Integration Theory (Back to top)
Integrated Instruction has become an area of great interest
over the past decade as schools across the country are
discovering the power of the arts when used as a catalyst
for teaching across the curriculum. Arts integration
is not a substitute for teaching the arts for their
own sake. We are champions of art specialists in
the schools, and recognize the need to add to their
forces in cities across the country.
is Arts Integration?
is important that all educators become aware of the
successes that have been demonstrated when students
become engaged in their own learning via arts integrated
instruction. Arts integration is not about artist residencies,
or occasional arts projects that connect to other curricular
subjects. It is about a methodology and a philosophical
approach to education that creates a level of personal
connection and added depth in the classroom through
a creative inquiry-based process of teaching and learning.
do I learn more about how to do arts integration?
module in combination with the On-line Expeditions website
encourages a layering of arts integration within the
classroom as students engage in this work. You can access
resources in your community, or within your own
building perhaps, that you didn't know existed before.
Possibly the arts specialist(s) in your building would
like to explore enhancing the core curriculum with rigorous
arts integration. Or maybe you can arrange for professional
development training that will introduce arts integration
to your faculty in a substantive way. Another option
might be to explore how you can bring in professional
artists trained in this area to team teach with you
in the classroom.
Consider checking your state arts council for
additional ideas and resources. It's always a good bet
that some local theatre or dance troupe has an
outreach program that works in schools. Sometimes it
is simply a matter of doing some research and inquiring
about town. Some organizations also travel. As part
of this module you will explore various aspects of the
Arts for Learning website, www.arts4learning.org.
You may wish to return to this site for ideas and possible
resources in your community.
of an integrative approach
integrative approach to teaching, for example, connects
visualization with reading comprehension, contextualizes
math, or brings an experiential context to the science
or social studies classroom. Using the arts can
assist students in understanding and applying skills
to standardized exams. Focus and concentration can be
developed through an appreciation and application of
different learning styles, such as linguistic, visual
or kinesthetic thinking. Through the connection of
personal experience with the subject matter, and
an emphasis on the process of discovery which allows
for unexpected outcomes, teachers help students to develop
more complex thinking skills.
the integration of perception into cognition, and
expression into reflection, students perform at a
significantly higher level. While this module
will focus on arts integrated activities you can do
yourself, know that having artists team teach in classrooms
alongside teachers is an ideal model for truly integrated
Results, and Resources -- Critical Links and Champions
has been much research on the work of arts integrated
instruction and the value of arts in teaching and learning.
Following are examples of two important studies published
in this area.
Critical Links is published by the Arts Education Partnership
(AEP), a coalition of more than 100 national education,
arts, philanthropic, and government organizations. AEP
is administered by the Council of Chief State School Officers
and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies under
a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education
and the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition to
their ongoing support, the two federal agencies also provided
the funding to produce Critical Links.
The reviews of 62 outstanding arts education studiesand
the interpretive essaysin Critical Links reveal
important relationships between learning in the arts
and cognitive capacities (thinking skills) and motivations
that underlie academic achievement and effective social
studies suggest that for certain populations
students from economically disadvantaged circumstances,
students needing remedial instruction, and young children
learning in the arts may be especially helpful
in boosting learning and achievement.
THE CRITICAL LINKS
reviewed in the volume and the interpretive essays point
to critical links between learning in the arts and academic
and social skills and motivations in the following six
Reading and Language Development
forms of arts instruction enhance and complement basic
reading instruction aimed at helping children break
the phonetic code that unlocks written language
by associating letters, words and phrases with sounds,
sentences and meanings. Since we do not read reading
but rather texts of various kinds in search of meaning,
it is important that forms of arts instruction promote
both basic reading skills and the achievement motivation
that engages young learners in the reading experience.
Young children who engage in dramatic enactments of
stories and text improve their reading comprehension,
story understanding and ability to read new materials
they have not seen before. The effects are even more
significant for children from economically disadvantaged
circumstances and those with reading difficulties in
the early and middle grades.
Spatial reasoning skills inherent in learning music
are needed for planning and producing writing. Dramatic
enactments by young children also are shown to produce
more effective writing. Other arts learning experiences
- in dance and drama, for instance develop expressive
and reflective skills that enhance writing proficiency.
music instruction, including comprehensive instruction
that includes training in keyboard skills, develops
spatial reasoning and spatial-temporal reasoning skills,
which are fundamental to understanding and using mathematical
ideas and concepts.
Fundamental Cognitive Skills and Capacities
in individual art forms as well as in multi-arts experiences
engages and strengthens such fundamental cognitive capacities
as spatial reasoning (the capacity for organizing and
sequencing ideas); conditional reasoning (theorizing
about outcomes and consequences); problem solving; and
the components of creative thinking (originality, elaboration,
Motivations to Learn
and the attitudes and dispositions to pursue and sustain
learning are essential to achievement. Learning in the
arts nurtures these capacities, including active engagement,
disciplined and sustained attention, persistence, and
risk-taking, and increases attendance and educational
5) Effective Social Behavior
of student learning experiences in drama, music, dance
and multi-arts activities show student growth in self-confidence,
self-control, self-identity, conflict resolution, collaboration,
empathy and social tolerance.
is critical that a school provide a positive context
for learning. Studies in the Compendium show that the
arts help to create the kind of learning environment
that is conducive to teacher and student success by
fostering teacher innovation, a positive professional
culture, community engagement, increased student attendance
and retention, effective instructional practice, and
study can be downloaded along with other important information
about arts learning both nationally and for your state
at the Arts Education Partnership website, www.aep-arts.org
of Change (Back
remarkable document, published at the end of 1999, demonstrates
through rigorous research that the arts can play a powerful
role in student learning. Several notable researchers
were drawn together to study this data carefully through
in-depth case studies and site visits.
excerpts from the Champions of Change document:
young people are involved with the arts, something changes
in their lives. We've often witnessed the rapt expression
on the faces of such young people. Advocates for the
arts often use photographs of smiling faces to document
in a society that values measurements and uses data-driven
analysis to inform decisions about allocation of scarce
resources, photographs of smiling faces are not enough
to gain or even retain support. Such images alone will
not convince skeptics or even neutral decision-makers
that something exceptional is happening when and where
the arts become part of the lives of young people.
now, we've known little about the nature of this change,
or how to enable the change to occur. To understand
these issues in more rigorous terms, we invited leading
educational researchers to examine the impact of arts
experiences on young people. We developed the Champions
of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning initiative
in cooperation with The Arts Education Partnership and
The President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities
to explore why and how young people were changed through
their arts experiences.
a result of their varied inquiries, the Champions of
Change researchers found that learners can attain higher
levels of achievement through their engagement with
the arts. Moreover, one of the critical research findings
is that the learning in and through the arts can help
"level the playing field" for youngsters from
the Arts Change the Learning Experience
well taught, the arts provide young people with authentic
learning experiences that engage their minds, hearts,
and bodies. The learning experiences are real and meaningful
learning in other disciplines may often focus on development
of a singled skill or talent, the arts regularly engage
multiple skills and abilities. Engagement in the arts--whether
the visual arts, dance, music, theatre or other disciplines--nurtures
the development of cognitive, social, and personal competencies.
Although the Champions of Change researchers conducted
their investigations and presented their findings independently,
a remarkable consensus exists among their findings:
arts reach students who are not otherwise being reached.
The arts reach students in ways that they are not otherwise
The arts connect students to themselves and each other.
The arts transform the environment for learning.
The arts provide learning opportunities for the adults
in the lives of young people.
The arts provide new challenges for those students already
The arts connect learning experiences to the world of
information on this important study can be downloaded
along with other important information about arts learning
both nationally and for your state at the Arts Education
Partnership website, www.aep-arts.org
Read the theory discussed above and
answer the following questions:
In your opinion what are the 5 strongest reasons
for using arts integration in the classroom?
What questions do you have about arts integration?
Integrated Instruction: Exploring various art forms
as learning strategies for integrated teaching
and Drama - Creating Tableaus
the following text on Pink River Dolphins (imported
from the website, ctcexpeditions.org).
For each highlighted word in the text below, write
a definition for the word (feel free to use a dictionary
choose one of the words to use for creating a tableau.
You will need to find 3-4 people to help you with this
part of the activity. Using the directions for Tableau
below, create a frozen picture that represents
the word and its meaning.
you have created the tableau, have someone take a photograph
of your image and answer the questions listed at the
end of this activity.
River Dolphins 4/4/01
River Dolphins, known as the Boto in the Brazilian Amazon,
are well adapted to life in the flooded forest. Their
most striking characteristic besides the striking pink
color are their tiny eyes. They are almost blind since
good eyesight is virtually useless in turbid
waters. To compensate
for the poor eyesight they have developed a highly evolved
which enables them
to build-up a "sound picture" of their surroundings.
The Boto have a long beak with small teet and flippers
shaped like large broad paddles. They are slow swimmers
and make small leaps as compared to oceanic
dolphins. The Boto have a melon shaped head with a bulging
forehead and flexible neck which enables them to weave
among the branches in the flooded forest.
tableau is a frozen picture using the bodies of their
the following ideas:
various levels (some people standing, others sitting/crouching/kneeling,
others lying on floor)
2. Use all parts of body (hands, legs, facial expression)
3. Make sure that all elements of the tableau are facing
the audience (no backs, unless intentional)
4. All group members must be a part of every tableau
5. No sound or movement is allowed
6. Attach a copy of your photo to the questions
listed below (this can be done with a digital camera
or a scanner).
7. Look at the picture of your tableau
describe in detail each persons body position
and what it means to the entire picture
8. Describe the process you went through to create
your tableau. Did all people share in the decision-making
process? Were there definite speakers and listeners?
How did you feel about the process?
9. How could you use this in the classroom? How
would you structure the experience for the best student
Taking Vocabulary Tableau into the
that you have an understanding of Tableau, you will
need to find a classroom to work in for this next activity.
Before you begin your activity, students will need to
have a list of 10 20 vocabulary words related
to the Amazon content. They will need to have a list
with each words definition written out for reference.
This can be given to students or assigned as individual
work. This should take approximately 1 11/2 hours
to complete. Depending on the group you may need to
break it into two class periods one for creation,
one for performance. If possible (consent has been obtained),
take a photograph of one of the student created tableaus.
you have completed the activity, complete the questions
at the end of the explanation.
the class into groups. Secretly, assign each group a
set of words, so that all words are covered by one of
the groups. Do not let groups see each others
that a tableau is a frozen picture using the bodies
of their group members. Highlight the following ideas:
1. Use various levels (some people standing,
others sitting/crouching/kneeling, others lying on floor)
2. Use all parts of body (hands, legs, facial
3. Make sure that all elements of the tableau are
facing the audience (no backs, unless intentional)
4. All group members must be a part of every tableau
5. No sound or movement is allowed
6. Assign each group to a separate space in the
classroom. Have each group create a tableau (frozen
picture) for each of their assigned words.
7. Have group members sit together, facing the stage
area. Have each group create an answer sheet
with the name of each group and spaces for all vocabulary
8. Taking turns, each group performs their tableaus,
keeping each tableau frozen for 30 seconds while the
other groups review their vocabulary lists and choose
which word is being performed. When complete, each group
turns in their answer sheet.
it was possible to obtain a student photo, attach a
copy of your photo to the questions listed below (this
can be done with a digital camera or a scanner).
List the words you selected for use in this activity.
the class you worked with (age, type of school, ethnic
the most successful tableau that students created. Why
was it successful?
the least successful tableau that students created.
Why was it less successful?
did this activity help students comprehend and remember
the vocabulary words they were assigned?
did this activity help students comprehend and remember
the vocabulary words they were not assigned?
could you assess/grade students on this activity?
would you do differently if you repeated this activity?
and Contrast Drawing and Painting
the following reading and activity. When you have completed
the activity, answer the questions at the end. Please
scan or photograph your final artwork and send a copy
of it with the answers to the questions.
the following text on the two types of dolphins
found in the Amazon river. Next, print out the text
and use two different colored highlighters
(Download the text). Highlight everything you
read about the Tucuxi in one color while highlighting
everything you read about the Boto in another color.
When you have completed the highlighting, fill in a
T diagram (see following page) with elements specific
to each dolphin.
your diagram for detailed information, create a picture
of each dolphin using the following techniques,
you will need colored pencils, a good eraser and a simple
set of water color paints. Do not use regular lead pencil
for this drawing as the lead will create a grey, dirty
look to your artwork.
For each dolphin identify a primary color for your
initial sketch, then choose the lightest colored
pencil that shares that color. For example, if one dolphin
is green, choose the lightest color green you have within
your palette of colored pencils. Then, look to your
list of details to decide on shape.
Animal parts can usually be drawn as circles, triangles,
ovals, trapezoids, etc. Try using shapes to represent
body parts such as head, body, fin, tail or flippers.
Then erase lines that do not seem necessary. If you
draw with light pressure, it will be easier to erase
mistakes or blend colors. Remember to consult your list
for specific details.
Now, use various shades of the same color to fill
in the form of your dolphins with color. Here you
can alternate light with dark pressure to create various
shades as well. Remember that nature is rarely a singular
shade of one color. Even a single leaf has multiple
shades of green. Try to use variations in color, pressure
or texture to create a more interesting effect.
Finally, add a watercolor wash over your design.
Again, choose a light shade of the primary color for
each dolphin. You can add water to your paintbrush to
make a given shade lighter. Using a piece of scratch
paper to test color can be helpful.
You may want to experiment with several drawings/paintings
before you are happy with your final draft. The type
of paper you use will also affect your product. Just
as a first draft of writing is rarely acceptable for
others to read, similarly you may need to several drafts
of your dolphins to create a final set with which you
from Tucuxis and Botos, selections from
Journey of the Pink Dolphins, by Sy Montgomery, pp.
45 nd 46. (Back
to instructions) (Back
then, two triangular fins split the waters. They sliced
precisely between the halves of the river, at the intersection
of the two colors, as if being born.
Nildon announced over the roar of the fifteen-hourse-power
motor. In Brazil, these small gray dolphins are still
called by the name the Mayan Indians gave them in the
Tipi language. We recognized them as the species scientists
call Sotalia fluviatilisthe other Amazon dolphin
that shares these waters with the boto. But unlike botos,
tucuxis look and act the way we expect of dolphins:
with their neat, compact bodies, short, well-defined
snouts, and triangular dorsal fins, they launch out
of the water, leaping and spinning, leaving arcs of
spray as they spurt along the waters surface.
Perhaps fifty yards from our boat, first one leapt,
then the other, revealing soft, pinkish bellies; then
the two leapt together, almost touching. Dianne and
I grabbed each others hands. First the symphony,
she yelled at me over the motor, then the operaand
now the ballet.
likes the tucuxis, Vera had told us back at INPA. River
people tend to be suspicious of the big botos, who approach
boats so close and suddenly. But the tucuxis are not
as bold. They perform their joyous leaps at a distance,
and they are small and pretty. Only four to five feet
long, tucuxis look like miniature marine dolphins, elegant
and streamlined, their bottle-snouts split with cheerful
the whale order, which includes the dolphins, Sotalia
is classed in Delphinidae, the same family as the marine
dolphins who swim in the seas and perform in oceanaria.
In fact, until relatively recently, tucuxis almost certainly
were exclusively marine dolphins, for even today they
can be found in both fresh salt water, ranging from
southern Brazil to Honduras. Although they share the
Amazon with botos, like the black water of the Rio Negro
and the white water of the Solimões, the pink
dolphins and the gray tucuxis around from separate origins.
Delphinidae, comprising some twenty-six species, are
a modern group. The most abundant and varied of the
whales, they are compact and athletic, designed fro
speed-swimming in open waters. Although there are no
fossil records of Sotalia, most scientists agree that
these dolphins entered the Amazon from the Atlantic,
probably no earlier than five million years ago.
the botos are representatives of a very different whale
lineage. Until recently, botos were classed with the
other five species of river dolphins in the Platanistidae,
the family to which the dolphins we had seen in Bangladesh
and India belong; but now many scientists believe that
boto and one relates species, the La Plata dolphin of
southeastern South America, should make up their own
family, the Iniidae. Dianne and I had only seen botos
in photographs and television documentaries, but even
these images conveyed something eerie and ancient, a
feeling you dont get from marine dolphins.
botos big body, which may stretch to eight feet
long and weigh four hundred pounds, is quite different
from most dolphins. It lacks a prominent dorsal
fin, possessing only a low ridge along the back. The
flippers are huge, almost like wings. But it is the
face that is most arresting: compared with the tucuxis
neat, smooth head, the botos bulbous forehead
seems misshapen, like a trolls or a dwarfs.
The eyes are tiny. The face ends in a tube-shaped beak,
which often curves to one side as if it has gotten bent.
American scientists David and Melba Caldwell, who studied
captive botos in Florida for many years, described them
as beady-eyed, humpbacked, long-snouted, loose-skinned
holdovers from the past. But there is a strange
beauty to the boto, a beauty that takes longer to see:
it is of the very old and the beauty of the fetus. Theirs
is the beauty of becoming, of a creature poised on the
brink of becoming something else.
scan/photograph your artwork and attach a copy of your
art to the questions listed below.
did the highlighting/diagramming help you to organize
your thoughts before drawing?
did the drawing/painting help to reinforce the information
you learned from the text?
did you learn from the artistic process?
many drafts of your drawing/painting did you do before
you were ready to consider it a final draft?
might you assess this activity?
else could you use these techniques in the classroom?
Using the Arts for Learning website as a tool
the following web based activity. When you have completed
the activity, answer the questions at the end.
will need to visit the website, www.arts4learning.org
in order to complete this activity and answer the following
questions. You may want to print out the directions
and questions below before your visit to the site so
that you are prepared to use the site and answer the
and browse the site to see the options and information
complete a search using the following guidelines. Find
search at the top of the home page. Choose the following
among the search options:
Artform choose Dance
Subject choose Science
Grade Level choose 6-8
Leave all other windows showing Any then click
on get results
click on program results and browse the selected programs.
Once you find a program that you like, read the program
description and connections from the curricular connections.
the above search to answer the questions below:
Find two lesson plans that would be helpful in
teaching the Amazon to middle grade students. Copy and
paste these sample lessons, with notation regarding
their location on the website, name of program and any
other relevant information.
Explain why you chose the connections listed
above. What extensions or modifications of what is explained
would you use in a classroom unit?
Brainstorm three ways of approaching funding
for the arts organization visiting your classroom.
Briefly describe what you have found at the Arts
for Learning website.
List 3 ways a practicing teacher might use the site.
Write a paragraph summarizing the site and why
it is a useful place for teachers to visit.