Drawing from the Well
Teacher Preparation Checklist
The following is a recommended checklist for starting a Drawing from the Well
program. You may wish to contact the developers of this work for a general orientation
workshop. However, this curriculum design encourages you to forge ahead and bring
your own good ideas, organizational skills and commitment to the classroom.
Checklist for setting up a Drawing from the Well program:
- You will need a support system. Decide whether or not you will form a
partnership with other teachers. Line up communication and support with your
administration, parents, community members, your school librarian and library
resources, computer lab and technical support. Consider trainings by local artists
and specialists such as experts in computer software, publishing, video and audio
production, cartooning, book arts, poetry, music and performance. Use your
local community college and high school students and teachers as resources.
- Determine the link between your content area and the project. Decide whether
you will have your class choose the essential question/focus of study and the final
project or if you will choose the focus. Then plan accordingly. (See Chapter
One, Digging the Well, Lesson 2 - Essential Question)
- Equipment and supplies: Depending upon the direction you choose, you will
need either video or audio field production equipment. (See Recording
Equipment Recommendations in Appendix/Resources) Beyond general
classroom supplies, your students will need folders or binders for their portfolios.
- Acquaint yourself with your resources: The Drawing from the Well curriculum
guide, reference materials including literature, publications and websites.
Identify partnerships with museums, libraries, and other schools. (See Appendix/
- Determine the expectations, requirements and assessment practices for the
program. In each lesson the New Mexico Standards and Benchmarks are listed
for Language Arts. You may also align the standards for other disciplines to
ensure you are meeting state standards in your content area. We have designed
rubrics as a means to determine student achievement. It is helpful to post the
requirements and expectations for students so they clearly understand their
responsibilities. The portfolio and student final projects will be indicators of
their learning. Portfolio assessment is essential to the Drawing from the Well
program. Students will build two portfolios: A working one and an exhibition
portfolio. Use Chapter One, Digging the Well, Lesson 3 to gain complete
instructions for portfolio assessment.
- Transportation needs: Each year the requirements for scheduling field trips
change. We recommend at least one class field trip to a museum. The most
exciting and successful interview sessions are set up at the interviewees' homes.
This can be arranged during the school day with administrative support, although
coordinating interviews after school helps alleviate red tape. The alternative to
conducting interviews in the community is to have the interviewee come to the
school. This is workable, yet not as rich an experience as interviews within
homes or places of work.
- Permission forms: You will want parents to sign release forms for field trips and
for use of students' images, voice and likeness. Additionally, you will want the
interviewees to sign a release for the use of their recordings. (See Sample Release
Forms in Appendix/Samples and Activities)
- Planning and Scheduling - We recommend the "plan backwards" approach. If
you know you are going to host a celebration at the end of your program, then set
your dates and plan the phases of the project back to the beginning. (See Sample
Timelines in Appendix/Samples and Activities).
- Getting the word out: Inform your community about this project as you go along.
We recommend you ask your students to draft a letter to parents that may also
serve to notify the school board, the local press, local businesses and other
- Organization - Designate a space either in the classroom, locker or closet for
student projects and portfolios. Document student work along the way.
Assessment: Ongoing as well as cumulative; student-centered as well as studentdirected.