One of the ways to develop rigorous and authentic arts integration lessons is by backing up and looking for a natural access point in and through the curriculum. Sometimes, it can be difficult for people to know where to start when they have little to no background in an arts area. Of course, this is why it’s critical to partner and plan with an arts specialist in your building or district – you need to have their expertise during this planning process. But on behalf of the arts specialists who want to integrate the literacy and math curriculum into their teaching, it can also be difficult to include these elements without actually having taught them before. What a challenge!
If you explore the Common Core Standards in great detail, you’ll find some easy ways to begin this kind of high-level integration. One of the ways that I find extremely helpful is through Common Vocabulary. Each grade and area of Common Core has specific vocabulary that would show up on word walls, in texts and resources that also can apply in the arts classrooms – either with the same meaning or with a different intention. This can be an easy way to begin thinking about integration, and it also is helpful to students as they see these critical terms being used in multiple settings throughout the school.
To help you with this endeavor, I’ve gone ahead and created two easy-to-reference charts with the common vocabulary already outlined for each grade level in both literacy and math. Today, you’ll get to see and download the Literacy chart and tomorrow, we’ll be sharing with you our math chart. We hope that you’ll find these resources useful as you looking for meaningful ways to connect across content areas. Whether you are a classroom teacher or an arts specialist, we can all find ways to make the critical links our students need. Enjoy!