Visual art is integral to the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP). It is a powerful mode of communication through which students explore and construct a sense of self and develop an understanding of the world around them. Elementary art classes provide students with a wide range of opportunities and means to respond to their experiences and engage with historical, social and cultural perspectives. The students are stimulated to think and to articulate their thoughts in new ways, focusing their attention on the creative process rather than the final product. (IBO)

The ES Visual Arts Program at AAS is created through the National Core Arts Standards, and within the IB PYP Framework.

Fifth Grade: Artist Statements

Next week is the last for Fifth Grade Art for a while. A gallery of completed work shall be posted soon. As part of the Curriculum Standard ‘Create’ students are required to:

Create artist statements using art vocabulary to describe personal choices in art making (Create: Reflect/Refine. Continue: VA: Cr3.1.5a)

As mentioned in previous posts, students have been encouraged to foster the habit of documenting their process via Seesaw. Feedback has been provided to all who have done so, as a means to guide students towards this final task, and encourage the use of art specific vocabulary. A student who is exceeding expectations will speak or write in depth, covering the following areas.

  • the art form
  • in which ways and from whom did they find inspiration
  • an explanation of their use of contrast, movement and space in the work
  • challenges met during the process
  • strategies employed to overcome the challenges met

A handful of students have already completed their Statements. Here are some great examples.

Listen to Soheun 5FR here.

Well done also to Sona 5FS (Link to image and Audio)

and well done to Mikayil 5FS (Link to image and Audio)





First Grade: Who We Are & 3 Way Conferences

As First Grade attend art only once a week, it takes time to follow through the inquiry cycle. Our artist’s are almost finished and ready to start something new.

In the past few weeks students have become more focused in their printmaking skills (Develop Skills). Exploring new tools, patterns and textures, inclusive of layering, they have been working to create prints with improved quality. Discussion has focused on ‘what makes a good print?’ ‘What are we looking for?’ ‘What is working, and what is not?’ and ‘What do I need to do, to improve it?’ Applying less paint, moving the tools slowly, and not pressing so hard, are some solutions discovered.

Having completed their printmaking skills, we returned to the Key Concept of ‘Function’ and the function of pattern/motif design from a variety of cultures. With their knowledge of motif patterns, students have been asked to use their creativity to create one of their own, with a specific item to be ‘decorated’ in mind (a fan, a fabric, a plate). Students have been asked to plan carefully (Generate Ideas/Plan), considering the tools they wish to use, the colors they will apply, and the style of motif (nature, organic or geometric shapes/patterns), and apply to a newly created print (Create).


To finalise, students present their work on Seesaw and to parents. If it is convenient for you to visit the art room during 3 way conferences, students can show their Process Journal and discuss the various stages of investigation, challenges met with printmaking skills, idea generation, their ability to follow their plan, or choices/reasons to change it, and engage in an overall reflection and evaluation with parents. If there is no time for you to visit the art room, a photo will be available in their classroom, of their work, or of them working, which can act as a springboard for discussion.





Fifth Grade: Discussing Process and using the Language of Art

Volume is needed to hear the recordings in this post.

Following this week’s recent Fifth Grade Post, here are some great examples of a student continuing to record her process, and using art specific language to explain the content of her work. Well done Emma W (5FR). Please click on the following links, and use volume.

Seesaw Post One

Seesaw Post Two

Fifth Grade: Assessments, Seesaw, and Documenting Process

After tuning into the characteristics of art works from the Op Art Movement, investigating, exploring, and trying out different methods in their process journal, students have been assigned their final work. They have four lessons to complete a work using paper, scissors and glue only, ensuring that their choices are governed by their knowledge and understanding of art elements and principles, in particular, Contrast, Movement and Space.

The assessment of art is very holistic. It views the process as a whole, as well as the quality of the final product. Students have been provided (via Seesaw Assignments) this simple explanation of how they can reach our curriculum standards. It is posted on our Smart Board and discussed during every lesson, as a reminder.


You may have noticed several Seesaw Posts this week, which your child has uploaded. This is not finished work for presentation. It is part of the requirement to document the process as they work through the assignment. There may be several photos of the work at the various stages. Students are encouraged to be independently responsible for ongoing documentation of the process. It may be simply a photo, or they may include a sentence about the stage they are at, their current thinking, and intentions for next steps. From myself, you may see a simple ‘like’ as an acknowledgement that they are working along this path, or there may be a constructive comment, to reassure them that they are reaching the set criteria or advice on next steps. A simple ‘like’ or words of encouragement from you, will always be motivational for your child.

Example of a student’s post: Photo Only

Example of a student’s post: Photo and reflection

Example of a student’s post: Photo, student thoughts, and teacher comment.


Second Grade: Present

Second Grade are currently on their break from art class, as they enjoy alternative learning experiences. We look forward to welcoming them back in late November. In the meantime, thank you and well done to Katie and Anthony of 2GA who presented in assembly yesterday. Katie and Anthony highlighted our Learner Profile ‘Thinker’ for us, and shared the following video of our Second Grade Creative Thinker’s journey from August to October. If you would like the link, without blurred faces, please feel free to contact me! Enjoy!

Fifth Grade: Tune In & Investigate

Welcome back to art! Fifth Grade Learners are now experiencing their second of a six week unit (12 lessons). It has been a great start, with all demonstrating enthusiasm for the subject. Continued emphasis is placed on the Inquiry Cycle, otherwise known in art as the Creative Process, or Design Cycle. We have started this unit by gaining a clear understanding of our end goal, and discussing the process of arriving there. Tune In/Research Investigate, Develop Skills/Generate Ideas, Plan/Create, Seek Feedback/Improve (throughout), Reflect/Evaluate/Improve, Present. This inquiry is ‘guided’. This means that the end goal has been selected for students. However, they will have some freedom, in the ways they reach their final realisation. The goal is to develop and create an artwork inspired by the Op Art Movement, and one which clearly utilizes the art elements of movement. contrast and space. The following information has been provided to students and discussed in class.

Tuning In: During week one, students tuned in by observing the work of artists Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely. They have worked on identifying the methods these two artists applied, in order to create a sense of movement, space and contrast in their work.

Investigate: How can I create a sense of movement, space and contrast in my work? During week two, students have been given freedom of choice in selecting the materials with which they would like to experiment, in order to find solutions to this question. With provided examples of Vasserly and Riley’s work, copying was permitted, in order to find our way and get into the flow. Once ready, students have been encouraged to use iPads for personal research of the Op Art movement, and move forward as inventors/creators themselves.

Self Directed Learning: Many students have demonstrated enthusiasm to further investigate in their own time at home. No homework has been issued though such self directed learning is highly encouraged. Some example videos have been uploaded to SeeSaw which students can access in their own time, should they wish.

For now, we leave you with a short video clip, of our students fully engaged in their individual creative activities, and a taste of the art room ambience (volume required), as has been the scene this week. It is such a pleasure to observe the wide range of ideas beginning to emerge, as student confidence grows.

Third Grade: Resist Methods and thoughtful application of color.

Third Grade have completed their first unit of the year. It was a ‘Stand Alone’ which means it is not specifically connected/integrated to/with their regular class Unit of Inquiry. However, it is still concept driven, and this time, we have focused on the PYP Key Concept of FORM.At AAS, it is our aim to expose learners to a variety of art forms throughout the year, and Elementary School. During the last few weeks, they have enjoyed the opportunity to experiment with and discover the qualities and recognisable features of resist methods, using oil pastel/watercolor, and washable glue/acrylic paint, leading to a final batik product. Batik is usually created with hot wax, and so with safety in mind, glue can work as effectively, and as an introduction for Third Graders.

For her SeeSaw post, Derya chose to speak about her work. Click here, to listen.  Leyla chose to write about her work. “This is my batik. First l put glue on cloth. Next we colored it and finally we put it in cold water and left it overnight . It is finished . The difficult part was putting the cloth on the round frame because it kept falling off . I fixed it by putting the frame under it and pushing the frame together . I chose red orange and yellow because they are all analogous colors”.

As you receive Seesaw posts, you are encouraged to interact with your child by asking questions about the experience of this art form. We encourage a growth mindset, and therefore, the child should be increasingly recognising the value of lessons learned, over the quality of the final product. With this, if your child has followed through the guiding questions, he/she will have addressed the challenges met, and possible strategies to overcome these, in addition to an explanation of the process, inclusive of art vocabulary. For example, words such as ‘batik, resist, acrylic, analogous colors and blending’ should be incorporated into his/her speaking or writing. (If your child only posted a photo, this is due to lack of time. No problem)

Most students followed along the idea of creating a mandala style design, though this was not truly the focus of the work. The discovery and recognition of a new art form in particular, application of new skills and knowledge of color, and our ability to discuss the process was central to all.

A Batik art display will soon be created and on view in the ES Lobby area, and below is a Youtube video, which will give you insights into Third Grade’s first art unit of the year. Enjoy!









Second Grade: Clay Tile Relief Gallery (Unfired Work)

First Grade: Who We Are

Note: Video and Audio may be accessed more easily if viewing from a laptop or PC.

Parents will be aware that First Grade students are currently working on the Unit of Inquiry ‘Who We Are’, which is ‘an inquiry into the nature of the self, with a focus on culture. This is a transdisciplinary unit, which means that Specialist Subject teachers, as well as classroom teachers, have carefully planned lessons together, around the Central Idea ‘Exploring culture allows people to develop their sense of identity and make connections’. In art we are working along the Line of Inquiry ‘Motif designs in fabrics and everyday objects come in identifiable forms’ and that ‘Culture is connected to identity’. With the Key Concept of Connection, we also focus on the Related Concepts of Identity, Culture and Diversity. 

During the first few art classes students have been working through the investigational/finding out stage of the inquiry cycle by observing motifs, repetition and pattern in various cultural designs. Through observational drawing, students are exposed to a number of designs, specific to various cultures, and have been encouraged to notice the style and its use of nature, geometric and organic shape. Students have been asked to open their eyes to designs they may find in their home, beit in curtains, carpets, clothes, plates, cups, and question the origin of the design with parents. Some indeed, have made strong connections.

Introducing new media, developing skills, and creative thinking.

For the last three weeks, working on a rotation, students have had the opportunity to explore the use of ink stamps, Indian wood blocks with paint, and paper cut outs, while they experiment with creating their own motifs, pattern and repetition. They have been required to use the materials appropriately, and carefully consider arrangements of shape and color. Watch this space for following information in upcoming weeks, as students continue to practise printmaking and become designers themselves.