Teaching with and through the arts is a passion of mine. It turns on many different parts of the brain at once, is engaging,and hands on. Teaching in this way students learn not only the content of ELA, Math, Science, and History. They have the chance to make mistakes /take risks creatively, engage in creative problem solving, experience more of the world in one lesson, and a host of other things.
Arts integration is not asking your students to color by number or using a snow man instead of a traditional Venn-diagram. Ok …so tell me what it is? Arts integration is when students engaged in a lesson, create something (in the arts) ,that connects to content at hand. They should connect so there is purpose for the art and the process helps students learn more. The process of creation should enhance student knowledge of content and/or the world around them in the end.
Sound cool? Still a little unclear? It’s ok! I spent four years learning how to integrate art into the classroom. Here are some examples of people who have done it well, books, and online resources.
Create and Grow!
- A very fun way to teach fractions to musical rhythmic learners is by using music notes. Music notes have value. A whole note, a half note, quarter note etc. Students who know music well can tap or shake ( egg shakers are good for this) the fractions. They will feel in their bodies and see which fractions are bigger. It’s a good way for beginning learners to see and feel fractions. The students can even feel proper vs. improper or whole vs. half.
-This man created a website you can use musical bar fractions right online.
- A different way to engage with fractions for young learners if filling up glasses of water with colored liquid in whole, 1/3, 1/4 etc amounts. Students can then play the cups of varying amounts. The teacher and students can discuss if the ones with less water are higher or lower in pitch. You can talk about what each fraction is called as well. This is a good integration lesson for your curious Kinders if there is no recess or those just learning sound with fractions.
- Array City! I borrowed this idea off of Pinterest. It’s fun and pretty easy to do for your third graders who need more array practice. After the students reviewed arrays review I asked them to complete a multiplication worksheet where they selected 8 of the front back problems to complete plus show the array. A partner then checked their work. After students used this to turn the arrays into what looked like buildings on large construction paper. -ELA- When it was time for ELA students were asked to write a piece about their array city and pretend they lived there. They had to name it and tell readers why their city was awesome, why we should visit there.
ELA- Working on fables? Get some technology involved! After reading fables ask students to write down the beginning, middle, and end on an organizer. Then, record them enacting the three main parts with simple props.
- Pars of speech charades- It is similar to apples to apple but using you body and vocab words students need to work on.
- Ask students to choose an appropriate song and find the parts of speech or poetry devices they have been talking about in the song. Have students share in class. Is song writing a form of poetry?
History– Recreate a clay pots, quilts, or other items people from your readings may have made. Submerge students in the culture and get hands on! Write about the experience in reflective journal or bell ringer.
- Virtual classroom field trips. Can you take your class back in time or to the place in history by having the students imagine ( in their heads) the taste, smell, sight, touch, sounds, of the place?
Want more ideas?
-Check out ARTSEDGE through the Kennedy Center. They have lessons that integrate for various grade levels.
-Are you a hard copy person? Claudia E. Cornett had a wonderful book to help you integrate. Creating Meaning Through Literature and the Arts
-Are you super curious still? Check out AI Solutions. They have continuing development and assessment guides.