Note: To protect the privacy of our members, e-mail addresses have been removed from the archived messages. As a result, some links may be broken.

Find Lesson Plans on! GettyGames

[teacherartexchange] What are the Big Ideas? A Sample checklist


From: Judy Decker (judy.decker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Jul 05 2005 - 10:50:17 PDT

Greetings Art Educators,

This Sample Checklist was sent to me (gathered from a variety of
Internet sources)

A Partial Checklist for Enduring Ideas

What is the topic?

Does the topic have lasting value beyond the classroom door? Beyond the
assignment? Beyond the school year? Into adulthood?

If the time you have to spend on this topic is cut by 50%, would you still
want students to explore it in depth?

What is the larger understanding that you wish to express by teaching this

Is the topic essential to understanding other important ideas? What other

Is this topic likely to be completely understood by studying it only once?
If so, it is not an enduring idea.

Could the same topic be adequately covered by using a textbook? If so, it is
not an enduring idea.

Are there a variety of ways to teach the topic? Study it? Apply it?

Is the topic obvious? If so, it is not an enduring idea.

Does dealing with this topic involve the kinds of problems, challenges, and
work that adults do?

Are critical and creative thinking skills involved?

Is it significant to the arts?

Now it is "clear as mud" to me (smile)

Robert sent this to me....

"We encourage the creative spirit, the development of a positive
self-concept of identity that may not be possible in other courses."

Can this be turned into a Big Idea?

Art encourages the creative spirit - the development of a positive
self-concept of identity.

Now how would you go about writing your Guiding Questions for
Essentail Understanding?

I don't envy you folks one bit who are being asked to do this now.

Here are some sources I found while looking for the Big Ideas:

Here is an article worth reading:
Big Ideas: Understanding the Artmaking Process: Reflective Practice

This is also very good
Teaching Real Art Making

See book:
Teaching Meaning in Artmaking by Sydney R. Walker
Teaching Meaning in Artmaking offers you insight into the artmaking process
with practical applications to your classroom. The author discusses the
development of big ideas, building a knowledge base of making art, problem
solving and more.

This is very good:
Creating Desired Results for Understanding By John L. Brown

Good source for Lesson Plans.....(maybe these won't pertain to you - but you
can share with others) Click around throughout the

I skimmed through ten pages of Google... found lots of pdf files with big ideas
mentioned but didn't open them.

I am looking forward to hearing what your Big Ideas are.

More to come...

Judy Decker

Incredible Art Department
Incredible Art Resources
To unsubscribe go to