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I have used Spectra as well in grades 1-6. I also did an in depth analysis
as part of a university project correlating it with a DBAE philosophy.
What I found with the project and experience can not be generalized by a
statement. However, there are certain commonalities.
They all contain:
teacher lesson plans
a guided script
vocabulary- for the teacher
Grades 5 and 6- contain profiles of artists or time periods in neat
one page Xerox ready copies.
Grade 3 is practically devoid of any multicultural aspect.
Grade 4 is very basic Elements and Principals.
This is like others have stated a great beginning teacher curriculum guide.
I use slides from various grade levels to create my own lessons as well.
I have my student teachers begin their research in creating a lesson with
the Spectra series to give them ideas.
Texas has adopted 3 programs, Spectra, ArtWorks and Through Their Eyes.
Of the three, Spectra is grade level appropriate for the population of the
school. The ArtWorks program is sometimes above grade level and each grade
is a large concept/unit for the entire book.
The development of a curriculum many times is based upon a published curriculum.
Don't be afraid to experiment and keeps the others handy!
Lauren H. Killam