Arts Integration: Resource Roundup
All points of arts integration — from benefits and implementation to linking the arts with core curriculum — are covered in this roundup of useful Edutopia blog posts, articles, and videos.
Benefits of Arts Integration
- Creativity and Academics: The Power of an Arts Education: Read about five benefits of an arts education. (Edutopia, 2016)
- Rainstorms and Symphonies: Performing Arts Bring Abstract Concepts to Life: See how arts-integrated teaching in early elementary positively affects student learning in reading, math, and science. (Edutopia, 2016)
- Creating an Ecology of Wonder: Check out these five tips to see how art can cultivate imagination and wonder in your classroom. (Edutopia, 2016)
- 7 Leadership Skills Fostered in Arts Education: Understand how the arts can help develop organizational and public speaking skills, encourage students to take risks, and prepare young people to become courageous leaders. (Edutopia, 2015)
- Mixed-Ability Dance: Helping Students With Special Needs Grow and Learn: Find out how inclusive dance education can benefit students with disabilities. (Edutopia, 2013)
- Use Music to Develop Kids' Skills and Character: Explore the connections between music, learning, retaining information, and emotional development. (Edutopia, 2011)
Linking Arts and Core Curriculum
- Arts Integration or Arts and Crafts?: Explore five guidelines to help prevent arts integration in the content classroom from simply becoming arts-and-crafts time. (Edutopia, 2015)
- 10-Minute Plays: Performing Arts in the History Classroom: Turn an upcoming unit into a personally relevant experience by asking students to create ten-minute plays for an authentic audience. (Edutopia, 2015)
- Literacy Through Photography for English-Language Learners: Support literacy by engaging ELLs with creating, identifying, and narrating through photographs. (Edutopia, Updated 2015)
- 8 Ways to Use Music in the Language Arts Classroom: Browse ideas for bringing music into a core subject like English language arts; for example: use commercial jingles to teach persuasive writing techniques. (Edutopia, 2014)
- Culinary Arts Integration: 12 PBL Activities Students Can Sink Their Teeth Into: See how the study and preparation of food can be used within cross-curricular projects in math, chemistry, social studies, history, or language arts. For more about arts-integrated PBL, read "Project-Based Learning as a Context for Arts Integration." (Edutopia, 2014)
- Use Arts Integration to Enhance Common Core: Examine some of the ways that teaching with the arts can meet and enhance Common Core requirements. For more on how to align arts-integrated lessons to the Common Core, also see "Common Core in Action: Using the Arts to Spark Learning" and "Artistic to the Core: Music and Common Core." (Edutopia, 2013)
- Creativity in the Classroom: Take a look at ways to foster student creativity in the classroom through open-ended projects, 20 percent time, and team-building activities. (Edutopia, 2015)
- Fuel Creativity in the Classroom With Divergent Thinking: Inspire out-of-box thinking for students by using problem-based learning, art, music, and inquiry-based feedback. (Edutopia, Updated 2015)
- Embracing Student Creativity With a Wonder Shelf: Provide students with manipulatives and art supplies to bring excitement, engagement, and elements of a makerspace into the classroom. (Edutopia, Updated 2015)
- 7 Tenets of Creative Thinking: Explore seven principles about creative thinking worth sharing with students. (Edutopia, Updated 2015)
- We Are All Artists: Check out six arts-integration strategies to help students embrace their inner artist. (Edutopia, 2014)
- Inspire Thoughtful Creative Writing Through Art: Find out how to use the experience of studying a piece of visual art as a creative writing prompt. (Edutopia, 2014)
STEAM and Maker Education
- Full STEAM Ahead: Why Arts Are Essential in a STEM Education: Understand how teaching STEM means inherently teaching the arts. Find out more by exploring Edutopia's STEAM resources page. (Edutopia, 2016)
- The New Face of STEAM: Learn how one award-winning school is modeling a pathway into STEAM for underrepresented minority groups through culturally relevant narratives, choice, autonomy, and time for collaboration. (Edutopia, 2016)
- PBL and STEAM Education: A Natural Fit: Engage students with real-world challenges by combining the pedagogical model of PBL with the rich content area of STEAM. (Edutopia, 2014)
- How the Maker Movement Is Moving Into Classrooms: Read about how educators are harnessing the energy of the maker movement to fuel student exploration across multiple subjects, including the arts. Learn more and find resources on Edutopia's maker education resources page. (Edutopia, 2014)
- Engaging Students in the STEM Classroom Through "Making": Discover how the Maker Movement is engaging STEM students in new ways. (Edutopia, 2012)
Downloads and Examples From Schools That Work
Edutopia's flagship series highlights practices and case studies from K-12 schools and districts that are improving the way students learn. Below, find featured downloads, and dive into real-world examples of arts integration in practice.
Learn about School 21 -- a public, urban school in London, U.K. -- and how educators there bring cross-curricular, arts-infused project-based learning into the classroom. Find out more by reading "How to Infuse the Arts Into Core Curriculum (and Why It Matters), and download a project planning checklist for more insight into their process:
- Project Planning Checklist -- Use School 21's project planning checklist (PDF) to prepare for arts-infused projects.
Discover how educators at Symonds Elementary School use bookmaking school-wide to to blend academics and art in ways that excite and engage students, build school community, and make learning feel more personalized and fun.
Find out how students at Normal Park Museum Magnet School create unique "travel journals" to explore themes of science and social studies units. Then check out a sample curriculum map:
- Normal Park Curriculum Map -- Download a yearlong curriculum map that shows the different thematic units studied in social studies and science throughout the K-8 grade levels.
Learn how educators at Glenview Elementary School in Oakland, California use partnerships with local arts organizations to provide much-needed resources, while giving students new creative outlets and developing critical thinking and collaboration skills.
Critical thinking, risk taking, and collaboration -- along with academics and discipline -- are just some of the areas where Bates Middle School reported big improvements after integrating the arts across all subject areas. Here are a few of the resources used at Bates to plan for and reflect upon arts-integrated lessons:
- Curriculum Map -- Download a graphic organizer to document content standards, opportunities for arts integration, and assessment/reflection.
- Content Standards -- Download a form to document performance on content standards where arts integration was or was not incorporated into the lesson.
- Student Reflection -- Download a student reflection template for an arts-integrated lesson.
- Teacher Reflection -- Download a teacher reflection template for an arts-integrated lesson.