Free! Curriculum Guide Template

There is a lively thread over on the Facebook group, Elementary Art Teachers about a curriculum map. I’ve recently written about why you should write your own curriculum and the challenges that come with it. The whole process seems daunting. . . And, that first bit? That first part where you map the curriculum so you can write it? Well, that’s the “blank canvas” I’m-scared-to-death place.

So,  let me help you with that. Here is a copy of my empty and blank curriculum map.

Here is my process:

1. Decide how many projects you want to do per year per grade level. These are your units. I chose 10 because that seem realistic based how many times I saw students in my past experience.

2. Decide how/if you will use themes. I like themes; they keep me on track. I chose themes that aligned with other things the students are doing and learning. I strongly believe in the power of arts integration and in cross-curricula learning. The themes for the curriculum I am currently writing are, “Government, characters, life science, perspectives, technology, narratives, history, earth science, economy, and physical science. It’s important to avoid just arbitrarily picking themes. If you don’t know where to begin with themes, try examining the Visual Arts standards and the standards of the other subjects. For example, if your Visual Arts standards make mention of art history per grade level, then it makes sense for you to have History unit.

3. Begin to conceptualize what project you will teach for each unit. This is where you need to deeply examine your standards and (hopefully) the standards of the other subjects.  If the students in fifth grade learn about the American Civil War, then it makes sense that for the History unit they create artwork that somehow links to the American Civil War. This type of academic integration helps students to understand that what they learn in one place transfers to other places; it builds context and relevancy. I like to develop an essential question and/or “the learner will” statement for each project. Then I put that statement along with a thumbnail image in the project slot on the curriculum map. In the case of the curriculum I am currently working on, I am using essential questions from the newly adopted English language arts text; I liked them that much!

My curriculum map; thumbnails are for my reference only; many are images by other Visual Arts teachers; the image prompts me to remember what I want to do for a project etc. 

Enjoy guys! And please enjoy the free. . . But play nice! Do not upload to Teacher pay Teachers etc. etc. etc.