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17 Big Ideas for Arts Integration

Check out these 17 easy ways to infuse art into the curriculum for increased learning outcomes.

Arts integration isn’t about holding up a painting related to a topic of study and declaring art has been added to the curriculum. Integrating the arts involves infusing them with the curriculum. The artistic medium can’t be viewed as a separate piece; it needs to be embraced as an integral part of the learning process.

A quick search can find specific activities to enhance a unit of study, but sometimes a big idea that can be catered to any curriculum is the way to go. Choose a concept that fits your unit of study, resources, and comfort level to get started. Once you’ve determined which idea works best for you and your students, take it and make it your own!

Drama- By infusing drama, an emotional element is added to the storyline, whether it be historical or fictional. By enacting or viewing dramatizations, the curriculum can be brought to life.

  • Create and perform the dialogue for a historical event or unscripted situation in a novel/story.
  • Pinpoint the emotions when viewing or enacting a scene and discuss why they are featured.
  • Critique the authenticity of a time period depiction or dramatization of a storyline.
  • Play tableau charades to review events from a novel study or unit in history.
  • Dramatize word problems to bring concrete images to math concepts.

Artwork (Paintings/Portraits)- Introduce artwork and artists or have students become the artists to bring a visual element to the learning.

  • Spur creative writing to tell the backstory of a selected image or collection.
  • Critique the authenticity of a depicted time period or featured event/subject.
  • Create images with noted percentages of color, lines, white space, etc.
  • Identify components of an artistic movement or pieces within a collection. Replicate them.
  • Practice best formulas for creating color palettes and/or clay/sculpting materials.
  • Design dioramas to captures scenes or landscapes from science, history, or literature.

Music- While music can be a great medium to temper the sound of a learning environment, it can also enhance the learning process.

  • Use popular music to create soundtracks for novels, events, or time periods.
  • Identify figurative language within lyrical musical selections.
  • Determine patterns in a singular selection or patterns found among multiple pieces.
  • Use animal and/or nature sounds to create a unique melody or overlay the lyrics of a song.
  • Challenge students to use information from a current unit to fashion a parody of popular song.

                  Infusing the arts means increasing student interests to boost learning outcomes. No matter what the subject may be, a little planning and creativity can make art an integral part of the learning process. Use these 17 big ideas to begin reaping the rewards!


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