Ask the Experts: Lesson Plan Ideas

Can you suggest a good source for lesson plan ideas?

Like most educators, I spend a fair amount of time and energy creating curriculum and lesson plans. Recently, I was tipped off about ArtsEdge. ArtsEdge (artsedge.kennedy-center.org) is the Kennedy Center’s online arts educator resource. It has dance lesson plans ranging from African to hula to ballet. The lessons are a full set of instructions that also include extra materials, like rubrics and related printables, to hand out to your students. There are links to videos you can use, as well as a section on how the lesson connects to arts standards. (At this time, ArtsEdge is still referencing the 1994 voluntary national arts standards. They’re working to include the new National Core Arts Standards.) You can search for lessons by grade, arts subject or a cross-discipline—or any combination of the three.  

Just about any page has a tab bar on the side with links to related resources, like video, audio and other lesson plans. The site also has a section of about 50 short how-to articles on best practices. The topics range from teaching critiques to dealing with sensitive themes onstage. As if this treasure trove of material isn’t enough, there’s even an entire section of online resources just for students.

Be careful—this site is an overwhelming yet fascinating rabbit hole! I started out looking at Martha Graham, and the next thing I knew I was immersed in a break-dance video.

Barry Blumenfeld teaches at the Friends Seminary in New York City. He is an adjunct professor at New York University and on faculty at the Dance Education Laboratory of the 92nd Street Y.

Photo courtesy of Barry Blumenfeld

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