Learning through the arts is a dynamic way to engage students. But arts integration is more than just an engagement strategy — it’s a powerful way for students to gain and express understanding. Teaching Channel is really excited to present a new series of 19 videos on arts integration, in partnership with The Getty Museum. In this series, we see teachers engage their students in learning through the arts in a variety of grade levels, subject areas, and contexts. It’s inspiring to watch teachers use arts integration with English Language Learners, students in Special Education, and in conjunction with the Common Core.
Learning About Greek Mythology Through the Arts
In David Cooper’s sixth grade social studies class, we see students learning about Greek mythology through the arts. After studying Greek gods and goddesses, David has his students apply their knowledge when looking at artwork in the classroom and then later at a field trip to the Getty Villa. As a final performance of understanding, David’s students work together to plan and perform a Greek or Roman talk show. This performance of understanding shows students applying their knowledge of Greek mythology in a new and creative context.
Getty’s Education Department is a rich resource for lesson plans that support arts integration. To learn more about David’s final performance of understanding, check out the Ancient Greek and Roman Talk Show lesson plan.
Using the Arts with ELLs and Students in Special Education
Next, go inside Lindsay Young’s high school English Language Development class for students with mild to moderate disabilities. Lindsay does an amazing job of scaffolding important reading skills by having her students look closely at artwork, make inferences, and use evidence to support their reasoning. After practicing using these skills with artwork, students will be able to apply these same skills when working with other texts.
Integrating Art with Science
In Antoinette Pippin’s fifth grade class, we see how arts integration can enrich science instruction. Antoinette teaches two lessons to her class: one on comparing and contrasting the scientific and artistic characteristics of paintings, and the other on analyzing ecosystems based on the embellishments seen on a 16th-century basin.
A Collaboration Between Artists & Educators
All the fifth grade teachers at Leo Politi Elementary School have been co-teaching with teaching artists once a week, making their arts integration program even richer. In addition, the entire collaborative team meets every week to plan and debrief their lessons together.
Take a peek into Lorenza Yarnes’ fifth grade class, where students are designing their own space colonies. Lorenza works with teaching artist Amanda Yates-Garcia to have students choose professions they think are important to have on the space colony. In this co-taught lesson, we get to see Amanda help students create busts of their chosen profession, while Lorenza leads students through writing opinion pieces to explain why it’s important for their professions to exist on the space colony.
Professional Development Around Arts Integration
The teachers at Leo Politi came together this past summer to lead and participate in arts integration professional development at The Getty Museum. In this session, teachers learn how to use art to build Common Core skills. In another session, teachers get to experience an arts-integrated lesson for English Language Learners. This session demonstrated how looking closely at art can be a great avenue for building vocabulary and using prepositional phrases.
Nine More Videos Showcasing Strategies
More than ever, I’m convinced that arts integration can be a powerful tool for student learning. Across grades and subject areas, learning through art allows students to apply and express their knowledge in innovative ways. We’d love to hear how this new collection of videos will inspire new ideas in your classroom!
Lily Jones taught K/1 for seven years in Northern California. She has experience as a curriculum developer, instructional coach, teacher trainer, and is also a contributing writer for Teaching Channel.