Part of the course is dedicated to teaching arts integration. In these lessons, art activities are directly connected with another content area, such as reading, writing, math, science, and social studies. The lesson is taught through art as opposed to explicit academic instruction.
An example of such an activity is in the lesson we did in class on patterns. As a class, we read the story Move! and explored movement, play, acting, and art as interconnected topics. We explored artistic elements that lead to movement in visual arts. After reading the story and discussing its content, we were encouraged to make our own line maps. We applied our knowledge through artistic expression.
We each chose a piece of construction paper to be used as the background. Next, we chose four colors of construction paper that would be used to create the various patterns on the line map. I choose a dark gray piece of construction paper for the background, and I aimed to choose a mixture of dark and light colors to serve as a form of contrast. The dark blue and warm yellow served to contrast the soft blue and bubblegum pink. After choosing my colors, I began cutting my patterns. I cut the yellow paper into a set of small rectangles that formed a jagged line on the side of the page from one corner to the other. The blue paper was cut into small circles that would contrast the sharpness of the yellow rectangles. These blue circles formed a curved line, similar to a roller coaster, between the bottom two corners. The pink paper was cut into four thin strips that extended and fanned out from one corner of the paper into the opposite corner. Lastly, the orange paper was cut into various triangles that stretched from a corner of the room to the opposite side of the page. These lines worked together to create a map that can be followed in any way that the viewer desires.
I chose to document the activity because I thoroughly enjoyed the connection between visual arts, physical movement, and literacy. The activity was used as an extension in which practical application of knowledge was encouraged. The activity was memorable for me because it was a very tangible example of arts integration. I was able to see how easily art could be connected with another content area in order to teach students on an entirely new level. I most certainly want to use this in a future classroom. It would be interesting to have students complete art activities that can be directly tied to the content that they are learning in class. An activity such as this helps to connect creativity to academic content, thus creating new outlets through which students are able to learn.