1st Edition

Teaching Literacy through the Arts

By Nan L. McDonald, Douglas Fisher Copyright 2006

    Accessible and hands-on yet grounded in research, this book addresses the whats, whys, and how-tos of integrating literacy instruction and the arts in grades K-8. Even teachers without any arts background will gain the skills they need to bring music, drama, visual arts, and dance into their classrooms. Provided are a wealth of specific resources and activities that other teachers have successfully used to build students' oral language, concepts of print, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and writing, while also promoting creativity and self-expression. Special features include reproducible worksheets and checklists for developing, evaluating, and implementing arts-related lesson plans.

    1. The Five W's of Integrated Arts
    2. The Role of Music in Literacy Achievement
    3. The Role of Visual Art in Literacy Achievement
    4. The Role of Drama in Literacy Achievement
    5. The Role of Dance and Movement in Literacy Achievement
    6. Putting It All Together
    Appendix A. Stormy Weather: Leading Purposeful Curriculum Integration with and through the Arts
    Appendix B. Movin' Along: The Poetry of Transportation
    Appendix C. Expressive Literacy within Musical Listening: The Moldau, a Symphonic Poem by Smetana
    Appendix D. Haiku: Active Learning with and through the Arts
    Appendix E. American Panoramas: A Literature-Based Integrated Arts Curriculum Unit
    Appendix F. Jazz Listening Activities: Children's Literature and Authentic Music Samples


    Nan L. McDonald, EdD, is Associate Professor of Music Education at San Diego State University School of Music and Dance and also teaches integrated arts to teachers and students in K-12 classrooms. She is the author of numerous articles in music, arts, and literacy journals as well as a program author for the Scott Foresman/Silver Burdett Music K-8 music text series Making Music. Dr. McDonald is the Director of Integrated Arts for the City Heights Educational Collaborative and is the recipient of the 2000 Outstanding University Music Educator Award from the California Association for Music Education and the 2003 Outstanding Faculty Award from San Diego State University College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts.

    Douglas Fisher, PhD, a former English teacher and language development specialist, is Professor of Language and Literacy Education at San Diego State University and the Director of Professional Development for the City Heights Educational Collaborative. He is the recipient of an International Reading Association Celebrate Literacy Award as well as a Christa McAuliffe award for excellence in teacher education. He has published numerous articles and books on reading and literacy, integrated arts, differentiated instruction, and curriculum design.

    Teachers know that children learn by doing and creating. This book gives teachers a deeper understanding of how to teach with and through the arts to increase literacy learning, and provides needed guidance and support. Demonstrated are ways in which a variety of art activities can be used to meet clear instructional goals.--Dana Reisboard Korin, doctoral candidate, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

    This practical and meaningful book is among the first of its kind. Written by content experts who collaborated with dedicated teachers, the book articulates innovative activities and integrated instructional units that reflect the National Standards for Arts Education. Throughout, an abundance of comments and anecdotes from teachers demonstrates the impact of teaching through the arts to enhance literacy instruction.--Robin A. Ward, PhD, University of Arizona

    This comprehensive guidebook offers classroom teachers a wealth of practical ideas for language-rich experiences in the arts. In addition, arts specialists will find valuable suggestions for infusing literacy into their lessons. An innovative text, this roadmap for creative differentiation invites all students into literacy learning. For 'hands-on, minds-on' reading and writing, don’t miss Teaching Literacy through the Arts.--Barbara A. Marinak, PhD, Millersville University

    McDonald and Fisher have given teachers a practical and effective means of motivating students to improve their literacy skills through artistic expression. This unique text provides resources to help teachers capture students’ attention, build self-esteem, and utilize a multisensory approach to teaching literacy.--Francine Guastello, EdD, St. John's University

    Rich communication, interpretation, and comprehension will come alive as students experience the integrated curriculum found in these pages. Included are practical, hands-on activities that not only will engage students in the universal language of the arts, but also will help them construct and increase their literacy skills at multiple levels.--Ann Ketch, MSE, Literacy Trainer, Des Moines Public Schools
    The six example units give any teacher, either new to the field or with experience and looking for new ideas, the information he or she needs to try engaging children in learning through the arts. A well-developed chapter of resources.
    --PsycCRITIQUES, 4/7/2006