Strategies to Improve Literacy Standards Using Creative Arts
The improvement of literacy standards is an important goal for educators. This paper focuses on how activities and strategies from the Creative Arts can enhance the learning of literacy, particularly for young learners (Kindergarten – Year 6). However, the strategies can be adopted and adapted for older age groups. Art, children’s literature, drama and information technology - all have the potential to inspire students to achieve (Winch et al. 2006; Anderson, 2007). Literacy skills are important since they are the bedrock for learning in all disciplines. Innovative ideas to improve reading, writing, listening and speaking are drawn from the Creative Arts. Stimuli is provided from popular writers and their award winning texts. The writer and illustrator Anthony Browne in The Shape Game offers many artistic ideas to engage students. Similarly, Shaun Tan’s wordless picture book The Arrival and Li Cunxin’s extraordinary The Peasant Prince: The True Story of Mao’s Last Dancer, provide opportunities for literacy and drama activities in the classroom. The animated television characters of Graeme Base’s Animalia can serve as a springboard for teachers to encourage literacy. Various assessment techniques are used to check literacy progress, including the use of ACER (Australia Council for Educational Research) tests.
Keywords: Creative Arts, Literacy, English as a Second Language
Dr. Lesley Ljungdahl
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Education, University of Technology Sydney