Craft the Learning Process with Colorful Arts to Help Students Succeed

Integrating the arts into education does NOT require professional art experience.

Integrating the arts into education does NOT require professional art experience.

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

Here’s a quick Q for you…

When you see or hear the word ART, what comes to mind?

Some may say paintings; others music, dance or drama. Word-lovers may say literature.

Teachers who integrate the arts into education will list them all because each of the arts can be a part of the learning process.

When educators and parents are willing to “think outside the box” that categorizes instruction (math, science, reading, etc.) they unwrap ways to…

craft the learning process with colorful, attention-getting arts to help students succeed.

Teachers with solid training in curricula and classroom management but little personal experience with the arts may be inclined to leave art activities to a specialist rather than craft their own instruction with art components.

If this describes you, get ready for some rewarding fun when you challenge yourself to…

slip art-based activities into lesson plans to catch and keep kids’ attention. 

Access helpful resources to help you get started.

Check out the following quick and easy examples of integrating the arts in education…

Give students a visually appealing research form; this one to celebrate famous aviators like the Wright Brothers.

Give students a visually appealing research form; this one to celebrate famous aviators like the Wright Brothers.

a few examples that are part of a Social Studies curriculum that I developed for the study of the Wright Brothers’ first flight in Kitty Hawk, NC (US).

Storytelling and Poetry Presentation – Read to the class about the Wright Brothers’ flight – a story book for young children – a news report or online data for older students – poems about flight and “taking flight on the wings of words.”

Excerpt from my writing about the event:

First Flight Anniversary Celebration 1903 – 2003

     Wilbur Wright witnessed the amazing moment that his brother, Orville, left the earth behind when their flying machine lifted its wings above Kill Devil Hills, NC. It was a cold December day in 1903. Orville climbed sun-ward like the seagulls. He soared with courage and grace, ushering in a century of flight that would connect continents and crack the mystery of space.

Young children enjoy drawing and coloring illustrations for stories they write.

Young children enjoy drawing and coloring illustrations for stories they write.

Arts Integration Connection?

Storytelling promotes reading.

Storytelling leads to student story writing.

Non-Fiction writing encourages children to do research.

Research opens discovery doors about scientific subjects such as aviation.

Fiction writing offers an opportunity for kids to imagine themselves as a character in the story or a character in a linked subject, like voyaging to outer space.

Visual Arts – Show the class photographs, illustrations, paintings and graphic images that depict the subject, such as flying.

Give students printed forms that allow them to color illustrations for a story they write about the subject.

Invite students to do original art based on the subject.

Arts Integration Connection? 

Visual arts catch and keep students’ attention and improve organizational skills and visual acuity.

Visual skills are key to using technology and understanding images and icons, including ones used for math, science, map reading, etc.

How else can you craft the learning process with attention-getting arts?

Check out a few more quick and easy examples of arts integration that are part of a Social Studies curriculum I developed for the study of the Wright Brothers’ first flight in Kitty Hawk, NC (US).

"Lift your arms as if they are wings. Fly like an airplane or a songbird."

“Class, lift your arms as if they are wings. Fly like an airplane or a songbird.”

Drama and Music – Lead the class in a dramatization of flying.

Invite children to lift their arms “in flight” and whistle like songbirds as they imagine feeling the wind on their “wings.”

Arts Integration Connection?

Drama helps children understand concepts like taking flight.

Engaging in role-play allows students to better grasp social relationships, complex issues and emotions.

Drama helps children learn by doing. As Kathryn Hepburn, a famous American actress, wrote, “Theater is practice for living.”

Blank Canvas to Budding Business – Research supports the premise that the arts do more than engage children’s attention.

Integrating a variety of the arts into the learning process allows children with different learning styles to “get it,” to learn comprehensively.

The arts also teach kids problem-solving skills and the basics of entrepreneurship. “Here’s a blank canvas or piece of paper,” you say. “What can it become?” “What will you make of it?”

The value of integrating the arts into education extends well beyond elementary school years.

The arts enrich our lives with joy and beauty. Frank Lloyd Wright, a famous American architect, wrote, “If you ignore beauty you will soon find yourself without it…but if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.”

The beauty of crafting a learning process with colorful, attention-getting arts is that each teacher becomes an artist in the process.

Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!

Please send comments about ways you integrate the arts into education.

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet

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Posted in Attentionology for K-5 Teachers
Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
Quick tips for common classroom conundrums: K-5
Situation: Students continue to use lackluster verbs in their writing.

Solution: Show toy cars and pretend to make them zip across a page, telling the class that good writing includes action words (verbs) that have "zip." Ask the class for examples of "zippy" verbs like zoom, race, flash, rush, etc.

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