Welcome back First Grade Parents! It has been a while. As you know, First Grade students meet just once a week, so some units may take some time before an update is newsworthy. Herewith, an update of learning which has been taking place in the First Grade Art class since the start of December. In order to avoid an overwhelmingly long blog post, part one only, will be posted here for now. Part two and three to come in the next week or so! Enjoy!

Connecting: ‘Connecting’ is one of the NAEA curriculum standards that we work towards, at AAS, and corresponds with the PYP Phase 2 ‘Responding’. It is the study of art in relation to past times, cultures, people, and our personal response to these.

Part One: Connecting with artists from past times – Australian aboriginal Art

Images: (http://www.australiangeographic.com.au) (http://archeoastrology.com)(https://imgur.com)

Australian Aboriginal Cave Art and Interpretation

This short, stand alone unit (Who We Are), focused mainly on the power that can art hold in storytelling and ability to connect us with past times and people. In First Grade, the observation and critiquing of art works, particularly these aboriginal cave paintings, is less about finding correct answers and more about appealing to curiosity, questioning, and learning to understand and respect the variety of interpretations among us. Simply the nature of a first grade mind, makes these lessons all the more interesting. Some interpretations are very literal, some extremely imaginative,  and some make strong connections with real life experiences. All of these are precisely what is encouraged. There have been discussions based around aliens (so many stories!), anatomy, and possible messages from the people of the past. And then there are moments of great simplicity. After quite in depth class discussion on handprints, and questions about who the hands belonged to, what might their life have been like, what might they have eaten that day, who were their family, how did they make those hands on the wall, why did they make those hands on the wall, one student concluded the lesson with “Hey! Maybe they just wanted to say hi to us!”

Developing Skills: To follow with the notion that artists are inspired by the world around them, students briefly worked on some drawings of indigenous australian animals before being provided the opportunity to explore earthy colors in soft pastel. They worked to smudge colors to create a cave like, stone effect in which to recreate their own imagery in a similar style.

In addition to this, Australian aboriginal dot paintings were briefly discussed with some recognition and identification of symbolism with in them. Brief dot style activities followed, working on fine motor control and color groupings, while listening to the sounds of the didgeridoo.

Part Two: Connecting with artists who show resilience and perseverance with disabilities – Coming soon.