SchoolArts Magazine

January 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 24 of 54

M y students live in a digital world where it is hard to resist the life that has been created for them. Between live-blogging, tweeting, or picture sharing, their online consumption can often pull them away from activities and things that enrich their lives. As art teachers, we can pull students back in with hands- on experiences that include natu - ral and authentic cross-curricular connections. By weaving history, STEM, and language arts within our lessons, we allow students to gain deeper understanding and reach higher levels of thinking that carry over into their daily lives. Incorporating literacy in an art lesson develops visual thinking and is vital in developing language skills. Reading helps us learn how to listen and focus on what someone else is communicating. Students who are actively engaged with a text create mental images as they read. By using prior knowledge and experiences, they build a rich visual image that connects to the author's writing. In turn, mental imagery helps students engage more deeply with a text by encouraging them to retain, inter- pret, and draw their own conclusions. Creating Visual Connections This lesson focuses on mental imagery and was created when our school librarian began discarding old, worn-out books. I began the lesson with an activity to help stu - dents exercise their mental imagery. I read to students different pages from various books without disclosing the titles of the books and asked them to describe the characters, setting, or actions based on the information. I encouraged them to use facts, obser - vations, and reason to mentally draw a Literary Melissa Miller Incorporating literac n an art lesson develops visual thinking and is vital in developing language skills. CONNECTIONS M I D D L E S C H O O L Esther Lee, Pigg

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