4 Tools for Arts Integration in the Content Classroom

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By Erin Wilkey Oh, Common Sense Education

Integrating the arts into your core-subject classroom might seem like a wish-list item you'll never have time to implement. What does it even mean? What does it look like? And what resources can make it easier to accomplish?

While arts integration can take a lot of planning and preparation, a good starting place might be to simply think of it in two buckets:

1) giving students opportunities to make deep connections to the content through their own creative projects

2) giving students opportunities to see how others have used artistic expression to make sense of the learning topics at hand.

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Within this simple framework, you can then seek out student-friendly resources to help you accomplish one or both of these goals.

The four free websites here serve up a mix of compelling arts-related content as well as prompts and tools for students to explore their own creative expression.

ArtsEdge
ArtsEdge is an impressive cross-curricular resource that helps teachers and students connect the arts and other subjects in meaningful ways. The vast database of lessons gives teachers of science, geography, math, and more immense resources to bring arts into the content classroom.

Generator
This free Australia-based resource gives budding filmmakers the training and tools to make their own short films. Through inspirational videos, step-by-step process guides, and the outstanding Storyboard Generator, where kids can create and save a detailed storyboard, kids will get a full understanding of what it takes to make a movie.

Storyboard Generator

The Knotted Line
This artistic time line offers an unconventional approach to learning history. Paintings, videos, audio, charts, and text encourage students to think about the complex issue of freedom in America and how it relates to the imprisonment of various groups throughout history. The Knotted Line also could serve as a model for a culminating student project.

Make Beliefs Comix
Make Beliefs Comix is a versatile comic-creation tool, terrific for promoting creativity and storytelling in ELA, ELL, social studies, and other content-area classrooms. Educators will find numerous resources, including lesson plans with instruction ideas, writing-prompt suggestions for students, and advice on using the site with students with autism, hearing issues, and other special needs.

Make Beliefs

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Erin Wilkey Oh is Executive Editor of Education at Common Sense Education, a nonprofit organization and creator of Graphite ™, a free service that helps educators find the best edtech tools, learn best practices for teaching with edtech, and connect with expert educators. This post first appeared in THE Journal

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