My students relish their time in the art room…

Art is my favourite subject!

Awww, we miss art this week, it’s not fair!

Why can’t we have more art classes!

Can I come at recess to finish my art project?

With this in mind. How can I bring more art to my students? How can I ensure that the lessons are as rich and meaningful as possible? What are the best practices when I am designing my curriculum? Are there practices that should be avoided?

These are some of the questions going through my head as I begin to delve into my PGP and develop a collaborative unit on Passover with a focus on art integration for grade 4.

Step 1- Research:

The first step was to research existing theories of art integration. I found two issues of HaYidion dealing with this subject matter, HaYidion The Arts in Jewish Education, Summer 2008, HaYidion Art and Aesthetics, Summer 2016 and a master’s thesis titled INTEGRATING THE ARTS AND JUDAIC STUDIES, by Shira Cantor.

Her thesis was thorough in exploring exactly what I was searching for. In it, she uncovered 3 models of Arts Integration (Russell-Bowie, 2009):

  1. Service Connections -where art is used to teach another subject (i.e.: using a song to teach about a holiday).
  2. Symmetric Correlations– where two subjects may use the same tools or techniques and the learning goals are equally important for both subjects. (i.e.: a song is used to teach about a holiday and students also receive specific music instruction, such as rhythm).
  3. Syntegration– where curricular subjects work together to explore a theme, concept, or question while simultaneously reaching their own subject specific goals. Each of these goals contributing to a deeper understanding of the theme.

Based on this research, I will use the Syntegration model for my unit. I believe that it will offer the students the richest and most meaningful experience. This means that art and Passover will not only be integrated into Jewish Studies, but they will also be connected to other areas of learning such as Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science.

I am eager to delve deeper into the details and collaborate with our amazing Grade 4 team!