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Spark Educator Guides

Using Spark videos as a resource in your classroom engages students and supports the integration of the arts into all subjects, and encourages students to explore creative careers and develop a lifelong interest in arts and culture. Our educator guides (listed below according to genre) include background on each artist or organization, historical and cultural context, field trip ideas, vocabulary lists, and standards-aligned, media-rich lesson plan ideas.

Visit our Arts Education section for more of KQED's arts resources for educators.

Visual Art | Dance | Music | Theater



Visual Art



6th Street Photography Workshop

Community Photography
View educator guide
This educator guide is about the history of photography.

 

Adam 5100

Graffiti and Street Art
View educator guide
This educator guide discusses aboriginal art practices and includes hands-on activities related to political printmaking and a critical writing assignment.

 

Aguilar, Jesus

Contemporary Video Installation
View educator guide
This educator guide gives a brief history of media art and activities related to audience responses to the genre of visual art.

 

Alavi, Seyed

Conceptual Public Art
View educator guide
Inlcuded are analytical activities based on the use of text in artwork and research.

 

Arcega, Michael

Conceptual Art
View educator guide
Provides information about artist Michael Arcega with lesson plan ideas related to conceptual art.

 

Asawa, Ruth

Abstract Sculpture
View educator guide
Information highlighting arts education in the Bay Area and the model programs established by Asawa and her family.

 

ASCEND School

Arts Integrated Education
View educator guide
An overview of the strategic planning process in Alameda County and ways for arts education stakeholders to get involved in the community.

 

Beasley, Bruce

Large-Scale Sculpture
View educator guide
This educator guide is about the work of Bruce Beasley and the history of modernist sculpture.

 

Bechtle, Robert

Photorealist Painting
View educator guide
Included is the history and evolution of photorealism in painting.

 

Bennett, Garry Knox

Furniture Art
View educator guide
This educator guide addresses the history of art furniture.

 

Birk, Sandow

Painting and Film
View educator guide
This educator guide is about history painting and storytelling.

 

Bui, Thai

Conceptual Sculpture
View educator guide
This educator guide explores the history and traditions of Bay Area Funk, Conceptual Art and Minimalism.

 

Cartagena, Victor

Conceptual Art Installations
View educator guide
This educator guide explores the history of the Salvadoran civil war and the concepts/themes in Victor Cartagena's installations.

 

Chagoya, Enrique

Political Satire Painting
View educator guide
Included is the history and traditions of printmaking and political humor in Mexico and the US.

 

Chamberlain, Ann

Public Art
View educator guide
This educator guide discusses the history of public monuments and the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

 

Chen, Julie

Conceptual Bookmaking
View educator guide
This educator guide explores the history of books, from ancient scrolls to contemporary art books.

 

Conservators at the Fine Arts Museums of SF

Visual Arts Conservation
View educator guide
This educator guide addresses the scientific and artistic issues of preserving and conserving works of art.

 

di Rosa, Rene & the di Rosa Preserve

Visual Arts Museum
View educator guide
Includes information about collecting as a personal preference, public tradition and national obsession.

 

Duarte, Caleb

Painting and Sculpture
View educator guide
This educator guide includes writing activities related to the idea of home and an art activity where students build small structures out of found objects.

 

Earthworks: Denevan, Jim and Drury, Chris

Land Art
View educator guide
Included is information about the history and tradition of artists making work in and about the natural environment.

 

Ed Hardy, Don

Tattoo Artist
View educator guide
Explore the traditions of tattooing from the earliest civilizations to the present day with this educator guide.

 

Fabian, Mitra

Sculpture with Found Materials
View educator guide
Students will participate in writing, visual art, critical thinking, and mathematical activities.

 

Ferlinghetti, Lawrence

Contemporary Painter
View educator guide
Included are language arts lesson plans related to visual critique and poetry analysis.

 

Frey, Viola

Monumental Ceramic Sculpture
View educator guide
This educator guide includes information about the history of ceramics and the contributions of Bay Area artists.

 

Goldberg, Ken

Internet Art and Robotics
View educator guide
Explore the world of tele-robotics and other new media with this educator guide.

 

Goldsworthy, Andy

Land Art
View educator guide
This educator guide is about Andy Goldsworthy and the history of artists working with the landscape and environment.

 

Guerrero, Jaime

Glass Art
View educator guide
Included is information on glass blowing, Mayan and Aztec iconoography, and the history of glass work in art and architecture.

 

Held Jr., John

Mail Art
View educator guide
This educator guide explores the history and many forms of mail art and stamps.

 

Hevel, David

Pop Art Sculpture
View educator guide
Invite students to participate in a subversive collage activity and discuss points related to popluar culture.

 

Hido, Todd

Photography
View educator guide
Students are introduced to Todd Hido's art and provided with a historical and critical context of the artists' evocative images of Bay Area homes and posed female models.

 

Huayi, Li

Contemporary Chinese Landscape Art
View educator guide
Students will explore the history of the Chinese Cultural Revolution and landscape painting as well as contemporary painting.

 

Ireland, David

Conceptual Art
View educator guide
This educator guide explores the history of conceptual art and David Ireland's contributions.

 

Jeremijenko, Natalie

Conceptual Art and Science
View educator guide
This educator guide explores conceptual art as well as the investigative and ethical issues of life science and cloning.

 

Johanson, Chris

Painting and Street Art
View educator guide
Included is information on the history and tradition of street-based works and the field of painting.

 

Keats, Jonathan

Conceptual Art
View educator guide
Explore the history of conceptual art and the role of science in contemporary art with this educator guide.

 

Knight, Keith

Comic Art & Hip Hop
View educator guide
This educator guide explores the history and form of the cartoon, as well as Keith Knight's artistic and musical careers.

 

Kos, Paul

Conceptual Artwork
View educator guide
Explore the history of conceptual art with this educator guide.

 

Laitala, Kerry

Conceptual Artwork
View educator guide
Students will learn the history of experimental and avant-garde filmmaking.

 

Liu, Hung

Portrait Painting
View educator guide
This educator guide addresses the different techniques Hung Liu blends in her work, including history painting and portraiture.

 

Loranc, Roman

Landscape Photography
View educator guide
Students will learn about photography, landscape photography and Romanticism as a creative approach in art making.

 

Mangrum, Joe

Public Installation Art
View educator guide
This educator guide provides information on land and envioronmental art, and the cultural significance of mandalas.

 

Marshall, Kerry James

Painting and Murals
View educator guide
This educator guide discusses contemporary artists' reimagined forms of history painting.

 

Mesa-Bains, Amalia

Installation Art
View educator guide
Included is information about the history of Dia de Los Muertos and hands-on and discussion activities for the classroom.

 

Mission District Street Art

Street Art and Murals
View educator guide
This educator guide includes activities related to researching and creating murals and public art pieces.

 

NIAD (National Institute of Art and Disabilities)

Fine Art
View educator guide
This educator guide addresses the notion of "outsider art" amidst the larger question of artistic practice.

 

Oxbow School

Visual Arts Education
View educator guide
This educator guide includes intensive activities that involve high-level studio work and critique for students in an atelier environment.

 

Paglen, Trevor

Photography and Geography
View educator guide
This educator guide addresses activist art and geography related to the military through Trevor Paglen's work.

 

Parker, Julia

Native American Basket Weaving
View educator guide
Students will trace the history of basket weaving in the West Coast Miwok Indian population.

 

Patel, Sanjay

Digital Animation
View educator guide
Included is a lesson plan related to researching the history of animation as well as hands-on activity ideas.

 

Rodriguez, Favianna

Activist Printmaker
View educator guide
This guide includes activities related to analyzing artwork that supports social change and discusses the history of the Chicano arts movement.

 

Shanghai Exhibit at the Asian Art Museum

Cultural Exhibition
View educator guide
Students will learn historical information about the city of Shanghai and participate in activities related to poster design, painting, and more.

 

Shaw, Richard

Ceramic Sculpture
View educator guide
Students will explore the history of the trompe l'oeil technique in art and the contemporary Bay Area movement of realism in ceramics.

 

Snelling, Tracey

Mixed Media Installations
View educator guide
This educator guide discusses artists who have commented on the American landscape and includes hands-on activities related to interpreting local scenery.

 

Snibbe, Scott

Interactive Media Art
View educator guide
Explore digital and new media art and the historic interplay between art, science and technology with this educator guide.

 

Stevens, Gary

Woodworking
View educator guide
This educator guide discusses the history and tradition of wood carving.

 

Syjuco, Stephanie

Conceptual Art
View educator guide
Students will discuss globalization, labor issues, and capitalism through this educator guide.

 

Thiebaud, Wayne

Painting
View educator guide
This educator guide provides information about the Pop Art movement and how it relates to Wayne Thiebaud's work.

 

True, Laurel

Mosaic Art
View educator guide
This educator guide explores the history and traditions of mosaic art and mosaic murals.

 

Underwood, Consuelo Jimenez

Fiber Art and Weaving
View educator guide
Students will explore the history and traditions of textiles in various cultures, as well as issues related to the US/Mexican border.

 

Von Mertens, Anna

Contemporary Quilt Making
View educator guide
This guide explores the history of quilting from the early 18th century through the present day.

 

Weinstein, Nikolas

Glass Sculpture
View educator guide
This educator guide introduces glass as an art medium, historically situating glassblowing practices.

 

Young Audiences of Northern California

Multidisciplinary Arts Education
View educator guide
Explore the history of arts education in California and the Bay Area, and a wide array of local resources.

 


Dance



AXIS Dance Company

Integrated Dance
View educator guide
This edcuator guide includes information about the Axis Dance Company, featuring dancers with and without disabilities.

 

Bhangra

Indian Folk Dance
View educator guide
This educator guide provides information about bhangra and lesson plan ideas related to music and dance.

 

Cai, Lily

Contemporary Chinese Dance
View educator guide
Students will explore movement activities and discussion-based activities related to the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

 

Das, Pandit Chitresh

Kathak Dance
View educator guide
Students will participate with improvisation, work with rhythms, and reflect on dance as an art form.

 

Diamano Coura West African Dance Company

Senegalese Dance and Music
View educator guide
This educator guide discusses distinctive musical structures and dance traditions unique to West Africa.

 

Goode, Joe

Contemporary Dance Theater
View educator guide
Students will explore the history and form of dance-theater as an artistic genre.

 

Halau 'o Keikiali'i

Hula Dance Conservation
View educator guide
This educator guide discusses the Hawaiian dance form of hula, including its historical traditions, cultural significance, and present day practice.

 

Halprin, Anna

Modern/Contemporary Dance
View educator guide
This educator guide introduces students to modern, postmodern, and contemporary dance.

 

Jenkins, Margaret

Modern/Contemporary Dance
View educator guide
Students will discuss the history of modern dance and the contributions of some its most innovative choreographers.

 

King, Alonzo

Contemporary Ballet
View educator guide
This educator guide explores the history of modern-contemporary ballet and the contributions of innovative choreographers.

 

Kreiter, Jo

Acrobatic Public Art
View educator guide
This educator guide explores the history of public performance art.

 

Ledoh and Salt Farm Butoh

Japanese Butoh Dance
View educator guide
This educator guide discusses the history of butoh, its origins in post-war Japan and its diverse contemporary forms.

 

Kunst-Stoff

Experimental Dance
View educator guide
Students are introduced to experimental dance strategies and explore movement in this educator guide.

 

ODC Dance

New Modern Dance
View educator guide
This educator guide addresses the history and uniqueness of ODC/San Francisco and dance in the Bay Area.

 

San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival

Cultural Dance
View educator guide
This educator guide includes an activity in which students will research their families' personal experiences with cultural and ethnic dance.

 

Shri Krupa Dance Foundation

Classical Indian Dance
View educator guide
This educator guide is about the Indian dance form of Bharata Natyam and its traditions and practices.

 


Music



Ashkenaz Community Music and Dance Community Center

Music & Culture
View educator guide
Explore the history of this community venue as a point of connection and learning about world cultures.

 

Blades, Wil

Jazz Organ Music
View educator guide
This educator guide is about jazz, the history of the Hammond B3 organ, and the science of electronic instruments.

 

The Bonesetter's Daughter

American Opera rooted in Chinese Music
View educator guide
This educator guide explores the process of collaboration, and the history of both Chinese and Western operatic traditions.

 

Chasse, Loren

Sound Art
View educator guide
This educator guide explores sound and the history of sound as a musical form, extending back to the early 1900s.

 

The Crooked Jades

Old Time/Contemporary Music
View educator guide
This educator guide is about old-time music and its roots.

 

Davignon, Matt

Experimental Music
View educator guide
Students will explore the history of experimental music and sound art through this educator guide.

 

Derique

Hambone Body Music
View educator guide
This educator guide introduces the evolution of this traditional art form from the pre-Civil Rights era to contemporary culture.

 

Grisman, David

Bluegrass Music
View educator guide
This educator guide is about the history of bluegrass music.

 

Guerrero, Tommy

Atmospheric Music
View educator guide
This educator guide about skateboarding and street culture in San Francisco.

 

Hot Club of San Francisco

Gypsy Jazz Music
View educator guide
This educator guide includes listening and discussion activities related to different genres of jazz music.

 

Irving M. Klein International String Competition

Classical Music
View educator guide
Students can trace the history of stringed instruments as well as the history of string competitions.

 

Khan, Ali Akbar

Hindustani Classical Music
View educator guide
Students will explore North Indian Classical music and culture.

 

Kitka

Woman's Vocal Group, Eastern European influence
View educator guide
Included is historical information about Eastern European vocal traditions.

 

Kitundu, Walter

Innovative Musical Instruments
View educator guide
Experimental music, turntablism, and the creation of new instruments inspired by those that are traditional.

 

Klez California

Traditional Instrumental Music
View educator guide
This educator guide explores cultural learning, dance, and music activities related to the klezmer tradition.

 

Los Cazadores del Sur

South American Street Music
View educator guide
Help students explore the history and tradition of roving musicians from Medieval minstrelsy through the Modern mariachi.

 

Neuberg, Amy X

Experimental Music
View educator guide
This educator guide includes research, discussion, and music-related activities in response to the use of electronics and experimentation in contemporary music.

 

Orquesta La Moderna Tradición

Cuban Music & Dance
View educator guide
Included is the history of danson and the many music and dance forms it inspired.

 

Pamela Z

Sound Art
View educator guide
This educator guide addresses the role and uses of technology in the arts.

 

Paul Dresher & Ensemble

Experimental Instrumental Music
View educator guide
Teachers can use this educator guide to help students trace the legacy of new instrument development and experimentation, and its impact on musical culture.

 

Riley, Terry

Experimental Music
View educator guide
This educator guide includes information about the history of minimalism and serialism in music.

 

Rova Saxophone Quartet

Improv Music
View educator guide
Students will explore improvisation in music, jazz and free jazz through this educator guide.

 

Santos, John

Latin Jazz
View educator guide
This educator guide includes hands-on activities and discussion points related to the instruments and rhythms of Latin jazz music.

 

SF Jazz High School All-Star Ensemble

Jazz Music
View educator guide
This educator guide includes listening and research activities related to the history of jazz music.

 

SF Taiko Dojo

Taiko Drumming
View educator guide
This guide explores the history and traditions of the ancient art of taiko drumming in Japan.

 

Wiley, Howard

Jazz Saxophone
View educator guide
This educator guide includes activities that will teach students about the history of African American Southern folk traditions and the roots of jazz music.

 


Theater



3 For All

Improv Theater
View educator guide
This educator guide addresses improvisation as a technique for developing thinking and language skills.

 

A.C.T.

Theater
View educator guide
This educator guide explores Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot and absurdism in literature.

 

Baron, Carlos

Political/Cultural Theater
View educator guide
Students will learn about the political history of Chile and participate in poetry writing and theater-based activities.

 

California Shakespeare Theater

Shakespeare Theater
View educator guide
This educator guide addresses the political nature of Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar and a contemporary staging of the play.

 

Calligraphy of Thought

Muslim Spoken Word
View educator guide
This educator guide introduces an East Bay Muslim poetry collective and explores the history of Hip hop music.

 

Edgar, David

Politics & Theater
View educator guide
Students will learn the history of political activism and politicial theatre in the UK and the US.

 

Gotanda, Philip Kan

Playwright
View educator guide
This educator guide includes writing, hands-on, and discussion activties in which students will learn about the process of theater writing.

 

Headrush

Guerilla Performance Art
View educator guide
This educator guide explores the history of experimental, political theater and performance art.

 

Joseph, Mark Bamuthi

Performance Art
View educator guide
Students will explore spoken word, autobiography, and performance art.

 

Lorraine Hansberry Theatre

Contemporary African-American Theater
View educator guide
This educator guide goes over the history of drumming, street performers, and African American musical theater.

 

Marsh Youth Theatre

Contemporary Youth Theater
View educator guide
This educator guide explores the history of children's theater in the US.

 

New Conservatory Theatre

Contemporary Theater
View educator guide
Students will explore the history and programs of the New Conservatory Theatre Center and its role in community development in San Francisco.

 

People's Temple Project

Documentary Theater
View educator guide
This educator guide explores the creation of a play about the real-life story of the People's Temple.

 

Sha Sha Higby

Performance Art
View educator guide
This educator guide explores the traditions of mask-making, performance art and theater.

 

Shadowlight Productions

Indonesian Shadow Puppet Theater
View educator guide
Students will be introduced to the history of Balinese shadow puppetry, Wayang Kulit, and Larry Reed's innovations.

 

Snider, Gypsy

Circus Act
View educator guide
Introduce students to the history of the circus and acrobatic performance.

 

Tamalpais High School Doc Theater

Documentary Theater Education Program
View educator guide
Students will explore the history of documentary theater through this educator guide.

 

Teatro Vision

Chicano Theater
View educator guide
This educator guide offers activities related to Latino/Chicano Theatre, the internment of Japanese-Americans, and theater.

 

The Running Crew at the Brava Theater

Technical Theater Program
View educator guide
Help students engage in creative, hands-on activities related to technical theater with this educator guide.

 

Theatre of Yugen

Noh Theater
View educator guide
This educator guide addresses the fusion in theatrical productions, the traditions of Japanese noh, and Theatre of Yugen's signature style.

 

Traveling Jewish Theatre

Documentary Theater
View educator guide
This educator guide addresses collaborative theater, political theater, and the history of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

 

Youth Speaks

Spoken Word and Poetry
View educator guide
This educator guide is about the history of spoken word and performing arts.

 

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