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

Introducing Arts Education Activities and Discussion

Costumes lead to inquiry about the arts and social studies in a fifth-grade class at Lusher Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Suggested Activities and Discussion

Use the following questions to focus your ideas:

  • What value do you see in arts education?
  • What is your school’s attitude toward arts education?
  • What steps can you take to incorporate the arts into your classroom or school?
  • What role do questions play in learning, and how can you encourage students to ask questions about the arts and specific artwork?
  • How do the arts provide a forum for student inquiry that can enhance learning?

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 ways you can incorporate the arts in your everyday teaching. How might your students benefit from exposure to or experience in dance, music, theatre, or visual art?
  • Think of a favorite painting, play, dance, or piece of music. See if you can find a way to connect it to a subject or unit you currently are teaching. Design a series of lessons incorporating this artwork.
  • Consider how the arts impact the daily lives of your students; for example, in video games or popular fashions. How can you use these everyday art objects to teach subjects such as math, history, and social studies?

Curriculum-Planning Sessions

  • Consider how you might include an arts specialist teacher in a planning session of grade-level teachers.
  • Invite a working artist or a representative of a local arts organization to a session. Together, identify places where arts-based learning would strengthen the curriculum.
  • For more ideas and resources on incorporating the arts, explore arts education resources such as the Web sites of the John F. Kennedy Center’s ArtsEdge or the Perpich Center for Arts Education.
  • Consider using The Arts in Every Classroom’s eight-part workshop as a professional development course. It will help you plan and teach multi-arts curriculum. Graduate credit is available.

Community Outreach

  • Invite a teacher or principal from a school with a successful arts-based program to talk about its benefits and address concerns the audience might have.
  • Present examples of student work that demonstrate the value of arts-based learning.
  • Identify examples of programs that you could use as models or resources for your own planning.