The middle school (MS) is enhancing its interdisciplinary curriculum this year by adding art push-ins to support students through multiple modalities. A push-in occurs when a specialist joins a regular class to strengthen academic skills. In this case, MS art teachers work collaboratively with content-area teachers by joining them in the classroom to support student learning.
In 6th grade history, students are learning about the development of Mesopotamian civilizations. Through art push-ins, they are creating large scale models of ancient Mesopotamia, including the surrounding wall, fields, canals, and rivers. In current events class, students are studying city, state and federal government. With the help of the art teachers, students are using boxes of different sizes to explore the relationship between city and state government, and between state and the federal government. They are also learning about population and population density. Students will later decorate their boxes with the information they have learned, including population, geography and politics.
7th grade students are learning the historical significance of symbols and have been practicing identifying what certain symbols represent. They have created their own symbols based on supplied words and concepts, which allow them to further understand the many ways in which symbols function.
Students in 8th grade are learning about non-violence as a form of protest and resistance. They are studying propaganda style posters and will make their own to bring attention to specific issues of their choosing. The students are connecting art, current events, and writing instruction by using keywords and phrases to articulate a point. They are also being asked to support that language with provoking imagery.
Using art to study content in this way supports our students through hands-on activities and visual prompts. By using both 2D and 3D methods, art push-ins enhance the curriculum and help students remember and learn in a different yet effective way.