Integrating the Arts in the Classroom: 5 Fun Activities for Busy Teachers
The Teacher’s Academy has just released their newest course, Integrating the Arts in the Classroom. This fun 18-hour course is designed to help teachers “spice-up” their current lesson plans with some outside-the-box art projects. The course starts off with a little inspirational music (by Metallica of course) and then progresses through the importance of art in education. Teachers will develop their own definition of the arts, learn about the value of the arts in education, understand how the standards support the arts, and even create a few of their own art-inspired projects! We understand how busy teachers are so we took 5 quick, fun integration activities from the course to share in this blog… Enjoy!
Activity: Add music to enrich your read aloud books, fiction or non-fiction literature, poetry and teach literary devices.
Skills: Literary devices, critical thinking, memory
Applied in the classroom: Students studying the social, economic and political events of the 1920s were exposed to music, rare video and artwork to further bring the era to life. Students got to listen to the music of the times while writing their own stories!
Activity: Improvisation – give students a setting and let them react without a script.
Skills: Connect to characters, core-content comprehension, communication, language, vocabulary and presentation, public speaking and listening
Applied in the Classroom: In a circle, students are given a story starter. The teacher chooses one student to begin the story and the students point to their peers to continue the story when cued by the teacher. Add parameters to the game to increase the challenge and encourage critical thinking and problem solving…Must use a new vocabulary word, must incorporate certain parts of speech, must speak from a historical person’s point of view, etc.
Activity: Interpretive Dance – Students use movement to teach letters, language or math concepts. Students form letters or actions with their bodies and display knowledge of math concepts like symmetry. To incorporate higher-level academic concepts, students can perform interpretive dance to “act out” events in history or scientific theories.
Skills: Communication, core content, language, vocabulary, and presentation skills
Applied in the Classroom: Students were asked to show understanding of symmetry through dance movements. One student chooses a position, a partner student must replicate that position. If one student moves, the other must move. Students take turns choosing positions to show symmetry, parallel lines, intersecting lines, angles, etc.
Activity: Drawing Poetry
Skills: Listening, language, poetry, drawing, motor skills, connection to poetry, critical thinking
Applied in the classroom: Students were read a poem and asked to sketch or draw what they heard in the poem. Students could make their own interpretations of the author’s message and articulate how they connected with the poem. The activity could be altered by selecting a passage from a novel or content area.
Activity: Sculpture and Writing
Skills: Writing, observation, communication, memory, descriptive language
Applied in the classroom: Students were asked to create a sculpture based on a profession then write an opinion piece about the profession. This activity could be altered to use paints or digital photography. The subject could be a core content topic, book review, word problem. For example, students could create 3-D models of plant and animal cells or dioramas of important events.
A few more integration activities…
- Playing/ Making Instruments
- Chanting, Rapping
- Listening to Music / Poetry
- Composing Music, Songs
- Drama Games / Charades
- Pantomime, Puppets
- Move to Words, Poetry or Ideas
- Popular and Creative Dances
- Clay / Sculpture
- Research Artists
- Research Works of Art
This is just a small sampling of what teachers will receive when they open the Integrating the Arts in the Classroom course. Teachers, you do not have to be an expert in the arts to deliver an effective, integrated art activity! Have fun with your students and enjoy teaching with the arts.
The summer is not only a great time for teachers to catch up on reading, but also to get started (or finish up) those pesky professional development requirements. It does not matter if teachers live in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Houston, Bloomington, Detroit, Green Bay or Nashville, our courses are downloaded to computers so teachers can work from anywhere in the United States!
Check out our Online Course Catalog for the most relevant, affordable and convenient professional development courses, created by teachers for teachers.
Click, Find Your State for specific details on professional development from your department of education.
Have a great summer, teachers!