Chicago is jam-packed with incredible art institutions and resources. But–did you know that many of your favorite museums and public art spaces have published lesson planning resources for educators?
Many of the lesson plans are Common Core Standards compliant and adaptable to different grade levels and classroom settings. Check out just a few of these resources available to CPS teachers across our city.
The Harris Learning Library is a specially curated collection of real artifacts and specimens that the Field Museum lends out to educators across the Chicagoland area. The collection includes plant and animal specimens, anthropological artifacts, and pieces of ancient art in special boxes. Members of the Learning Library can check boxes out and bring these items into the classroom. Students can observe, examine, and even touch the items! Many of the boxes also include companion curricular materials to support learning about the object. Memberships are paid, but there are sliding scale options depending on the amount of items that you’d like to check out per year.
The Ask an Educator feature on the Art Institute’s website is an amazing resource if you want some new topics to focus on in the classroom, but aren’t sure where to start. You simply fill out a form, answering questions about your class, desired outcomes, and your jumping off point. An educator will then match you with specially tailored resources from the Art Institute for use in your classroom!
The MCA Curriculum Generator is a really fun and sometimes silly way to come up with new lesson plans. Built around classic internet generators, this collaborative activity is half game, half immersive art experience. You can go through the Generator in a large group with your whole class, though there are portions where you will split off into 4-6 smaller breakout groups. At the end, you’ll find that you have created a totally out-of-the-box lesson plan that you can use in future classes!
This curriculum from Intuit Museum of Outsider Art is all about inspiring students to find beauty in their communities and at home. Inspired by the art of Wesley and Ricky Willis, students are asked to interpret their neighborhood through visual art and dance! This lesson planning resource is Common Core standards compliant.
Based around the career of Jose Guadalupe Posada and the Day of the Dead holiday, this learning resource from the National Museum of Mexican Art is full of info and lesson plan ideas. It is also Common Core Standards compliant. Your class will write a poem, learn about Posada’s life and career, and make a print.
Make sure to check out the IPMM Visual Arts Education Curriculum for the ultimate lesson planning resource! Flexible and reusable, the curriculum can be customized depending on how many times per week your students have art class. It’s also divided into age-appropriate activities, scaffolding lesson plans and content to be workable for all grade levels, with a Kindergarten through 3rd Grade, 4th through 8th Grade, and High School section.
Plus, for the very first time, with your purchase of the IPMM Visual Arts Education Curriculum you’ll also receive all future editions of the curriculum. This means that we’ll deliver the new copy to you each summer, keeping your curriculum fresh and engaging. Learn more about the curriculum here.
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