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This summer, my district is putting on a Curriculum Academy for teachers. It’s a chance for teachers to get together and write curriculum in a collaborative setting, and it’s awesome. With the development of the Common Core, many teachers have become very interested in cross-curricular planning. As you may know, I LOVE cross-curricular planning, but there are some subjects that are just a better fit for the art room than others. For example, it’s very easy for me to think about connecting a social studies lesson about Native Americans to an art project than a science lesson about evaporation. Not that it can’t be done; it just takes some extra thought. (As a side note, if you’d like to learn more about cross-curricular planning, don’t forget to sign up for the AOE online conference and attend my presentation titled “Getting Started with Cross Curricular Planning.)
Last year, I challenged myself to incorporate writing into the art room to make even more connections with students’ classroom studies. I wanted to make the writing meaningful and fun for the students so that they didn’t see it as extra work. In addition to artist statements and self-evaluation writing, here are 9 more ways I had students write in the art room.
9 Easy Ways to Incorporate Writing into the Art Room
For very young, emerging writers:
1. Students created creatures a la Eric Carle, then wrote the sounds those creatures made:
2. Students created self-portraits and wrote the emotions they were showing:
3. I gave students a simple writing prompt they could complete with a few words, then had them do a project to go with it. (thanks pinterest!)
For beginning writers:
4. Students created ancient treasure maps and wrote directions from a starting point to their treasures:
5. Students made story quilt paintings about their biggest dreams and wrote sentences to go with them:
6. Students made thank you stars to send to a local veterans hospital:
For more advanced writers:
7. Students created their own species of animal and then wrote about what those animals would be classified as and why:
8. Students design buildings and wrote about what the buildings were used for and who lived or worked there:
9. Students turned personal narratives written in their classrooms into narrative comics:
So, I’d love to know, do you incorporate writing into your curriculum?
Secondary teachers, how are middle schoolers and high schoolers writing in your rooms?