If you want to integrate the arts across all your content areas, I’ve got you covered!  These 4 tried and true activities are ones that you can pull out quickly and use for just about any subject area.

In this video, I share with you 4 ideas that can be your “go to” activities no matter what content area you teach including ELA, Science, Math, Social Studies, or other art forms.  There are even great applications to Social-Emotional Learning!

I’ve been using these 4 activities for years in my teaching as an arts integration specialist and it has truly helped my students gain a deeper learning in the content.


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Want to integrate the arts across your content areas?  I’ve got 4 tried and true activities that you can pull out quickly and use for just about any subject area.

For the best ideas and information about arts integration and SEAL, subscribe to my channel and hit the bell to be notified when I post a new video every Sunday!

If you’re not sure where to start with arts integration or just need a few quick ideas, by the end of this video, you’ll have 4 tried and true activities that can be your go to activities no matter what content you teach.  I’ve been using these 4 activities for years in my teaching as an arts integration specialist and it has truly helped my students gain a deeper learning in the content.

Move and Freeze

For this activity, you are going to have students move around the room in various ways (straight line, curvy line, zig zag, slowly, by hopping, in tiny steps, on their tiptoes, sideways, leading with their elbow, etc.)Then call out, “freeze” and a command of how the students should freeze (in a certain position or to show their understanding of something.  They could freeze in a way to define words like molecule, landscape or protagonist and antagonist , show the emotions of the people in a time period or during a certain event in history or characters in a book, you could review math or other content vocabulary. THis is a picture of my students freezing in multiplication as we were reviewing order of opperations while taking a well-deserved stretch break)

This is great if you want to work on vivid verbs, you can have them freeze in run, sprint, jog, gallop, trot and dash to help them understand the subtle differences of each.

Create an Icon

This is a great activity where students create a small, simple graphic to represent a curricular concept or idea.

I use these as a quick way to reflect on a lesson and to check understanding.  The icon can be in black and white or in color. and you can even limit or ask for specifically chosen colors according to the subject.

I’ve used icons as we learn science vocabulary or as we learn the different comprehension strategies for reading.  Icons are also an easy thing to add to the corner of a worksheet by simply drawing a box before you make copies. That way, a student can create an icon that will help them remember a key concept about the lesson they are working with.

What do you think so far?  Comment below with a YES if you think you will use one of these ideas in your classroom.

OK, so we’ve done a dance integration idea and one for visual art.  Let’s do one for music.

Found Sounds

This is a fun activity where Students use objects they find around the classroom to create sounds that reflect their understanding of a concept. They are strike, scrape, shake and swoosh things they find.

Now, these sounds can be used to illustrate a concept OR they could also create a rhythm and then recite or sing words that go with your content area.  And of course, students can also use body percussion too. They could snap, slap, clap.

There are many ways to use this idea and I go into more details in my freebie that you can download underneath this video, but one of my favorites is to have students use found sounds to add sound effects to a story.  I can read a story or even a non-fiction text and select students can take turns listening to what I’m reading and then add their own interpretations through music and sound.

Finally, a great drama activity Tableau

A tableau is a frozen picture that students create using their motionless bodies, facial expressions, and positioning in relation to others with few to no props.

This here is a picture of my students showing emotions during an immigration unit as they see the statue of liberty for the first time.

Students can create a series to show a progression (such as in a story) or they can use a series of 2 tableaux to compare two things: perhaps antonyms or different animal adaptations,warm vs cold colors, variations of dynamics in music, contrasting main ideas of two texts or the different opinions  that can be taken in a debate. There are so many ways to use tableaux.

To add a level of engagement and understanding, you can ask the students questions when they are frozen in the tableau.  Simply ask the question out loud and then gently tap one of the students signalling them to think out loud and speak what their character would be saying in that moment.

This drama activity is also a great one for students to use with SEAL, social-emotional artistic learning where students can freeze in various emotions and speak out loud what the character may be thinking in that moment.

In fact, all these activities can be integrated into SEAL just as with any other content area.

Now, I said these are examples of arts integration strategies and in order for that to happen you need to be working on objectives and then also assessing those objectives  in both the content areas and the art form. But I’ve got you covered. I’ve created a complete resource for you that includes all four of these activities with ideas for 5 major content areas including SEAL, social-emotional artistic learning.  THE LINK IS BELOW!

Also, if you want to join a community of teachers just like you, I have a group of other Inspiring Teachers who love to share and chat about teaching and learning in a way that truly inspires their students while also  inspiring and taking care of themselves.

If you like this video, please let me know by liking it below, subscribe on YOUTUBE and share it with your fellow teachers, And comment below by typing in the word helpful if this video helped you and what ideas you might try.  I look forward to seeing your responses and engaging with you in the comments.

I’m Elizabeth Peterson.  Thank you so much for watching.  Have a fantastic rest of your day!


Download this free resource: Arts Integration in Your Back Pocket – 4 Tried and True Arts Integration Strategies

I have relied on these 4 strategies time and again for a variety of subjects.

Each is complete with ideas for Math, SS, Science, ELA and SEAL and includes objectives, assessments and rubrics at your fingertips!


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Arts Integration in Your Back Pocket

Learn 4 Tried and True Arts Integration Strategies you can use Tomorrow! Includes: ideas in music, visual art, dance and drama ideas for science, social studies, ELA, math and SEAL; objectives and assessments for the art and content area; a rubric to use for each strategies

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