5 Fun Classroom Activities for Arts in Education Week
September 11-17 is National Arts in Education Week, and teachers everywhere are finding creative ways to incorporate art into their lesson plans. Studies show that arts education improves academic achievement and test scores—but don’t tell your students, they just know it’s a lot of fun!
Whether you teach algebra, biology, or Spanish, it’s easy to integrate creative arts-based learning activities into your curriculum. Here are 5 fun ways to bring the arts into your classroom this week—and every week!
You’ve probably heard about sketchnoting—a creative way of taking notes using a combination of doodles, drawings, and words. This form of note taking has been shown to improve memory retention and comprehension, and can be especially effective for visual learners. Check out these ideas to get your students started—then bring out the GelWriters and let the sketchnoting fun begin!
Decotropes create optical illusions that are a fun way to teach about vision and the parts of the human eye. These handheld “toys” will appeal to students of all ages, and can be easily adapted for both middle and high-school classes. Students can use gel pens to color in the templates provided here—or, better yet, experiment with creating their own original designs!
This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about Zentangle. While it’s a popular stress-relief practice for adults, it also makes for a great classroom activity! The art of zentangling can help students increase focus and concentration, as well as improve memory and patterning skills. Zentangle makes a simple and creative art lesson on its own, and can be easily adapted into a middle or high-school level math activity. Bring on the classroom Zen.
Whether you teach middle school humanities or AP Art History, mini canvases are sure to bring out the artists in your classroom. Students can recreate famous works of art or create their own masterpieces in miniature form—or why not try an artistic rendering of the periodic table? GelWriters will color smoothly over these tiny stretched canvases on their own, and also draw over acrylic paint or paint markers. The best part? You’ll have a beautiful art gallery to display proudly on your classroom wall all year long.
Your students will start seeing poetry everywhere once they try this creative writing activity. Using photocopied pages from any piece of writing—classic literature, instruction manuals, even nursery rhymes—students select words and phrases to “find” their own original poems within the writing. Students can use GelWriters and markers to cover the remaining words and illustrate their work, leaving only their brilliant poems shining through. (Tip: use transparent sheet protectors and dry-erase markers for “rough drafts.”)
With 70 unique colors in six different ink styles, GelWriter gel pens are the perfect way for kids and teens to let their creativity shine in your classroom!