Stand-alone art experiences are a vital component of every child’s education, but working within a school environment provides opportunities to use art experiences to help leverage learning in other subjects such as ELA, math, science and social studies. Using an integrated approach, students are able to construct and demonstrate their understanding through the making of art. This process connects the various disciplines and addresses authentic learning objectives in each area.
The instructional units that we have created in Expanding the Frame can be adapted to many kinds of classrooms by artists, art teachers, and/or classroom teachers. The most powerful way to use them, however, is with a full-on collaboration between an artist or art specialist and a teacher of ELA or Math, as outlined in the lesson plans.
Another essential component of learning in this project has been the use of technology.