The Arts

Young children have an innate need to make sense of the world. The arts in their many forms provide a natural vehicle through which children express their interpretation of our world. Therefore, the arts play an important role in the development of children’s communication and thinking skills.

The arts stimulate learning. They play an integral role in children’s cognitive, motor, language, social, and emotional development. Learning through the arts helps develop decision-making skills, stimulate memory, facilitate understanding, develop symbolic communication, promote sensory development, and encourage creative thinking. Learning through the arts also fosters children’s imagination, helps to develop empathy, promotes the development of relationships, and builds self-esteem, while enabling children to experience a sense of accomplishment.

Participation in meaningful arts-related activities engages children in problem solving, as well as critical and creative thinking. The arts are a vehicle for children to understand different cultures as well as to express their own culture. Many studies demonstrate that learning through the arts also improves literacy and numeracy. Expectations in the arts are arranged under the following three subheadings: Visual Arts, Music, and Drama and Dance. Each area of the arts is of equal importance. Children need to have ready access to a wide variety of materials, resources, and experiences that offer them different pathways through which they can demonstrate their learning. The creative process is the focus of the arts. 

Children need time to revisit materials and experiences to consolidate their learning. Carefully planned activities provide daily opportunities for children to explore visual arts materials, tools, and processes; music; and drama and dance. Various learning centres in the classroom (e.g., the puppet centre, the drama centre) enable children to apply and extend their learning.

It is important that young children see themselves as artists, musicians, dancers, and actors. Arts activities and experiences should be embedded in meaningful contexts in which children are thoroughly involved in the whole artistic process. Children need time to imagine, create, and explore in a non-threatening environment where they know their individual choices and responses are respected and valued. Providing children with opportunities to express themselves through the arts supports their growing understanding in all areas of learning. Arts activities should also be integrated not only to support the learning of expectations in other areas, but also to support the diverse learning styles, interests, and abilities of individual children. Exposure to and involvement in a variety of art forms will provide young children with the foundation for a lifelong interest in and appreciation of the arts.

Teachers can invite local artists or children’s family members who are involved in the arts into the school to enhance children’s exposure to the arts and to introduce them to the arts as a profession and as a reflection of local culture and their community.



OVERALL EXPECTATIONS

By the end of Kindergarten, children will:

1.Demonstrate an awareness of themselves as artists through engaging in activities in visual arts, music, drama, and dance;
2.Demonstrate basic knowledge and skills gained through exposure to the arts and activities in the arts;
3.Use problem-solving strategies when experimenting with the skills, materials,
4.processes, and techniques used in the arts both individually and with others;
5.Express responses to a variety of art forms, including those from other cultures;
6.Communicate their ideas through various art forms.