specials in the pyp classroom: the arts

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.  -Maya Angelou

Our pyp curriculum framework is designed with six transdisciplinary themes (Who We Are, Where We Are in Place and Time, How We Express Ourselves, How the World Works, How We Organize Ourselves, and Sharing the Planet) that have global significance to educate our students to be “caring, globally-minded thinkers”. In order to do this, our teachers focus on concepts (for example, patterns, cycles, etc.) that may be explored in different subject areas. For example, the concept of patterns can be explored in math, science, reading, etc.

During the second graders How We Organize Ourselves unit, students focus their inquiry on how people work to meet personal, financial, and societal needs. This central idea lends itself to the arts as well, allowing our music and visual arts teachers to make connections to the learning happening in the classroom and collaborate with one another to provide students with an additional perspective, from the arts. Their focus, however, is focused on artists and how they’ve impacted people.

To celebrate Music in our Schools and Youth Art Month in March, our art and music teachers collaborated with one another to create a spring program, Yo Leonardo!, that highlights various well known artists that have impacted our world with their contributions. In art, students learned about the lives and careers of different artists, such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Lacy DeLuna, and Piper Gates. Students considered the impact the actions of these artists had on the global community and discussed connections between them. Meanwhile in music, students were exploring a variety of instruments this semester such as the rhythm sticks, hand drums and shakers. Students were given time to freely explore the different instruments before learning how to play them. To culminate their learning, elements from both art and music were proudly highlighted in the Yo Leonardo! program last week.


The collaboration between our specials teachers helps to provide a more meaningful learning experience for our students and helps students further make connections across all disciplines, in turn leading them to a deeper understanding (skills necessary for our 21st century learners).of the central ideas in the homeroom classrooms.

Learn more about how brain-based research improved comprehension and long-term retention and how the arts can unlock the door to learning!

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