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Visual Learning: Creative Ways to Integrate Art into Lesson Plans

Art lessons enable learners to channel their emotions in creative and artistic activities such as painting, sculpture, music, and theatre. Arts lessons are essential in the cultural development of a student. Educators can integrate art lessons into extra-curricular or curricular activities that happen weekly or monthly to drive home discussion topics. 

Students who take art classes discover how arts manifest in their lives, discover their potential and deepen their perception of the world around them. Let's explore creative ways to integrate art into lesson plans.

The Value of Arts in Education

Integrating arts in education motivates and inspires students to enjoy the learning process. Arts in education strengthen creative thinking, jogs learners' memory, and supports the creative skills of learners, which are more valued in today's economy. Art lessons allow learners to express themselves better, develop self-esteem and apply the knowledge they learn in class to other academic subjects.

Art assists learners in developing social skills, decision-making, language skills, motor skills, inventiveness, and risk-taking. Visual arts teach learners techniques about perspective, color, balance, and layout, which are essential in academic work's visual or digital presentation.

Introduce a New Medium of Arts

Learners can use various mediums to create their works. The medium of the art tests learners' innovativeness and creativity. Teach your students about famous artists and their chosen medium, then allow the students to explore the medium and create their own works of art. These lessons can tie into a lesson about pop culture, history, revolution, symmetry, etc.

Examples of mediums of art include:

  • Clay: Learners can use clay to model larger pieces of art and sculptures. Clay is the most appropriate medium of art. When using clay as a medium of art, mistakes can be remodeled to another form, and there is no waste.
  • Wood: A modern and ancient medium of art that creates functional art objects, crafts, and sculptures. Moreover, the finishing range from stained, natural, and painted.
  • Oil Paint: Among the oldest mediums of art that learners regularly use in learning. The most famous oil painting is Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci.
  • Acrylic Paints: Acrylic is the most recent medium of art worldwide, developed in the 1930s. Acrylic paint is more durable, versatile, and dries quickly than watercolors and oil paints. Andy Warhol is a famous pop artist who used Acrylic paints, such as in "Campbell Soup Can."
  • Charcoal: Charcoal is darker in color and is hard to erase. Some charcoals are soft for blending, and hard charcoal is used for sketching.
  • Watercolors: Learners will use watercolor for artworks of landscapes and abstract works. The paintings of watercolors have mesmerizing clarity due to the bouncing back of light that gives the color and effect.
  • Graphite Pencil: Easy to use, less messy, and most children use them in their artwork.
  • Pastels: Young learners commonly use oil pastels for blending and layering. Learners use the pastels to create textures using the cut, side, and tip.

Art Lessons from Museums

Local museums are teaching resources for educators who want to integrate art into their lessons. If you are not close to a museum of your own, many museums across the US have digital tours that students can take. The following are some of our favorites:

  • Natural Museum of Natural History: Explore eras long past as students can view fossils, native clothing, and mummy's from the comfort of their school computer. (Science and social studies teachers, these tours are for you!)
  • Louvre: Nothing is more iconic than the Louvre museum. You could use each art piece displayed at the Louvre in a lesson. There is even a section called Louvre Kids just for our younger students. (English and anatomy teachers, these tours are for you!)

Final Thoughts

Educators who utilize art and other subjects can creatively combine content from additional coursework such as science, language arts, social studies, math, and technology. Integrating arts in the learning process allows educators' to promote reading, speech, writing, and listening skills, each of which supports standards-based literacy strategies. 

As we use more art in our lessons or ask for art to be submitted as assignments, we can showcase our student's creativity and desire to learn. Learners can use arts to demonstrate their mastery and understanding of subjects and coursework. If you have not tried to integrate art into your lessons, we highly suggest giving it a go.

Written by Roselyn Kati
Education World Contributor
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