Overview: Students use the poetry of Robert Frost to synthesize the decision making process. Then, they present those choices through an arts medium turning it into a museum, which they have curated as a group.
This museum lesson plan provides a way for students to practice synthesis, evaluation and presentation skills. It connects Common Core Literacy standards with the new draft Visual Arts NCCAS for middle school students. Through the new National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCAAS), we wanted to show you an example of how beautifully these new potential standards create a strong link to Common Core Standards. All without sacrificing the integrity of the Arts themselves.
Lead a class discussion is how students make decisions when they are faced with a choice between two options. What do they place value in? What does not weigh into their decision?
Group read the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. Then divide students into four small groups. Have each small group take a stanza and synthesize what the stanza means to them into one sentence.
Step 1: As a large group, look at all of the summarized stanzas and decide on the overall essential understanding from the poem. Bring the conversation back to their beginning thoughts about making choices.
Step 2: View the video A Day in the Life that explains how museum curators make choices about what to include in their collections. How do they make their choices? Do they “take the road less traveled” or do they use pieces that are more well known? Why?
Step 3: Ask students to think about a choice they made that represented forging their own path. They must then create a way to present this choice using either visual art, drama, music or dance. Presentations should be no more than 30 seconds.
Susan Riley is the founder and President 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 Arts and the Common Core.
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.