Friday, July 20, 2012

Reading the Masters

Earlier this week, I attended a conference on integrating the arts into the non-arts curriculum.  One of the sessions I attended was taught by the amazing Robyne Batson.  She had so many wonderful ideas on how to teach all of those difficult reading skills using the master artists.  For example, she chose this painting by Klimt

and uses it to teach the following reading/language art skills: quotes, narrative writing, main idea and supporting details, author's purpose, fact and opinion, theme, compare/contrast, similes and metaphors, predict, and story components (character, setting, plot).  (These skills may vary by artist studied, but each artist has at least this many skills taught!)  I was simply amazed how she can teach so many important skills using a painting.  After listening to her tell about the amazing lessons she teaches to her class and their responses they created, I found out her she teaches an average bunch of 2nd graders.  I thought, if her 2nd graders can do this, my kids can do this, too!  She has created several books, each on a different artist, to teach reading and language arts skills.  She also makes science, social studies, and math connections with the paintings/artists.  I really hope you will look into her materials. I can't say enough about them.  I will say, I am super excited that my school is purchasing all of her books for the staff library!  I can't wait for them to arrive!  You can find more information about Robyne's amazing books HERE.  (No, this is not a paid advertisement.  This is my opinion offered freely about this series of books.)

I also want everyone to know how amazing integrating the arts are into your core curriculum.  I teach a self-contained special ed class.  My students are 2 or more years below grade level in all subjects.  Since I began integrating the arts into my class, I have been able to move 5 students out of my room and back into the general classroom with minimal resource support.  Before the arts, I wasn't able to move anyone back into the general classroom.  The power of the arts is incredible!



  1. This book sounds so cool! I love working on art with my students! I teach students with ED and they usually love art. I'm your newest follower, so glad that I am finding other special ed. teacher bloggers!

    Teaching Special Kids

  2. I'm having a Give Away - stop by to win.

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