InClass

So, you can barely draw a stick figure. Here are eight reasons to embrace art in the classroom. For some, art is a driving force. For others, it’s absolutely dreaded. Whether it’s a love or hate relationship, encouraging students to articulate their thoughts and feelings in creative ways proves ben

Feb 26, 2016

So, you can barely draw a stick figure. Here are eight reasons to embrace art in the classroom.


For some, art is a driving force. For others, it’s absolutely dreaded. Whether it’s a love or hate relationship, encouraging students to articulate their thoughts and feelings in creative ways proves beneficial. Here’s why you should work to integrate opportunities for art in the classroom.

  1. Art makes concepts more memorable. Ask students to draw the scene from one of Shakespeare’s plays or the Very Hungry Caterpillar and they’re bound to remember it.



  1. Engage visual learners so they’re not left in the dust. If you enable students to draw pictures along with their creative writing, they may not loathe the writing process—it’s worth a shot!



  1. It makes the mundane fun! Although, it’s not everyone’s favorite pastime, making things with your hands can be enjoyable. Give students a break from solving mathematical word problems, and ask them to create one of their own, using pictures instead of words.



  1. Encourage problem solving and strengthen decision-making skills. Art is unpredictable. A marker may run out and paint may splatter in the wrong direction. Students are forced to problem solve and take next steps, on the spot, when doing artistic tasks.



  1. Build self-esteem. Students have varied strengths. Some will feel invigorated by artwork. As educators, it’s important to help learners find their passions to cultivate lifelong learning.



  1. Increase motor skills. Dexterity is required to work with a variety of materials and tools. Give students the opportunity to experience new things as they continue their educational journey.



  1. Heighten cultural awareness and diversity. Different students translate the world onto paper in various ways. Plus, everyone comes from a different background. Studying each other’s art can make individuals more empathetic and understanding of varying viewpoints.



  1. Create a calm environment. Whether or not students are stressed by tests and assignments will differ from class to class. Perhaps allowing learners to clear their mind with a coloring book after an exam will alleviate anxieties. Or, ask students to create an alternative ending to a novel without consulting peers in a photo illustration. But, proceed with caution—coloring books for adults are ‘all the rage’ in mental health right now and it may become your new favorite pastime!


Call to Action: Looking for creative ways to enhance classroom learning? Join the Arizona K12 Center for Dice, Dominoes and Decks of Cards for the Eight Mathematical Practices on April 16.

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