Steam Point Review and Giveaway

There’s a new arts integration book on the market and it’s something you should check out for sure!

Susan Riley’s new book, Steam Point, is a must have for any teacher interested in arts integration or student learning.  Susan, the arts integration specialist from has taken the three most talked about curricular movements in our educational world today: Common Core State Standards, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and Arts Integration and dove-tailed them together in one easy to read and, more importantly, practical resource for all teachers.  Susan has written the book I have wanted to write, read and share with my colleagues and adult students!

Beginning with a great introduction to the idea of true and inherent integration in schools, Susan quickly moves into the practical.  Designing her book into three sections: Curriculum Mapping, Lesson Seeds, and Assessments, she takes the reader through the process of well-thought-out and well-developed arts integration lessons that align with both the Common Core and STEM research.

Steam Point is rich with both information and resources that are ready to use and examples that can guide any teacher or group of teachers through this process.  The ideas in Steam Point encourage collaboration among educators and promote true arts integration, making sure teachers are working toward finding the elegant fit between and among content areas.  If you are just starting out with arts integration, you can use Steam Point to get your juices flowing.  If Arts integration is something you already do, Steam Point can help you go deeper into the role it plays in your classroom, school and community.

So much work has been done here for the educator.  Susan has created curriculum maps that align the Common Core State Standards with the National Arts Standards and intertwine with both STEM concepts and lesson ideas in one reference.  This is followed by 10 complete and attractively presented lesson seeds, where Susan explains in more detail an integration lesson idea which includes all the information a teacher would need to modify the idea for his or her group of students and implement the lesson into his or her classroom.

The section on assessment takes the pressure off the idea that assessment is finite and poses it as more of a natural process of growth for teacher and student.  Included are many practical and useful options for teachers who may be weary of the idea of assessing something they may not feel qualified to teach.  These assessments include formative, portfolios, and performance.  Susan includes ideas for each type of assessment, again making it easy for a teacher to make true integration happen in their classroom.

Steam Point is the type of book I want at my fingertips as I plan my lessons and collaborate with colleagues.  It is easy to reference and is full of quality, integrated ideas spanning all the major driving forces of educational curriculum.


Susan has been generous enough to offer to give away a digital copy to one of The Inspired Classroom’s readers!   So, here’s what you have to do:

Add a comment to this post stating why you would want this book in your library of teacher resources and/or how you would use this great arts integration resource.  And if you would like to double your chances in the random drawing, head over to our FaceBook page and add a comment there too!

The window for commenting is open NOW and will end on Monday, January 21, 2013 at 11:59 pm.  The winner will be announced on Tuesday morning.  Good luck and happy commenting!


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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. I would like a copy of STEAM Point to add to my library of teacher resources, please. I am a middle school art teacher and would use this book for my own teaching as well as to share with other teachers. I believe that STEM should be STEAM because when we add Art to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, we add the design, the finesse, and the personal connection. I support the SEM to STEAM movement!

  2. Karin Cevasco says:

    I am part of a group of parents working to open the Gate City Charter School for the Arts in Nashua, NH. This book would be an excellent addition to our resource library.

  3. carla arellano says:

    My school has an art integrated focus and I am always searching for new ways to integrate the arts into all subjects. Currently, there is a strong focus on developing UBD units focusing on the standards and I want to be sure I remain focused on the arts integration as well. I think this book would be a great resource to share with my faculty as well as use for myself. I am also excited to use the chapter on assessment as I am a strong believer in the arts as a valuable way to assess learning.

  4. Dawn Norris says:

    Looks like a great resource. I look forward to reading it.

  5. Mary Reel says:

    I teach in a K-5 school and have concerns about getting all my art objectives in while integrating. This book would probably answer the questions I have and relieve some of my fears about integrating.

  6. Rebecca Engelman says:

    I am preparing testimony to present a proposal the ND State Legislature on Thursday, Jan. 24 to ask for additional funding to support STEM + ART across the state! Our proposal addresses middle/high school STEM projects, professional development for Teaching Artists and K-12 teachers, and our School and Artists Learning Teams – soon to be STE[A]Mc (c for core disciplines) Teams. I would LOVE to have resource to help me navigate this exciting yet uncharted course!
    Rebecca Engelman
    Arts in Education Director
    ND Council on the Arts

    • Rebecca, how exciting! This would be a great resource for you. I would love to hear more about what you are doing. If there’s anything I can provide you with to help you, please let me know. And please keep these readers in the loop of your exciting venture.

  7. Jane Dewey says:

    As the Director of Arts Education for a small school district, I work daily with the challenges of keeping dance, drama, music and visual arts part of each student’s education. Finding practical resources for teachers is essential! I’m convinced that arts integration is key to engaging students’ in learning and do teacher trainings, job embedded PD, and resource teaching to help integrate the arts into every classroom. One of the stumbling blocks to true integration, of course, is “evolving objectives” in both the arts and academics which can be especially challenging since it’s the rare college/university program that pays more than lip service to preparing teachers for arts integration in the classroom. Teachers must learn on the fly and I find the more practical the resources are that I leave with teachers the better. This book sounds like an important resource with practical implications.

    • I love what you say about teachers needing to learn on the fly. Improv is just part of our job! I would love to hear more about your district and what you have been able to do with arts integration. I imagine it is somewhat of a challenge. Please share! 🙂

  8. Clare says:

    I need to be inspired! I work as the librarian in a 225 student K-8 independent school. I love my job and LOVE kids books and developing a great collection of fiction and non-fiction books to support curriculum. I bring books to meetings to share with faculty, but feel the real integration is lacking. My background is in art, my fascination is science. Will definitely seek out your book if I’m not the winner!

    • Well, if inspiration is what you want, you’ve come to the right place! Sounds like you are a great sharer, a talented teacher and collaborator too. Awesome! I hope to hear more from you. 🙂

    • Wow! You have a lot to offer your school. Where is it? It seems like a simliar school (size, grade level) as where my children go in NH. I would love to hear more. If you are looking for a great art/science idea, you may want to check out my Studio Days book where I have a lesson on photography, science and haiku.

  9. Congratulations to Karin Cevasco! Susan will be in touch with you soon.

    It was great to get a chance to hear from everyone through this giveaway. I hope you all stay in touch and subscribe to The Inspired Classroom’s blog and newsletter. Please email me or comment here for more information.

    Be on the lookout next month for another great arts int resource giveaway!

    Have a great week!

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