The main difficulty of demonstrating the importance of art, it that art is
perceived as simply a fun activity. I suggest examining an environmental
issue from your community that has been dealt with by an artist. Using
ecological art helps to point out the relevance to art to society. Then
incorporate the ideas from the ecological situation, and the work of the
artist, into all of the students' lessons.
By using the ecological issue as a starting point, Science and Math questions
can be developed.
Political science questions arise when one asks what government is doing to
deal with the environmental problem.
The students can write essay about the art work, or letters to the editor of
the local paper about the ecological situation, as an English assignment.
And of course, Art activities can be developed that pertain to the ecological
The idea is to take advantage of the unique opportunity afforded grade school
teachers of having the same kids all day, and construct a series of lessons,
in different subjects, that all relate to the issue of the ecological
situation and the way the artist dealt with it. In this way, the importance
of art as a way to deal with social issues becomes clear. And the students
become extremely involved in the art of their community that has a tie to
the environment, as they examine the art art from many different
perspectives. It is, as ecologists say, a mutually beneficial system.
I realize that this type of idea would require a great deal of work on the
part of the teacher. But I believe it would become easier on subsequent
attemps. It may also help to show students the relevance of the disciplines
they are learning, by showing how they can be interrelated.
Hope this helps,