Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Cross-Curricular Teaching (Electives/Core) in a 1:1 Environment

These are my notes from Kristy Lovett (teaches HS Art 1-4) and Erica Carey‘s (HS consumer science) afternoon presentation at the Crescent Public Schools‘ 1:1 learning conference on 4 June 2010. The title of his session was, “Cross-Curricular Teaching (Electives/Core) in a 1:1 Environment.” MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS.


“Of Bridges and Blue Suede Shoes,” cross-curricular connections
– best PD sessions always have 2 things: chocolate and door prizes!

This entire press is available online, created with Dreamweaver!

today we want to talk about making curricular connections, and helping make curriculum RELEVANT for kids
-we want to share projects we’ve done and have worked for us

Why Elvis?
– he was the KING
– on the cutting edge, the trend setter
– you will have to adapt

One for the MONEY: our goals
– promote cross-curricular teaching
– equip teachers with cross-curricular info and strategies
– provide tried and true tips for success in 1:1 tech/digital teaching environments (from non-techie people)
– challenge you to create a technology facilitated cross-curricular lesson

Cross-curricular teaching is a bridge over troubled waters
– involves a conscious effort to apply knowledge, principles, and or values to more than one academic discipline simultaneously

TV dinner teaching: everything is separte:
– today we spice it up, mix it together!

Cross-curricular teaching makes students operate on the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy
– businesses want to hire people who can think for themselves!
– that is my main teaching goal!
– create students who are capable of adapting, doing new things, making the world a better place

– motivation doesn’t last but neither does bathing… that’s why we recommend it daily! (Zig Ziglar)
– Eisenhower: Motivation is the Art of getting people to do what you want them to do…

Retention: B Franklin – Tell me I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

This is our story
– cultural diversity fair (every other year)
– TAH Grant – Civil War
– TAH Grant – World War II
– The Origins of FAiry Tales / German Romanticism
– Germs and Hygiene
– Careers

With the TAH grant this year, we took a week out of our curriculum and EVERY class studied and taught the civil war
– family life in Civil War, made and ate hard tack, analyzed diets of people during the Civil War

Quotation on the wall: “The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.” – Proverbs 10:8 (NLT)

It is so much easier using the Internet to differentiate the curriculum and give students more choices about their learning

Our entire staff taught a unit on WWII because of the TAH grant
– propaganda posters (was very interesting because the students’ projects were very politically correct, yet propaganda is usually anything BUT politically correct)
– students couldn’t bring themselves to take a current issue and make a statement / make propaganda about it

Civil War studies: did Winslow Homer (an artist who traveled with Civil War troops, did illustrations for magazines like Harpers)
– Lincoln was one of the first people to EVER use political photography, he had to sit for THREE MINUTES per photo when they were taken (WOW IS THIS EVER AMAZING!)
– students received a grade in English for the essay, and a grade in Art for the artwork they created

Careers example: Get grade in English and in Careers

Germs and Hygiene project
– students taught preK kids a few years ago the proper way to wash your hands
– science instructor had kids swap everything on door handles and elsewhere in the school, then they GREW those germs in cultures
– then the art teacher helped them create posters of the germs in large scale
– used black-light reactive powder first, before the lesson, and used it as a way to show where the kids hadn’t washed or other places they had rubbed their hands…

studied fairy tales in English, talked about differentiating
– painted Caspar David Friedrich

In March I lost five years of work, all my pictures
– get a terabyte drive and backup!


communication is the key for cross-curricular unit success
– find out what others teach and what you have in common
– more conversations!
– example: moving abstract expressionism to the same time of the year the history teacher is covering post-WWII economy

1- Theme: must engage your students
2- Grade-level appropriateness

3- Focus- a single sentence that represents the direction and focus across curriculum areas
4- Objectives: specific to subject area PASS objectives

Most sites on Google for cross-curricular projects are primary/elementary

Use ALL your resources

I don’t like videotaping myself and putting it out on the internet, I feel very vulnerable
– I do PowerPoint podcasts

5- General Activities
– web-based podcasts

6- Discussion

7- Culminating Activity: creative project that can be evaluated across subject areas

8- Assessment- subject rubrics

9- Communication, Communication, Communication

My online curriculum:

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

If you enjoyed this post and found it useful, subscribe to Wes’ free newsletter. Check out Wes’ video tutorial library, “Playing with Media.” Information about more ways to learn with Dr. Wesley Fryer are available on

On this day..