Children’s early learning experiences have a profound effect on their development. The arts program for Grades 1-2 focuses on the foundational knowledge and skills students need in order to learn through and about the arts. The expectations build on students’ prior knowledge and experience to strengthen their oral language, understanding of concepts about movement, capacity for imagining and pretending, vocabulary knowledge, visual and musical tonal awareness, higher-order thinking skills, and capacity for reflection. The emphasis in these grades should be on exploration of the student’s self, family, personal experiences, and world. Through guided practice students begin to develop the ability to use the creative process and the critical thinking process in their explorations. Young children are naturally curious and ask many questions about things that catch their attention, and arts programs should capitalize on this natural desire to learn and absorb information.
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