art of my job as an Arts Integration Specialist is to find the gaps in our curricula and fill them in with naturally-aligned Arts Integration lessons. This sounds super easy, right? In reality, this is a very difficult task for many educators because, while the gap is easy to identify, the naturally aligned Arts Integrated lesson idea is not. Many people have difficulty finding the arts objectives that would be a great match for the objectives in our curricula where students struggle. It’s not natural for many teachers (or administrators) to view curriculum this way.
Yet, we MUST look at it this way if we are to help our students be 21st century citizens.
And it’s not just Arts Integration lessons that could be used to fill the gaps and extend the meaning for our students. This could apply to STEM, to IB (International Baccalaureate), to Project-Based Learning, to any number of innovative strategies that we know work for kids and can be used to connect our curriculum, Common Core Standards and a host of other initiatives that are going on in schools right now. We need to learn how to find those cross-curricular connections and use them to the fullest.
So in today’s post, I’m going to highlight some (certainly not all – or even close to all) of the resources that I search and use on a regular basis for inspiration and as a link to the many cross-curricular connections we have at our disposal today. My hope is that something on this list will provide you with a “golden nugget” of information and resources as well.
This is the ultimate cross-curricular resource, in my opinion. The (vetted) sites provide a wealth of opportunities to reach across the curriculum table. Created by Heidi Hayes Jacobs’ team, it’s one resource you can’t do without.
This website provides educators, parents and students with access to lessons which combine various subject areas to the amazing collections of the Smithsonian Institute. Definitely worth checking out!
One of my favorite websites for Visual Thinking strategies that reach beyond the art curriculum. Developed by Harvard, there are over 20 strategies to choose from.
This site provides a list of wonderful resources that integrate the arts with technology, providing UDL techniques for students with learning disabilities.
This provides a wide array of topics to connect across curricular areas. You’ll have to be keen about what you are searching for, but there’s some great stuff here.
A powerful clearinghouse site, you can find lesson plans, resources, videos and strategies all in one place.
PBS always provided high-quality content, and it’s the same thing for their internet site designed for teachers. This site is absolutely fantastic for authentic connections across the curriculum.
I know this doesn’t look like a lot of resources, but I’ve learned that more isn’t always better.
For me, it’s better to have a few top-notch sites to turn to that can guide me to fabulous resources. Rather, than a bank of hundreds of sites that becomes overwhelming. Even so, if you have one you’d like to share, please send them our way! Happy exploring!
Susan Riley is the founder and President of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.