AAS Elementary Art

Grades 1-5 Art

10 May 2021: PYPX Fifth Grade Artist’s Statements

PYP Exhibition: Key Concepts – Perspective, Communication and Change

Congratulations to all Fifth Graders for a successful PYP Exhibition!

We are thrilled by the success of this year’s exhibition, especially considering the restrictions we faced in the midst of a pandemic! High numbers of students chose to sign up for extra time at our ‘Art Action’ station, to create art which they could incorporate into their group’s website, and which was intended to raise awareness of important matters/issues.

To remind you of our previous blog post, we were extremely honored to have Canadian artist Benjamin von Wong provide personal greetings and words of wisdom for our Penguin artists, specifically in finalising their work with an artist’s statement. Some of his words, were as follows:

Once again, thank you so much, Benjamin von Wong, for being a great inspiration to AAS students.

Please enjoy the following examples of student work.

19 April 2021: Fifth Grade – Artists as Change Makers: PYP Exhibition

Transdisciplinary Theme: How We Express Ourselves, 

PYP Key Concept: Communication, Perspective, Change

Central Idea: Collaborative Inquiry is a journey which empowers students to demonstrate life-long skills and dispositions which lead to action.

Line of Inquiry: Artists use creativity to raise awareness of matters that are important to them.

From the National Core Art Standards: Our aim is for students to demonstrate their ability to:

Compare one’s own interpretation of a work of art with the interpretation of others.

Identify and envision how art can be used to inform or change beliefs, values, or behaviors of an individual or society.

Experiment and develop skills in multiple art making techniques and approaches through practice.

Create artist statements using art vocabulary to describe personal choices in artmaking.

Welcome back to school! We hope you had a relaxing break. The aim of this blog post is to enlighten you, regarding this year’s strong integration of art and the upcoming Grade 5 PYP Exhibition (PYPX). As you know, students are currently involved in a personal investigation of their choice, related to the United Nations Sustainable Goals. Groups have been organised according to interest and students are now in the midst of a collaborative process of inquiry. This year, they will be required to present their learning journey via Webex and by use of a group created website.  This is the culminating learning experience of your child’s elementary school experience and very exciting! Right now, the PYPX Art Action Station (workspace outside the art rooms) is buzzing with creative activity on a daily basis. Many students have chosen to sign up for the use of the studio space in order to create artworks which will assist in raising awareness of their findings and desire for change.

How did we get here?

January/February – Investigation: Students engaged in close observation of various artworks which clearly contain a message and desire for change. Discussion was based on the following questions: What do we feel strongly about? What would we like to shout from the rooftops? How can we use creativity to communicate our thoughts and ideas, inform and change beliefs, practices, or habits?

The work of Canadian Artist Benjamin Von Wong (Parting of the Plastic Seas) was used as a springboard to thinking. This collaborative work is easily relatable for students and immediately impactful.

Parting of the Plastic Seas https://blog.vonwong.com/strawpocalypse/

Students further engaged in observing and interpreting various other artworks which are intended to communicate the desire for change or raise awareness of important issues.

February/March: Exposure to and exploration of, a variety of art making forms

Students were reminded that art comes in a variety of forms, such as painting, drawing, construction, printmaking and collage. Students were allowed the freedom to explore any art stations of their choice in our studio, research and discover the capabilities of range or materials and tools available to them. The intention here is to open their minds to the various media which they could use, if they choose to, as a means of expression during their personal learning journey.

March/April: Envision and Create

As students further research their topic and are narrowing down their conclusions, all students have been involved in envisioning artworks that could communicate their desire for change. The 12th April marked the official opening of the PYPX Art Action Station (located outside the art studios), where students may work at times negotiated with their home room teacher, to create their art.

The creation of an art work is a choice. Not all students will be inclined to choose visual art to express ideas. Some may choose a performing art, or make use of technology, for example. The creation of an artwork is encouraged but not compulsory. It has been fabulous to see students choosing a wide range of art forms, to express their ideas.

PYP Attitudes/Attributes (Learner Profile)

Incorporated into all, is consideration of the PYP Learner Profile. Collaboration can be both rewarding and frustrating, as ideas sometimes clash. A strong sense of perseverance, compromise and acceptance is required and students are being encouraged to be responsible and caring in their approach to all. To date, Fifth Grade students have been demonstrating high levels of these qualities.


Reflection and evaluation comes quite naturally. The art room can be noisy at times,  as students are constantly engaged in talking to each other about what is working and what is not. Positive and constructive feedback is encouraged as they make collaborative decisions regards their next steps with the work. At the end of each lesson, time permitting, a whole class moment of reflection takes place, where students discuss challenges met, and any strategies they may be devising to overcome this.

Next Steps

Fifth Grade artists are now working rapidly. It has been amazing to see! For all of us, there are moments or great joy, and moments of disappointment. An artwork can be fabulous one minute, and ruined the next! Tolerance, forgiveness, acceptance, open mindedness, and perseverance are our words of the week!

Next Steps: Artist’s Statements

Students who have chosen to use artistic creativity as their means of expression, have one final task to complete. That is to upload a good photo of the art work to their group’s website, along with an Artists Statement. All students, regardless of whether they choose to add an art piece to the website, will be involved in the practise of writing an Artist Statement, in late April. 

Words of wisdom from the artist himself!

I am thrilled to share that the artist Benjamin Von Wong (creator of The Parting of the Plastic Seas, above) has contacted us and sent this year’s Fifth Grade students a personal message, with his words of wisdom, regarding writing, or speaking about their work. What an inspiration! I hope this will motivate AAS Penguin Artists in the creation of their artist statement. Herewith, some quotes from the artist himself!

“Tell them (your audience) something that is invisible. Something that motivated you. Something that shifted in your perspective. Something that you hope to shift, in other people’s perspective…. An example might be ‘I believe that my future is worth protecting, and I want others to understand the impact of their actions.” 

We are so grateful for Benjamin’s contribution and he looks forward to reading some statements from our aspiring artists and change makers! Thank you Benjamin Von Wong.

Well done to our Fifth Grade Students for their high levels of engagement in this unit. You are almost there! Good luck with your final steps!

Tuesday 23 February: Fourth Grade

Million Dollar Potatoes!

In conjunction with the ‘How We Express Ourselves’ Unit, and focus on the Central Idea, that ‘Media is manipulated to influence thinking’, Fourth Grade artists present to you, their million dollar potatoes!

Having critiqued and analysed various advertisements, and noticing the artist’s intentional use of the Elements of Art and Principles of Design, Fourth Grade applied their knowledge and understanding by creating fun compositions to emphasise and draw attention to an otherwise dull product/object, the potato.

In class, artists have enjoyed observing and discussing their peers compositions. They have worked on incorporating specific artistic vocabulary to describe the work and identify the thoughtful use of color, line, space, contrast, balance and emphasis within the work. Please enjoy today’s gallery of our million dollar potatoes. Are you convinced?!

Thank you to artists Areg, Dylan, Jun, Anita, Minjun, Izzy, Juliet, Valter, Kenzie and Anna for allowing us to share their art, on our ES Art Blog.

Wednesday 10 February: Fourth and Fifth Grade – Seeking enthusiastic artists! Global Art Exchange

Our Tenth Grade Spanish and French teacher, Ms Beatrice Chartrand, has reached out to me, for help in finding enthusiastic artists who would like to be involved in a creative project with real purpose. For students staying at home during the holiday, this will be a fantastic opportunity to engage in a Wonderful Work of Art, of their choice (W.O.W).

Please find the video titled ‘Introductional and Inspirational Video’ at the foot of the home page on THE MEMORY PROJECT website (Click here for link) , for an explanation of the project.

Please discuss the possibility with your child and if he or she is interested, PLEASE CONTACT ME, on helen.arnold@aas.ru by the end of Friday 12 February. Numbers are limited and therefore volunteers will be selected on a first come, first served basis. After receiving your email, I shall reply over the weekend, to let you know if we are able to include your child in this project. I shall also send further details as necessary.

We look forward to hearing from you. Please give the email a subject heading of Global Art Project, and be sure to provide your child’s full name and class, in the email.

Many thanks!

Sunday 17 January 2021: All Grades

The First Semester Report Card will focus on the Curriculum Standard ‘Create’ (See National Core Art Standards). Considering the challenges we faced last semester, we were very pleased to see that artists will be artists, no matter what! The Create Standard is about ‘conceiving and developing new artistic ideas and work’. This includes:

  • the exploration and safe use of materials and tools
  • discovering procedures
  • idea generation and expansion on ideas
  • on-going reflection and evaluation
  • giving, receiving, and acting on feedback

This came in many forms across grade levels.

  • Kindergarten: explored collage and printmaking through observation of artists Mondrian and Kandinsky
  • First Grade: explored printmaking, and use of sculpture to tell stories about ourselves, and the observation of art elements of color, line and shape through illustrations by Eric Carle
  • Second Grade: painting exploration of the art elements of line, color and pattern through observations of the work of Friedrich Hundertwasser
  • Third Grade: Exploration of symmetry, and radial symmetry and practising basic printmaking methods and procedures
  • Fourth Grade: Exploration of the art element of form, though various construction methods
  • Fifth Grade: Exploration of the art elements of positive and negative space, texture and color through printmaking, embossing, collage or digital art.

Please enjoy our KG to Gr 5 Art Gallery below.







Sunday 17 January 2021: All Grades

Welcome back to school. We hope you are settling in nicely. Please find here an update on the use of our Virtual Art Studio for 2021.

During HYBRID learning, if we have not assigned specific homework, students are encouraged to use the virtual studio when it is their day at home. It is independent choice work. Completed works should be uploaded to the Penguin Art Gallery (students find the link by clicking on the purple splatter painting image on the wall of the virtual studio). Many of our students are also familiar with working on their ‘own art’. This may be something they are specifically interested in, and want to explore by themselves. This work is also welcomed on our Penguin Art Gallery.

Students have been reminded of how to use the Virtual Art Studio during their first art class of 2021.

During DISTANCE learning, when working with a teacher online, students will be required to upload their assigned work for that day, finished or not, to Seesaw. It is very important that students remember to do this, every time they have a lesson with a teacher online. Without evidence of work, we cannot report on progress. Please remind your child of the importance of showing us what they are doing at home. Thank you.

We have two virtual studios which students can access via the link on their teachers schedule during Hybrid, or via Seesaw. One is aimed at Grades 1-3. The other to Grades 4-5. They look similar, but the content is different.

We look forward to working with you all again and wish you all health and happiness for 2021.

Wednesday 16 December: Second Grade Painting: Brave Warrior

Brave Warrior: I commit to my artwork. I use skills to go deeper into my artwork. I can stick with my work and problem solve when challenges come up. I can manage my time and finish my artwork.

We have been so pleased with the efforts of many Second Grade students who have been demonstrating our Studio Habit of Mind ‘Engage and Persist’, otherwise known to students as practising the habits of the Brave Warrior!

We feel so grateful that this week, students were able to return to the studio and were more than happy to pick up the work started more than a month ago, when they were last in school.

This week, students have taken a moment to view their paintings and reflect, taking into consideration, the questions “Is this really finished?” and “What more can I add, to make it feel really complete?”

Together as a class, partly finished works were observed and discussed. Ideas such as adding more color, line, patterns, and filling empty space, were mentioned, as well, as pressing harder, over previously created lines to create stronger, and more clear marks in the the work.

The practise of reflecting upon, gathering feedback, and refining work over time, to a point of completion, is an expectation detailed in the National Core Art Standards: Create.

These beautiful Second Grade paintings were originally inspired by observing the work of Austrian artist Friedrich Hundertwasser. Noticing the vibrant colors and use of ‘anything but straight’ lines in this work, students have specifically learned skills in color mixing with tempera paint, and their attention has been drawn to the art and design elements of line, repetition, pattern, variety and contrast.

Please enjoy a few examples of completed work, from our Second Grade artists.

5 December 2020: Fourth and Fifth Grade New Virtual Studio

As we return to Hybrid next week, students shall receive in their teacher’s weekly schedule a NEW virtual studio. On days that students are at home, they should explore this studio and select an activity to try. This studio allows students to choose from the following:

  • I am and Artist: Allows students to work on personal interests in an art form of their choice. They should listen to and watch the videos on the two slides which explain that this is an opportunity for those truly dedicated artists who are keen to work on the art on a more regular basis than once a week. For this W.O.W, they are encouraged to use Seesaw to document their process.
  • Captain Connection: Allows students to observe the work of other artists and follow guided activities or find inspiration for their own art
  • Art for Change: Mainly directed at Fifth Grade Students, in preparation for next year’s PYP Exhibition
  • Museum Art: Directs students to the Tate Kids website, where students can find fun information, and activities of interest to them
  • Practise Skills: Provides some tutorials in drawing, printmaking, painting and paper sculpture
  • Famous Artists: Provides students information on the life and works or artists with a suggested activity as follow up.

Any work inspired by these links should be posted to the Penguin Art Gallery

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