Susan Riley | January 2017

Integrating the Arts with Brain Breaks

Sometimes, arts integration can be challenging.  You aren’t sure where to start, it might be scary to dedicate so much time to a whole new teaching approach, and you may even be nervous that the lesson won’t turn out the way you hoped.  All of that is perfectly normal!  Which is why I’m a huge advocate for integrating the arts with classroom brain breaks.

Brain breaks offer the perfect opportunity for “bite-sized arts integration”.  You don’t have to develop an entire lesson idea, nor do you have to worry that you’ll have to sing or draw in front of your students.  It’s a nice little gateway into integrating the arts so that you can get your feet wet and get some success under your belt first.

In today’s video, I’m sharing lots of different brain break ideas that intentionally integrate your content in and through the arts.  It’s perfect for opening or closing a lesson, or for those transition periods within a lesson itself.

Another reason I love this topic right now is because we’re including some new brain break ideas into our winter online Arts Integration and STEAM conference event.  We hear time and again that our attendees love the classroom brain breaks almost as much as the regular sessions.  And why not?  They’re fun, they connect your learning while offering opportunities to get up, move and get creative, AND they provide new ideas to use in your own classroom.  Win-win-win!

Lastly, this segment is from our NEW Facebook Live PD Series for 2017.  We’ll be providing ideas, resources and tips like these classroom brain breaks each Tuesday evening on Facebook Live starting around 8PM ET.  You’ll be able to ask us questions in real time, as well as pick up a few new ideas to take back to your classroom.  Be sure to “like” our Facebook page to make sure you catch each episode.  Just in case you miss them, we’ll also be archiving them here (like today) so you can easily find all of these tips in one place.

Here’s to a new year full of brainy possibilities!


Typhani’s Post: Static Body Creates a Static Brain

Reference Sheet: 5 Fast Arts-Focused Brain Breaks

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