There’s a lot of debate right now about whether to use digital lesson planners or to continue to provide teachers with the option to use a hardcopy planner. Quite frankly, I think this is somewhat of a waste of time. It doesn’t really matter HOW you plan, it’s more about WHAT you plan and how you DELIVER the plan. Plus, I’ve also found that many typical planners just don’t meet the needs of organizing arts integrated lessons. There’s not space for both content and fine arts objectives, nor is there anything to remind us of relevant teaching tools and strategies. Well no more! We’ve developed the ultimate Arts Integration lesson planner to help you get organized this year. Best of all, you can either use it digitally or print it out: the choice is yours!
Here’s what the planner looks like:
You’ll notice that everything is flexible. You can change the week, insert naturally aligning content areas, and even decide for yourself if you want to plan by day, subject or grade level. What I truly love about this planner though, is the incorporation of 21st century skills for each content alignment and the checklist for providing student feedback and resources for assessment options. Aligned with each lesson, this planner really does provide a clear picture of student outcome to lesson delivery to student understanding and assessment.
The template provided is blank so that you can customize it to fit your needs. I recommend selecting and writing a content area in and finding a naturally aligning artform (visual art, music, drama, dance) to pair with it so that you can create an integrated lesson in the boxes below. There may be times when you can’t (and probably shouldn’t) do this with all subject areas, and if that’s the case, you can simply leave the integration boxes blank. This planner is all about customization and choice.
Speaking of choice, there are several options for downloading this lesson planner! You can either download the Excel spreadsheet version or the PDF file. The Excel version will allow you to plan directly from your computer, creating a digital template for you to copy and implement for the school year. The PDF version can be printed off and completed by hand. It’s completely up to you! So don’t let this year get started without having this ultimate lesson planner at your fingertips – whichever style fits you!
Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education.
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.