Elementary Interdisciplinary Humanities Strand
These classes will focus on fine arts literacy with an interdisciplinary connection to the core curriculum ---most specifically science and social studies. Arts Integration is commonly recognized by the Kennedy Center and other educational referent groups, as an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area that meets evolving objectives in both. For purposes of the proposed plan in Ann Arbor Public Schools, this would also include integrating understanding through participation in physical education.
The arts platform will allow teachers to make learning more relevant by integrating science and social studies outcomes through the fine arts. For instance, vocal music GLCE's (Grade Level Content Expectations) focuses on sound generation; so does the 2nd grade science unit on sound. The Humanities course will focus on the interdisciplinary connection between the two disciplines. Similarly, vocal and instrumental music speak to the importance of composition; extending the attributes of music composition to prose and poetry as a natural link. Another example, Art education stresses observation and descriptors. Art journaling can be extended to include science writing and illustrations. Physical education can naturally address force, motion (3rd grade science) and some aspect of the human body skeletal/muscular systems (5th grade science) within contextual learning.
Humanities will be the reinforced learning of content outcomes through the arts discipline.