Creating Experiences through the Arts

Today, I am sharing a guest post I wrote for the Whole Child Blog on the ASCD website.  Here is the first paragraph.  To read the whole article, please click the title’s link. ~EMP

Educators need to do more than teach; they need to create experiences for their students. Experiences are what make learning come alive. Let’s face it, experiences are what life is made of and what we need to emphasize in our classrooms if we are to teach the whole child. The arts provide a wonderful way to bring experiences into your teaching.

To read the whole post, please click this link: Creating Experiences Through the Arts

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Article by Elizabeth Peterson

Elizabeth Peterson has devoted her life to education and to reaching out to other teachers who want to remain inspired. Mrs. Peterson teaches fourth grade in Amesbury, Massachusetts and is the host of She holds an M.Ed. in Education, “Arts and Learning” and a C.A.G.S. degree with a focus in “Arts Leadership and Learning.” Elizabeth is author of Inspired by Listening, a teacher resource book that includes a method of music integration she has developed and implemented into her own teaching. She teaches workshops and courses on the integration of the arts into the curriculum and organizes the annual summer Teacher Art Retreat. Mrs. Peterson believes there is a love of active, integrated learning in all children and from their enthusiasm, teachers can shape great opportunities to learn.
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  1. Jennifer Rice says:

    I have been working on putting in more time for student-led experiences in my art room. I am usually a huge control freak and need to be upfront and center facilitating and instructing. I have been giving my students more of an opportunity to explore and self create. It is important for them to solve their own problems, think up their own ideas, and comment their own thoughts, not something someone told them to believe or say. I am loving the results and loving the enthusiasm that is coming from the students!

  2. Becky says:

    Jen your comment about student led experiences made me think about the struggle that we must sometimes go through as learners in order to advance. I think you’re right that we, as teachers, often try to tell or show students how to figure out the answers to certain problems or show them a way that has worked best for ourselves. However, letting students work through a problem or situation allows them to first be comfortable with the struggle and then to thrive as learners and problem solvers.

  3. Tori says:

    So true! Both of you! I think back to yesterday as I said, “I felt comfortable making a mistake” (although I didn’t know it at the time). But it worked best for me! “The teacher” (J) did not correct me or lead me in the right direction. And what do you know, everything turned out okay! I feel that as I have more and more experience under my wings that I have become more and more flexible and relaxed. Letting go and letting a child make their own decisions on a writing piece or project has been very liberating. I was thinking of the final project that I had in mind and not what the child had envisioned. For example, we studied the solar system towards the end of the year and I modeled a clay project. The end results were unique and THEIR OWN! Who cares that Saturn’s rings looked like big hot dogs? At least the planets were in the right order and mostly the right colors and size! Letting go and letting them have the experience is far more rewarding!

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