Brianne Gidcumb | April 2016

Driving Questions for Arts-Based Inquiry: Responding

In our Driving Questions for Arts-Based Inquiry series, we’ve been developing frameworks for arts-based inquiry learning and project based learning in and through the arts. Each installment of this series focuses on one of the process strands in the National Core Arts Standards (creating, performing/presenting/producing, responding, connecting). In this installment, we focus on the third strand of the National Core Arts Standards: responding.

In our first installment, we provided a quick run-down of what driving questions are, characteristics of driving questions, as well as a few examples. In February, we looked at the three anchor standards in the creating strand of the National Core Arts Standards, the essential questions associated with those standards, and some driving questions that might help you craft an arts-based project-based learning experience. Last month, we journeyed into the second strand of standards, those that comprise performing/presenting/producing. Today, we continue into the responding strand of standards.

The anchor standards in the responding strand are as follows:

Anchor Standard 7: Perceive and analyze artistic work.

Anchor Standard 8: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.

Anchor Standard 9: Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.

We can ask open-ended questions regarding the observation of works of art to help facilitate arts-based inquiry in the responding strand of standards. This can be a means of accessing a PBL mindset through the responding strand. Additionally. we can ask students to respond to works of art that are created in response to a driving question as part of the PBL process itself. For example, if students create a theatrical work to demonstrate their understanding of a unit of study in social studies, part of the PBL process and driving question can relate to the response to the work itself, perhaps in the form of peer evaluation, self-evaluation, or student-created rubrics.

In today’s FREE DOWNLOAD, you’ll find a chart of the essential questions for standards 7 through 9 in each arts area, as well as some project “seeds” based on driving questions in each arts area. Share your own driving questions below!

Download Driving Questions- Responding!

About the Author

Brianne is a former music educator from Chicago and current graduate class instructor with EdCloset’s Learning Studios. She earned her Masters degree in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music and has over a decade of experience in the elementary general music classroom. With her experience in the performing arts, Brianne is dedicated to building connections between the arts and Common Core Standards, 21st century learning skills, inquiry and project-based learning. In addition to her work with EducationCloset, Brianne is a yoga instructor in the Chicagoland area. You can also find Brianne here: