Responsive Planning

an artist - white man with a white beard and glasses sits thinking with a cloud and the words what is responsive planning?

What is it?

In Responsive Planning you are intentionally planning lessons that are inclusive, and equitable, as well as hold space for flexibility and adjustments based on observation, assessment, reflection and students’ input and feedback.

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    Recognizing Students are not a Monolith

    It involves designing and revising lesson plans and strategies to meet diverse learning styles, interests, and abilities of ALL students.
    GIVE Resource: Universal Desgin for Learning
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    Observe & Learn

    Requires observing school culture/ community makeup, classroom structures, and information about students’ culture.
    Learn More about Culutral Humility


It allows space for flexibility and adjustments based on observation/ assessment and students’ input and feedback. By planning responsively – you are …



How can I plan to respond to situations that come up that are not planned for?

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    Responsive to Student's Needs

    Being able to change and adjust how we teach ALL students to meet their diverse learning needs inclusive of backgrounds, and abilities.


    Making Space for Students Ideas

    Look for ways to make space for student's creative ideas, even when they diverge from your plans.
  • It’s advantageous for the company and the director for the process to feel more like Jazz and less like Beethoven. One of the greatest assets working in my favor during this process was the ability to change on a dime. In a “normal” theater production or music ensemble, every person has a specific role and they practice replicating that role during every rehearsal. While repetition certainly has a place in this work, and can be great for reinforcing certain musical, physical, or dynamic moments, it is not the only, or the most effective way, to rehearse. On any given day, a certain student is having a crisis, or was in a fight, or is out sick, or is tending to family issues that are far beyond the scope of this work. This is a reality, and this also affects the work of a tightly knit ensemble, where everyone has a place. In order to ensure a smooth rehearsal and the ability for the company to move into their work, it has to be fundamental to the process that individuals feel comfortable stepping outside of their pre-assigned roles. - Truth
    Thoughts from TA

    Truth Future Bachman



The pace of your lessons focuses on what students are learning instead of getting through what’s planned.

  • Artistic Flow

    Examine how you allot time for actual instructions and plan more time where students can be in artistic flow.


    Varied Use of Time

    Having agency over how to use a period of time is key to students finding their own ways of working.
  • Thoughts from a TA

    Kerry Warren



Your teaching content should include resources and materials that recognize, respond, represent, and value the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives, abilities, and accessibilities of all students and the community.

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    By representing a diverse range of art and artists, you amplify their importance in the canon of your artistic form and their value in the minds of your students.
    GIVE Resource: Inclusive Curriculum
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    Support all Students

    Preparing different instructional strategies, materials and resources that can support students as needed to access and process information.
    Planning an Inclusive Lesson Checklist
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    Support Intersectionality

    Your teaching strategies, resources, and materials should recognize, respond and value the diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives of your student community.
    Intersectionality in Education - GIVE

    Utilize Peer Lead Learning

    Working in small groups gives students a foundation for working. Group members share their ideas while supporting and building on the ideas of others, learning collaboration skills.

Focus on Process

Focusing on a student’s artistic process promotes critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and exploring creativity in students, to develop a deeper understanding of the art making and acquire valuable skills in their own ways of working...


    Finding Process & Flow

    Learn to notice the different ways artists find their process and flow as they work through choice-making.
  • An artist’s process is rigorous according to the artist’s own knowledge of their unique way of working. It takes time and experimentation for an artist to get to know THEIR way of working. -Erin Orr
    Thoughts from a TA

    Erin Orr

  • “Many ways to work” explicit in classroom culture

    The culture of the artist classroom highlights variety and uniqueness: of the ideas children have, the ways they express their ideas, and their work process. It is crucial to teach explicitly that differences are valuable resources in the classroom, and that children can learn from the different ways people work and think.

    Learn More about supporting a students Artistic Process
    Performing versus Sharing

    The experience of performing is integral to dance and theater.  When the focus is on process over product, we call culminating events “sharing our work,” rather than “performances.” These sharings are structured to be safe, supportive environments  to celebrate students’ learning and share their artistic creations.

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    Process in Partnership with Product

    When a culminating end product is the focus of the residency you can still focus on the process to supporting students to reach this goal.
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    Options for Culminating Events

    There are numerous ways to provide opportunities for everyone to shine with various culminating experiences, and roles.
    Options for Sharing and Student Roles