Week 18: Arts Appreciation Course

4 Min Read  •  Arts Appreciation

The Arts Appreciation Course of Curriculum Design.

Revisiting the Project Expectations and Building the Proposal

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We are nearing the end of our six-month series where we have been exploring the why and how of curriculum design via an Arts Appreciation course created through an arts collaboration.


When Planning Like an Artist, everything is designed with the end performance in mind. So, as the course was designed, we remained focused on our ultimate goal or aim of the course and the final assessment/performance task; how the students are going to demonstrate the aim.

Aim: After this course it is our hope that students are able to articulate an appreciation of all art forms while defending artistic preferences.

Final Assessment/Performance Task: Students will design an arts company and create a performance season utilizing a common theme based on their personal artistic preference and present their performance season to a board in the form of a proposal for funding as a way to articulate an appreciation of all art forms.

We are now ready to have students begin composing their final assessment. 

Students will have 2 roles in the final:

  1.  Present their performance season and arts organization to the “Board of Directors”
  2.  Act as the “Board of Directors” for colleagues presentations

As students watch the presentations, they will choose which organization they would like to fund.  Students will receive bonus points for each Board of Director who votes to fund their season.

Building Your Arts Organization, Education Closet

Download project and rubrics here:

Project Flyer
Teacher Rubric (used by a teacher to grade the project)
Board of Directors Rubric  (used by students when watching presentations)

Series Recap

The first few weeks were devoted to the how and why of the curriculum design process.
The Art of Curriculum Design
The Art of Curriculum Design: The “Why”
The Art of Curriculum Design: The “How”

We then took a look at applying the Plan Like an Artist method of Curriculum Design to create a secondary level Arts Appreciation course.
Arts Appreciation: Planned Like an Artist

Arts Appreciation Weeks 1-5

The first 5 weeks of the Arts Appreciation course provided the foundational information for students to participate in viewing and discussing art in preparation for building their own arts organization. Week one built a class definition of art, the second week focused on applying the class definition to artistic work, the third week helped students to identify artist intent. Identifying the intent, defending the intent, and determining the effect of artist intent on the emotional landscape of the art as viewed by an audience and as viewed through the lens of the class definition of art.

Through the viewing of controversial art, students are continuing to defend what they believe art “is” and “is not,” and acknowledging the emotion behind the art as well as identifying the artist’s intent. The fourth week concluded the foundational information students need in order to actively view art by taking a look at the theme. The ability to identify the theme behind the art will help students to create their final project.

The goal of the fifth week was to start helping the students to profile their arts advocacy, by brainstorming the ways in which they want to showcase art for their final assessment. This involved composing an artist statement, determining the theme of their performance season, developing their artistic brand, and drafting the mission and vision for their arts organization.

Arts Appreciation Weeks 6-9: Theatre

The Theatre unit was divided into 4 weeks.  The first week introduces Theatre, the second week takes a look at understanding theatre through scripts and structure, the third week walks students through how to view and critique Theatre, and the final week of the Theatre unit helps students to design their Theatre portion of the performance season for their arts organization.

Arts Appreciation Weeks 10-13: Dance

The Dance unit was also divided into 4 weeks.  The first week introduces students to dance as art, the second week takes a look at the history and foundation of the oldest codified dance forms, Ballet and Modern.  The third week takes a look at the more contemporary forms of Jazz and Hip Hop.  The final week  helps students to bring all of their dance knowledge together to determine what they will include in their performance season for their arts organization.

Arts Appreciation Weeks 14-17: Music

The Music unit was divided into 4 weeks as well.  The first week is an introduction to music, the second week takes a look at the major and minor of music.  The third week helps students to practice “viewing” music, and the final week has students build the music portion of their performance season.  The final week helps students to assimilate their music knowledge and build their performance season.

Next Week: Reflections

Interview with Martha Kelly, theatre teacher and co-creator of this Arts Appreciation Course.