Welcome back to art! Fourth Grade students are now experiencing their third of a six week unit. We therefore have a lot of news to catch up on. As an introduction to this unit, please ask yourself the following questions regards the photos below. What do you see in the photo? What’s going on? What more do you see?

These are the typical questions posed to students when analysing art works, and contrary to possible first impressions, in these photos, you will be pleased to read that students are not falling asleep in art! This unit ‘How we Express Ourselves’ focuses specifically on the concepts of communication, creative and critical thinking. Our goal is to develop an idea and create a painting which expresses a mood or feeling through thoughtful use of subject matter and color. After working on the definition of our central idea ‘Interpreting and analysing art enables people to understand artist intent and composition’, Fourth Grade students have been investigating questions such as ‘Where do ideas come from?’, ‘Can any idea be original?’ and ‘How do artists communicate a mood or feeling through art?’

In the photos above, students are focusing on images which come to mind when listening to a variety of sounds or music. Concentrating on envisioning a place, time, event, and consequently a mood or feeling, students have helped others to open their minds to a variety of possibilities by describing and drawing the pictures in their head. The following recordings were taken  during the student’s first opportunity to begin to generate ideas.

 

As a whole class, we have worked on describing, analysing and interpreting art works and moved on to sorting images according to the general mood of the art work. Focusing on subject matter alone (color later), many were in agreement. However at times there have been moments of intense argument.  Students were offered the opportunity to voice opinions where they might strongly disagree and encouraged to respectfully explain their reasoning as well as respectfully listen to the opinions of others. Therefore raising awareness of the difference between argument and debate, and  realisation that interpretation may differ according to an individual’s personal knowledge, life and cultural experience. The ability to consider a variety of perspectives will also enable students to better communicate to an audience through their art.

 

Generating ideas for a painting

Students are becoming increasingly aware of the various stages of our creative process. They know that we will create an ‘Exhibition of moods’ to present to an audience (the final exhibition may take place early next semester). And they are aware that we are currently at the stage of generating ideas. Our next step (this week) will be to share ideas with peers and receive some feedback. Through this individuals will gain a clearer understanding regards their success as a communicator and be required to reflect on this, and move forward accordingly. Here is a short video to demonstrate the work which has been taking place, and below it, a small gallery of some student sketches to date.

A final important notice: Students are encouraged to open their mind to many different ideas. Though they have not yet made a final decision regards the mood they will depict, the ideas they are developing are top secret! Please do not ask your child regards his or her final decision, as their final self assessment of themselves as a good communicator will be based on the audience’s ability to correctly guess the artist’s intention. Thank you!