Art is a passion for me and such a huge part of a child’s education. Not only am I a blog author, but I am also an illustrator. What art? Not math or science? Well, you may be surprised to know that art is everywhere! Even in core subjects such as ELA, Math, STEM, and other subjects. Art is a fun way to bring imagination and creativity into your subjects, all while your kids learn new and important core skills. So I wanted to share 15 Art Ideas for Every Subject.
Art in Literature
Idea #1 ~ Writing
Writing is a major form of Art! Poetry, creative writing, journalism, and dare I say blogging is a creative process. Illustration usually goes hand-in-hand with literature. Many of our ELA Products at ETTC incorporate illustration with the writing process. For example, our No-Prep Phonics Poems incorporate both poetry, writing comprehension, but also space for the child to use their imagination and draw what they read.
#2 ~ Visualization
It is important to nurture this visual aspect of writing/reading as well. We tend to lose the ability to visualize stories in our heads as we get older. But you can help keep the magic alive by encouraging your students to visualize their reading, and practice drawing what they see in their imaginations. So many of the books we read, both children’s books and adult books, incorporate an illustrated cover, and illustrations throughout the book. So nurture those creative imaginations! You never know which student will become an author or illustrator one day.
#3 ~ Illustration
Some great ways to encourage illustration of books and storytelling is to have them create storyboards. Where you read a story, and they have to illustrate in their own way different scenes of the story. This is also an early form of animation and storytelling for movies! Or even make their own comics is a fun activity as well! Maybe you have future book cover illustrators on your hands, and you can cover a book with construction paper and have the students create their own main cover! As an illustrator and graphic designer myself, I had to add this to my 15 Art Ideas for Every Subject!
Idea #4 ~ Directed Drawings
As I mentioned at the beginning of the blog post, I have been hard at work creating illustrations for our Directed Drawings project! We will be releasing this product soon, and you don’t want to miss it! The worksheets will include a word like tiger, have a 6-step how-to-draw page, a writing component, and another page that incorporates vocabulary, writing, and phonics work! It is such a great resource for the kids to have fun learning how to draw different subjects, all while practicing different forms of ELA.
#5 ~ Read and Draw
Another really great way to incorporate art is our amazing Read and Draw mats! They have a set of directions for the student to follow and draw what it tells them. So not only are they being creative, but they are also learning how to read and follow instructions. Similar to how they would read instructions to bake a cake!
Art in science has to be one of my favorites! I mean art is everywhere in nature, architecture, inventions, and so much more! Art is even down to the smaller cell in a plant. Seriously, take a look at a plant cell under a microscope and you will find wondrous geometric patterns in nature.
#6 ~ Naturescapes
How about that science book your reading? Let me guess it’s filled with illustrations of nature, the human body, and so much more! Out of them all though, nature is my favorite to look at for artistic inspiration. We as humans are drawn to nature, we find it beautiful and awe-inspiring. We paint landscapes, create fabrics with florals, and take breathtaking photos of them. Why? Because Nature is one of the biggest forms of art, and everything else seems to be inspired by it.
#7 ~ Nature Journal
One super fun way I incorporate art and science in my homeschool is by keeping a nature journal! It’s one of our favorite things to do. Especially during spring and fall, when nature changes the most drastically. What is a nature journal? It is simply a journal you take with you outside to capture nature. Whether we sketch a bug we find, or maybe press a flower and tape it into our journal. I like to bring a few nature guides with us so we can identify different plants, trees, mushrooms, and bugs. One of my favorite additions to my 15 Art Ideas for Every Subject!
(Follow this link to read more about creating a nature journal for your kiddos!)
You could even take your kiddos on a field trip around the school. Look for bugs, identify some plants, and sketch out some pictures of what they observe. Or maybe plan a field trip to a nature reservation or botanical garden! Honestly, nature is everywhere so feel free to get creative and research some local hot spots!
Idea #8 ~ Watercolor
Watercolor is another huge way we document things we see in nature. The kids love it, and it is a beautiful way to remind us just how beautiful our world truly is. Since my kiddos are still pretty young, 4 1/2 and 2, I like to find pretty nature coloring books, pdf coloring pages, or even those botanical adult coloring books that work too! I print them out on watercolor paper, and usually tie in a book that goes along with the subject. For example, if we’re learning about butterflies, I will find a pdf coloring page about butterflies, and then break out the watercolors!
However, if you have older kids, have them sketch out nature drawings on watercolor paper, and then paint their illustrations. Watercolor and ink drawings are a beautiful way to capture the beauty of nature. You will find a ton of nature artists who use the medium. But feel free to experiment, and make sure to incorporate a good book to go along with the study. You can find so many nature guides to have in the classroom as examples.
Art Throughout History
#9 ~ Studying Famous Artist’s
One of my favorite things to do with my kids is to do a small artist study. Learn about their biography, their style of art, and do an art project that incorporates their technique. For example, I love to do Vincent Van Gough, starry night is a fun painting to mimic, and they always turn out so awesome! But the list of artists is endless.
#10 ~ Architecture
One of the forms of art we may not always think of is architecture. And the actual history behind different motifs in older buildings. For example, did you know that stained glass windows originally weren’t just for looks? They were originally used on church windows as a way to tell the main biblical stories to the poor outside who couldn’t read. Also, a lot of our architecture derives from old greek buildings and motifs. Today they are just pretty to look at, but a long time ago florets, statues, and motifs played a huge role in their culture and religion.
As a fun activity, cut out shapes in black construction paper. Then paste different colored tissue paper on one side. Hang them in a window, and they look like stained glass in the sunlight! You can get creative in the different shapes as well. Maybe heart shapes, stars, or suns!
Idea #11 ~ Art as a Language
Some cultures such as Ancient Egypt used art as a written language before the use of the alphabet! Hieroglyphs were always something I was fascinated with as a kid. One of the fun activities I did was create my own language. Have your students come up with shapes and designs to go along with the English alphabet and write up something in their made-up language. Swap the keys and passages, so they can decode each other’s languages. Such a fun activity to illustrate art as a language!
#12 ~ Understanding the Past
Most of what we know about our history as human beings we learned from Art. Art was a form of documenting their culture, lifestyle, and religion. The oldest being cave drawings, as well as, pottery, beadwork, tapestries, and more! We learned about their religions through sculptures and statues of various gods. A lot of cave drawings show different jobs they had, foragers, hunters, and they would use drawings to teach and illustrate to their children. We are able to understand our past so much better, because of the art that survived throughout history.
A fun way project you could do is have your students illustrate an activity such as fishing, or maybe steps to cooking a pie. Have them use drawings instead of words to teach each other skills or facts about themselves. It will be a fun guessing game for the whole class! This was a must-have to add to my 15 Art Ideas for Every Subject!
The Importance of Art in Math
#13 ~ Tesselations
Tesselation is an arrangement of shapes closely fitted together, especially polygons in a repeated pattern without gaps or overlapping. It is a great way to teach pattern making, but also a great way to illustrate how math and art go hand and hand. I found this really cute and fun tesselation activity on frugalfun4boys.com aka I found it on Pinterest. (If you don’t know by now Pinterest is my BFF lol) So I thought I would share her blog post activity here since it is a fun one! you can follow the link below the image to print out your free activity!
(Get a free printable for this activity by following this link)
Idea #14 ~ Pattern Block 1:1 Centers
One of my daughter’s favorite activities we have is the Pattern Block 1:1 Centers! She loves putting shapes together to form pictures and words. (Her favorite are the pictures though lol) We have so many fun pictures, words, and more in this 1:1 Center. Shapes make up everything we see, and it is a great way to teach basic art as well! In fact, that’s one of the main ways I teach step-by-step drawings, is by starting out with basic shapes like circles, ovals, squares, triangles, etc. The pattern block worksheets are also a great way to work on puzzle solving, critical thinking, and shape recognition.
#15 ~ Color-By-Number
Color-By-Number was definitely one of my favorite’s as a kid! As an adult, I still enjoy Paint-By-Numbers and Diamond Paintings. (One of the many tools in my de-stress toolbox lol) We have created some super fun seasonal Color-By-Number. There are even different grade levels, so you can incorporate simple math, or more challenging addition and subtraction! This can be a fun and rewarding activity for them to practice math! Who doesn’t love uncovering the picture in the end? That’s the best part and makes the hard work worth it.
As you can see art plays a huge role in all sorts of subjects and everyday life. Don’t be afraid to incorporate it in subjects that may not be so obvious. Art is an important skill, but also a great way to distress. Right now our kids could use a calm distraction as much as we do. So educational art activities are a perfect way for them to still learn while getting to be creative and relax. I am always on the hunt for more ways my kids can incorporate their creativity while learning other subjects. So, please feel free to comment and discuss some ideas you may have come across! I hope you enjoyed my 15 Art Ideas for Every Subject!
Written by: Brittany Coleman
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