A great strategy for extending and deepening learning through the arts is the iNotice3 strategy. This technique is easily accessible for all teachers and students because it doesn’t require knowledge within the arts itself, yet it is something that all artists inherently do throughout their work. What’s more, it’s also something that scientists and mathematicians do as they hone their skills and work to solve a problem.
iNotice3 Strategy Steps
- Choose a composition. This could be a piece of artwork, music, choreographed dance, or theater performance. The type of art chosen doesn’t matter – just that you choose something with some depth or nuance that forces intent observation.
- Ask students to view or listen to the whole composition. Have students look at the whole piece or listen to the whole song. This gives them time to take it all in and get some context for what comes next.
- Choose something to notice. Here’s where it gets fun! Explain that you will be calling on a student who has something about the piece that they would like to point out to the group – something that they notice. Also explain that whatever that item is, you will be calling on two more people to notice something different about that same item.
- Begin the observations. Ask a student who is ready to tell the class something that they notice or observe. When they point it out, ask another person in the class what else they notice about that object or element, followed by one more student. They may not state the same observation, but may ask questions about that item that are not clear to them, state something that it reminds them of, or go into more detail about the item or element in their description.
- Continue the strategy. Repeat this strategy until everyone has gotten a turn in the class. Feel free to stop during their observations and discuss anything interesting or explore something they notice in more depth.
This strategy is so flexible, as you can choose any art form, so it never gets boring for students and acts as a way to challenge them to examine all kinds of texts more deeply. Plus, you can easily embed this into any content area as a way to work through a complex element or problem with a higher level of cognitive demand for students of all abilities. Yet another way that integration can help to connect and deepen your instruction!
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.