Home > Practitioner's Corner > Including the Arts in All Lessons

Including the Arts in All Lessons

Including arts activities in any subject and at any grade level can be simple and fun. It doesn’t need to be additional work and may substitute for some other activity you usually do.

Visual Arts. Are there components of the lesson that students can draw, sketch, color, or paint? Would a visual arts project be acceptable as an alternative assessment to measure student understanding?

Example: A science teacher has a student draw a chart to illustrate the important steps in an experiment.

Music.Is there an appropriate song or other musical composition that could be incorporated into the lesson or unit? Remember that music is a very effective memory device. Is there a familiar tune that would help students remember important facts about the unit?

Example: A social studies teacher has students put important facts about the Revolutionary War to a familiar melody.

Literary Device. Could students write a poem, limerick, or play to illustrate major points in the unit? Rhyming is also an excellent memory tool: “In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue . . .”

Example: A mathematics teacher has students devise limericks to help them remember the mathematical order of operations.

Dance and Theater. Is there a dance that could help students remember some critical events or information? Can students act out a play that other students wrote?

Example: An English teacher has students write and act out a different but plausible ending to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Community Artists. Are there community artists who can demonstrate their skills in the classroom? Teachers working with artists receive on-the-job training and learn techniques that they can use later on their own.

  1. luz
    March 26, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Art is the steps the help our brain, I like the idea to including the arts in my spanish class.

  2. March 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Hi Dr. Sousa:

    Sorry if this seem like an obtuse method to contact you.

    I have a question I hope you can help me with. In your book, How the Brain Learns, Page 95 you use the “Retention Pyramid. In the text you site a report by Moore (2005). I am trying to pull the thread on that research and have obtained a copy of K. D. Moore’s book and have failed to find any reference to the report. I was hoping you could help me identify the source.

    Thanks in advance,


    • Dr. David Sousa
      March 30, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      Hi Chris,

      Thank you for your inquiry. When I wrote the fourth edition of “How the Brain Learns,” which was published in 2011, I deleted the learning pyramid. My reason for eliminating it was that the original research for it was done by the Batell Laboratories in the 1960s. Although the study had been replicated in various forms over the years — mainly by graduate students — the reported results were increasingly mixed and often contradictory. Plus, given how much technology has changed our environment, and given the brain’s plasticity, I decided the percentages associated with the original pyramid were probably not accurate in today’s world. To my knowledge, there is no other recent study looking into the exact components of the original pyramid. My advice is to not use the pyramid percentages because they would most likely not stand the scrutiny of current research practice.

      That is not to say that the conceptual intent of the pyramid is completely invalid. There is sufficient research evidence showing that retention of learning is very high when individuals learn in a multi-modality environment, and when they apply and reteach others what they have learned. This rehearsal process is key to long-term memory consolidation. The problem comes in assigning percentages.

      I hope this helps.

      David A. Sousa

  3. April 2, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Thank you for your reply. I have researched the topic over the years and your book was the only one that ever gave a source for the pyramid. As other authors if have contacted (like Bob Pike) they have all dropped the pyramid. I heartily agree that a multi-modality environment will enhance retention. I believe spaced review events are our best asset.

    Best regards,


  4. October 27, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Hi! I realize this is somewhat off-topic however I needed to ask.
    Does managing a well-established website such as yours take a massive amount work?
    I am brand new to blogging but I do write in my journal on a daily basis.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my experience and feelings online.

    Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or tips
    for new aspiring bloggers. Appreciate it!

  5. February 28, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    I’m now not certain the place you’re getting your information, however good topic.
    I must spend a while studying more or figuring out more. Thanks for fantastic information I was in
    search of this info for my mission.

  6. March 2, 2014 at 4:03 am

    Great article! We will be linking to this great content on our website.
    Keep up the good writing.

  7. March 22, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    You suggested this superbly.

  8. April 7, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Hello Dear, are you genuinely visiting this web page on a regular basis, if so after that you will
    without doubt obtain fastidious know-how.

  9. April 22, 2014 at 5:40 am

    When smokers buy e cigarettes with e juice they are treated with a safer, more flavorful smoking experience.
    The praise from the scientific establishment, along with the bug was named in his honour.
    They cannot break far from their bodies’ require for the substance called nicotine, the industry primary ingredient found naturally
    in tobacco, and therefore in all cigarettes.

  10. May 8, 2014 at 12:59 am

    It’s really very difficult in this active life to listen news on TV, thus I
    just use the web for that reason, and obtain the hottest information.

  11. May 30, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    There could be many similarities and also differences lying within this kind of a cigarette than the common tobacco
    cigarette. It is the greatest thing for anybody who made a decision to lead a healthier lifestyle.
    1) Firstly pull the end off the the surface of the G Pen, you should do this
    to place herbs from the chamber.

  12. June 16, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Heya are using WordPress for your site platform?

    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you require any html coding expertise to make your own blog?

    Any help would be really appreciated!

  13. July 11, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    My relatives every time say that I am killing my time here
    at net, but I know I am getting experience everyday by reading such nice articles.

  14. July 27, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    By deciding upon a organization that gives this form of Pakistani wedding ceremony apparel companies, you can obtain:Exceptional aspects – you can entry a extensive array of beautiful components that can be created use of on their
    person or jointly to build an astounding outfit, no matter whether you’re the bride, the groom or an critical member of the mates and
    spouse and children. Modern systems have been participating in an much more and far more essential portion in the life of men and women all
    over the earth, and not just with e-mails and company options.
    Proficient professionals are accessible that can make that
    transpire effortlessly.

  15. September 21, 2014 at 8:19 am

    At this moment I am ready to do my breakfast, afterward having my
    breakfast coming over again to read further news.

  16. September 25, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Undeniably consider that which you said. Your favourite justification seemed to be at the
    net the simplest thing to take into accout of. I say
    to you, I definitely get irked whilst folks consider concerns that they plainly do not recognise about.

    You controlled to hit the nail upon the highest and defined
    out the whole thing without having side effect
    , folks could take a signal. Will probably be again to get more.

  17. September 26, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Hi there to every one, it’s really a fastidious for me
    to pay a visit this website, it consists of useful Information.

  18. October 5, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Wonderful post however I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject?
    I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more.


  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: