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Lesson Collection

ARTSEDGE Lessons for Elementary School

Arts-integrated lessons for students in kindergarten through 5th grade

Teacher with older art class

Lesson Collection

ARTSEDGE Lessons for Middle School

Arts-integrated lessons for students in grades 6th through 8th

Students in a Circle

Lesson Collection

ARTSEDGE Lessons for High School

Arts-integrated lessons for students in grades 9th through 12th

Bessie Smith

Grades 3-4 Lesson

Musical Harlem

Students will learn to identify musical styles and musicians associated with Harlem, focusing on jazz

The Drinking Gourd Constellation

Grades 3-4 Lesson

Harriet Tubman: Secret Messages Shared through Song

Learn how African-American spirituals shared information within the slave community

freedom-riders

Grades 6-8 Lesson

We Are The Freedom Riders

Learn about the courageous efforts of the Freedom Riders during the civil rights movement

Chinese performers

Grades 3-4 Lesson

Chinese Instruments

Explore traditional western and Chinese instruments and create a Chinese instrument

Wagon and mules

Grades 6-8 Lesson

Capturing History

Examine the political and economic reasons for the African-American migration to Northern cities between the World Wars

Weaving Rug

Grades K-2 Lesson

Navajo Weaving

Through guided reading of Ten Little Rabbits and hands-on activities students will explore aspects of Native American cultures and Navajo weavings

President Obama being sworn in.

Grade 5 Lesson

Who Can Vote for President?

Learn general facts about the voting process and its importance in a democratic form of government

Storyteller Figure by Michelle Paisano, Laguna Pueblo

Grades 3-4 Lesson

A Listening Doll

Create a listening doll in the tradition of the Native American storyteller dolls

moccasins

Grades 6-8 Lesson

Moccasins Are Made for Dancing

Students will read one of Tomie DePaola’s versions of two Native American legends

moon and raven

Grade 5 Lesson

Haunting Music

Learn about orchestral “program music” inspired by the spooky and bizarre

Baseball Field

Grades 3-4 Lesson

All Around the Baseball Field

Students construct a mock baseball field and explore the sport of baseball through art, movement, and sound

Spanish dancer.

Grades 9-12 Lesson

Baila! Latin Dance in the Spanish Classroom

Learn about a variety of Latin dances through oral group presentations

Chemical Reactions

Grades 9-12 Lesson

Oxidation and Combustion: Chemical Reactions in Fire

A wide variety of science concepts can be explored through the study of fireworks

Butterfly

Grades K-2 Lesson

The Dance of the Butterfly

Create an original dance that communicates the stages of the life cycle of the monarch butterfly

The American Flag

Grades 3-4 Lesson

Oh, Say Can You See…

Students will learn about the history behind the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner”

adjectiveMonster

Grades K-2 Lesson

Adjective Monster

Use the visual art and language arts to creatively tell stories of monstrous proportions

Paul Bunyon

Grade 5 Lesson

Tall Tales Today

Create an original tall tale featuring a "larger-than life" main character

Watching the Sunset

Grades 9-12 Lesson

Haiku: Learning and Sharing

Students will look beyond the basics of haiku poetry and focus on the content of the haiku

Irish Dancers

Grades 3-4 Lesson

You’re Invited to a Ceili: Exploring Irish Dance

Explore the traditions of Irish dance through music, costumes, and poetry

trees

Grade 5 Lesson

Trees in Nature and Art

Students will explore the use of trees in paintings and poetry

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LESSON FINDER

Find free arts-based lesson plans and projects for classrooms and afterschool

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1-69 of 69 Results:
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott Acting Up, A Melodrama

Acting Up, A Melodrama

In this lesson, the students practice some melodramatic movement.

South Pacific Adapting a Musical

Adapting a Musical

This lesson explores the implications of developing a musical from a literary text or an historical event, and includes suggestions for immersing students into the creative process of building a musical.

Baseball Field All Around the Baseball Field

All Around the Baseball Field

Students construct a mock baseball field and from there explore the sport of baseball through art, movement, and sound

Jungle Forest Animal Habitats

Animal Habitats

Pre-readers are introduced to animal habitats through story, song, and dramatic play using children’s books

Firefighter at Ground Zero Art from Tragedy: Remembering 9/11

Art from Tragedy: Remembering 9/11

Students will interview their peers about their memories of September 11th, 2001, and use those memories to craft a one-act play for performance

Art Gallery Art Show with the Masters

Art Show with the Masters

Research information on artists' lives and works and prepare works of art based on their understanding of the artists, their time and place in history, and their works.

Scene from The Crucible Arthur Miller and The Crucible

Arthur Miller and The Crucible

This lesson examines the consequences of personal conscience in conflict with rigid societal perceptions of what is "right" in human behavior as articulated in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.

Gilded age painting Arts of the Gilded Age

Arts of the Gilded Age

Learn about and discuss characteristics of the Gilded Age. Using books, internet and other media, research the various fine and performing art forms popular during that time period.

Scene from Eugene O'Neill's 'The Hairy Ape' Broken Worlds

Broken Worlds

This lesson provides a variety of options for conducting comparative analysis between Eugene O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape and Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire

Shadow Box A Character Life Box

A Character Life Box

This language arts lesson offers a hands-on opportunity for students to understand characterization in literature and to connect historical and contemporary culture

Peter Pan Statue by George Frampton Characterization in Literature and Theater

Characterization in Literature and Theater

In this lesson, students explore various methods authors use to create effective characters.

Children from the Janabi Village Children of War

Children of War

This lesson explores the realities and effects of war on children by examining diaries, journals, and letters written by children during times of war

Chivalry and Courtly Love Chivalry and Courtly Love

Chivalry and Courtly Love

Explore the Arthurian codes of chivalry and courtly love in art, modern films, books, and poetry. Examine the way in which these ideals have influenced modern concepts.

Civil War Letters Civil War Letters

Civil War Letters

Using letters written during the Civil War students develop an understanding of the message of the letters. They will create a dramatic reading based on their letter.

Crow Drinking Counting Crows

Counting Crows

Students will learn the meaning of Aesop's fable, "The Crow and the Pitcher," blending math and art with literature and film

Fictional Book Creating Characters

Creating Characters

Students examine character as a significant element of fiction, learning methods of characterization, identify and critique

Aesop's Fables Elements of Fables

Elements of Fables

This lesson focuses on describing the general literary elements in fables. In this particular lesson, students will recognize the key elements of a fable (moral, character, and figurative language).

Midas' daughter turned to gold Elements of Myth

Elements of Myth

How can myths help to explain nature and science? Students will explore these themes in this lesson. Students will read and explore several myths, identifying the elements of this literary form.

Ciphers and Constellations in Love with a Woman Escape from Reality: Miró and Surrealism

Escape from Reality: Miró and Surrealism

This lesson will introduce the history and concepts of the Surrealist movement

Eugene O'Neill Eugene O'Neill on Page and Stage

Eugene O'Neill on Page and Stage

Continue the exploration of "Puritanism" as an influence on the development of modern American drama by focusing on elements of narrative, theme and characterization.

Paul Bunyon and his Big Blue Ox, Babe Exploring American Tall Tales

Exploring American Tall Tales

Students will explore the common elements of folktales and tall tales while learning how these tales built the spirit of the American people

Russian Church Exploring Russian Folktales

Exploring Russian Folktales

Students are introduced to the genre of folktales and engage in a study of several Russian folktales. They are asked to read the tales aloud, and then to fill in a chart about each one.

Scene from Exploring A Streetcar Named Desire

Exploring A Streetcar Named Desire

Students study setting, plot, and character development in Tennessee Williams' play, A Streetcar Named Desire and discuss its impact on American theater.

Fencers Fancy Fencing

Fancy Fencing

Stage-fighting, and especially sword-fighting, is important to the plot of many Shakespearean plays. In theatre, fights are based on precise choreography.

frog prince Finding Your Own Frog Prince

Finding Your Own Frog Prince

Students will use a traditional tale, “The Frog Prince,” and Jon Scieszka’s variation of it, The Frog Prince Continued, to create improvised scenes and then a book for a mini-musical.

Scene from 'A Streetcar Named Desire' Fractured Families in American Drama

Fractured Families in American Drama

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Long Day's Journey into Night, explore the tension, tragedy, heartbreak, and love within flawed and fractured families.

recycle Get Dramatic: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Get Dramatic: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

In this lesson students will explore the concepts behind the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle slogan through theater

Children in a Japanese Internment Camp Giving Voice to History

Giving Voice to History

Students will understand a somber period in American history. During World War II, the U.S. government ordered more than 120,000 Japanese Americans to detainment camps.

Harriet Tubman Harriet Tubman: Dancing on the Freedom Trail

Harriet Tubman: Dancing on the Freedom Trail

In this lesson, students are introduced to the emotional struggles Tubman faced as she helped slaves escape and travel north along the Underground Railroad.

Landing at Ellis Island Immigrating to America

Immigrating to America

Students will learn what it was like for new immigrants to come through Ellis Island—a symbolic heart of American immigration—at the turn of the 20th century

Inspired by Muses Inspired by Muses, Graces and Fates

Inspired by Muses, Graces and Fates

Muses of ancient Greece inspired poets, playwrights, dancers, actors, musicians, and scientists. Graces added life to a party and the Fates determined a life’s destiny.

Hecuba Blinding Polynestor It's All in the Translation

It's All in the Translation

In this lesson students will examine the important role translation plays in interpreting the dramatic literature and theater of the ancient Greeks.

King Arthur King Arthur: Man or Legend

King Arthur: Man or Legend

In this lesson, students will learn about the legend of King Arthur as depicted in stories, poems, and artwork

Appomattox Court-House A Light in the Storm: A Personal Look at the Civil War

A Light in the Storm: A Personal Look at the Civil War

Create a historical timeline and personal event timeline based on the historical fiction book and play A Light in the Storm and its main character, Amelia Martin.

Storyteller Figure by Michelle Paisano, Laguna Pueblo A Listening Doll

A Listening Doll

Create a listening doll in the tradition of the Native American storyteller dolls

Greek masks Masks and Aesop's Fables

Masks and Aesop's Fables

This multi-media visual and language arts lesson offers intellectual, creative, and interpretive opportunities through use of books, music and the internet

Mountains Mountain Creation: A Drama Exploration

Mountain Creation: A Drama Exploration

Students examine a poem about mountain creation from a Native American perspective and watching a scientifically-accurate film about mountain formation

Grimm's Fairy Tales book Moving Tales

Moving Tales

Students practice using their bodies to communicate through movement, improvisation, and pantomime games. Groups then read and interpret an assigned Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale

Noh Character Dancing Noh Theater

Noh Theater

In learning about the history, theatrical elements, music, dance, and costuming, of Noh Plays students are also comparing and contrasting these to the other theater elements

The American Flag Oh, Say Can You See…

Oh, Say Can You See…

Students will learn about the history behind the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Romeo and Juliet Performance Essay

Performance Essay

By investigating Shakespeare through both an analytical and theatrical lens, students achieve a much deeper understanding of his work.

American Pioneers Pioneer America: Journey West

Pioneer America: Journey West

In this lesson, students will learn about the early pioneers in America and their motivations for moving West

Annie Oakley Pioneer America: Legendary Westerners

Pioneer America: Legendary Westerners

In this lesson, students will work in pairs to research legendary westerners

Pioneers Pioneer America: Pioneer Living

Pioneer America: Pioneer Living

In this lesson, students will learn about what life was like for early American pioneers

Scene from Twelfth Night Playing with Puns

Playing with Puns

This theater and language arts lesson offers intellectual, creative and interpretive opportunities. Students will analyze and compare the puns and word play in selected scenes

Fiction book Plotting the Story

Plotting the Story

Students examine plot as a significant element of fiction. They distinguish plot from narrative to gain a firm understanding of a plot’s function within a story

Shadow Puppets Puppets on the Move: China and the Silk Road

Puppets on the Move: China and the Silk Road

Through map-making, research, and class discussions, students will gain an understanding of the dynamics of trade in China along the Silk Road

Performance of Shakespeare's A Question of Style

A Question of Style

Students will explore the nature of comedy by informally staging the opening scenes in Shakespeare's As You Like It

The African Slave Trade Reliving History Through Slave Narratives

Reliving History Through Slave Narratives

After reading narratives from former slaves that were recorded in the 1930's as part of the Federal Writers' Project, students will research slavery

Snowy London Setting the Story

Setting the Story

Students examine setting as a significant element of fiction. They learn devices for creating a realistic setting, and use the methods in works of their own

Scene from Southern Puritanism and Tennessee Williams

Southern Puritanism and Tennessee Williams

This lesson continues the exploration of "Puritanism" as an influence on the development of modern American drama in works by Tennessee Williams.

Mali Mask Sundiata, Mali’s Lion King

Sundiata, Mali’s Lion King

This lesson introduces the legendary Malian king Sundiata Keita, known as the Lion King of Mali, by using elements of traditional Malian festivals.

Paul Bunyon Tall Tales Today

Tall Tales Today

In this lesson, students are introduced to the genre of American tall tales and will create an original tall tale featuring a "larger-than life" main character.

Dragon Dance for Chinese New Year The Chinese Lion Dance

The Chinese Lion Dance

Dance in the Chinese New Year with your K-2 students

Scene from 'The Glass Menagerie' The Memory Play in American Drama

The Memory Play in American Drama

This lesson explores structural and technical devices of the "memory" play by focusing on a Tennessee Williams' masterpiece, The Glass Menagerie

Hip-hop poet The Poetics of Hip-Hop

The Poetics of Hip-Hop

Students will analyze form in Shakespearean sonnets and hip-hop music

Shadow Puppet. The Science of Shadow Puppets

The Science of Shadow Puppets

Through online learning tools and the creation of shadow puppets and plays, students will learn how light interacts with matter

Women and Men Tolerance: Gender Issues

Tolerance: Gender Issues

In this lesson, students research how professions such as nursing, clerking, and teaching have changed gender dominance over the past 150 years in the United States.

Mark Twain Twain: An American Humorist

Twain: An American Humorist

Students will analyze humor and the American character, developing a definition of “American humor”

Mark Twain Twain: Icon and Iconoclast

Twain: Icon and Iconoclast

This lesson asks students to examine samples of Twain’s work in the context of pre- and post-Civil War America

Tom Sawyer Twain: Tom Sawyer—Mythic Adventurer

Twain: Tom Sawyer—Mythic Adventurer

Learn about the source for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Read, and analyze the novel, with attention to character and style.

Scene from Eugene O'Neill's 'The Hairy Ape' Uncivil Civilization in The Hairy Ape

Uncivil Civilization in The Hairy Ape

Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape presents a disheartening assessment of the impact of living in the industrialized society of the early 20th century.

Constitution of the United States Utopian Visions

Utopian Visions

Students are introduced to the idea of a "utopia"—an idealized society. Students read Sir Thomas More's Utopia and examine the concepts behind his vision of an ideal society.

word art A Way With Words or Say What?

A Way With Words or Say What?

Many words and phrases that we use every day were coined by Shakespeare. He is credited with inventing over 2,000 words and expressive phrases.

Whales The Whale Trail

The Whale Trail

In this lesson students will explore the world of gray whales

Davy Crockett What a Character

What a Character

In this lesson, students analyze how a character's personality traits, actions and motives influence the plot of a story

The Starry Night Who Has Seen the Wind?

Who Has Seen the Wind?

In this lesson students are introduced to and encouraged to explore characteristics of the wind through poetry and van Gogh’s paintings

Mythical Gods Writing Myths

Writing Myths

Students will explore how myths provide explanations for nature and science. They will read and analyze the Native American myth "Giants and Mosquitoes."

Animals from a Fable Writing an Original Fable

Writing an Original Fable

In this lesson, students will use the steps of the writing process (brainstorming, drafting, revising, proofreading, and publishing) to write and perform original fables as skits.

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SUPPORTING INDIVIDUAL NEEDS

Use this collection of resources and articles to devise an approach for supporting individual needs in the classroom: from English Language Learners or students with disabilities, to conflict resolution and giving feedback.

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