Integrating the Arts to Learning
It's exciting to see integration of the arts to learning take off in schools across the country. This growing interest seems to be driven by dedicated teachers seeking creative ways to incorporate educational learning standards and core concepts in lesson plans.
By including the arts in projects for specific areas of study, teachers see their students responding with new interest and energy as they solve problems and actively participate in the learning process.
I have found that projects in science, math and social studies are particularly appropriate for arts integration.
Student involvement remains high when teachers give kids more opportunities to actively participate in what they are learning, and I am convinced art is the key.
When artistic expression is included in the mix, students in all grades are enthusiastic about doing research, writing about a subject and finally creating meaningful art to express and share what they have discovered.
The beauty of all this is the way reading, writing, history, geography and different forms of communication come into play.
When the arts are combined with learning, students take ownership in what they are doing and the educational benefits are long - lasting.
On several occasions, I have been an artist-in-residence in grade schools for projects incorporating storytelling and social studies.
In these endeavors, the students research historical figures, write biographical narratives, create original art (drawing, sculpture, mural or collage) and share their new knowledge with others.
Different presentation options are available, and the students have fun deciding if they want to do a story, a play or a digital production.
I hope the trend of integrating the arts to learning continues. I can't think of a better way to involve young people in education.