“A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words” Art Integration to Enhance Writing

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Education, Department of Teacher Education

First Advisor

Jim Duignan

Second Advisor

Nandita Manchanda

Third Advisor

Nancy Williams


This research study examined the impacts of art on writing attitudes and achievement in a first-grade classroom. Twenty-two students engaged in both language arts and arts-based writing preparation activities before completing compositions associated with a set of related topics. Writing samples were scored by sixteen-point rubrics measuring the number of words produced in addition to focus, support, organization and integration. Mean scores were consistently higher when the arts were involved. Observations, interviews and multiple surveys further demonstrated children are enthusiastic about the arts and arts-based compositions. Thus, arts-based writing is not only an effective method for varying instruction and supporting students of diverse learning styles throughout the writing process, but it also proves to be an effective strategy to enhance overall writing progress and achievement.


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