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The Arts

*Suggestion: The times listed next to the activities are approximate. Each activity could take more or less time. This module is designed to be completed over a period of time rather than in a single sitting.


Download to view the presentation on  Introductory on The Arts -   (5 minutes)

California Context/Standards

Try out a new arts skill or activity. You can complete this activity at home, in a learning community or at a public arts venue (museum, arts center, community center). You might consider watching a YouTube video about the arts skill to support your learning.

(Up to you)

Focus on pages 94-116 of The Alignment of California Preschool Learning Foundations  -  with Key Early Education Resources. When reading, notice how it aligns with the CA Visual and Performing Arts Framework for K-12. Reflect on the following:

How are key competencies from the VPA Framework aligned with the Preschool Learning Foundations? (How do children notice, respond, engage, create, invent, and express themselves along a developmental continuum from preschool to kindergarten?)

How do experiences in the arts support children’s socio-emotional, language, perceptual, motor, and cognitive development?

(20 minutes)

Use the Active Listening Guide -  to take notes and reflect on your observations while enjoying TK California's video

(10 minutes)

Understanding Arts Instruction For Young Children

Plan for arts instruction by reading the following two resources:

Children’s Developmental Benchmarks and Stages: A Summary Guide to Appropriate Arts Activities - .

Including Children with Special Needs: Are You and Your Early Childhood Program Ready?

  • What are the developmentally appropriate benchmarks for TK children in the arts (what can they do?)
  • How would you design an inclusive classroom environment to facilitate the development of these skills for all learners?
  • What specific considerations do you need to make regarding materials preparation, space arrangement, and other classroom management for your diverse TK learners?

(20 minutes)

Evaluating the TK environment for integrated arts learning

  • Look at TK California's recommendations for setting up a TK classroom environment. Consider why the following elements are important for developmentally appropriate arts instruction: promotion of literacy, variety of materials, reflection & inclusion of home languages, learning centers, cooperative & self-directed learning
  • Evaluate the classroom environment for integrated arts learning using the TK Environment Organizer.
  • Enjoy one of these two videos:

Select a sample TK daily schedule -   and lesson plan on TK California's website and utilize the TK Lesson Plan Organizer -  to analyze the plan.

(30 minutes)

Making It Real

You have learned about the foundations for arts learning, planning for arts experiences in a TK classroom, and analyzing arts lesson plans. Post your response to the following online or discuss in class.

You are planning for an Arts Learning Family Night for your TK students and their families.

  • What types of experiences will you include?
  • How will you expose families to the arts skills and competencies used in the classroom?
  • How will you plan your classroom environment?
  • How will you build connections to your families' linguistic and cultural worlds through the arts?

(25 minutes)

Extending Your Learning

To continue your learning beyond the module, engage in one of the following activities.

*Read Art in Early Childhood Curriculum Connections -  and relate your experience in trying a new art activity or skill (from #2 of this module) to the article.

  • How did your personal arts experience affect you emotionally, cognitively, and physically?
  • How did your arts experience connect with your interests, family, culture(s), language(s) in familiar ways? In new ways?
  • How might your experience help you learn about working with families across cultures and languages through arts experiences?

*Design integrated arts activities for a TK classroom using The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Resources below from the Eric Carle website. Return to the readings from this module to help you, including pages 101-115 of the Alignment of Preschool Foundations -  document.

Use the Designing Instruction Organizer -   to map your activities and classroom environment. Post your organizer and comment on others’ work in the online discussion board.

Resources from the Eric Carle website:

Activity ideas at the Caterpillar Exchange Board -  (Using The Very Hungry Caterpillar)

(30 minutes)

Approximate Total Time: 2 - 3 hours