Bonner’s arts integration helps to strengthen academics

Bonner's arts integration helps to strengthen academics (Image 1)

Art forms help to stimulate learning at H.E. Bonner Elementary in the Macedonia community of Berkeley county. We’re in Moncks Corner for our Cool School of the week.

Fourth grade students are using text card tableaus to learn about the Abolitionist movement. Teacher Carrie Chinners created text cards on the subject, students memorized content in small groups. Chinners says, “We do text cards because it includes drama. It includes reading, fluency. It includes the Social Studies content, but it’s all in a cooperative way so they are enjoying what they’re doing. They’re having a blast, and they’re also memorizing the content. They get to perform it for their peers which they just love to do and it’s just an awesome integrated way to teach a content subject.”

It’s all a part of the school’s art integration program. Teachers integrate the arts throughout the core curriculum using the strategies learned through training. Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies lessons are taught and interwoven using tableaus, reading portraits, one minute challenges, and test prep. Students are taught to make connections to the curriculum, the arts, and real life. Four year old students are working on portrait study. It allows them to study a portrait, and have conversations as they work together to discover knowledge about a topic. Principal Natalie Lockliear says Bonner is in it’s third year of arts integration. She says, “It really effects the classroom. It’s all about getting kids up and showing what they’ve learned and being interactive and taking part of a team and making and building together.”

As part of arts integration, Bonner has the Academy of Arts. Students receive instruction through exploratory classes in music, drama, culinary, visual arts, and dance. Right now 230 students are in Bonner’s Academy of Arts. They hope to have the program go school wide in a few years.

Bonner’s Academy of Arts, a school within a school consists of two classes each in first through fifth grades.

Now they’re getting ready for a big production, their spring showcase, Alice in Wonderland. Fifth-grade student Raymond Croker says, “You get to showcase your talents. There is different things that people want to do for talents, drumming, dancing, and they get a better chance at doing it at a younger age.”

The big Alice in Wonderland production will take place Tuesday May 20th.

Coming up Friday on News 2 Today, we’ll present the Bonner Foxes with our Cool School award.

We want to hear about the good things going on at your school. Send an email to Octavia at, maybe your school will be the next Cool School of the week.

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