Susan Riley | February 2013

Are you Trans-Literate?

One of the ways to develop rigorous and authentic arts integration lessons is by backing up and looking for a natural access point in and through the curriculum.  Sometimes, it can be difficult for people to know where to start. Especially, when they have little to no background in an arts area.  Of course, this is why it’s critical to partner and plan with an arts specialist. You need to have their expertise during this planning process.  But on behalf of the arts specialists who want to integrate the literacy and math curriculum into their teaching, it can also be difficult to include these elements without actually having taught them before.  What a challenge!

If you explore the Common Core Standards in great detail, you’ll find some easy ways to begin this kind of high-level integration.  One of the ways that I find extremely helpful is through Common Vocabulary.  Each grade and area of Common Core has specific vocabulary that would show up on word walls. As well as, in texts and resources that can apply in the arts classrooms. Either with the same meaning or with a different intention.  This can be an easy way to begin thinking about integration, and it also is helpful to students as they see these critical terms being used in multiple settings throughout the school.

arts and literacy common vocabulary

To help you with this endeavor, I’ve gone ahead and created two easy-to-reference charts with the common vocabulary already outlined for each grade level in both literacy and math.  Today, you’ll get to see and download the Literacy chart and tomorrow, we’ll be sharing with you our math chart.  We hope that you’ll find these resources useful as you looking for meaningful ways to connect across content areas.  Whether you are a classroom teacher or an arts specialist, we can all find ways to make the critical links our students need.  Enjoy!

About the Author

Susan Riley is the founder and CEO of The Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, STEAM, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and STEAM education. Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter. Email Susan