K-5th Grade Curriculum
Collage - Students tore paper and used pre-cut shapes to begin their studies in collage. Classmates posed for one another to inspire different figural compositions. Then they practiced with scissors to cut and arrange shapes before gluing onto construction paper backgrounds. Next, the class looked at Sea Shapes by Suse MacDonald, and tried creating and combining shapes to describe an animal they know. Finally, students changed paper in a variety of ways to make a pop-up collage.
Students made prints by stamping. They started with an ink and rubber stamp set and tried to add colors associated with their letters. Then they worked with potatoes and tempera paint and were asked to consider how placement, color and overlap might form a pattern. Some children printed on their crayon/rubbing prints. Finally in groups K-classes painted large heavyweight paper with sponges and brushes before stamping on top.
Painting - students practiced using brushes and learned about color mixing. They started by looking at work by Paul Klee and made tone studies of a single color. Next they read Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh and learned about mixing secondary colors from primary. Using this knowledge they attempted to create a painting using a variety of color, as well as shape and line.
Sculpture - Kindergarteners discussed what is sculpture and 3-dimensional space. They used modeling clay to help balance wood pieces and also used the pieces as stencils to draw their sculptures. Next we discussed the history of clay and looked at examples including work by Camille Claudet. Students demonstrated changing clay in a variety of ways to create a portrait and a standing sculpture.
Kindergarteners ended the year with a sharpie and watercolor self-portrait.
Watercolors - Students created wax resist drawings. Using brushes they explored the reaction between watercolor and crayon. They learned about opaque versus transparent and attempted to change values by using different amounts of water. Then they were asked to create a work about something they did over the summer.
Next students discussed Vincent Van Gogh's portrait of Joseph Roulin. They generated their own ideas of what made a "good" portrait. These included carefully observed and drawn shapes, lots of details as well as color and background. They used sharpie and watercolor to create a portrait of a classmate.
1st graders also created dream house drawings from their imagination after reading Bling Blang by Woody Guthrie and Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss.
Printmaking - students continued to look at architecture, including drawings by Butch Hancock and David Macaulay. They designed smaller versions of dream houses for prints
Collage and Sculpture - students looked at a few collages by Henri Matisse and Eric Carle. After making some paper rubbings, they used this paper in a collage exploration. Next they were asked to create a collage about something they know about winter. They were also given instruction on how to slip and score clay to translate these ideas into clay sculptures.
Paintings - Students looked at a painting by Henri Michaux. They discussed what abstract means, how to mix grey, and attempted to create a painting using a variety of line and shape using black and white paint. Next they discussed symmetry and created sketches on graph paper. Finally students worked with color tempera paint and watercolor crayons to create a symmetrical painting.
Murals - in conjunction with their homeroom studies, 1st grade children were asked to draw on their knowledge of the rainforest, outer space, and coral reef in order to create group landscape paintings on canvas.
Printmaking - students discussed the process of printmaking and patterns found in everyday objects as well as music. They made studies with repeated imagery on graph paper before transferring into styrofoam for printing. 2nd graders continued talking about music and musical instruments they know. Using colored pencils, they were asked to design an instrument and include a manual of instructions on how it works.
Drawing and Sculpture - Students looked at masks worn in different cultures. They were asked to sketch an idea for a mask that would give its wearer a supernatural power. Using air dry clay they constructed their masks. Next students learned about comics and wrote strips about a character who wears and uses their mask.
Collage - students reviewed the advantages of collage. They created, combined and arranged at least 5 shapes in different compositions before starting to glue their self-portraits.
Students wrote comic strips about how they got somewhere. They considered using panels in the form of a map. They chose specific panels to turn into collages and pop-up books.
Painting - students first made line and color studies. They looked at work by Wassily Kandinsky and Robert Delaunay. Next they were asked to create a painting about something in their community/neighborhood. Finally they collaborated to create a group painting along this theme on canvas.
Video - students each worked with colored pencils to create short illustrated books. They collaborated to build shadow puppets and video record their stories.
Drawing - following a trip to the Rubin museum 3rd graders did some drawing from observation of kale using calligraphic techniques (bamboo pens and ink) as well as with charcoal. Next they learned about perspective drawing and made 1-point perspective studies. Students then looked at the La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat and his preparatory sketches for the painting. They were asked to think about and create a sketch of a place where they have seen lots of people. They added color to a final version using watercolors.
Students learned about shading to create a sense of 3-dimensional space. Using charcoal sticks they attempted to blend areas of shadow observed in styrofoam balls and eggs. They also worked with oil pastels to create self-portraits using mirrors.
Sculpture - 3rd graders looked at contour line drawings and wire sculpture by Alexander Calder. They made contour line portraits with pen as well as worked with wire and marker caps to create sculptures
Printmaking - students created a drawing of a butterfly from observation. They transferred and printed them using styrofoam plates on canvas for a school auction.
Animation - students learned how to use a sequence of drawings to create an animation. They chose a theme to work on as a class and made pacing outlines of their ideas before animating on 4 x 6 notecards.
Drawing from observation - students looked at some drawings by the artist Dawn Clements. They tried to carefully observe details in a still life of some flowers while working with pencils and watercolor on unfolded paper bags.
Collage - students created collages on paper bags, and collages using negative space design.
Printmaking - 4th grade looked at a portrait print of Andre the Giant by Shepard Fairey. We talked about its context in appropriation and street art/grafitti and connected it to the concept of internet memes. Students used photo booth to take a photograph of themselves. The photographs were edited in photoshop (using adjustments->threshold) to separate areas of dark and light and then printed. Students then traced over the dark areas while marking into a styrofoam plate placed underneath the tracing/photograph. Next they inked the plates and re-printed their images on black paper. Some students included text.
Sculpture - using air-dry clay 4th grade students were assigned to create at least four shapes before combining them into a free standing sculpture.
watercolor drawings - Students began with an exploration of watercolors. They reviewed varying opacities and color mixing. Next, they studied an artwork by Pop-artist, Don Nice. They determined that careful attention to shape, and use of light and shadow to add a sense of 3-dimensional space were important factors in making a realistic drawing. They sketched their own sneakers with pencils and erasers before working with pens and watercolor.
Comics - 5th graders created autobiographical comic strips. First they made studies in 1-point and 2-point perspective. Next they created perspective drawings from memory of spaces within their homes as well as proposals for artworks within spaces in the school.
Painting - Students learned to color mix grey using primary colors and white. They created tone/value studies in grey as well as in primary colors before applying this knowledge to a still life lesson. Students attempted to depict areas of light and shadow while observing peppers.
Students collaborated to create painting of the school. Working from copies of a photograph they created corresponding grids on both the canvas and photograph so they could sketch sections of the facade in parts on the canvas. Once finished sketching, they painted using acrylic.
Sculpture - students learned about the surrealist movement. They each created realist and surrealist portraits before building paper mache figures. Then they collaborated to create a group sculpture using cardboard and hot glue.
Yearbook Elective - 5th grade yearbook committee designed the school yearbook cover, page layouts, and wrote content. Each 5th grade student designed their own page as well. Yearbooks printed by Irvin Simon.
Exhibits - student work was displayed at a local Barnes and Noble, a nearby cafe, and at an end of the year art show in the school gym.