Visual Arts Strand IV: Interdisciplinary Connections
Concept A: Explain how events and ideas in U.S. history are communicated through artworks
Original Instruction: In an effort to reach outside the traditional core subject teachers, I might have asked a visual arts teacher to coordinate study of various American artists with the time periods and regions with the study of concurrent time periods and regions in my U.S. history course.
Original Assessment: A test question or two could display artwork from one or more of the artists studied, and students would correctly interpret the message of the artwork, or perhaps form an opinion as to what commentary the artist may have been making with his or her art.
Revised Instruction: If the team or class is going on a field trip to a historical museum, why not invite the visual arts teacher along? He or she would have a unique perspective on any art present at the museum. For example, at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, there are several restored murals commemorating the everyday heroes of the Great War. The art teacher could provide students with things to look for, specific to the visual-arts discipline.
Revised Assessment: Students should be able to comment thoughtfully on the visual arts aspect of their museum experience, along with other disciplines beyond social studies. A report on the experience could take several forms, including perhaps a brochure attracting people of various ages and walks of life to a visit at the museum.