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Books in Translation

Thoughtful Arts Integration
January 17, 2013 | Volume 8 | Issue 8
Table of Contents 

Learn from the Experts

Arts-Integration Lesson Plans That Work

Willona M. Sloan

Are you interested in developing lessons and activities that integrate artistic disciplines across subject areas? Integrating dance, painting, and music into math, science, and history can provide your students with new ways of seeing and learning, improve their critical-thinking skills, and offer them a chance to create authentic responses to what they are learning.

Sounds great, right? But how do you get started? This issue of ASCD Express offers practical tips and strategies from educators to help you work collaboratively across the building to plan high-quality lessons. Here are some additional resources that will further explain what arts integration is (and is not) and assist you in working collaboratively to infuse the arts into any curriculum.

Edutopia offers a collection of lesson plans designed by educators at the Wiley H. Bates Middle School (in Annapolis, Md.), which has been a fully arts-integrated school for several years. These lessons range from using dance to illustrate the astronomical principles of rotation and revolution to having students create comic book conversations in Spanish as they experiment with Roy Lichtenstein's style of pop art.

You can also tap into the professional development resources and tips provided by Pat Klos, an arts-integration specialist for Anne Arundel County Public Schools in Maryland.

Artful Thinking, a program developed by Harvard Project Zero and the Traverse City public school system in Michigan, provides a list of activities and lessons designed to teach students how to develop thinking dispositions that support thoughtful learning. Students can delve into concepts that range from genetics to social movements to topography to disease. Explore the curriculum connections.

The Ed Week article, "A+ Schools Infuse Arts and Other 'Essentials,'" looks at the innovative Oklahoma A+ Schools network, which includes 70 schools. These "A+ schools" make a daily commitment to include drama, dance, music, visual arts, and writing across the curriculum. Learn more about Oklahoma's A+ schools program and North Carolina's A+ schools.

Also, don't miss

Willona M. Sloan is a writer and editor at ASCD.


ASCD Express, Vol. 8, No. 8. Copyright 2013 by ASCD. All rights reserved. Visit


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