Making Connections: Art and Poetry

One of the best things about teaching art is that we really get to teach every subject! Many other disciplines can connect so easily into the art room, and may often provide more meaning for the students when paired with something that is visual or hands on.

Although it’s not technically a part of our curriculum, I always try to incorporate math, reading, poetry, social studies and science into my art classroom. This is the first installment of my “Making Connections” series with ideas for interdisciplinary connections.

Why Poetry and Art?

  • Art Criticism – Helps students look at art in a new way, and look closer at the details in a piece of art
  • Imagination – Students dig deep to discover a more detailed story behind the piece of artwork
  • Verbal Skills – Students practice describing art using words besides just “nice” or “good”
  • Evaluation – Students can write poetry to evaluate and describe a piece of art they have created

Here is a cinquain poem one of my 4th Grade students wrote about their music collage:

Shiny  Curved
Playing   Blowing   Marching
making music is fun

How to Get Started

1. Choose a piece of art that has a lot of detail. Landscapes are great!

2. Choose a poetry template. (Haiku, Cinquain, Acrostic, etc)

3. Model with students as a group how to look at a piece of art and generate descriptors based upon your poetry template.

4. Provide students with an outline and let them create away!

Sometimes I have students glue the poem to the back of their artwork so it does not get lost.  Other times, you could display the finished poetry with the artwork in the hallway.

Enjoy writing poetry with art!

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is AOEU’s Founder and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.

More from Jessica