When art meets math, science and moreConventional wisdom may say that art and math are as different as night and day, but Bailey Elementary art teacher Jessica Frisco is hoping to prove that’s not true.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Conventional wisdom may say that art and math are as different as night and day, but Bailey Elementary art teacher Jessica Frisco is hoping to prove that’s not true.
Frisco offers a before school art club called “Art in the Content Areas” where she shows the connection between art and other subject areas such as math, history, social studies and English.
“The students don’t realize that these connections exist anyway,” she said. “I think pointing that out makes them realize that they use this everyday and it stresses the importance of the math concepts and historical connections and the cultural connections and the literacy.
“Art in the Content Areas” is offered through Target Services and meets at 8:15 a.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays.
More than 40 students attend the Wednesday class and more than 50 students participate in the Friday class.
“Students get to make those real life connections, not only with art, but with their real life,” Frisco said. “They’re making a world connection, they’re making a community connection — they see the differences they can make and it gets them thinking.”
In addition to teaching “Art in the Content Areas,” Frisco said she also incorporates the subject area connections into her everyday classes.
Some of the projects that Frisco uses to stress the emphasis of the different subjects areas having a connection include ceramics, painting, reading, writing and even craft projects.
For example, in terms of math, Frisco gives students an “art budget” of play money and they must make the decision of what art supplies to spend their money on. The students will keep track of their deposits and withdrawals.
This type of activity teaches students math basics associated with money and budget, Frisco said.
Additionally, several projects teach students measurement, patterns, fractions, geometry and symmetry.
In the science realm Frisco teaches her students about color mixing, properties of clay and glaze, the specifics of insolubility and light waves and prisms.
For the social studies and history curriculum, Frisco stresses recycling as well as cultural and historical context and other community connections in which they can make a difference.
For literature, the students read various Scholastic Art articles as well as follow step by step directions.
“I just wanted to stress that these connections happen every day on a daily basis, every minute,” she said. “If students are aware of this, maybe they’ll be more serious about their education.”
Frisco said she has seen that the students who find those connections between the subjects areas tend to excel in their other classes.
“It’s exciting to see, and it’s exciting to hear that they’re using vocabulary and making those connections,” she said.
Since Frisco incorporates the subject area connections into her every day curriculum, “Art in the Content Areas” is a great chance for students to delve for deeply into art and discover those connections more, Frisco said.
“There are students who love art in the class, but there are students who want to explore art more since they don’t get enough time in class,” she said. “There’s a lot of students who I wouldn’t consider them art students, because they are more of a sport kid or an intellectual, math and science, kid who just wants to learn how to explore art more.”
Frisco said she plans to continue having “Art in the Content Areas” every year and she will continue to stress the connections between art and the other content areas.
“Students need to be aware that every subject is not by itself — everything intertwines,” she said.