Arts Content Planning Matrix

The following is a matrix of the content and activity areas which should be considered to make certain the arts have been substantively included in the planning of a lesson, unit, or complete course of study. It is designed to be a shorthand tool for ensuring the coverage of the National Standards in any of the four arts disciplines. Not every lesson will cover every aspect of the matrix, but each lesson should cover a range of the Content Areas, and where possible, should include both activity types. A detailed explanation of this matrix has also been prepared.


Creating/Performing: Has the activity engaged students in using the content in creating (and/or performing) works of their own (or of others)? Observing/Responding: Has the activity engaged students in observing and responding to the content in their own and others artwork?
Context: Have you considered how to make the content meaningful to students and the content's relationships to self, society, history, culture, other subject areas?

Elements and Principles: Has the content helped students understand the components of visual, aural, kinesthetic, or dramatic information and the methods the art disciplines use to work with them?

Materials and Processes: Has the content helped students to become familiar with materials and processes for creating artworks AND to understand their influence on the effect of the work?

Form and Design: Has the content helped students understand how artworks are structured and the relationship of the structure to "purpose" (i.e. form and function)?

Remember to consult and include arts specialist teachers,
community artists, arts programs, and institutions as partners in your planning!