The Visual Arts curriculum is formed around four levels of instruction instead of each grade. The decision to use levels of instruction for the curriculum was based on the realities and constraints that teachers face in this curriculum area. These include variable amounts of time allotted to students for Visual Arts, inconsistent time at different schools (or even levels within a school), and numbers of faculty to teach, etc. As an example, some schools might only have classes at the Middle or High School level. In this case, a teacher might start with Level One or Two, since this may be the students' first exposure to a Visual Arts class.
The coding system used in these Assessments and Activities documents correlates to the Michigan Standards in the document titled Standards, Benchmarks, and Content Expectations for Visual Arts, Music, Dance, and Theater. The codes are as follows:
“C” = Create in Strand I. Strand I has five benchmarks: 1. Problem Seeking, 2. Exploring, 3. Analytical Choices, 4. Application Choices, and 5. Aesthetic Choices.
“P” = Perform in Strand II. Strand II has four benchmarks: 1. Techniques, 2. Elements, 3. Principles, and 4. Intellectual Methods.
“R” = Respond in Strand III. Strand III has four benchmarks: 1. Observe, 2. Describe, 3. Reflect, and 4. Analyze.
The overarching code is called the VPAA (Visual, Performing, and Applied Arts).