Arts Integration

Arts Integrated Reading Units

If you choose to use arts integration with a reading unit or story, here is a process you might consider using.

  1. Become familiar with the content.
  2. Explore the access points.
  3. Find interdisciplinary connections.
  4. Determine each learning activity.
  5. Summarize.

1. Become familiar with the content.

  • Choose a reading selection or a group of reading selections with a particular theme.
  • Extract vocabulary, keywords, settings, conflicts, images, as well as explicit arts and math found in each selection.
  • This does not have to be an exhaustive list – look for significant ideas that may be useful in making interdisciplinary connections.
  • Use the Become Familiar with the Content planning form.

2. Explore the access points.

  • The access point is the point at which your learning activities connect to the reading theme.
  • An access point should be broad enough to connect multiple disciplines (Language Arts/Reading, Math, Visual Arts, Dance/Movement, and Music) .
  • Your unit may be based on a single access point or several different ones.
  • Access points may be an element from the literature itself, essential questions, or a Big Idea.
  • Use the Explore the Access Points planning form.

Literature as Access Point

  • Vocabulary, keywords, concepts, characters, setting, conflict, plot and/or illustrations in a story can become points of connection to other disciplines .
  • Interdisciplinary exploration allows students to delve deeply into the text .

 Essential Questions as Access Points

  • Essential Questions ask why and how, not who and where .
  • What questions about the theme or selections can you ask that invite interdisciplinary inquiry?

 The Big Idea as Access Point

  • The Big Idea provides a conceptual frame for a unit.
  • Look at the text and ask: What larger questions are answered by this selection?
  • Ask why and how, not who and where.

3. Find interdisciplinary connections.

  • Determine a compelling access point that invites inquiry through multiple disciplines.
  • What are the natural connections to Language Arts/Reading, Math, Visual Arts, Music, and Movement/Dance?
  • You may choose to explore more than one access point.
  • Use one Find Interdisciplinary Connections planning form for each access point you would like to explore.

4. Determine each learning activity.

  • Think about the student learning standards for each discipline .
  • What activities will help students achieve learning standards in each discipline while connecting with the reading content?
  • The step-by-step procedure for the activity may be fleshed out later in a lesson plan.
  • Use one Determine Each Learning Activity planning form for each activity .

5. Summarize

  • Give your interdisciplinary learning unit a title.
  • Determine which learning activities each teacher will implement, along with the disciplines they address and the projected dates they will be implemented.
  • Use the Summarize planning form.

 

Next: Partnering with Arts Organizations