Paths to reading and writing through the visual arts

Arts to Grow inspiring children to love learning through Arts. This article is one of many that apply the same approach to education through the Arts. 

by Richardson Maurine V., Mary Kathleen Sacks, Mary N. Ayers

Visual Arts


The arts provide insight into the way other people think, respond, create, and provides a basic means of communication. When barriers in language cause insufficient means of communication, art serves as a universal language (Linderman, 1984). Art is a visual language with a culmination of perception, skill and imagination being merged much as the same process as practiced reading and writing develops.

Using the visual arts (illustrations, drawings, sketches, and craft such as pottery, carving, or printmaking) enables students to gain better eye-hand coordination, visual representation skills, communicate ideas, and deeper understanding of the process of discovery. Each of these areas contributes to the development of thinking, creating, problem solving and expressing thoughts through symbols.

Visual ArtsVisual Arts

The visual arts provide the opportunities for students to be involved in divergent thinking and creative design. Van Buren (1986) states that communication and self-expression are two goals that are common to art, reading, and writing. When the classroom teacher selects the appropriate strategies, a student’s interest and motivation in reading and writing are enhanced (Criscuolo, 1985). Teachers can be encouraged to integrate or have embedded, literacy instruction throughout the curriculum, (Armbuster & Osborn, 2002). The reading-writing experience connected to art can be highly motivational and exciting to students and to the teacher (Smout, 1990).

Read a full article here…

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About arts2grow

Arts to Grow (ATG) engages children in the artistic process by providing free, highly tailored and professionally taught arts education programs to youth in the New York metro area who have limited access to the arts. Arts to Grow collaborates closely with schools and community groups to match performing and visual arts programs and Teaching Artists with the specific needs of each group of children. ATG serves the community and society by helping children develop their full potential through the arts.

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