Question Detail

How do you integrate the arts into your curriculum

Jan 16, 2013 11:11am

In the push towards STEM education, the arts are equally important as they stimulate creativity and creativity is essential in developing new concepts and principles etc.

  • Arts / English Language Arts / Foreign Language / Math / Physical Education / Science / Social Studies / Technology / Other
  • Pre K-12
  • Assessment / Differentiation / Engagement


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    • Feb 10, 2013 5:50pm

      I teach American literature. I present the characteristics of each literary movement. On a near daily basis, I have students view a painting from the same time period and identify characteristics of the literary movement which are evident in the painting.. My students have grown to love "reading" paintings!

      • Apr 19, 2013 1:49am

        As a music teacher, I work towards integrating the curriculum they learn with their classroom teachers into my lessons whenever possible, as long as it does not detract from my own goals and music curriculum.

        For instance, when 2nd grade learns about Australia with their teachers, I teach them a variety of music from Australia, show them videos of Aborigines playing the digeridoo, and let them try playing a digeridoo themselves. That grade is also currently learning the history of America and putting on a grade-wide play where they act out as characters from American history, and I teach them some patriotic music to include. When doing this, you could even have the students measure out the length of the original American flag and replicate it themselves using markers or paint. This would not only show with history, but would enhance math and art skills as well.

        • Jan 20, 2013 2:35pm

          I don't personally integrate anything into the program but I do have a framework and guidelines that allow students themselves to integrate the arts in anyway they see fit.By giving students a great deal of autonomy to connect and extend material, students have used not only the Ats but STEM as well without any direction from me.

          • Apr 21, 2013 5:38am

            I integrate art every Friday for my second graders. Wether it be a culminating activity or an introduction into new content, we get out our paper, pencils, and paint or pastels. I feel that children learn so much about themselves and our world through the arts. I find it very easy to fit art into my lesson plans!

            • Apr 23, 2013 6:42am

              Arletta, you reminded me that once a student gave me a poem she wrote that had a lot of high level math ideas intertwined in it. It was amazing and I kept it up on the wall for years after. It would be a great assignement for all students to try some time.

              • Apr 25, 2013 10:57am

                I teach at a School for the Arts. Arts integration is critical to our mission. We realize that not all students will grow to be "professional artists", but we understand the arts are a pathway for increased student engagement in EVERY subject. I teach Acting, Musical Theater, and an academic support class.
                I meet with "core" teachers quarterly to go over their curriculum and find ways to mix arts and their subject organically. It's important that it not be forced or the students won't make the connections for which we are hoping.
                Even our most adamant "not in my classroom" teachers are starting to see the benefits. If your school doesn't have any arts teachers, reach out to your community and sit down with local artists. Tell them what you are teaching and see what ideas they have. Invite them in to work with your students. You will be surprised by what they (artist and students) come up with!

                Or message me and I'll help!

                • Apr 19, 2013 1:49am

                  Also, I use fractions to show note values (whole note is 4 beats; half note is 2 beats; quarter note is 1 beat; eighth note is 1/2 beat, so on...)

                  Fourth grade learns about New Hampshire and draw the state flag and other state symbols. I teach the NH state song, "Old New Hampshire."

                  I also teach a variety of songs and musical games from other cultures and countries.

                  You can write songs to explain any concept you would like the students to learn, such as multiplication tables, grammar rules, etc. You can also find some of these that already exist on sources like YouTube.

                  I know another teacher who wrote a square dance using "revolve around your partner" and "rotate around your corner" to help with the science concepts of rotate and revolve.

                  Just get creative; ask your Integrated Arts (or Unified Arts, if that is what your school calls them) teachers for suggestions. I'm sure they would be happy to help!

                  • Apr 20, 2013 7:08am

                    I find this to be a challenge in high school level math classes. Geometry lends itself to the arts more easily and some neat projects can be done with tangrams and tessellations. My calculus students and I had a lot of fun with a 3-D rotational solids that they had to first create on graphs and then sculpt out of edible material (the most impressive was a copy of the space needle made out of rice krispy treats - complete with accurate mathematical equations!).

                    • Apr 21, 2013 7:20pm

                      In all of our group activity, we have 5 or 6 roles for students to work with literature. Two of those roles are illustrator, and music maker These are roles that students have to come up with a visual representation of the work they are analyzing and a musical composition to to represent the work they are studying. These can be original or not; It is up to them. This is an ideal way to fuse literature, art and music.

                      • Apr 23, 2013 2:34am

                        Lauren, thanks for your response of 4/19 regarding integrating the arts in your HS math class. Remember the arts come in various forms to include technology, poetry, music, dance and even storytelling in addition to visual arts. You might be able to have the students do word clouds with math terms or even try writing poems related to the subject matter. Poetry comes in many forms and could be fun even in the advanced math classroom. Good luck and thanks for responding.

                        • Apr 23, 2013 4:20am

                          Thanks for the awesome resources.

                          • Apr 23, 2013 4:33am

                            Thanks to everyone to date for your responses. I personally am an advocate for arts integration and have just completed my course work at Lesley University for my M Ed in Curriculum and Instruction -- Arts Integration Across the Curriculum. I just wanted to start a conversation to see where others are in this area. Sorry I haven't been back here much , but with pending courses and everyday life I had little free time. I will be happy to share resources in the future.