Arts Across the Curriculum
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Grades: 3 - 12

The arts offer challenges, opportunities, and delights for learners of any age and create powerful learning opportunities across the curriculum. To get you started using Arts Across the Curriculum, we offer below a few lesson ideas in each the six main discipline areas of our video collection. Find even more with the unique activity ideas that are included with each video in the Educate.Today collection.

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Arts Integration Across the Curriculum:
In Arts

  • In a visual arts class, have students respond to art work seen in our Art in Exhibition videos not through a written or oral critique but through dance. Have students create a short dance that exemplifies the emotions they feel when seeing the work or what they interpret the meaning of the work to be.
  • In a theatre class, have students view play scene videos available in our collection. After viewing the scene, have them select select a song or instrumental selection that underscores the emotion, rhythm, or “feel” of the scene. They could also analyze the “beats” of the scene and create rhythmic movement to demonstrate those “beats.”
  • As students practice and perform individual pieces of music in music class or after watching any of our Meet the Musician videos, have them create and perform a dance that uses the music they create or the type of music created by the musician.
  • In a dance class, have students create art work that displays the emotions, movement, and meaning of the dance they are performing or have students view any of these dance performance videos in our collection and do the same.

In Business and Careers

  • Have students learn about the wide variety of career opportunities in the Arts as well as the business side of the Arts in our Career Experiences in Arts videos. Then, have students explain their learning through a graphic representation or by creating a video using clips from the videos they viewed and additional public domain footage they find online or they film themselves through interviews and location footage in their town.

In Character Education

  • Inspire students to make a difference in their community through our Making a Difference videos and, after a viewing a video, create a poster or thirty second promotional video the organization could use to promote their work. Expand the activity into your community by having students connect with a community service organization in their town and create a poster or promotional video for them.

In History and Social Studies

  • When learning about communities, students can create drawings of both rural and urban areas perhaps on black paper with white chalk drawings for a lesson in using negative space. During your study of infrastructure and transportation systems, students can create an illustration of their own small city or town. A lesson like this can also include patterning and symmetry, bringing in another math component! Investigate communities with videos in our Making My Community Work focus area.
  • After watching one of our “I Remember” video segments or any of our first person history videos available via the dropdown menus at the top of the page, have students create their own first person performance based on what they learned or have them write a song about the event or time period explored in the video that reflects a musical style of the time period.
  • After watching one of our “I Remember” video segments instruct students to create a historical/realistic comic strip of their favorite character or historical figure going on an adventure that takes them to the time period and/or event remembered in the video. Like all our activity ideas, this activity can be scaled depending on the students’ capabilities.

In Literature and Language Arts

  • Use our “Off the Shelf” author series to do a lesson on making book covers with your students. Show students an “Off the Shelf” episode without letting them see the book cover but only the pages and the story audio. Once the video is over have students create a book cover based on the other illustrations and what the story was about.
  • Use our “Off the Shelf” author series to do a lesson bringing the story to life in dramatic form. Show students an “Off the Shelf” episode and have them create a dramatic performance of the story by writing dialogue, creating scenery and costumes, staging, and then presenting their play to an audience of fellow student and/or parents.

In Sciences and STEM

  • Science and visual art both inherently require a significant degree of observation activity. When students are learning to observe closely, that’s a great time to teach a lesson on drawing or photography of still life that includes plants or other natural elements, such as rocks, twigs, or bones. Students can also integrate art into studies involving insects, butterflies and birds in flight. Consider these resources to get started:
  • Butterfly Flight
    How a Bird’s Anatomy Helps It Fly
    Photographing Nature

  • Use our Archaeology and Geology videos and have students create illustrations or grid sketches of dig sites. Students can also create fossil collages or recreate supplied rocks/fossils to replicate in a sketch or drawing to later display. Add a problem-solving component by having students figure out the mathematical skills needed to create and work on a dig site grid.

In General