In the 2019-20 school year, we launched an arts-integrated writing initiative that features prominent international artists throughout modern history. Each month, the entire student body studies the work of one of these artists. They learn to discuss, critique, and respond to art in age-appropriate ways that help foster an appreciation for the techniques and forms most commonly used by artists.
Over the course of a month, students write several different pieces in response to selected works of art by that month’s artist. They craft their writing using a variety of forms, including descriptive, narrative, and creative. In addition to writing about art, students produce mimic pieces based on a selected work of art. In doing so, they practice the techniques and style they have observed throughout the month.
The school community gathers at the beginning of each month to announce and celebrate the new artist of the month. After studying, writing about, and mimicking that artist, two students from each class are recognized for their exceptional work: one for a writing piece and one for a mimic piece.
The initiative has already generated excitement and curiosity from the student body. We hope it will continue to strengthen their skills as artists, writers, and learners.
Students who study art are 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and 3 times more likely to be awarded for school attendance.
Arts and music education programs are mandatory in countries that rank consistently among the highest for math and science test scores, like Japan, Hungary and the Netherlands.
Music programs are constantly in danger of being cut from shrinking school budgets even though they are proven to improve academics.