Through this expereince I found that integrated lessons give students much more engagement and motivation. It allows students to use one subject to learn more about the other. It gives them more opportunity for learning because a student may be strong in one subject and weak in the other, however they can use that stronger subject because they are already comfortable with it, to help them dig deeper into the other subject. When different subject areas are put together it broadens the opportunity for differentiated instruction as well. I found that with certain parameters and/or success criteria it gives students a base to build off of. After they have met the learning criteria, make sure to leave room for student choice an/or creativity. This really addresses different instruction types and learning styles.
Here is an example of what I am talking about. This was a lesson that I did with my grade 5's in which they had to use 2 dimensional polygons and symmetry to express a feeling. Their success criteria contained minimal mathematical parameters such as a line of symmetry down the center of the page, they had to use each polygon more than once, and their art had to express how they were feeling. This lesson helped them learn more about symmetry and 2D objects through creativity and self discovery. While at the same time played an important role in their ability to express themselves, through art. A lesson prior to this was taught in which they learned what symmetry was.. but this really brought it home.
Here are the students work...enjoy !