1. You don’t need to be an artist, musician, or actor to give your students a chance to express their creativity through the arts in your class.

2. Play instrumental music in the background as students read or find an upbeat song to play as they enter your class. Consider sharing your favorites while growing up — a blast from the past!

3. Would your students’ favorite song lyrics stand alone as poetry?

4. Sketch-to-stretch: Have students sketch a model or diagram of the concept they are studying or sketch vocabulary words you are teaching.

5. Share a beautifully illustrated story; then have students create illustrations for what you are reading in class. The artistic ability does not count, only the attempt to capture the concepts.

6. Use Readers’ Theatre as a quick drama boost without the issues of costumes, props, and memorized lines. Even reluctant readers will shine with the chance to rehearse their reading before performing for the class.

7. Brainstorm as a class what the world would be like without the arts. Assign a persuasive essay about the importance of arts education in our schools even during challenging economic times. Send to the local school board, the governor, or the local newspaper editorial column.