://www.arteducators.org. They have a plethora of information, lesson plans, funding opportunities, training, and advocacy publications.
7. Check a local college, especially if they have teacher training/art education, it looks great on a resume to volunteer, you might be able to work with a professor to create a place for pre-service teachers to work with students and provide students with art. A win-win.  :)
8. Look for local artists that would be willing to be the Artist in Residence, though this can be tricky as their are some basic requirements when working with children (department of public safety background checks).

Good for you for making it happen!
> 60 days ago

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artaddict
artaddict writes:
Oh sorry, one more thing, I would also strongly suggest posting the artwork in a virtual gallery. Even if it's just the general teachers teaching art, if you volunteer to do this for one teacher it might demonstrate the value and importance of art to the administration.

www.artsonia.com

Not only does this provide lesson plans and ideas, but also visibility, but it is a very non-evasive fundraising tool.

Family and friends can follow a link to find their students' artwork, and personalize items (bags, coffee mugs), and a percentage goes back to the school. They also do fun contests to raise art awareness, and give away money.
> 60 days ago

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