If it weren’t for the arts, I would have had a very lonely existence in school—and I wouldn’t have grown up to be the person I am today. And since I’m reasonably fond of that person, I’ve decided to write this blog post. I know that many of your schools don’t have an art program. The elementary schools I taught in didn’t. And so it helps those artistic students if you can squeeze creativity into your school day.
Don’t yell at me. I know you’re already squeezed as tight as possible. But it might be super simple to integrate these suggestions:
- Have students use visual arts to show understanding of a topic. For example, use collage to illustrate the history of your state.
- Incorporate pantomime or script writing when retelling a story.
- Have students find music that relates to the overall theme of a story.
- Direct students to create eye-catching posters or advertisements to explain concepts.
And here is one of my favorite artsy ideas: create a sticky note gallery. As an occasional option for students when they finish their work or as a quick five-minute transition time activity, allow each student to make a mini piece of artwork on a sticky note. Have available glue, collage items, colored pencils, and markers. Then encourage students to display these mini pieces of artwork side-by-side on a wall. (Go here to see a sticky note gallery created by professional artists!) When the wall is full, have students take their artwork home and then create another wall of artwork. Make sure you praise everyone’s mark-making.
How do you squeeze in the arts?