Saturday, January 18, 2014

Representing the Arts: Combining Elements of Art with Core Subjects

This week, I was given a great opportunity to present the importance of the arts to our district.  I did this during our Teacher Institute Day, which was broken down into a group of small sessions for teachers to attend.  I was also very excited to have my fellow art educator co-worker presenting on combining art with language arts as well!!!  Two art teachers presenting for the first time in our district!

I titled my presentation "Arts Integration: Ways to Combine Elements of Art Within Our Curriculum."

The session was to align with our district's mission statement:

     " provide every student with a quality education that will instill a desire and ability to achieve their maximum potential as self-supportive, independent, productive citizens for the 21st century through offering a positive atmosphere and a variety of quality learning experiences."

In designing my Power Point, I wanted to discuss 5 key points in advocating our department:

1. The visual art department's mission
2. Our state and national standards
3. The development of the core arts standards
4. Ways the art teachers incorporate common core subjects in our own lessons
5. Ways the teachers and specialists can incorporate the arts into their own lessons

At the end of my presentation, I gave teachers a chance to choose one of 6 projects (four are listed below) they could use within their own classes!  Since there was a 20 minute break between sessions, many teachers stayed until the last minute to complete their artworks and gather lessons from other tables!

Here's a breakdown of a few key points I wanted to share with my attendees.  If you feel I missed any key factors on the importance of the arts in a well-rounded curriculum, please let me know in my comments!

The Visual Art Departments Mission

1. Art History: The art department discusses how artists are influenced by (and influence) the times and places in which they live and work. 

2. Art and SocietyThe art department discusses how art is needed and used in everyday life (careers, leisure, activity).  In other words, an appreciation of the importance of the arts in our society.

3. Culture AwarenessWhen students learn through the arts about people and civilizations, they learn about others and themselves.

4. Motor Development: Through creating and performing, students improve on fine motor skills, which improves craftsmanship in many areas, including visual design and writing.

5. Community Engagement: Through the arts, students advocate to the community.  This is done by presentations (art shows and displays), charity activity, after school programs, and media.

How Teachers Can Connect Arts Into Their Lessons 

1. Dance and theater are artistic ways to combine the arts and physical education.  With an emphasis on “body movement,” students exercise imagination and creative skills.

2. Have students draw what they hear while listening to music.

3. Create projects they could interact with!  Instruments, Rube Goldberg projects, etc…

4. Instead of writing out our answers in graphic organizers, why not draw what we are saying?

5. Writing can be more than just sentences!  Instead of coloring pictures, fill the images in with words!

6. Create a visual demonstration of the math problem.

7. Use grids to encourage measurements and proportions.

8. Are your students presenting?  Have the students be the presentation.

9.When teaching history (or any subject), pick an artist that reflects the time or theme. 

10. Encourage creative practice through technology .

11. Have students practice their compositions through photography.

12. Encourage visual literacy!

I wanted to also share with you the mini-projects I had my attendees create at the end of my presentation.  I borrowed the projects ideas from other blog posts, so here are the links!

I regret that I did not take any photos of my presentation.  I was having so much fun interacting with the attendees, it didn't even occur to me to pull out my camera!


  1. It was a GREAT and fun presentation! I loved making my Mexican maracas and Chinese drum! Thanks!

    1. Thank you, Kate!!! Glad you enjoyed it! Seriously wish I could have taken photos!!! Maybe I could get some still shots from the video?