Art forms are considered language because they serve as a means of communicating with others through different media, whether it may be painting, sculpting, singing, dancing, writing, etc. As Dr. Goldberg explains in the text, communicating through art is especially beneficial in elementary school classrooms, in which there are culturally diverse students who come from many different backgrounds and often speak different languages.
I believe that the best mode for “playing with language,” and communicating with others, is through picto-spelling. Although I have heard of drawing pictures to represent a word or idea, I was interested to learn more about picto-spelling. I like the idea of using the letters of a word to create an image to represent that word because it not only helps students grow their vocabulary, but it also improves their spelling. In my opinion, picto-spelling is the best art form when it comes to “playing with language” because it allows students to be creative and express how they perceive people, animals, places, and objects through the process of analyzing and drawing representations. This particular art form also encourages students to celebrate their individual differences—each student’s picture is unique and representative of their literacy skills.
My preferred method of learning new language skills is through drama. Being able to read a script, develop a character, and tell his/her story is beneficial in terms of developing literacy and communication skills. Drama is an art form that allows a person to feel emotionally connected to a story through the understanding of another’s thoughts, feelings, needs, wants, etc. While many plays/musicals are developed from a writer’s imagination, others are true stories, often depicting historical events. Drama allows for a deeper understanding of a person and his/her interactions and relationships with others. It serves as an important means of communication and often allows students to expand their knowledge on a particular topic.
In terms of integrating art into the curriculum to teach literacy, as well as adhere to specific standards of learning, I believe that rather than the art form having to be adapted, the method of teaching must be adapted in order for the art to complement the content of the SOL. Students and teachers alike often view SOLs as a component of education that cannot be taught in different ways. The integration of art along with the way in which the material is taught (i.e., the specific art form) provides an opportunity for students to better understand concepts by expressing their thoughts and feelings. I believe that all of the art forms are valuable and can be used for different subjects, depending on the content and the objectives of learning.