Integrating the arts
Fine arts and art integration differ in planning, content, and delivery. Teaching the arts consists of a "quality comprehensive and sequential arts education" that is "provided in special classes taught by arts specialists" (Cornett, 2011, p. 5). Integrating the arts, however, involves the teacher "transforming how teaching and learning happens during literacy and math lessons, and science and social studies units" (Cornett, 2011, p. 5). Students learning about animal habits, for example, might be given the opportunity to create posters of what they have learned about these habitats.
In most elementary schools in which I have substituted, I have taken general education classes to art, and I have taught art in the related arts wing for the entire day. There is a very important difference between the two - for the former, I often instruct and assist students in creating posters that reflect mathematics and science standards; for the latter, I spend the day incorporating art standards into a classroom and helping students create pieces of artwork that reflect these standards and make them proud of their hard work (Cornett, 2011, p. 12 - 13).
Teaching the arts is teaching about famous painters, like Michelangelo, explaining the elements of the Sistine Chapel, and asking the student to demonstrate their comprehension of this material in a creative fashion. Integrating the arts is teaching about the most influential presidents in American history, like Abraham Lincoln, and asking students to dress up as a president and act out skits (like the Gettysburg Address) that demonstrate their understanding of the social studies content in an interesting and creative way (Cornett, 2011, p. 16).
Cornett, C. E. (2011). Creating Meaning Through Literature and the Arts: Arts Integration for Classroom Teachers (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.