Kumpf Middle School Celebrates Annual Arts Integration Day

(above, l-r) Brad Terhune and Chris Marcin assisting students in Mrs. Corby’s social studies class of 6th graders.

Arts Integration Day

Clark Public Schools

Carl H. Kumpf Middle School in Clark celebrated their annual Arts Integration Day on November 6th. Arts Integration helps students to use critical and creative thinking to gain a better understanding of the content being taught. According to artsintegration.com, arts integration “is an approach to teaching and learning through which content standards are taught and assessed equitably in and through the arts.” All teachers in every subject area used visual and/or performing arts in their lessons that day. 

Sixth grade science teachers, Joe Rodrigues and Annemarie Lamberti had their students use watercolors as a way to help the students understand atmospheric perspective. Students created a scene with a silhouetted foreground, midground, and background. Rodriguez said, “When students ask me why we are doing art in science, I tell them science is about creativity, and creativity comes from imagination, well art is all about imagination, so where do you think the ideas for science come from?” Suzanne Hamilton had her language arts students illustrate portions of a graphic novel based on the audiobook, The Hallow. Thomas Peitz, Kumpf’s art teacher, was able to discuss how to layout their two-page spread as well as incorporate shot variety, narrative text, composition, and graphic design. “Our class had a fantastic time creating a vision of this audiobook and bringing it to life. It was a new and unique way to engage with literature.” Students in Kelli Yetsko’s seventh grade honors language arts classes explored the concept of moods and memories created by color. Using paint swatches as inspiration, students wrote poems incorporating the color names, matching the mood of the color story. As further inspiration, the class listened to a “colors” music playlist. Katie Penrose and Lyndsay Groome had their math students create Jasper Johns inspired overlapping numbers while exploring shape and color in the process. Michele Greenspan incorporated theater into her language arts class about status and connected it to the short stories she taught during the school year. Matt Chretien, social studies teacher, used ceramic clay and craft sticks in his lesson on Sumerian cuneiform. “I feel that arts integration enhanced my ability to teach social studies by using aspects from art to teach the students why certain materials affected the way ancient peoples behaved.” Lauren Fernandes and the rest of the 6th grade math team taught order of operations through creating triangular mosaics. “Bringing the arts into the classroom allowed the students to think differently about the topics that we were learning in math. Students were able to use their creativity in the math classroom to create a mosaic solving order of operations problems.”

Brad Terhune and Chris Marcin, both art teachers from Arthur L. Johnson High School, came to Kumpf to help all the teachers dive deeper into their lessons using art. Terhune remarks about the day, “The Arts Integration Day at Kumpf provides students with experiences that prove that art is part of everything we do, and that creativity and technical skill play a key role in all disciplines and subject matter. Exposure to the arts has been proven to enrich lives, improve academic performance, and develop world views and cultural awareness.” Marcin states, “I really enjoyed collaborating with the middle school teachers and helping the students design some creative artwork.  I am excited to see the final projects and look forward to working with these students when they attend high school.”

One goal of incorporating the arts is to help the students learn non-arts subject material in a variety of ways that will increase student interest. Another goal is to help the teachers become more comfortable with using visual and performing arts in their lessons. Assistant Principal, Mandy Clarke states, “We are very excited to integrate the arts into all of our classes and this day was only a small sampling of what goes on all of the time.”

Tagged with: ,