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The Arts In Every Classroom: A Video Library K-5

Borrowing From the Arts To Enhance Learning Activities and Discussion

Fifth-grade students designed visual representations of their own personal histories at Browns Mill Elementary School in Lithonia, Georgia.

Suggested Activities and Discussion

Consider these questions for reflection:

  • How can you use techniques from the arts to reach students who have difficulties with reading and spelling?
  • Are there other ways you can incorporate the arts into your classroom?
  • How do the arts provide a forum for student inquiry that can enhance learning in other subjects?
  • How could you use the arts as a way to ask questions that would deepen your students’ learning about other subjects?

Improving Practice
Here are some additional ways you can build on the ideas in this program in a variety of school and community settings:

Professional Development for Teachers

  • Consider a unit of study you will be using this year. Examine one or two lessons for opportunities to use movement, rhythm, imagery, and role-playing to help make your teaching more effective.
  • Make a list of the challenges and special skills of each child in your classroom. How could you use techniques from the arts to bridge language barriers or developmental gaps? How would each child benefit from opportunities for self-expression and reflection?

Classroom Instruction

  • Invite a painter, actor, musician, storyteller, or other artist to sit in on some of your classes. Invite the artist to identify opportunities for you to incorporate arts-based activities or techniques.
  • Build in opportunities for students to reflect on what they have learned at the end of each lesson or at the end of the day.

Curriculum-Planning Sessions

  • Consider how you might incorporate techniques from the arts into assessments.
  • Include an arts specialist teacher in your planning session. With the specialist, plan how you can include more elements of the arts in your daily teaching.
  • Use the Internet to explore resources for arts-based or whole-brain learning.