Arts integration is a powerful tool to teach children and for children to learn! This school uses art to instruct and deepen children's understandings of curricular content as well as the world around them.
Arts Integration Defined!
Research-based Curricular Strategy
Arts Integration is a research-based curricular strategy and has been utilized in classrooms for more than 30 years. It is grounded in solid research and numerous studies have supported its effectiveness. In fact, Harvard's Graduate School of Education supports Arts Integration with their research.
At WMAAA, we use the arts in the general education classroom as well as teaching common core curriculum in our arts classes. For instance, students may be learning about butterflies in science in the classroom. They may learn to dance a metamorphosis dance in dance class, sing a song about butterfly migration in music, and act out butterfly motions in their drama class. In this way, we are teaching our core subjects in a way that promotes better and deeper understandings for our students. This form of personalized education gives us an advantage over traditional public schools for our integrated, individualized approach.
Art Integration throughout the Grade Levels
Art integration is used in our early elementary program (K - 3rd grade) as children gain an appreciation of all of the art forms we offer - dance, drama, visual arts, vocal music and instrumental music.
Art integration is used in our upper elementary grades (4th - 5th grade) to give students options to experiment with the art form that they find to be the most engaging. The students are involved with this art form every day for the entire quarter. Students can change their focus every quarter or can stay in the same focus area. Some examples of a focus could be visual art, band, vocal music, dance, or drama.
Art integration in the middle school level (6th - 8th grade) allows students to choose their focus area and then take art classes within this focus. When they are eighth graders, students create a capstone project or performance during their culminating month of school with guidance from an arts staff member. Students will leave our school with a portfolio of their work.
Art School Network
West Michigan Academy of Arts and Academics is a proud member of the Arts School Network. The Arts Schools Network inspires emerging and seasoned leaders in K-12 arts schools by providing quality resources, support, and networking opportunities to elevate their institutions.
Why Art for Kids?
Check out this interview with our Art's Integration Coordinator and Theatre Teacher about the value of integrating the arts!