Susan Riley | September 2013

The Performing Arts of Early Childhood

Just last night I finished giving a presentation to a wonderful group of performing teaching artists at the incredible Wolf Trap for the Performing Arts organization.  The focus of last evening was all about our youngest learners: our pre-k and kindergarten students.  While learning through the arts come so naturally to these little ones, it can be a challenge to break down the performing arts in a way that maintains the rigor and honors the standards.  I have known many great teachers and artists get wide-eyed at the thought of developing a comprehensive lesson for these students!

In my experience, one of the best places to start is with vocabulary and terms of instruction found within the curriculum itself.  Often times, these terms can be used as a jumping off point in finding natural connections into the performing arts.  One of the resources that I shared with this group was my Early Childhood Curriculum Terms Map, which connects terms found in the Pre-K and Kindergarten Curriculum with natural connections to the performing arts, as indicated by the Artistic Processes outlined in the upcoming National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (set to be released this spring).

For today’s Free Friday, I am sharing this map with you as well.  We could all use a little help with Early Childhood and this resource may be a starting point for many of you.  The first two sample pages are below, and you can download the entire PDF document by clicking the button found above the samples.

Want more resources like this one?  Try our upcoming Common Core and the Arts online graduate class, where we explore these standards in depth (including the NCCAS and Common Core).  CEUs begin October 1st and Graduate Classes begin November 1st.

The Performing Arts of Early Childhood, Education Closet

The Performing Arts of Early Childhood, Education Closet

About the Author

Susan Riley is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM. This is the world’s largest online resource for educators interested in integrating the arts. She has presented at events and authored articles for many educational organizations including The US Department of Education, Palmetto State Arts Education, Edutopia, Education Week, Americans for the Arts, ASCD, and NPR. She regularly presents at national and international events each year. She is the author of three books and is a sought-after collaborator for innovative educational projects around the globe. Susan brings creativity, practicality, dedication and passion to the education landscape. She is well-respected for her pioneering work in the fields of Arts Integration and STEAM education with a standards-based approach. As an educator who taught for 10 years in public schools, as well as served in central office leadership, she understands the fast-paced change, challenges and promise of 21st century schools. As an entrepreneur, she has successfully taken what was once a simple education blog and developed it into a rapidly-growing and highly-respected educational institution. Her team of 15+ teachers, leaders and coaches support over over 500,000 educators each month worldwide. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan