We are so blessed to have a local artist come in and work with our students. We have an hour long art class once a month where the students learn basic principles of art. While it does take time out of our already busy days, I firmly believe that teaching art is important to our children. Here are 4 reasons to add art into your classroom.
1. Art teaches observation.
In order to draw or paint a picture, a student must first observe the object or scene he is drawing. They study the details of the object to understand how to add those details into the drawing. This same attention to detail can then be carried over into other areas - being careful on math problems, observing a science experiment, or taking notes on a subject.
2. Art encourages creativity.
We want our students to be creative. We want them to figure out ways to solve a problem. We push them to come up with interesting stories in writing class. Art is just another way to feed that natural creativity and imagination found in children. Working with different medias like clay or paper force them to figure out ways to shape the paper or clay into the image they are thinking about. This is a great example of hands on problem solving.
3. Art provides an emotional outlet.
Many of our students come from backgrounds that are less than ideal. They have struggles that we may know little about. Art gives them a chance to express how they feel about life in safe ways. They can put their struggles or worries into their paintings through color choice, facial expressions, or even the actual objects they choose to paint.
4. Art reinforces other subjects.
Whether or not your students realize it, art often includes other subject matter. They work with geometry when they draw lines, angles, and shapes. They act like scientists when they observe the world around them and then record it in the form of a picture. You can reinforce this even more by talking to them about math or science as they work.
There are many more reasons for including art instruction into your classroom. Even if you set aside time once a month to teach your students how to paint a still life or draw a self portrait, you will be helping your students more than you may even know.