Integrating Art in the Classroom
Art is an outstanding tool for teaching not only developmental skills, but also academic subjects such as math, science, and literacy. The most effective learning takes place when children do something related to the topic they are learning. When children study any given concept, they learn it better and retain it longer if they do an art activity that reinforces that learning. This information has been recognized by teachers since the time of Confucius, when he said: "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember; I do and I understand."
Art & Literacy
Art activities are a great way to promote literacy and language development. Children who draw pictures of stories they have read improve their reading comprehension, and are motivated to read new material. Art tools introduce pre-writing experiences, as early learners grasp tools that later help them hold a pencil for writing. Art develops expressive and reflective skills that enhance writing, and also promotes print awareness, spatial relation skills, visual literacy, and verbal creativity.
Art & Math
Art can be looked at through the lens of mathematics. Young children can work with simple collage materials and beads to introduce numbers, positive and negative space, classification, and sequencing and pattern recognition. Tangrams can be brought in, and art journals can become creative number or shape books. "Math is not just about numbers, formulas and logic, math is also about structure, symmetry, shape and beauty," says University of Colorado math professor Carla Farsi. "Conversely, art is not only about emotion, color and aesthetics, but also about rhythm, patterns and problem solving."
Early Childhood Assistant Principal
Grade 1 Teacher