By- Angela Padrón

The arts can encompass many forms, including visual arts, music, performing arts, and dance. Unfortunately, many art programs are being cut in schools these days, forcing students to find programs outside of school in order to express their creativity, talent, and imagination.

Schools don’t necessarily have to have separate classes for the arts to be incorporated into daily educational plans, however. Here are seven ways teachers and administrators can include art in any classroom:

#1- Encourage the use of art-related vocabulary.

Teach students words that are related to art and encourage their use on a daily basis in conversation and presentations.

#2- Integrate art into other subject areas.

Show how art can relate to other subjects, like science (for example, observing the change in state or color of a living thing or plant), math (geometric shapes, measuring), social studies (history told through paintings and photographs, acting out historical events through drama), and writing (write a critique of a famous work of art).

#3- Allow students to explain their thoughts, ideas, and feelings through drawing and labeling.

Some students have a difficult time expressing themselves through writing. Children, especially those learning English or with special needs, might find that drawing helps them explain themselves and communicate better. Vocabulary, grammar, and writing can then be developed based on their art. In addition, visuals help students better understand written words by providing more context, thus helping them connect meaningful input to a particular topic or text.

#4-Delve deeper into units of study.

Students can create dioramas, models, sculptures, illustrations, or other relevant artifacts to better understand concepts in history as well as other subject areas.

#5- Allow students the opportunity to role-play.

Understanding a story, character, or event is easier for some students to understand if given the opportunity to act it out. Whether students act out just a part of a text or conduct a “readers’ theater” activity where each student acts out a part of a text, role-play will help students develop confidence and understanding in a much more meaningful way. Include some props and settings and put on a performance that parents and administrators will love!

#6- Allow students to move and perform.

Get students moving and up out of their seats by incorporating dance movements. Students can pose and act like historical figures, move their bodies to the sounds of music played during a particular time in history, or pretend to be particular objects learned about in science class. Anytime students can move around, engagement will increase as learning becomes fun and meaningful.

 #7- Learn through song.

Songs and music help students understand and retain information. They also develop listening skills and teachers musical elements, such as tone, beat, and rhythm. In addition, songs can help students learning English understand grammar and vocabulary in a way that they can remember.

Art is essential in schools as a way of addressing the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive needs of children. It also allows children to use and develop many important skills, including problem-solving, predicting, design, vocabulary development, abstract thinking, and cause and effect, to name a few. The arts also offer children the opportunity to explore and investigate, as well as to learn how to use tools and materials to create, all of which are important life skills for children to develop.

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