Arts Integration in Practice

Language Arts

What are some arts integration connections to language arts?

Classroom Examples

Classroom Examples

Classroom Example 1: Integrating Reading, Social Studies, and Drama
Focus on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Third grade students at Bailey's Elementary School (Fairfax County Public Schools, VA) were developing reading comprehension skills (determining importance, summarizing, making inferences) as they learned about the civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his efforts to seek equal rights for all people. This slide show, with captions written by the third graders, follows their process during one 60- minute lesson.

Classroom Example 2: Puppetry: A Key to Making Inferences from Literature and History
To develop skills in making inferences from literature and history, fourth-grade students at Woodburn Elementary School (Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia) created puppets and wrote and performed “inner monologues” spoken by historical figures,. This slide show, with captions written by the students, follows their process during five lessons.

Classroom Example 3: Tiny Toy Retell
First grade students at Abingdon Elementary School (Arlington Public Schools, VA) actively participated in storytelling with their teacher using a strategy called Tiny Toy Tales. Using a computer, they sequenced slides depicting story elements and retold the story focusing on story sequence, vocal expression, and descriptive details. This slide show follows their process through five 45-minute sessions.

Teaching Artist Interviews

Meet four Kennedy Center teaching artists who provide examples of connections between language arts and visual narratives, poetry, musical composition, and dramatization.

Drama Example (grades K-6)
Teaching inference is a critical reading comprehension skill. Lenore Blank Kelner describes ways to build students’ abilities to make thoughtful inferences through story dramatization.

Poetry and Drama Example (grades 5-8)
Glenis Redmond believes that to discover the power of poetry, students must not only write and read poems, but also perform them. She gives all students, especially high-risk students, ways to connect with the imagery and rhythms of poetry through all three modes.

Visual Arts Example (grades K-6)
How can we support English language learners to develop language skills? Maria Barbosa involves students in creating visual narratives that build skills in sequencing, determining importance, and increase verbal fluency as well as cross-cultural understanding.

Poetry and Music Example (grades 3-5)
Deborah Sunya Moore’s work demonstrates how music has great potential for helping students understand and respond to poetry. Through the use of tempo, timbre, and dynamics, students compose music that captures the mood and meaning of the words.


Editors & Producers

Amy Duma
Director, Teacher and School Programs
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Lynne B. Silverstein
Senior Program Consultant
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Kenny Neal
Manager, Digital Education Resources

Kennedy Center Traching Artists

Lenore Blank Kelner is a Kennedy Center teaching artist who is a professional actress, theatre director, author, and educator. Ms. Kelner serves as an education consultant to the Maryland State Department of Education as well as school systems and schools nationwide and abroad. She has trained thousands of teachers in how to integrate drama into everyday classroom instruction. She has worked with students in all grade levels from Pre K through college. She has written three books on drama and education. Her first book, The Creative Classroom is in its 15th printing. Her most recent book, A Dramatic Approach to Reading Comprehension, which she co-authored, was published by Heinemann in 2006. She is the recipient of the 2004 Creative Drama Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. lbkcompany.com

Glenis Redmond is a Kennedy Center teaching artist who is an award-winning performance poet, praise poet, educator, and writer from Greenville, South Carolina. As a Performance Poet, she has traveled both domestically and abroad for almost two decades working with children and adults—opening poetic doors to self-proclaimed poetry haters and speaking a kindred language to poetry lovers. Her work has been published in various literary journals including: The Tidal Basin Review, Meridians, Heartstone, Obsidian II: Black Literature in Review, Bum Rush the Page: Def Poetry Jam, and Poetry Slam: The Competitive Art of Performance. Ms. Redmond is the recipient of the North Carolina Literary Award and is a Cave Canem Fellow. She earned a MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College.

Maria Barbosa is a Kennedy Center teaching artist. She received a B.S. in Biology from USP, Brazil, and a Ph.D. in Botany from UC Riverside. Ms. Barbosa's work explores the ways language and signs liberate or pigeonhole individuals. Her installations and artist's books are exhibited nationally and internationally. Her work is in the collections of The National Institutes of Health, the Getty Research Institute, the Art Institute of Chicago, Cornell University, and The National Museum of Women in the Arts. She participates in Artist-in-Education programs in Maryland, and gives workshops on arts integration around the country. Ms. Barbosa teaches at the Maryland Artist/Teacher Institute (MATI) and at the Teaching Artists Institute (TAI) in Maryland.

Deborah Sunya Moore, a Kennedy Center teaching artist, is a percussionist and arts educator. She is currently an associate professor and arts education specialist for the University of Trinidad and Tobago. Ms. Moore was previously the director of education for the Louisville Orchestra and continues to perform regularly with the Chautauqua Symphony (NY). She was the artistic director (1999-2005) and percussionist (1996-2003) of Tales & Scales, a national touring quartet for youth. Ms. Moore has led professional development workshops and courses for organizations such as the Kravis Center, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Kentucky Center for the Arts. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the Oberlin Conservatory and is completing a Master's in Education Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Cincinnati.

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