20 Ways to Incorporate the Arts into Learning

The arts are proven to be an effective way to help students learn and retain what they are learning.  Not to mention, many children labeled with ADD have huge reserves of creative energy that isn’t being tapped into and given appropriate direction.  Children with ADD tell more stories than those without ADD.  They have higher levels of picture-based creativity.  If this is the case, then the use of the arts; music, dance, theatre, painting become important to helping these students to become successful.

Cynthia Swope, a grade two teacher in Tennessee uses a program called “Discipline-Based Art Education.  She has noticed ADD students excel in art and show “impressive critical thinking abilities”.

Whether students have ADD or not, you can’t go wrong incorporating the arts into your classroom.  And not to mention, it’s FUN for you and your students!  Here’s 20 ways you can incorporate the arts into your classroom today.

  1. Set up a “Make a Mess” corner complete with easel, paint, brushes, drawing paper, coloured pencils, collage materials, modelling clay.


Teach fractions with dance.


Create a corner for music with headphones if needed.  From cans and sticks to a keyboard, music moves kids.


Have your students journal their day at the end of the day as a reflection time.


Give students opportunity to make movies about their learnings with a camera and editing software.


Have students take pictures of things that reflect their subject and create a porfolio.


Give students opportunity to interview people who work in the field they are learning about.


Use dance to help teach math skills.


Use math blocks or Math Art to teach Math skills. (Suggested books: Math Art Project and Activities, Scholastic, 25 Super Cool Math Board Games, Scholastic, Comic Strip Math Problem Solving, Scholastic, Mega Fun Card Game Math, Scholastic)


Give as much opportunity for storytelling as you can.


Set up activity centres that change frequently.  Many people equate this with elementary, but you can have learning stations with teens as well where they are constantly moving around the room with different tasks and activities.


Think of how much your students can learn by moving or standing, interacting with other and using one aspect of the arts.


Have students act out what they are learning.


Take your students to live theatre or have live theatre come to your school.


Have background music while your students are doing tasks.

For Hyperactivity: Bach, “Air on the G String”, Grieg, Holberg Suite.  To Control Anger: Bach, two Concertos for Two Pianos, Handel, Harp Concerto. For Relaxation and Reverie: Debussy, Clair de Lune, Halpern-Kelly, Ancient Echoes


Watch films related to their learning.


Teach storyboarding.


Incorporate spoken word or rap into Humanities.


Give students opportunity to teach what they are learning to the class in creative ways.


Have students listen to a book on recording from itunes or from the library.

Not sure how to incorporate the arts into learning?  We can help! It’s what we do, along with our resilience through the arts program.  Contact us to book a time.

mpactmovement@gmail.com or 403-399-0402

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