Effective Teaching Methods

Why You Should Use These Effective Teaching Methods, Part Two

Let’s talk about why you should use these effective teaching methods. This is a two part series, so check out part one, will you?



Plaid, Coaster, Bast, Colorful, Color

I have a second teaching method which works wonders with any aged kid–I guarantee it!


You may wonder what arts integration is specifically.  Simply put, arts integration is a method used to teach the core subjects infusing them with the arts–music, art, dance and theatre.

From http://www.tealarts.org/arts-integration.html

“Arts integration is an approach to learning in which standards based objectives from the visual and performing arts (the visual arts, music, dance, theatre and media arts) and one or more other subject areas are aligned, met, and assessed.

Image result for students participating in arts integration

It is important to know that arts integration does not supplant single subject art classes like band, dance, drama or drawing, but instead is used to design robust lessons that engage students in the processes used in the arts, such as creative thinking and active learning.

Done with diligence and purpose, arts integration helps students flourish, deepen their learning, and make meaningful connections between the disciplines. Studies have shown that art experiences result increased academic achievement, self-confidence, motivation, and improved social-emotional connections and behavior.”

Don’t ya love it?

Remember in elementary school when you got to draw a picture about some scene in the book you were reading?  Or write a poem about a moment in history? Yeah, it’s like that.

When I was in my forties, a vocal music teacher friend of mine and I  wanted to pursue a masters in education but not in curriculum and instruction (a masters many educators receive.)  She did some research and ran onto the Lesley College which offered a Masters in Education focused on Creative Arts Learning (aka arts integration.)

This was an off site campus location and the professors came to us once a month for eighteen months while we studied the various elements of the arts and how to integrate them into the classroom.

Image result for art and math

My friend and I were ecstatic about the program! At the first class, we noticed there were several teachers lacking confidence and timid about their creativity. Well, that changed for the better by the end.  They fared as well or better than we did from the learning. Isn’t that great?

As I mentioned in part one I am now teaching college level students.  Since I was getting my feet wet with the material this first year, I hesitated to use arts integration to teach these college kids.  That was a mistake.

This fall, if I end up teaching for the college I will use arts integration right from the beginning.

It’s novel, it’s obviously creating, it’s very engaging and it’s fun.

Here are a few ideas for arts integreation in core subjects.

Students can:

  1.  Write a script depicting a particular time in history and act it out.
  2. Create a monologue of a famous person and perform it during an open house.
  3. Pen a poem about a country they are studying
  4. Draw and illustrate a picture demonstrating how the body works.
  5. Mold something from clay of a certain culture
  6. Create a rap about the U.S.’s fifty states and capitols
  7. Use movement to demonstrate the various types of clouds, how a typhoon is different from a tornado or the tetonic shifts in the ocean.
  8. Make a dance to accompany a piece of music from a time period which was studied.
  9. If you have musicians, ask them to play a piece of music to compliment the learning.  If the students are studying western expansions, a student could play a country western piece for example.
  10. When studying shapes, cut different ones for collages using basic geometry.  This helps teach and reinforce undrstanding of shapes.  Then as a group, incorporate them into a collage on a classroom wall.

As you can tell, the ideas are numerous.

Utilizing the arts in your classroom gives you energy, too.  Because every project will be creative, your intellect will be challenged.  This is essential for the teacher who plans to teach for many years.

Think about it–would it be more exciting to see what your students create and learn about a concept or merely you regurgitating material……for twenty-five years?

So, there you have it!  Try arts integration in your class or email me if you need help, I’m always willing to suggest ideas to interested teachers.  Rememeber, we are all in this together.

If you’d like more advice on teaching, check out these posts:



Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net

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Give Me Sixty Minutes and I’ll Give You a Guaranteed Successful Play


Yes, give me sixty minutes (for five days) and I’ll give you a guaranteed successful play. Are you looking for  something multicultural?  A short, one act play with room for a large cast?  Or a cast as small as ten?

I got you covered!

I taught middle school drama for twelve years.  In that time, I was expected to teach the students the components of theatre.

This would, of course, include a performance of some kind.

I taught six rotations per year.  Every twenty-five days, seventy kids would float through my classroom door.

Some loved performing, many didn’t.

Over time, I experimented with many plays and finally created my own adaptations.

Ojisan and the Grateful Statues is a week long unit. I’d suggest breaking the project into four one hour rehearsals.

It includes:

  • a ROYALTY FREE script which can be copied as many times as you need

  • stage properties list

  • original song (a page dedicated to the melody and another with accompaniament)

  • costume suggestion list

  • and loads of fun! (Nah, that’s up to you.  I’m just seeing if you are actually reading.)

I produced Ojisan with my classes at least six times with both elementary and middle school grade students.

  I tweaked it, re-wrote and staged the play until it worked.


Because of my time “in the trenches” for nearly forty years, I can guarantee you this play will be a winner with your students.

It’s a great piece to use for a parent open house.

Ojisa and the Grateful Statues is a beloved Japanese tale.  It contains themes of winter, kindness and forigveness, a bit of comedy and drama.

You can’t beat that.

Your students have an opportunity to create paper snowflakes and paper rice hats.  I even provided links to snowflake and paper hat making directions.  You’re welcome.

For those students who are performance shy, they can accompany the play with percussion instruments. The music score provides suggestions for you.

Maybe your vocal music teacher would be willing to co-teach the play.  I have done that, too.

So there go–a successful play, Ojisan and the Grateful Statues.

If you are interested in other lessons, I have several Teacherpayteachers products.  Check them out at: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Dramamommaspeaks

Ready to purchase Ojisan and the Grateful Statues, go here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Childrens-One-Act-Play-with-Music-Ojisan-and-the-Grateful-Statues-3592728

Contact me at dhcbaldwin@gmail.com or DeborahBaldwin.net