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The Kennedy Center’s definition of Arts Integration is an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area while meeting evolving objectives in both. As such, Arts Integration works to create a more meaningful and deeper understanding of content within the classroom. Arts Integration provides students with opportunities to experience new art media and to use it to explore new concepts.
Arts Integration was a new concept that was introduced to the program this year. We hired a teacher who majored in Arts for Children at the College at Brockport and currently teaches at Renaissance Academy Chart Arts School, a local Arts Integration school, whose student population is primarily from the City of Rochester. This teacher became our Arts Integration Director and provided professional developments for teachers who were not familiar or comfortable with Arts Integration. The Arts Integration Director collaborated with teachers for planning and instruction, and helped students to understand the different characteristics that make up a superhero. They also explored different media portrayals of superheroes, such as in movies, comic books, action figures, picture books, and graphic novels.
Each grade level analyzed the character traits of superheroes and what makes them "super." They applied their findings and understandings to create their own original superheroes, then as a grade team, decided what art media they wanted to portray their original superhero. Kindergarten, first, and second grade decided that they wanted to portray their superheroes in an original movie. They wrote the script, created costumes, and made the props and scenes that would be used for their movie. The third grade team decided to make comic books that portrayed their superhero in action, and the fourth and fifth graders determined that they would create action figures to display their superheroes. The students used what they had learned from the classroom and applied what they had learned from Arts Integration to create original art work that displayed both concepts.