Finding timely and grade level appropriate resources can be challenging. I have spent countless hours searching the internet looking for reputable sources to help create a solid art curriculum that introduces the seven elements of art in a age appropriate way with projects that are high-level. There are a ton of online sources for elementary art, but they are too cutesy and basic for middle school teens.
There are also a lot of art museums that try to fashion some lessons or projects for kids, but they are aimed at elementary and high school level students. Its almost as if a middle school art curriculum doesn’t exist. Maybe its hard to find because I have an idea of how I want to introduce the elements of art in thoughtful and interesting way for students, so art still feels like a fun and creative subject. I’m aiming for a light introduction of skills or elements, engaging practice, a fun project that students want to complete with passion and drive, and a reflection piece to aid with grading and student performance.
The best place that I have found for ideas is Pinterest. Several art teachers have recommended the site as a place to find ideas. Pinterest is definitely full of ideas, but it takes hours of sifting and thoughtful pinning to actually design something useful. Pinning an idea is the first step of the process. Once you have a pin to a project that looks interesting, you have to decide which element it best pairs with to develop a learning target. Some pins are attached to complete lesson plans, while others are just pictures. If you’re luck you find a pin that links to an actual middle school teacher in another part of the country who is willing to share ideas.
I have found several blogs in my search to piece together a curriculum, but only a few have multiple ideas that appeal to my curriculum design style. After several hours of searching, sifting, pinning, grouping, and categorizing; this is what I have complied so far. It feels like a solid start and has provided me with a framework to continue designing the art curriculum I’m searching for.