I was very interested in the visual thinking strategies idea. Right away it had me thinking about how much it could enhance students writing. The idea of making a claim and backing it up with evidence is a constant writing and reading skill we teach students. Incorporating this with art and starting lessons with making claims and evidence using images would be a very engaging and fun way to teach students. Watching the videos I was so impressed with the claims the students were making. It is also a great way to enhance students speaking skills and their communication between one another. The way the students could agree and respectfully disagree with one another is a huge life skill students need. The main idea I pulled from this is somehow starting the day or starting lessons with discussing an image or sculpture of some sort. It would wake the students up, get them excited, be an opportunity to integrate art, have positive conversations in the classroom, and build community within the classroom.
I integrate art a lot within writing units and writing curriculum. Writing is such a hard skill for some students and it can be difficult for them to express themselves through writing alone. I like to pull in a lot of different art activities with the writing. I may encourage students to illustrate their writing. They might start with some sort of art project like creating a monster and then they have to write a story to go along with it. They might have to mix paint colors and then in writing explain what they did. Art is such a fun, hands on way for students to express themselves and it can be so positive in the classroom in all subject areas.