Please Don't Eat the Artwork


The Cross-Curricular Art Room


I have recently come to the realization that this year that I am teaching math for 3 hours a week. Now this ephiphany came as a bit of a shock for me especially because I am pretty terrible at math and if I did not have a calculator in my pocket at all times in the form of a smart phone I would be lost in the universe.

My school has incorporated a half-hour of math tutoring each morning to extend or remediate for all of our students. I am helping out with a small group of 5th graders that will be on the remediation end of the spectrum. I am also a part of the team running Math Club. Every Wednesday morning bright and eager 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders come to the art room for math activities and train for a competition.

Now, being more on the right-brained side of things, all of this math initially made me kind of nervous. Then I realized that this is an excellent opportunity for cross-curricular activities! I have always maintained that my classroom features cross-curricular lessons but I have never actually explored what that curriculum is. A colleague shared with me some great resources for common core curriculum. Common Core Standards from Mastery Connect is an app that features k-12 math and ELA standards. Next Generation Science Standards is another great resource for Common Core Curriculum with k-12 science standards. After perusing through these, I realized that I am already covering several of the topics and standards the students learn about but now I can do so with more vocabluary and emphasis on key terms and ideas.


So, how can you use the Common Core Curriculum in the art room? Teaching art already encompasses many of these standards by naturally incorporating ideas – especially geometry. In my displays, I have started to include the CCCs in the “I Can” statements.

001 (3) 002 (3)

I realize that some art teachers might be opposed to this. We already have to fight so hard to prove that our subject is important, meaningful, and overall necessary for a well-rounded education. Why should we sacrifice what we are teaching (in the extremely short ammount of time we have to teach it) in order to support another subject that doesn’t even support us? Art should come first!

Werner Jeker

I definitely agree that art is essential (duh) but I also think that the main reason we do what we do is for the general well-being of the kids. It certainly couldn’t hurt to reinforce what is being taught in their general ed classrooms which in turn will reinforce what we are teaching in the art room. Creating cross-curricular lessons isn’t betraying art, it is enhancing it.

I am excited to continue exploring more cross-curricular avenues and find more creative ways to tie it in to art. 🙂

Author: artwithmsk

Hello! My name is Ms. Katzin and I am an art teacher at an elementary school near Atlanta, Georgia. Teaching art is my passion and I love what I do!

2 thoughts on “The Cross-Curricular Art Room

  1. What a controversial thing to say here about math… I never really thought about it in this perspective – why incorporate something that doesn’t reciprocate? I get it completely, and I get why you’re doing it, too.
    I actually just spoke with some high school parents at work and they told me that their daughter signed up in middle school to play the cello so that she could learn math better because she was struggling with it.
    It worked, hands down. Cross curricular activities definitely can only enhance a student’s education and it’s enthralling that you’re a teacher of that belief.

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