Susan Riley | April 2016

5 Books for Arts Integration Professional Development

As schools begin or continue looking into using the Arts Integration approach, often they want to gather as much information as possible.  One of the most popular ways to do this is through professional development books.  But how do you know what book to pick?  When I first started down this journey, I picked a book for our group that was the most recommended text at the time and it sounded exactly like what we needed.

But when we started reading it, the whole book study fell apart at the seams. I actually had members of the group throw the book at me because it was too overwhelming and unrealistic.

I don’t want you to fall into that same trap.  So here is my recommended list of Arts Integration professional development books that are tried-and-true, and which will build a positive interest for using the approach.

Artful Teaching

This book is my absolute favorite text for schools looking to get started with Arts Integration.  It’s practical, plain-english writing makes it a great choice.

Shake the Sketch

I wrote this workbook as a way for school teams to move through building an arts integration initiative in a sequential, logical way.  This is a good choice if you have a more hands-on group that needs specific, small tasks over time.

Making Thinking Visible

It’s hard to know where your students’ gaps are if you can’t see them.  This book helps teachers use visual thinking strategies to identify and leverage student thinking patterns in the classroom.  This book is terrific if you’ve already established an arts integration approach and need some ways to prompt inquiry.

See It, Be It, Write It

This book is specifically used to address writing in and through the performing arts.  Writing can be a challenge sometimes to teach, and the strategies found in this book provide a new way for students to approach their writing using music, theater and dance.

Strategies to Integrate the Arts Series

These books shares specific strategies for integrating the arts across Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies.  Some of the techniques repeat, but are provided with a new lens based on the content you are integrating with.  Again, another wonderful series for those who already have the arts integration approach in place and need some new ways to lead into and through a lesson.

Each of these books offer different but valuable ways to use the Arts Integration approach in your classroom or school.  Do you have any other ones on your bookshelf that you’d recommend?  Share them with us below!

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