Welcome to Arts Toolkit

Welcome to the Arts Toolkit. Here, teachers will find high-quality lesson plans and other resources in dance, drama, visual arts, and music, all designed to help you integrate the arts into the classroom experience. Students are also invited to visit the resources for access to information about arts careers, our virtual museum, and other interesting activities.


Resources in this Collection


About Arts Toolkit

Guiding Principles

The Arts Toolkit has been designed:

  • for the arts classroom as well as for integration into other subject areas. Lesson plans and idea cards are adaptable for both and provide everything from helpful background for teachers who are looking to increase their knowledge and expertise in the arts to new ideas and resources for the experienced arts professional.
  • to be easily accessible and user-friendly. In a sense, it is an example of “one-stop shopping,” providing teachers who are strapped for time but looking for good ideas with easy access to a wide variety of resources. Teachers have been involved in all aspects of the project, from the initial prototype testing to providing lesson plans and idea cards.
  • to be standards-based. All resources have been selected and developed with Kentucky’s arts and humanities requirements in mind. Lesson plans include information about Kentucky’s academic standards. Since Kentucky’s standards are similar to national arts standards, teachers across the country can adapt these lessons to their state’s standards.
  • to instruct and inspire students. No matter where students live, they can meet artists, tour arts facilities–from performing arts centers to museums, artists’ studios to theaters–and enjoy activities and performances in dance, drama, music, and visual arts. Many of the special features–such as the Tour of the Stage, the Virtual Art Museum, Will Power, and Kentuckians in Dance, Drama, and Visual Arts–are directed at students as well as teachers.

How and Why It Was Developed
In response to requests from Kentucky teachers for arts and humanities resources, Kentucky Commissioner of Education Gene Wilhoit challenged KET and other Kentucky arts organizations to “develop a dynamic and powerful arts and humanities toolkit that would be built from the Kentucky Core Content, Program of Studies, and Academic Expectations.”

Wilhoit’s challenge was offered in late fall 2000; by summer 2001 the first of two prototype toolkits–in Visual Arts and Drama–was produced under the leadership of KET and the Kentucky Department of Education. That prototype and the second prototype–in Music and Dance–were distributed to teachers attending the summer Arts Academies, weeklong regional professional development sessions sponsored by the Kentucky Center and the KDE.

Based on feedback from teachers who tested the prototypes, KET, the Department of Education, and other partners began developing the toolkits for statewide distribution in Drama, Dance, Visual Arts and Music.

The Arts Toolkits have received glowing reviews from teacher-users across the state as well as national recognition. In February 2005 the first edition of the Drama Arts Toolkit was named Best Instructional Resource and Best of the Best by the National Educational Telecommunications Association, an association of public television stations across the United States. The Arts Toolkit project also was named a Top 50 Program in Harvard University’s Art Institute Innovations in Government Awards programs.

Toolkit Basics

The Arts Toolkit offers lesson plans, idea cards, glossaries, video clips, and special features in dance, drama, music, and visual arts. Each discipline has its own section and special features that help make that discipline come alive. All resources are aligned with Kentucky academic standards but can be adapted to the needs and standards of other states.

Boxed Toolkits in Dance, Drama, Visual Arts, and Music are available for purchase. Each toolkit includes about eight hours of video segments offering instruction, demonstrations, interviews, studio visits, and performances; a binder with lesson plans (with assessment components), glossaries, responding guides, guides to state arts resources, and special features such as informational guides to cultural art and periods and styles; a set of Idea Cards; posters; and discipline-specific features such as the Kentucky Virtual Art Museum on CD-ROM (in Visual Arts) and the From Page to Stage CD-ROM (in Drama).

User’s Guide

The Arts Toolkit Online Resources offer 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Keep coming back.
    The online Arts Toolkit is updated and enhanced as new features and resources become available. Check back regularly.
How To Order Your Arts Toolkit

KET’s award-winning Arts Toolkits in Dance, Drama, Music, and Visual Arts are available for purchase. The Arts Toolkits are high-quality K-12 resources aligned to Kentucky academic content. These multimedia resources put a wealth of lesson plans, video segments, ideas, and other resources at your fingertips.

Printable Order Form (PDF)

Dance Arts Toolkit, 2nd Edition Contents

  • more than 160 video segments—about 12 hours in all—featuring dance performances of various styles and from around the world, model lessons in creative dance, and the complete DanceSense instructional series
  • the World of Dance and Music CD-ROM
  • a binder full of lesson plans (with assessment components), glossaries, responding guides, a statewide listing of dance resources, and informational materials on everything from periods and styles to creative movement
  • Idea Cards
  • a “Dancing Through Time” poster
  • 5 DVDs

Drama Arts Toolkit, 2nd Edition Contents

  • nearly eight hours of video segments, including onstage and storytelling performances
  • a binder with lesson plans (including assessment components), glossaries, responding guides, a listing of Kentucky drama resources, and informational materials on everything from Kabuki to Shakespeare
  • Stage One’s From Page to Stage CD-ROM exploring the collaborative process of theater
  • “The World’s Stage” poster for classroom display
  • Idea Cards
  • packed in a box that can be converted into a puppet theater!
  • The 1st edition Drama Arts Toolkit was named Best Instructional Resource and “Best of the Best” by the National Educational Telecommunications Association.
  • 4 VHS tapes and 1 DVD or 3 DVDs

Music Arts Toolkit Contents

  • 150 video segments—more than 12 hours in all
  • A World of Music CD-ROM
  • a binder full of lesson plans (with assessment components), glossaries, a responding guide, information on periods and styles of music, and a listing of Kenutcky music resources
  • Idea Cards
  • a set of posters highlighting periods and styles
  • 3 DVDs

Visual Arts Toolkit Contents

  • the Kentucky Virtual Art Museum CD-ROM, with images of 250 artworks from 20 Kentucky museums
  • nearly eight hours of video segments, including museum and studio visits, artist profiles, and advice on how to analyze and respond to works of art
  • also available as an e-edition, with binder materials on a flash drive
  • a binder full of lesson plans (with assessment components), glossaries, responding guides, a listing of Kentucky visual arts resources, and information on topics ranging from periods and styles to cultural art
  • Idea Cards
  • overhead transparencies
  • a “Purposes of Art” classroom poster
  • The Visual Arts Toolkit was named Best Instructional Resource by the National Educational Telecommunications Association.

Also Available
Some items can be purchased individually, including posters, the Kentucky Virtual Art Museum CD-ROM, and DVDs. See the order form for details.

Pricing/Ordering Details
Consult the Arts Toolkit Order Form for pricing information and ordering details. Note that discounts are available for multiple-copy orders. You may order by school purchase order, personal check, or credit card. (Add 6% Kentucky sales tax to personal check or credit card orders.)

KET is the sole source of this product.

Arts Toolkit Partners and Funders

The Arts Toolkits were developed by a statewide partnership of KET, the Kentucky Department of Education, the Kentucky Center, the Kentucky Arts Council, and other organizations. More than 280 arts organizations and artists and 470 educators have contributed information, resources, and lesson plans to the project.

The Arts Toolkits are used each year as a central resource at the summer Arts Academies, weeklong professional development sessions conducted by the Kentucky Center for the Kentucky Department of Education. Academy participants informed the Toolkit concept through prototype distribution in 2001 and 2002. In 2011, participants at the first Next Generation Arts Academy received prototypes of toolkits integrating arts and social studies resources.

  • KET
  • The Kentucky Arts Council
  • the Kentucky Center
  • Kentucky Department of Education
  • W. Paul & Lucille Caudill Little Arts Endowment
  • National Endowment for the Arts
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.

Contact Us
E-mail artstoolkit@ket.org to ask a question, share how you have used toolkit materials, suggest a needed resource, or submit a lesson plan or idea card for the Arts Toolkit web site.