Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (MAE)



First Advisor

Vicki L Olson

Second Advisor

Gretchen Kranz Irvine

Third Advisor

Deborah Katz


The decline of literacy skills continues to be a crisis and a concern. It is important to emphasize that being literate goes beyond reading and writing. The definition of literacy can and should also include the ability to listen and speak. With this inclusion literacy becomes well defined as a form of communication. While art and writing are both forms of expression and thereby a means of communication, it is only natural that, because the two share the same goal, they should be studied jointly. The study and practice of art can enhance student's fine motor skills, cognitive learning development and critical thinking and as a result improve literacy skill development. The time to begin infusing art into literacy lessons is early childhood. Elementary teachers need to embrace a curriculum that binds the two subjects together to send students to succeed throughout their education and beyond.


SC 11.MAE.2009.Wagner.A