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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Toolkit Basics

User's Guide

Making It Work

The Arts Toolkit web site offers additional resources to those found in the boxed toolkits.

The Arts Toolkits are designed to help meet the classroom needs of both arts specialists and nonspecialists. Because each toolkit is a set of tools, not a curriculum, use the resources in any way that is helpful.

While the toolkits are designed to be very user-friendly–you can almost just "pick a page" and plunge in–being familiar with what they include will help you locate the resources suited to your classroom needs. This section gives you some ideas about using them.

  1. Identify your need. What do you need? Background information? Resources to help demonstrate or explain a topic or concept to students? Lesson plans? Your need may be specific or very general.
  2. Search for resources to meet this need.
    Each discipline has its own section on the web site that includes information about the toolkit, lesson plans, idea cards, and special features, including some fun student-friendly pages. Review the index of lesson plans and cards in the Idea File. The online video descriptions and previews offer suggested uses of materials. List the resources that seem most useful to you.
  3. Take a closer look. Browse through lesson plans that look interesting. They are organized with summary information at the top so you can tell at a glance if the lesson is something that you want to consider. If you find a lesson plan that interests you but you do not have access to the video clips or artworks the lesson is based upon, search for other videos or artworks that could serve the same purpose. Often the lesson plans offer suggestions. Or try contacting your local PBS affiliate for any educational videos they might be able to provide. Don't stop with lesson plans. Preview video excerpts online and check out some of the special features, like Will Power, a Shakespeare feature with information for both teachers and students, or the Kentucky Virtual Art Museum Online, which offers changing exhibits of teacher and student art. The Kentuckians in Dance, Drama, Visual Arts, and—coming soon—Music features profile different artists in each discipline while the photographic Tour of the Stage includes technical information as well as interesting trivia and a quiz.
  4. Decide how to use the resources.
    Think about the resource you have identified and how you will use it: for your own information or background? For a classroom activity?
If you plan on using the resource in the classroom, consider these points:
  • Adapt it to the age/needs of your class (lessons can be adjusted for younger or older students).
  • Preview the video (is it appropriate for the age, maturity level, subject matter).
  • Determine what preparation or introduction for students would be helpful.
  • Assemble all of your materials.
  • Prepare graphic organizers or other handouts.
  • Look for opportunities to incorporate student features, such as the glossary or the Kentuckians in Dance, Drama and Visual Arts career feature.
  • Plan assessment activities, using one or more of the activities included with the lesson.
  • Take notes about how the lesson worked and how you might change it for the future.
  1. Explore what else is available. As vast as they are, the toolkits include only a sampling of arts materials and resources available to teachers. The web site offers links to the arts information on KET's and other web sites. As you discover new resources, bookmark them and, if you have the Arts Toolkit binder, add them.
  1. Get connected.
In Kentucky: As a user of the Arts Toolkit, you are invited to join the Kentucky Arts Academies listserv. This listserv was established to enable teachers who attend the Arts Academies to network and to share ideas and resource information. To join the listserv, go to www.uky.edu/Education/kylists.html. This is the University of Kentucky College of Education's listing of KERA Professional Listservs..
Outside of Kentucky: If you are outside of the state, check with your state department of education, state arts agency organizations, statewide professional organizations, or local university to see if they have similar listservs available.
  1. Keep coming back.
    The online Arts Toolkit is updated and enhanced as new features and resources become available. Check back regularly.

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Copyright and MARC Records

  • The Arts Toolkit is copyrighted and should not be duplicated in its entirety. Limit copying to specific purposes, such as copying a lesson plan for a teacher, copying student handouts, or copying the idea cards for storage purposes. Please do not copy video segments or anything from the various CD-ROMs. For teachers in Kentucky: If you need additional tapes or DVDs, call KET Duplication Services at (800) 945-9167.
  • MARC records for the toolkits are available for downloading from the Arts Toolkit page in our online ITV catalog.

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