Posts Tagged ‘fine arts’

Free Folk Music & Dance Steps for Grades PreK-6

April 21st, 2012

Hi!  It’s Saturday, April 21, 2012 and time for Music at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
Utah Office of Education: Fine Arts

Age Range: 4-12 (Grades Pre-K-6, with parental supervision)

A Maryland ClickScholar suggested this website by the Utah Office of Education that encourages learning Fine Arts to “enable students to express their feelings, communicate thoughts, explore their creativity, solve problems, communicate ideas, develop a sense of community, and appreciate themselves as participants in history, tradition, and culture.” To that end they offer a free music catalog of downloadable song files (mp3), sheet music with lyrics, and dance instructions that accompany some of the songs.

When you get to the site you’ll see the Elementary Songbook Music Catalog with a menu of traditional children’s music and folk song titles that include:

  • A Tisket, A Tasket
  • Bingo
  • Buffalo Gals
  • Down By the Bay
  • Going to the Zoo
  • If You’re Happy
  • Old MacDonald
  • Take Me Out To the Ball Game
  • You Are My Sunshine
  • Yankee Doodle

And many more titles that you’re sure to recognize.

Plus, you’ll find a menu of Movement/Dance Options that include free, printable instructions for folk dances you can do as you listen to the songs. You’ll discover:

  • A simple line dance in a middle eastern style
  • A couple dance after the style of French Canadian step dancing
  • A simple circle dance in the style of “big circle mountain” dancing
  • A contemporary American country line dance for sets of 3
  • A Latin America line dance popular at Carnival
  • A circle dance adaptation of traditional Native American style
  • A square dance in traditional formation
  • A simple variation of the traditional Virginia Reel in long sets

This is a terrific resource to help your kids learn songs of historical and cultural significance.  You can learn the dance steps too, and it might be a great project for a homeschool support group or scout troop.


Free Vocabulary Lessons & Activities

April 28th, 2010

Hi! It’s Wednesday, April 28, 2010 and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Age Range: 8-16 (grades 4-10, approximately) offers a variety of free, interactive vocabulary development and enrichment activities including lesson plans, word searches, crossword puzzles, and quizzes.

The founders of, Jan and Carey Cook, wrote, “We began our efforts to promote vocabulary comprehension using Latin/Greek word derivations in 1997. Our site now has 2500 pages of materials, worksheets and puzzles. More than 24,000 teachers and schools use”

When you get to the site, you’ll see a menu in the center of the screen that includes:

*Root Word Lesson Plans – Get multiple lesson plans for various grade/difficulty levels that include practice exercises such as fill-in-the-blanks, match-games, crosswords, word finds, true/false and word stories.

*Thematic Puzzles – You’ll find calendar-themed vocabulary puzzles for holidays and events such as Cinco De Mayo, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and more.

*Word Lists – Access hundreds of “A-Z” word lists by subject including animals, books, business/economics, fine arts, history/social studies, math, science, religion, sports, and general interest (from “avatar” to “vintner”). Use them to help students learn the definitions of new words, or as story-starters, or to identify parts of speech.

*Test Prep/Assessment – Try the practice activities for learning top SAT/ACT vocabulary words to get better test results.

The extensive content at this ad-free, self-paced website is a great resource to supplement vocabulary and language arts studies. It is based on state standards and is printable for use offline.

Free, Daily, Current Events Lesson Plans

March 5th, 2009

Recommended Website:
New York Times Learning Network

Age Range: 11-18 (grades 6-12)

ClickScholar Anne McEwan recommended this website sponsored by “The New York Times” that provides teachers with FREE daily lesson plans based on current events reported in stories published in the newspaper. The lessons incorporate multiple subjects that are covered on specific days of the week as follows:

  • Monday: American History and Civics
  • Tuesday: Science and Health
  • Wednesday: Global History and Geography
  • Thursday: Technology, Math and Economics
  • Friday: Language Arts and Fine Arts

When you get to the site you will see:

  • The current lesson of the day – Click on it and a new page opens with the complete Lesson Plan (designed for classroom teachers that can be tweaked for home use) including links to all of the resources (such as worksheets) needed to complete the lesson. You can access the news stories and related lessons for free, and no registration is required.
  • Lesson Plan Archive – Browse the full collection of lesson plans.
  • Lesson Plan E-Mail – Get a daily current events lesson delivered to your inbox.
  • Other Features, Resources – Find out what happened on this day in history, take a daily news quiz, or try a crossword puzzle themed around an historic event. As Anne wrote, “They also have a ‘Student Connections’ section, links to their quarterly publication ‘Education Life,’ and ‘Newsmagazine’ a joint publication by Scholastic and NY Times for Teens.”

Additionally, Anne enthused, “My efforts were directed to short lessons and exercises on current events. I was thrilled with Forty Ways to Teach the Times! Literally 40 ways with beautiful worksheets on fun and easy ways to engage kids in Current Events.”



Are You The Parent of a Preschooler? You’ll Love Universal Preschool’s Learning Calendar! It’s chock-full of fun, easy activities & time-saving resources for learning with little ones all year long! Get your copy today…

DID YOU MISPLACE A ClickSchooling Review? Do you need to find an educational website – fast! Visit the ClickSchooling archives.

Free Art & Design Lessons!

September 6th, 2008

Recommended Website:

Age Range: 11-17+ (Middle School, High School, and Beyond)

New ClickSchool Reviewer Michael Hardt wrote today’s ClickSchooling Review. (Read Michael’s bio below.)

I can’t recall when I finally lost my shallow distaste for visual art. One day I was in college sneering at art classes, and next thing I knew I was rescheduling meetings on a business trip because I just had to slip out to the local Museum of Fine Arts. I hope my children will skip the sneering stage altogether, so we’re trying to do justice to the visual arts in our homeschooling.

That’s why I was so excited to find from John McTaggart, a Scottish art teacher. Artyfactory includes step-by-step, how-to art lessons. It also offers art appreciation tutorials on topics like “Still Life” or “Animals in Art” or broader “Art Movements.”

There’s so much here that it took a while to find my way around. When you get to the site, place your cursor over the images and icons on the homepage – and a description pops up on the “Notice Board” on the right side of the screen. You can use that to navigate the site, however, what worked best for me was the little icon of a “red sphere” in the middle of the main page. It takes you to the Site Map, a clearly organized list.

Little ones can’t interact with Artyfactory on their own. The content and writing are at an advanced level. (In fact, I suspect most of the content doubles as McTaggart’s college course material.) But there’s tremendous potential here for a creative homeschooler as follows:

  • Use it directly as reading or coursework for a high school student.
  • Adapt the lessons for younger pupils. The “Pencil Shading” exercises, for example, found under “Pencil Portraits,” would be a fun challenge. The “Drawing Animals” lessons might work with a talented middle school student, too, but these are no Ed Emberley thumbprints: they require a good eye and a controlled hand.
  • Fill in holes in your own knowledge. After spending some time on this site myself, I’ll be able to introduce my children to Expressionism or Vanitas paintings next time we visit a museum.

Most of the content here is for reading and viewing like a book, but I especially like the simple way the mouse brings some pictures to life. Mouse over the illustration at the top of the first lesson in “Perspective Drawing,” and the image toggles between a finished picture and a sketch showing lines of construction converging on a vanishing point. Mouse over the “Still Life” by Steenwyck in the “Art Appreciation” section to reveal the diagonal lines that underlie the composition of the painting. (And a hidden profile of an earlier face that shows through the finished painting!)

There’s a wealth of information here: color theory (both technical stuff like the color wheel and the emotional impact of colors in painting), a thorough overview of African masks and Egyptian hieroglyphs, shading techniques in pen and ink, etc. It’s enough to make me wish I started paying attention to art sooner!

Michael Hardt and
Diane Flynn Keith
for ClickSchooling
Copyright 2008, All Rights Reserved


Michael Hardt is a homeschool dad to two children ages 8 and 9. He says his wife, Camille, does at least 90% of the teaching, but he tries to get involved where he can. :) The Hardt family lives in rural New Hampshire so Internet resources mean a lot to them. Michael used to teach college literature. Now, he manages an engineering team for a software company that makes digital maps. He has also worked as a software engineer on video game graphics at Sony and Electronic Arts. Michael wrote, “I play piano badly, and I still spend too much time browsing the Internet.” That’s good news for ClickSchoolers! You can read Michael’s blog “Family School” (with the subtitle, “Teaching strategies and family humor from inexperienced-but-trying, homeschooling parents” here).


DID YOU MISPLACE A ClickSchooling Review? Do you need to find an educational website – fast! Visit the ClickSchooling archives.

Virtual Field Trip to Mexico City & More!

May 5th, 2006

Recommended Website:
Mexico for Kids

This site is owned and operated by the Presidency of the Republic of Mexico and is a multi-media extravaganza designed to help kids learn about Mexico. While you may have to wait a minute to fully download each section of the site — it is well worth the slight wait. At today’s featured link, you can take a virtual tour through photos, text, and video clips of some of Mexico City’s historic landmarks including the National Museum of Popular Cultures, the Fine Arts Palace, the Historical Center, the Anthropology and History National Museum, and Zocalo where you can see Constitution Square and the National Palace.

Once you’ve virtually explored Mexico City, don’t miss the rest of this remarkable website. Go to the home page. Notice that you can choose to view this site in Spanish, English, Italian, or French. Make your selection and click on the menu that includes:

  • History — Learn all about Mesoamerica, Spanish colonization, the Independence Revolution, war and reform in the 19th century, famous rulers, and contemporary Mexico.
  • Government — Discover the political organization of Mexico including its constitution and branches of government, rights of the citizens, and more.
  • Explore — This section leads back to the virtual tour of Mexico City and you can virtually visit Xochimilco, Chiapas, Durango, Oaxaca, and other interesting places in Mexico too.
  • Biodiversity — Mexico has a variety of ecosystems and you can explore them all. Learn about the diversity of species from butterflies to dolphins and find out about conservation efforts.Kids will LOVE the “Paper Zoo” in this section with all kinds of printable paper cut outs of critters from crickets to coyotes (includes instructions for assembly too).
  • Games — Learn about Mexico while you play with this selection of online games and activities including coloring pages.
  • About Mexico — An amazing multi-media overview of Mexico’s indigenous groups, music, holidays, toys, food, traditions, myths, stories, and more.

There is so much to take in and do at this website that I recommend you bookmark it. You’ll want to return several times to fully explore it.

Olympic Fine Arts!

February 9th, 2002

Completing our Olympic Curriculum…

Recommended Website:
Light The Fire Within — Fine Arts

This site has recommendations from Utah teachers for how to teach fine arts through an Olympic-themed curriculum. This link is a bit different from the rest we have explored this week. When you get to the site you are presented with the menu below. Click on any item and a new page appears with suggestions for activities for each grade level. Some of the activities are a bit more complicated than the previous lessons, requiring more preparation time. You may want to tweak these a bit for at-home use:

  • Dance — The Olympics provide students with examples and opportunities to study and create dances that explore concepts of respect from multiple perspectives and that celebrate heroic characteristics.
  • Drama — The Olympics provide opportunities to study, create and celebrate conflict resolution through original dramatic representation.
  • Music — The Olympics provide opportunities to study music as it relates to the histories, cultures and traditions of people throughout the world.
  • Visual Arts — Students interpret and apply visual arts in relation to their thoughts and impressions of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.