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Peer Review

Arts Education K-6 Lesson Plans

by Cris Guenter


Overall Numeric Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jun 06, 2001 by Teacher Education
Overview: This searchable database contains over 80 elementary grade (K-6) arts lessons in dance, drama/theatre, music, and visual arts. Other information at this site includes how the site is used in teacher education, a lesson plan template, how the searchable database was constructed, how student teacher lesson plans are selected, a rubric for assessing the lesson plans, how to cite online sources, reflections, and suggestions for use. Within the framework of developing lessons that apply to the arts this site provides both criteria and examples that can be used in different ways.
Type of Material: Object is classified in MERLOT as a Collection.
Technical Requirements: No special technical issues.
Identify Major Learning Goals: This web site serves three main purposes in the Arts Methods course by providing: (1) concrete examples for student teachers as they learn how to write a complete lesson plan, (2) instantly accessible data for student teachers to conduct peer reviews of lessons during an in-class session on lesson plan troubleshooting, and (3) resources for lessons and ideas that have been field-tested by peers.
Target Student Population: Students majoring in K-6 education and teachers in those grades. The database of lessons is a good resource for both preservice and inservice teachers. Could also be used by teachers and teacher educators interested in integrating arts education in to their curriculum..
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Author provides a link to the California Visual and Performing Arts Framework as well as information about developing an arts lesson plan. These address prerequisite information that teachers may need to use this site effectively.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This is a good resource for instructors who want students to develop specific lesson plans for the arts. While the objectives for the lessons apply to Californian requirements, the site can be used to show students in other states how to create lessons that apply to their particular state requirements. Explanations about the content of site, structure of lesson plans, and details about how this site can be used are available. Examples are abundant.
Concerns: None noted.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The database provides an excellent resource for the arts. Criteria for selection of student lesson plans for inclusion in this database are included. Currently about 20% of lesson plans submitted are judged to be of high enough quality to be included in the database. The rubric for the development of lessons is useful and can be used as is or modified by an instructor for different uses. Lesson plans themselves are very thorough and easy to follow. Special emphasis is given to defining vocabulary used and suggestions for evaluating each lesson are also given.
Concerns: The learning outcomes for the university student are clear but when viewing the lessons in the database the learning objectives for the K-6 student are not always clearly identifiable in the lesson plans. The author/editor of this site told us that learner outcomes for each lesson plan are found under Goals/Objectives and that there is a range of clarity and tightness. The author/editor also reminded us that these lessons are written by beginning student teachers and that anchoring objectives and assessment in the affective domain is not always easy.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The site is attractive and easy to use. The material is organized logically. The structure of website is consistent and graphically appealing. The searchable database works well and allows searches by grade level, arts discipline, and arts component. Arts lesson can also be browsed by category: dance, drama/theater, visual arts, and music.
Concerns: None noted.