Tuesday, September 4, 2012

10 Resources for Integrating Art Across the Curriculum

Sadly, fine arts classes are continually being cut in public education today. These classes are seen as a frivolous waste of time and resources in a system ruled by standardized testing. If it is not on the test, then it has no real educational value, right? WRONG! The use of fine arts across the core curriculum (in both example and creation)  actually benefits students in a number of ways. Some of these include: 
1. Responding to art can be very stimulating and can lead onto a great variety of activities.

2. Using of art provides a useful change of pace.

3. Incorporating of art into the class or syllabus can take the students out of the classroom and encourage them to use their language skills in the real world.

4. Creating of art or even thinking about art can be very motivating. Especially for students who may struggle with read and respond activities. It can help put more emphasis on the ability to clearly express thoughts and ideas with skills other than writing or speaking.

5. Responding to and creating art has the potential to develop students’ creative and critical thinking skills.

6. Using of fine arts in the classroom offers students another level of connection to class materials (i.e. visual, auditory, kinesthetic).


Here are some of the many resources available to educators wishing to integrate art into their curriculum.

Crayola.com - Lesson plans for PK-12

Scholastic.com - Strategies for Arts Integration PK-12

The Walters Art Museum -  resources using visual arts to teach concepts of social studies, science, language arts and math curricula. Designed for middle school students but adaptable for elementary and high school, all content including the printable lessons and flash interactives align with the Maryland State Curriculum. Ideal for visual arts teachers who want to integrate the arts into other disciplines or for non-arts teachers who want to venture into the world of art. Activities can be assigned as homework or in-class assignments.
Note: These resources require both Adobe Flash and Reader.

Arts Every Day - Steps for creating an arts integration school. Extremely interesting site, if you are looking for ways to change curriculum.

Arts Partners - Based in Dallas, this organization offers not only resources, but professional development for arts integration as well.

Education Closet - Arts Integration Links and Resources

ARTSEDGE -  The National Arts and Education Network – supports the placement of the arts at the center of the curriculum and advocates creative use of technology to enhance the K-12 educational experience. ARTSEDGE empowers educators to teach in, through and about the arts by providing the tools to develop interdisciplinary curricula that fully integrate the arts with other academic subjects. ARTSEDGE offers free, standards-based teaching materials for use in and out of the classroom, as well as professional development resources, student materials, and guidelines for arts-based instruction and assessment. A program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Artswork at ASU - Integrated Arts Lesson Plans for Elementary and Middle School Students

Edutopia on Pinterest - Edutopia's Arts Integration Board on Pinterest - excellent resources on arts integration and why it is so important.

National Gallery of Art - Contains NGA Classroom: Online Resources for Teachers and Students;
NGA Loan Programs: Teaching Packets, DVDS, Videos, and Other Media; and NGA kids

Hopefully, these resources will assist you on your own journey to integrate the arts into your own classroom. If you are still not convinced, I would like you to consider this quote from Paul Ostergard the Vice President of Citicorp: "A broad education in the arts helps give children a better understanding of their world. . .We need students who are culturally literate as well as math and science literate." Well said sir, well said.

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