Integrating the arts can be done in 3 easy steps.  This framework will help you get started!

Arts integration ideas don’t have to be hard to find. You can do this yourself with these 3 proven steps and you will be integrating the arts across the curriculum in no time! When you are integrating the arts across the content areas, you are allowing for deeper learning and more engagement.  So let’s get started with arts integration in the classroom, no matter what grade level or subject area you teach!

In this video, I show you how to get started integrating the arts in 3 thoughtful steps. This is my exact 3 step brainstorm for arts integrated lesson planning that I have used for years and teach in my Arts Integrated Lesson planning course.

Step 1 – Start with your content.

Step 2 – Consider arts you enjoy.

Step 3 – Find the “elegant fit.”

Watch the video to get all the details on how to follow these steps and then download the free pdf that will get you planning in no time!

Happy lesson planning,




Read the Transcription

How do you get started with creating an arts integrated lesson plan?  I’m going to tell you in 3 thoughtful steps.

If the thought of coming up with an arts integrated lesson idea leaves you paralyzed and you can’t figure out where to start, stick around. I’m going to share with you my exact 3 step brainstorm for arts integrated lesson planning that I have used for years and teach in my Arts Integrated Lesson planning course.  

Step 1 – Start with YOUR Content

List any lessons, projects or units of study you teach and may lend themselves to getting a little creative, maybe you just have that gut feeling that the arts will naturally work with these parts of your curriculum.

Consider content vocabulary, science or social studies units, literary devices, math concepts, etc.

You also want to consider what lessons you are getting tired of or what lessons you have done before  and now need more life?  Also, think about What you do well already and want to make even better? 

Let’s face it sometimes we get so used to (or even board) of some of the topics we need to teach and it’s time to add a new dimension on it to make the teaching more fun.

for example, I taught the water cycle for years and I was tired of the normal illustrations and coloring pages, so I wanted to do something more involved and exciting  …. and that’s when I turned to the arts.

And of course doing this arts integrated lesson didn’t just make the lesson more exciting and fun for me…it was a wonderful experience for my students!

Or you could consider something new you are teaching.  Maybe you have the opportunity to have some fun with it or can be a little creative with this new content.  A new opportunity like this can be something fun to look forward to this year!

Step 2 – Consider Arts You Enjoy

Write down what art forms or art techniques you are comfortable or familiar with. 

For me, music is where my comfort level is and I love sharing my musical knowledge and anecdotes with my students.  (I especially love singing my curriculum to my class in the form of 70s love songs…)

Visual art isn’t my strongest suit, but I love to create abstract pieces and work with different media.

As for drama, well, I have a few tricks up my sleeve.  You might want to check out one of my favorites in this video, where I have 4 amazing activities for integrating the arts across the content areas.

And, if I do say so myself, I’m a pretty awesome dancer – in my own mind, anyway.  I love to move.

What art forms are YOU most comfortable with?  You don’t have to be a master artist, musician, thebian or dancer…  (although that is a total bonus),

It’s way more about comfort level than skill (but that will be a great topic for another video)  For now just let me know in the comments what art forms you enjoy the most or are most comfortable with.

Step 3 – Find the “elegant fit.”

We are off to the 3rd and final step!

This is where you look for what some people call the “elegant fit.” 

Try connecting and brainstorming your content ideas with the art forms and see what works best.

For example, with my water cycle example… I did just that.  I thought of some pieces that had to do with water. For example Handel’s water music, the Blue Danube  by Strauss and even some jazz pieces like the Back Water Blues.

I thought about maybe upping my game with the whole water cycle illustration and collaborating with the art teacher to bring in more elements for the design.

I thought about having the students create a skit in groups following the life of a water droplet.

And then it all clicked together when I realized the students could dance the water cycle.  My mind raced and the ideas started in on me like, well raindrops. I pictured how my students would illustrate various types of precipitation with various energies in their dancing and show their understanding of evaporation and condensation through a variety of levels.

The kids had such a blast with this and in their reflections after the lesson they were able to clearly identify the parts of the water cycle AND show their understanding of the dance elements we used.

Now it’s your turn!

You can put these steps into action!  In fact, I have a free step by step brainstorming sheet for you to do just that!  THE LINK IS BELOW!  So make sure you download your copy.

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 to start creating your own arts integrated lessons: 3 Step Brainstorm for Your Arts Integrated Lesson

Brainstorm your ideas and get lesson planning in no time!  Download, print and use this brainstorming sheet so that you can gather ideas and put your ideas into action for arts integration.


Arts Integrated Lesson Planning online course:

Water Cycle Dancing

Join our amazing FB community: Inspiring Teachers!  Share ideas, ask questions and get support from colleagues around the globe who believe in the power of arts in education! 

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3 Step Brainstorm for your Arts Int Lesson

Download, print and use this brainstorming sheet so that you can gather ideas and put your ideas into action for arts integration!

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