Grades 1-5 Art

Category: Design Element: Pattern

First Grade: Who We Are

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Parents will be aware that First Grade students are currently working on the Unit of Inquiry ‘Who We Are’, which is ‘an inquiry into the nature of the self, with a focus on culture. This is a transdisciplinary unit, which means that Specialist Subject teachers, as well as classroom teachers, have carefully planned lessons together, around the Central Idea ‘Exploring culture allows people to develop their sense of identity and make connections’. In art we are working along the Line of Inquiry ‘Motif designs in fabrics and everyday objects come in identifiable forms’ and that ‘Culture is connected to identity’. With the Key Concept of Connection, we also focus on the Related Concepts of Identity, Culture and Diversity. 

During the first few art classes students have been working through the investigational/finding out stage of the inquiry cycle by observing motifs, repetition and pattern in various cultural designs. Through observational drawing, students are exposed to a number of designs, specific to various cultures, and have been encouraged to notice the style and its use of nature, geometric and organic shape. Students have been asked to open their eyes to designs they may find in their home, beit in curtains, carpets, clothes, plates, cups, and question the origin of the design with parents. Some indeed, have made strong connections.

Introducing new media, developing skills, and creative thinking.

For the last three weeks, working on a rotation, students have had the opportunity to explore the use of ink stamps, Indian wood blocks with paint, and paper cut outs, while they experiment with creating their own motifs, pattern and repetition. They have been required to use the materials appropriately, and carefully consider arrangements of shape and color. Watch this space for following information in upcoming weeks, as students continue to practise printmaking and become designers themselves.


First Grade: Exploration of Tools and Materials

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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.





First Grade: Gallery

After a long process, many first grade final artworks are coming along nicely. A quick gallery update and news to follow soon.

First Grade: Identity through Cultural Design

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 this First 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’

We start the year with a Transdisciplinary Unit. This means that class teachers and I are working closely in planning the current Unit of Inquiry – Who We Are. The PYP Central Idea, being addressed in both class and art class is as follows ‘Exploring culture allows people to develop a sense of self and make connections with others’. Such integration allows for students to make powerful connections in multiple subject areas.

During the next few weeks, First Grade artists will be involved in an inquiry into cultural identity through design. We will be looking at motifs and pattern in particular. Parents can help by drawing awareness to cultural patterns/motifs/designs which may be found at home or any familiar environment, helping students to develop an awareness and appreciation of the visual characteristics found in design from their own culture or that of others. We shall be using art vocabulary to describe motifs and patterns – whether they consist of images of nature (animals, birds or plants) or decorative shapes (geometric, or organic). Specific art vocabulary to note: Motif, pattern, line, geometric shape, organic shape, color, and repetition.

Students have already begun to draw from observation and this week, will begin some basic printmaking with use of traditional Indian woodblocks, and regular stamps, with which they can create a variety of patterns on paper.

Thank you for your attention and please stay tuned!

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