Mapping a Course Outline

Chart your Course

You are the captain of your very particular IB Visual Arts ship, whatever kind of vessel that is. There is no one size fits all model, but there are outlines and planners to help steer your course. These planners are to help you meet neccessary assessment goals and course requirements, while charting your own route across the IB ocean. Enjoy the journey!

    Sketch out a rough calendar

    In workshops we usually do a session on mapping the course and it is interesting to observe how many different approaches there are to scheduling activities, assessment deadlines, the quantity of guided work vs. independent work etc.. The bottom line is there is no prescribed method to teaching IB art, but there are certainly many tips and useful models to look at. As each school is different in it's breakdown of the academic calendar, I suggest you take your own yearly planner or a big sheet of paper and make notes from the examples in these pages, inserting activities and evaluations where they fit with your particular needs.

    New section on  Unit Planning with templates and sample unit plans with links to ATL, ToK, learning objectives and assessment, to help teachers filling out time-consuming but often required IB Unit Plans.

    Curriculum Outlines and planners

    If you are looking for a VERY basic course outline to customize with your own projects and assignments try this  General Course Outline, a template for you to tweak and add to as you wish, or if you want something more complete try the hyperlinked 18 month course planner below and make adjustments and modifications to suit your specific needs. Have you seen the student access feature? You can select the site pages for your students and design your course content term by term. Free for all subscribers. Go to pages on Student Access ( course design- student access-setting up an account)

    Sample 18 month planner

    The IBDP course is actually less than 2 years, since assessment material must be submitted in April of year 2.

    I have used terms rather than months or semesters because of time tabling and global calendars. Term 1 refers to September-December in the western hemisphere, term 2 January- March, in roughly 3 month blocks. Term 5 refers to the final run up to exams.

    This 18 month planner is aligned with the core curriculum model that addresses theoretical practice, art making practice and curatorial practice. For more info see Understanding the Syllabus 

    Design the course that fits your school, your schedule, and your students using the resources available on this site. Everything you need is at hand. All of the suggested activities in the outline below are linked to pages on this website with full descriptions.

    IB Visual ArtsTheoretical PracticeArt Making PracticeCuratorial Practice
    Term 1 (first 3 months)

    The Formal Elements

    Visual (formal) Analysis  

    Compare and Contrast exercise

    Journal Reflections

    Showing Film and Video

    Introduce the Visual Journal

    Choose a comprehensive activity from Starting Strategies

    Introduce the Art Making Forms Table

    Techniques, Materials and Processes

    Teaching Visual Skills

    Introductions to techniques through Workshop Style Sessions

    Exhibition Visits

    Four Ways of Looking at Art

    Studio Response

    Term 2 (3 months)

    Guided activities Comparing Images, Function and Purpose

    Building Art Vocabulary  and Referencing and Citing Sources

    Guided Studio Work Open Ended Assignments

    Guided Visual Journal Work Self-Reflection

    How to make PP screens from the Journal and ongoing experiments Process Portfolio Format

    Ideas and Intentions in the PP 

    Curating an imaginary exhibition activity Curating a Virtual Exhibition

    Documenting your studio work, establishing good practice. Documenting Process

    invite an artist in or schedule a visit Visiting Artists

    Term 3 (3 months)

    Locating good Secondary Sources  

    Choosing Artworks for CS

    use CS Guiding Template if needed

    First draft The Comparative Study

    Studio Work, more independently Finding a Focus

    Uncovering Bigger Ideas

    use class Critiques to develop critical understanding and self reflection

    Set number of PP screens to be completed

    Reviewing, Reflecting, Refining Critical Investigation in the Process portfolio

    Impromptu Curating Activity

    Curating a mini group exhibition: could be site specific Installation or a  Collaborative Project

    Writing the Curatorial Rationale Curatorial Rationale

    Documentation of work Documenting Artwork

    Term 4 (3 months)

    Select Art and ToK topics from Art and Theory of Knowledge pages

    Complete the individual The Comparative Study (CS)

    Focused Independent Studio Work to develop A Coherent Body of Work for exhibition

    Continue to build digital portfolio of completed work and PP pages, begin to select and refine slides using PP Rubric for Students

    Exhibition Visit Gallery Visit on Curatorial Practice

    Reflecting on different approaches to curation ( journal) Methods of Display

    Titling Work

    Planning Exhibition Space Exhibition Hanging Styles

    Term 5 (last 3 months)

    complete all tasks well in advance of scheduled deadlines, see E submission Guidelines

    and Internal Assessment for teachers

    Formatting CS/ add sources page- E submission Comparative StudyProcess Portfolio final touches/edits for  E submission Process Portfolio

    Selecting works for and designing The Exhibition

    writing Exhibition Texts

    Writing Final Curatorial Rationale Writing Guidelines for Rationale

    Putting together Exhibition Presentation for E submission E submission for Exhibition

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