How do cross-curricular Art projects create a more meaningful understanding of themes in high school Social Studies?
We came across the idea of using art to deepen understandings of social studies through one particular task in Social 10. Students were beginning to explore ideas of colonization, particularly in Africa, and the idea of creating an impactful portrait of a woman who resisted colonization was mentioned during a collaborative time. We thought that if students were to create a portrait of a significant figure in history (in this case, a resistance leader in Africa during colonization), then they would have to know quite a bit about the historical context (social norms, geography, social issues at the time, etc.). These ideas marked the beginning of our inquiry.
This inquiry provides resources and project ideas that follow the Alberta Program of Studies and can be used as a foundation for incorporating Art projects into the Social Studies classroom. It can also be a means to engage students who lack motivation in literacy skills (specifically, reading and writing). Further, cross-curricular instruction encourages critical thinking and meaningful interactions among students. When students experience relevance between subjects they are able to creatively explore, analyze, and synthesize information.
Kamille is a Social Studies Education Major. She is currently completing her PSIII at Catholic Central High School in Lethbridge .
Rayelle is a Fine Arts Education Major. She is currently completing her PSIII at Catholic Central High School in Lethbridge.