Monday, April 29, 2013

Infusing Art into Everyday Lessons... WOW!

I have to start this post by saying that the two lessons I'm about to describe are not my own brainchild.  I've recently been perusing Pinterest on a more frequent basis, and have found many outstanding ideas from other teachers.  If you're ever at a loss for ideas, I highly recommend browsing the countless boards on endless topics.  The two ideas below were developed based on the ideas of other teachers... who based their ideas on other teachers' ideas... who probably came up with the ideas from someone else.  Teaching is all about begging, borrowing, sharing, and collaborating!  I just love that the internet has given us a new way to collaborate and create.

We have our annual open house coming up at school tomorrow night.  Open House is a night where students share their work and classroom with their families.  It's a night for students to take pride in their accomplishments, and for parents to see the best of what's been going on all year.  It's also a time for future students and families to check out the next year's classrooms.

With open house coming up, I started to slightly panic a few days ago.  I'll be honest, I am not artsy at all.  I often look at ideas and lessons from other teachers and think that they are so creative for jazzing up their lessons with cute clip-art and elaborate designs.  My teaching style tends to be the opposite of that.  I am all academic, all the time.  However, I recognize that this is not always the best way to reach students.

I knew that I wanted to do something special for open house, but also didn't want to spend the time creating something unmeaningful for the sake of being cute.  In comes the two ideas I found on Pinterest.  Both infused art with core fifth grade academic skills.  I simply presented samples I made to my students without giving elaborate lessons, and let them create!  What they produced was not only impressive, but also it was inspiring!  Giving my students the freedom to freely create gave them motivation and an outlet to express themselves.

Rather than explaining what the lessons are supposed to be, or the steps to take to present them to students, I'll let my students' work speak for itself.  After seeing their final products and the inspiration they all found internally to create them, I realize that I need to infuse more art into my lessons on a regular basis.  The first three samples are autobiographical "found" poems.  The last two samples are area/perimeter math name art.  Enjoy!