Second Grade: Process & Reflection

Creative Process: Tune In/Research, Develop Skills, Make Personal Connections, Generate Ideas, Plan, Create, and throughout, Reflect, Evaluate and Improve.

This unit has focused on the following PYP Learner Profiles: Inquirer, Thinker, Knowledgeable, Caring

Second Grade Art Class is drawing to a close for now. The new schedule, which has allowed art to take place twice a week has been beneficial in providing students greater continuity. Students have been guided through the creative process in a way that in future years, they will manage independently. The following slide show will be viewed by students next week and help them to gain clearer understanding of the progression they have experienced. Reflection/Evaluation occurs throughout, and to end, students have been taking a final look at their work and making basic notes about their experience. Second Grade Students will return to art class, the week of 3rd December to further explore the Transdisciplinary Theme of ‘How We Express Ourselves”.

Can I take it home? This is a frequent question, and it is wonderful that students feel so proud of their work. The Ceramic Tiles Relief work (after firing) will be kept in school for a few weeks to be exhibited in display cabinets. Also photos shall be taken as a record of student achievement, before being sent home. We therefore need to keep them for approximately one more month. 2D work will be kept until the end of the school year. Parents are welcome to view their child’s work in school – please email to arrange a mutually convenient time.

(First Slide Hundertwasser image borrowed from

First Grade: Reflection/Evaluation, and Generation of Ideas

In the past few weeks students have become more focused in their printmaking 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.

Now in the final stages of the creative process, students have returned to questions over the function of motifs and patterns in everyday objects, noting function as decorative and often inspired by personal experience and therefore connection with, cultural identity. Students are currently working on organising their thoughts for a design of their own to apply to an everyday object. They are required to consider color, shape, pattern, repetition and texture in generating ideas for a background which can be applied with their own, unique motif design.

Second Grade: Organisation and Refining Skills

Note to self: Second Grade students LOVE working with clay! Every student has been fully engaged. All have arrived excited and ready to start. All have listened and taken care to follow artistic procedures. All have been mindful of safety with tools and respectful in sharing them. All have contributed to tidy and clean up time. All have been trying their best. All have shown willingness to elaborate on and extend ideas. It has been wonderful to observe students demonstrating their ability to Love Learning, Respect and Contribute! Some classes are now moving on to the final stage of their studio work. It is easy to say “I have finished”. Students are now spending the next two lessons learning to take their work further by ‘Refining’. It’s time to step back, self evaluate and ask peers, what can I do to improve it? Noting that empty space is not interesting to look at, students are using a tools to add a variety of textures to both shape and space to bring more interest to the work. It is also important to vary the patterns in texture, in order to maintain sight of original shapes. In addition to this they are ensuring that all pieces are secured, cleaning up and smoothing out rough surfaces/edges where necessary. The first of the finished works are emerging and it is inspiring to see, the capabilities of a Second Grade student.

Third Grade: The Language of Art

Since our last blog post, students have been involved in a number of explorative learning experiences which emphasise the artist’s knowledge and intentional application of the Elements of Art, Principles of Design and the language/words associated with these. The video (previous post) Kingdom of Colors, allowed students to tune into the idea that specific choice of color combinations can create a greater aesthetic. Students began by working on an exploration of combining colors with use of soft pastel. Which colors blend nicely? Which do not? And discovered that some, placed side by side, create greater contrast. A color wheel was introduced and students began to identify analogous and complementary color groups.

With this, each student began and individual paper collage with set criteria, that when placed together, the work as a whole would create a sense of unity. All students were to apply the elements and principles of analogous color combinations, straight (as opposed to curved/wavy) lines, and geometric (as opposed to organic) shapes. Students could then bring individual style through choosing to incorporate repetition, balance, contrast, texture and the technique of layering. As a ‘start of school year’ activity, this allowed students to recognise the wide range of creativity among us. Same task, different outcomes.

Further color study

Motivated by discussions of unity and color application found in Van Gogh’s sunflowers, students have used color wheels, when trying some exploratory learning experiences in blending analogous colors with crayon, and applying complementary colors to create contrast.

Observing the work of other artists

With new language increasingly acquired, this week students have started practising skills in critique and analysis through observing the work of artists who are known for their use of color, and specifically Marc Chagall. Upon observation as a whole class, some students made immediate personal connections with it’s content, and called upon new language to explain/describe composition. This is a big leap for Third Grade. As students begin to understand the process of critiquing (Describe, interpret, analyse, evaluate), they have simply started by looking. Through games, students are currently answering the simple questions “what can you see?” and “what more can you see?” quickly learning the difference between ‘seeing’ and ‘interpretation’, and coming to the realisation that interpretation can be unique to the individual observer. All of the above investigations will now lead to a final studio work, which will require a little imagination, with thoughtful application of basic compositional knowledge.

(Image borrowed from:


Second Grade: Painting – Lollipop Trees

The Second Grade Painting ‘Lollipop Trees’ is complete and ready for viewing near to the Elementary Office. All students have contributed to this work by adding their personal touch to the Van Gogh & Hundertwasser inspired background: artists who found innovative ways to express ideas through line, shape, color and repetition in particular. All students individually created the circular section of a lollipop tree, though not all have completed this work. We hope to find some time for ‘catch up’. To create this work students have used only primary colors to create their own gradations of secondary colors. This work focused on color theory and skills practise only. Students are now working on making more personal connections through creativity, in the medium of clay.

Third Grade: Welcome back to school!

It is now September! Hopefully it is not too late to say, welcome back to school! We hope you had a great holiday and are excited to be working with you this new school year, 2017-18. Please take a moment to subscribe to the Third Grade Art Blog, in order to receive email notifications of class updates. Simply enter your email in the box provided, to the right of this page. Also for details regards the nature of our program, please click on the tab above, named ‘Visual Arts Curriculum’

Third Grade have spent the first few lessons settling into art room routines and working through a number of learning experiences which highlight the artist’s use of The Elements of Art, and Principles of design. Becoming familiar with the use of art vocabulary has been key, with a specific focus on color theory. More detailed news will soon follow. For now, please enjoy this mesmerising video clip which has been used to help students ‘tune in’ to the subject of aesthetics and color theory. (Thomas Blanchard and Olihack)



Second Grade: Next Steps & Ceramics

Our next step with the HWEO Unit, is to make connections with personal experiences, and add some creativity into the fold. Students are now working on remembering their observations of Hundertwasser’s work, thinking about an environment they know, and at the same time, using imagination, to envision a personal expression in the medium of clay. Students have been generating ideas, and observed a demonstration in creating a ceramic relief tile. They are building on joining techniques learned in First Grade (the Four S’s – score, slip, squish, smooth) to add interesting shapes/lines to a clay slab. This is an extremely challenging task for Second Grade and some of the greatest challenges emerge from developing skills in organisation and time management. We enjoy challenge! All Second Grade classes will be involved in ceramic work, over the course of the next week or two and more photos will be posted as the work develops.

Second Grade: Painting

(Images borrowed from: and Pixabay)

Second Grade students have been busy bees in the art room. They have begun by observing the vibrant work of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser (Slides) and discussing his use of the art (and design) elements, line, color, shape, repetition and pattern in both his architectural designs and paintings. Through this, and specific analysis of his ‘lollipop trees’, students have practised basic mixing of primary colors to create secondary (ie. Red + Yellow = Orange) and focusing more so, on varying ratios of color, in order to create tertiary colors (ranges of yellow-orange, red-orange, red-violet, blue-violet, yellow-green and blue-green). Students have worked independently, practising the skills of color mixing and brush control while mimicking the style of Hundertwasser lollipop trees and further applied these to a large group work – a basic forest landscape with Van Gogh inspired skies (currently still in progress) Art lessons to date have involved investigation, exploration and skills practise only. The creative element of the art process shall be our next step through drawing and possibly a relief work in medium of clay. Please enjoy these photos from the last couple of weeks.

Second Grade: Welcome back to school!

We hope you had a great holiday and are excited to be working with you this new school year, 2017-18.  Please take a moment to subscribe to the Second Grade Art Blog, in order to receive email notifications of class updates. Simply enter your email in the box provided, to the right of this page. Also for details regards the nature of our program, please click on the tab above, named ‘Visual Arts Curriculum’

This year, all that we do in art class, will continue to connect to the central idea ‘Artists use their creativity in many different ways to express feelings and ideas’ (PYP Unit of Inquiry: How We Express Ourselves). Our work will always be inspired by investigations into an artist, art  movement or genre, and students will follow through the practise of skills in various media with importance frequently placed on the step by step creative process. ‘Artful Thinking’ will also take place at times in home rooms, as a means of further developing visual literacy, reading and thinking strategies ( Artworks from a variety of cultures shall be observed and discussed throughout the year.