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: Final Gallery and farewell to Mrs Godfrey and all Fifth Grade Students

Above: Mrs Godfrey’s first felt work!  Her love of our host country shines through her work. Mrs Godfrey, we will miss you here at AAS next school year, and as you will still be living nearby, we hope you will continue to visit. Thanks for joining in, with us during our last few art lessons. Your passion for fibre and fabric arts is inspiring.

Examples of the Creative Process: Below are some photos of three stages of the design cycle, from idea generation, to final work. Thank you Katerina for sharing this fine example.  These are clear indicators of a student who ready for Middle School!

And finally, as promised, a gallery of a number of student felt works. Well done Fifth Grade. All of you are ready. See you next year and good luck in Middle School !




Fourth Grade: Reflect, Evaluate, Present

Polina explains the process she has been through, in planning and gathering feedback.

Fourth Grade finally found time this week to see the peer and parent feedback on the ‘mood paintings’. Yes, that was a long time ago. None-the-less, students were very excited to open the envelopes containing the guesses of various viewers. This has enabled students to evaluate their success rate as a communicator through art. With evaluation, always comes reflection. Students were asked to speak or write about this on Seesaw. They should have addressed their response to the feedback, by explaining ‘what worked’ and ‘what did not work’, seeking and thinking of solutions to any challenges met. Only one or two students found that no one guessed correctly. This was a valuable lesson in having them ask why. What was it about the subject matter, or use of color that may have made the audience believe something different? No matter if the feedback was correct or not, the important part of this process, at this stage, is the self evaluation and reflection.

The photo above shows the students original final plan and original feedback, before she made the decision to go ahead with the painting. Here also, is the final work, and the final feedback notes, as she begins the process of evaluation/reflection. Students in the photo below, are working together, to upload their thoughts to Seesaw.

Suhyun discusses the changes she would make to her approach, given the feedback she has now received.

“This is my final draft. My mood was lonely. Most of the people voted was peaceful. Few people said it is lonely. Some people didn’t guess it well at all. I think people voted for peaceful because of the colors I have used. If I could draw this picture again, I would color the sea in more darker blue to show she is lonely.”

Please note: Due to some internet issues this week, many students were unable to upload their reflection/evaluation to Seesaw. Reflection/Evaluation could be a good discussion point with parents, when the work comes home (next week).

Fifth Grade: The Felt Making Process

Note: You Tube Videos, may be more accessible via laptop or PC.

After their hard work with their PYP Exhibition, students are now involved in a less intense creative activity during the last art rotation of Elementary School. Students are loving the opportunity to try their hand at Felt Making. Still, it is necessary to follow through the same creative process, of developing skills, generating ideas, and seeking feedback, before embarking on the creation of a final work.This blog post shall remain brief, as I allow the video to demonstrate the procedures taking place. Fifth Grade have only 5-6 art lessons left to complete their work. Enjoy!

First Grade: Finished Product, Eric Carle Painted Paper Collages

Please see previous posts to understand how we arrived here! Our final product; Painted Paper Collage Gallery


First Grade: Ceramics Gallery, Reflection and Evaluation

In the next few days, the First Grade ceramic work will be coming home. The majority of students are feeling proud of their work. Regardless of overall final quality, your child has been involved in a long process of generating ideas, developing skills and creating. We have not had time to officially reflect/evaluate, and this is something that would be very worth while for you to engage in with your child.  When your child presents it to you, initiate questions and a conversation regards how the work was created. Where did your ideas come from? What other ideas did you have? Are you pleased with the work? Why? What worked and what did not? How did you make the shape/form? How did you join the pieces? What changes did the clay go through? What was easy for you? What was difficult? Which strategies did you find to overcome the challenges? The use of art vocabulary when evaluating and reflecting upon one’s achievements is as important as the making itself. Art specific vocabulary, practised during this unit, includes: pinch pot, the ‘four S’s’ (Score, Slip, Squish, Smooth), clay, ceramic, fire, fired, firing, kiln, glaze, shape, form, joining. Please enjoy the following gallery of completed work.

First Grade: Collaboration, Composition, Creative and Procedural Thinking

Congratulations to Class 1AO, who presented beautifully, during assembly last week, explaining one aspect of the PYP learner profile ‘balanced’. With this, students spoke of the variety of art forms they have engaged in this year. Drawing, painting, printmaking, paper collage and ceramic work.

Believe it or not, First Grade has only two art lessons left to come, this school year! The First Grade Art blog posted 14 May described the content of our most recent investigations into the style of Eric Carle Illustrations. Students are currently completing this work, as they finalise their own imaginative paper collage creation with use of their own painted papers. A gallery of these to come in the next two weeks.

For now, a quick catch up on two learning engagements: Matisse Paper Collage, and Ceramic pinch pot art works.

Matisse Paper Collage

Content: Composition & Aesthetics

Knowledge: Matisse and Art Vocabulary

Skills: Cutting & Pasting

Impacts/Learner Profile: Social Intelligence, Knowledgeable, Caring, Thinker

Students worked in groups of six, and then individually. Having gained some knowledge of the artist, his resilience, and the nature of his paper cut out works, students worked together to create a huge paper collage, specifically considering aesthetics. Vocabulary was revised or introduced, as students cut and pasted papers. Composition and collaboration was a key factor. Students were required to consider aesthetics very carefully. Selecting, and arranging papers with any of the following design elements:

  • Variety: in color, texture, patten, shape, line
  • Color: contrasting and dark versus light
  • Balance: In overall placement of color, line, shape, pattern, texture
  • Movement and repetition: through use of line or shape
  • Shape: Geometric versus Organic
  • Contrast: Large versus small, Rough (texture) versus smooth

One of the greatest challenges for this age group was the ‘sharing’ of the work and to respect the contribution and personal space (within the work) of all group members. Nearly all students rose to the challenge of acceptance, regards ‘our work’ over ‘my work’. Of course along with this were the skills of cutting and pasting. As the collaborative work came to a close, students gracefully accepted that the large work would be cut, to allow all a piece each. With this, independent work on a single section, followed. This allowed individuals to further demonstrate their own growing understanding of composition, with purposeful application of some art and design elements/principles. This resulted in some successful and aesthetically pleasing results. (Post re ceramic work, follows this gallery. Enjoy!

Ceramic Work

Content: Clay Media and Ceramics

Knowledge: The process of ceramic production from idea generation, to firing

Skills: Safe and proper use of tools and materials, inclusive of shape formation, joining and glazing

Impacts/Learner Profile: Thinking Skills (Creative and Procedural Thinking), Thinker

Students have engaged in creative thinking, by generating several ideas for a ‘pinch pot animal’. Procedural thinking and use of art vocabulary has been a requirement as they work through techniques and skills in creating form with the medium of clay, and in particular the safe and proper use of tools and materials, while joining pieces, using a method, described to students as ‘The Four S’s’: Score, Squish, Slip, Smooth. Students have understood that the clay needs to be fired, both before, and after glazing. This year, we used an underglaze which results in a matt finish. Perhaps not as aesthetically pleasing as a glossy glaze would have been. Students are currently very excited and patiently waiting to see the competed fired work from the kiln.

Third & Fourth Grade: Present

Third Grade: Sharing the Planet, Printmaking Unit, displayed near ES Office

Fourth Grade: Who We Are: Form & Construction Unit, displayed near ES Office

First Grade: Exploration of Tools and Materials

Videos and inks in this post may be viewed more easily on PC or Laptop

When a student literally screams “This is the best art lesson EVER!”, it is surely worthy of a blog post! This student’s sheer delight today, reminded me, it is time for a First Grade update. For a quick glimpse of First Grade Art class today, please enjoy this You Tube clip.

First Grade Students are currently working on a Stand-Alone Unit. This means it is not specifically linked to their class unit of inquiry.

Central Idea: Art communicates meaning and is a process that involves exploring and creating.

Key Concept: Function

Related Concepts: Exploration, Process, Communication

Line of Inquiry 1 :

The process of creating art, involves exploration of materials and tools (including technique)

Line of Inquiry 2: Art Communicates ideas

In their classroom, students have been exposed to a number of story books by the popular Author and Illustrator, Eric Carle. Students started their investigation in art class, by looking closely at a variety of his illustrations. Discussions between pairs of students naturally led to observations regards the way in which his illustrations are created and questions about procedure. Through this, students were encouraged to make use of art vocabulary. Color, Line, Shape, Texture, Pattern, Light and Dark, in particular. Drawing is an excellent tool to practise close observation. Students thoroughly enjoyed drawing their favourite Eric Carle illustrations. This helped them to ‘notice’ a variety of elements of art and principles of design within the work.

Having gained some knowledge/understanding of the composition and style of Eric Carle’s illustrations, today, students worked on explorations of materials, tools and techniques, by creating ‘painted papers’ (above video). Safe and correct handling of the tools, as well as organisational and social skills played an important role in this work. In the midst of such excitement, students naturally engage in ‘self talk’. Student comments and questions, such as “I need to change my brush!” “Oh! look at that swirly shape!” and “I need more white to make pink!” “Hey! what will happen if I …” are all indicators of good procedural thinking.

Our next steps will be to think creatively and further develop skills in cutting and pasting, as these painted papers will soon be used to create Eric Carle style illustrations. More to come on our Eric Carle unit, in following weeks.





Second Grade: Final Gallery

Photos created by students, for their Seesaw Portfolio. (Please note, if photos in recent posts do not appear in your email notification, please view through the school website)