I can't believe this never occurred to me, but my reading specialist stumbled upon an amazing collaboration.
I was out of the building one afternoon and my school's reading specialist subbed for me in art. Several students were missing because of end-of-year activities and I had left a basic one day drawing assignment. She brought in an audiobook to have students listen to during work time.
The next morning we chatted about the afternoon's events and she told me that the classes were silent during work time and they were really engaged in their drawings while they listened to the book. That sounded great! I love listening to audiobooks. I like how I can be washing dishes, driving to school, or painting the bathroom, while still being entertained.
The reading specialist had another book that fourth grade was in the process of reading. She asked if they could listen to it during art time. I knew the class would have about 45 minutes of work time, and I knew what they were doing did not require much discussion. It would be fine! Sure enough, for 45 minutes, students traced and drew patterns while listening to an audiobook. The room was silent!
I have a system in place where students only have to be silent for 15 minutes during work time. Sometimes more if it seems necessary. I generally do not need the class to be silent for an entire hour since I know so much creativity comes from sharing ideas with others, and so much peripheral learning takes place during some class time discussion. This audiobook things seems like it could turn amazing though.
After class, the reading specialist and I discussed possible collaborations in the future. I am even excited to integrate an art lesson with the book the students are listening too!