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Old 10-28-2009, 07:53 AM
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creativechrissy creativechrissy is offline
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Question Art Lessons -Reinventing the wheel

I have just started to develop my own art lesson plans...and gees it takes a while. I would estimate about 10hours + once you have researched your idea and found other existing samples.

There are soo many art lesson plans and activities out there (in books and on the internet) that I feel your reinventing the wheel and wasting huge amounts of time for no reason. However I do feel good knowing that the material I am using is my own thoughts and ideas. Plus there is the issue of copyright if you take someone elses lesson plan.

But I am just imagining all the hours I will need to spend to get a set or workshop term. And the number I would have to do to apply different art lessons from K-12. This is going to take forever!!!

So what is your solution for developing lesson plans and activities? Do you just slightly modify one lesson to suit each grade/ability level?

Any hints/tips/advice...especially on the time factor for developing them?
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:13 PM
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AlainJ AlainJ is offline
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Re: Art Lessons -Reinventing the wheel

There is only one solution to good lesson plans....
Decompose what you need to share into "spoon full" elements, then rebuilt the sequence.
I have been teaching for 30 years now, and a lesson plan is only a canvas. If you prefer, the point of deviations from your scenario.
What makes you a good teacher is the passion you can communicate in any detail. All you need is an end result and sufficient knowledge on how to get there.
Other people's lessons plan is showing you how they planned to get there... it is good material as long as you can do the same, know the same and share the same passion for the same things.
I am convinced that you have your own passion, otherwise you would not be asking the question....
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:07 PM
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WFMartin WFMartin is offline
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Re: Art Lessons -Reinventing the wheel

I cannot imagine using anyone else's lesson plans for teaching--especially for something as varied as "art". I couldn't find two oil painters who paint exactly the same way, and I don't suppose that those who teach it would teach the same way either.

I always considered that part of being a professional teacher was involved in inventing one's own lesson plans. A lesson plan to a teacher is a very personal thing, and needs to be skewed toward the teacher's own methods and opinions regarding what is the most "important".

Whenever I've been faced with creating a lesson plan, I've usually reverted to the instruction that I had in one of my old, college "methods" classes, in which I was taught to construct an "activity Analysis". If there's anything that will put a lesson plan on the right track, that is it.

Such an analysis basically tells you what operations you should be teachng first, second, third, etc., based upon the frequency of occurrence of each operation as required in the production of a group of random, typical "projects" within the general "activity". It can't be beat for determining what operations are most "important," and what are least "important". That simple skill may have been lost somewhere along the way in teacher colleges, but I found it to be extraordinarily helpful, when I've had to teach a subject. It is based upon the old, "Job Analysis" that was considered to be so useful during WWII, when it was important to train people in the best manner, and the quickest way possible.

It is a great basis for constructing a logical, and useful lesson plan to teach nearly any subject.
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:11 PM
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cricketswool cricketswool is offline
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Re: Art Lessons -Reinventing the wheel

With all respect to the previous poster, I have to disagree. If you are teaching your own style, your own technique, your own experience or artistic vision, there is no getting around making your own lesson plans. Sometimes, however, what you're teaching has little to do with what you've learned personally or even what your students want to know; instead it's what the Board of Education (or some other far-removed entity which doesn't include a single artist) thinks they should know. If you're teaching art as a basic educational course, ready-made lesson plans are a godsend.

Of course it takes many hours to plan one lesson, and an almost impossible time to plan out an entire school curriculum. That's why textbooks and teacher's guides cost so much. If you find any that work for you, by all means use them and don't feel guilty; that's what they're written for! You can modify the plans to reflect your own interests, topical subjects, or other material without having to start from scratch. (For instance, I teach in a faith-based school. One of our portrait lessons is always tweaked to be a lesson about saints.) You can also supplement them with original plans for topics you're especially drawn to, but don't feel compelled to unless the ready-made version just isn't working.

Unless you're distributing copied material to your students, I don't think copyright is even an issue.
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:44 AM
alansam alansam is offline
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Re: Art Lessons -Reinventing the wheel

to teach art in a school ,you need not be a good artist ,But to go around the art clubs and societies giving demos you do.If I was to go giving demos .I would make copies on my printer in photo paper of my previous work ,then enclose them in a folder ,ask the members what they would like you to demo for them ,As an art club memeber .I help my group and have a web site ,,I have created with no restrictions so any one who loves art can down load ideas ,I get no help or want to profit for it ,www.watercolourfreedom.com
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Old 01-09-2010, 05:15 PM
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puglady puglady is offline
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Re: Art Lessons -Reinventing the wheel

Personally I can never use pre-made lessons, but I have used them as a starting point for my own lessons. I'm not sure what my hang-up is with them, I just feel like most of what is out there isn't in depth enough for what I want to teach, or doesn't foster enough individual thought, or whatever-- I have an excuse for every lesson I find. I have used methods from others' lessons, and methods from my college classes and/or high school classes, and combined them with my own ideas. Also, I don't know about other states, but Arkansas has a yearly conference where art teachers get together and share lessons and tips, and that has been invaluable to me as a source of inspiration. I think I just have a hard time getting into someone else's head and seeing the lesson they created as my own.

As far as my own lessons go, I'm always tweaking them also. I use similar activities, and change them up for different levels. Or I use the same basics but add more detail. Once you have a good solid set of lessons built up you can just change them for the better each year, keep what works, toss what doesn't, etc. I don't know if I'll still want to teach narrative art the same way I do now in 3 years, so if not I'll put that one on the back burner for awhile and do something else instead. Then later on I can pull it back out, dust it off, update it, and reuse it.

I can't speak to having to teach K-12 though-- that would be a nightmare for me. I teach 9-12 and I have 5-6th grade four days per week. This year I had to teach Fine Art Survey, which I'd never taught before, and I'm learning how to teach art history without being dry, writing my lessons from the ground up for the most part.

It does take a long time to do it right, and you may want to create a mix for starters, and gradually introduce more of your own and drop the pre-written ones one at a time.

As far as copyright goes, I believe if someone writes up a lesson and submits it to a magazine or posts it on the internet they have no reasonable expectation that people won't take the idea and use it, that's what it's there for. All teachers take ideas from each other-- it's not copyright infringement it's just common sense. If something is working for someone else, use it.

Teaching that many grade levels, I would probably utilize the internet and fellow art teachers and steal as many lessons as possible to get started, just make sure the lessons you use are up to your standard of what you want your students to learn.
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