As our school is an arts magnet school, whenever I do an extensive unit I try to incorporate art into the unit wherever possible. In an arts magnet school the arts and academics are linked in a way that promotes learning that is often overlooked in a regular school setting. In our school, students study math, social studies, science, and languages, but are also invited to explore the arts for half of their day. The students study drawing and painting, photography, video, dance, pottery, drama, sculpture, and music. It is through this vehicle, this arts magnet atmosphere, that students are allowed to explore and find their strengths and weaknesses. Virtually every student in the school finds his or her niche, his or her interest, and his or her means to succeed in an arts magnet school. In an arts magnet school students use the arts as a way to further explore and understand the academics.
I find that infusing art into my academic classroom is one way to help students succeed while tapping into their interests and finding routes to higher order thinking. In this unit I will often ask students to match lines of poetry with images and student-created artwork that will be displayed in the classroom as part of their final project.