By serendipitous luck, I found the following blog that focuses on art outcomes in the elementary grades. Author Meg Riley, apart from having students engage in the production of art works, annotates how she connects a lesson to history, aesthetics, and criticism. It is worth a visit if you are looking to bring these important outcomes into your classroom.
Riley’s blog also serves as a reminder that “text” should not be limited to just words on a page. You can get to a number of Common Core standards by understanding that the artistic disposition of careful observation attends to important literary habits. That is, by asking text-dependent questions about a masterpiece, you can have students focusing on what a sculpture, painting, photograph, (aka text) says, how the artists says it and what it means.
Forgotten in all the sturm und drang of the Common Core State Standards is how the CCSS have proven to be an avenue to restore science, history, social studies and the arts in the elementary grades. Too often, in favor of chasing higher test scores, these disciplines were ignored or neglected in elementary schools. The authors of the CCSS clearly understand that teaching content is teaching reading and that student achievement will only increase with a lot of opportunities to work in the content areas. In fact, this is exactly the point CCSS author David Coleman makes in the video here. Coleman encourages us to ask (minute 5:19), “what do the arts do that literacy teachers could learn from?”