Grades 1-5 Art

Category: Form & Construction (Page 2 of 3)

Second Grade: Developing Skills, Procedures, and making Personal Connections

This completed group painting can be found on the large bulletin board outside the ES Office.  Second Grade have been following through the design (inquiry cycle), and it therefore should be noted, that this work is not specifically the ‘grand finale’ but simply an exercise which has resulted in something beautiful! Please see the previous posts as a reminder of how this work has been inspired by an investigation into the work of the artist Hundertwasser and his ‘Lollipop Trees’, and the skills/knowledge practised during this ‘Tuning in/Finding Out, and Skills Development’ time.

During the last couple of weeks, continuing to consider the Central Idea “Artists use their creativity in many different ways to express feelings and ideas”, and more specifically, the Line of Inquiry ‘Artistic inspiration and creativity are connected to personal experiences’, students have switched to a new medium: clay. As Hundertwasser may have imagined known environments in creative ways, students were asked to connect to personal experience of a place they know, or a combination of places they know, to envision and create something new. Visual prompts included our very own school and playground.

It was a proud moment to hear and see, many students clearly building upon knowledge and skills gained in their last semester of First Grade, as they remembered vocabulary and were able to apply the ‘Four S’s’ (Score, Slip, Squish, Smooth’) method of attaching clay in a secure manner. Always reinforcing the Elements of Art, interesting shape in particular has been a focus, and thoughtful use of space, as they worked on a clay tile relief. With the absence of color, students have been learning to fill space with texture, and tried to contrast their application of texture when applying to foreground and background (photos of added texture to come) Students have continued to gain an understanding of the sensitivity of clay, and have been responsible for the airtight packaging of it, to maintain it’s moisture in between lessons. Photos of the works, complete with applied texture, will be posted soon. For now, an insight into Penguin Artists at work as they create, with personal experiences in mind.



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.

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)

Second Grade: Presenting

As we enter the last week of art for Second Grade this year, students are finishing up their wire sculptures, and now considering creative possibilities for presenting them. Students are  required to upload a photo of their work, completed or not, to Seesaw, and complete a short reflection. Time permitting, they are creating their own ‘scene’ or background for the character they have created. Here, we have our first completed work, by Luke (2KB) who has created a pool, for his wire sculpture ‘diver’. Well done to Luke. Look out for Seesaw reflections this week.

All three units this year have addressed the central idea ‘Artists use their creativity in many different ways to express their feelings and ideas’. Lollipop Tree paintings, Clay Tiles, Self Portraits, and Wire Sculptures, will be returned to the classroom, so that students may refine any unfinished work in the next few weeks, and have the opportunity to present pieces of their choice during the end year Grade 2 Exhibition “How We Express Ourselves”


Second Grade: Tuning In to ‘Representing the Human Form’

(Videos with sound in this post may be easier to view from a laptop or PC)

Welcome back Second Grade! We are now in the second week of our last art rotation, and this means classes (depending on their scheduled day) have attended only 2-3 lessons so far. However, as SLC’s will happen this week, herewith a quick update!

Second Grade continue with the Transdisciplinary Theme of How We Express Ourselves, and the line of inquiry “Artists use creativity in many different ways to express ideas and feelings”. To date, students have experienced the art forms of painting, ceramics and now, we are focusing on wire sculpting.

This unit flows nicely from our Portrait unit in January, in that we continue to observe how artists express the human form. Already, this week, students have begun to make connections with previous knowledge about facial proportions, as we begin to consider proportions of the entire body. Using simple stick figures, students have studied line, proportion and movement through observation of (some very keen) volunteer models. They have worked on noting how the body bends through various joints – what is possible and what is not. And with this considered how ‘action moves’ in various sports and dance looks. The end product of this unit will be a wire sculpture, which students have created by following procedure, creative thinking, the development of skills, reflection, evaluation and refining work accordingly. 

With only a couple of lessons to date, there is not too much to share with you at this moment. However, please enjoy this video, and the photos below, which may provide a glimpse into this week’s work.

Guidance for Student `Led Conference will be posted soon.



Fourth Grade: PYP Who We Are

(This post contains a link to a Student Seesaw Post. In order to listen to/watch the post, it may be better to view from a PC or Laptop)

Welcome back! We hope you are well rested after the holiday. It is time for a quick catch up on Fourth Grade Art. Before the holiday, students completed the first half of this trimester’s art rotation. This means we have three more weeks to go (6 lessons).

For the second time this year, Fourth Grade are involved in a Transdisciplinary Unit. This means that in art we are addressing the same theme and concept, which they have previously (with the exception of 4PM, who are due to start) investigated in their regular classroom. The PYP Unit of Inquiry was, and is in Art now, ‘Who We Are’. The PYP Transdisciplinary Theme of Who We Are addresses questions about culture, beliefs and values. Following on from their home classroom UOI, students are continuing to develop an understanding of the Central Idea: Beliefs and Values contribute to identity and an understanding of diversity, with the key concept of Perspective (What are the points of view? Different ways of looking, interpretation and understanding).

In art class, we are approaching our own Line of Inquiry: People of all cultures use creativity to tell stories about their beliefs and values. 

Tuning in to a Mask Making Unit

(Image borrowed from

There is nothing better than a primary source to spur curiosity and generate questions. Students have tuned into the central idea, concepts and line of inquiry by observing two masks originating from the island of Bali, Indonesia, and using a secondary source (Youtube) to gain a sense of the masks in action, and the sounds of Gamelan and environment surrounding them. With much excitement, many questions arose, around who they are, where they are from, what are they for, how were they made? Students have been exposed to the story of Barong and Rangda at a very basic level (as to some they may appear frightening!), concluding that they portray the Hindu belief/value in balance. With the knowledge that one character is good, and one evil, students practiced their Thinking Skills by observing and describing the visual characteristics of the mask, paying close attention to the craftsmanship, and point of view as an artist: “how did the artist use the elements of art and principles of design to express the character of these mythical creatures?” All students should have uploaded their thoughts to Seesaw. A great example is that of Ariel’s (4MA). Well done to Ariel.

For Ariel’s (Class 4MA) Observations & Thoughts, Click Here

The Creative Process – Developing Skills & Create

Usually, we would spend time, planning for a mask of our own (designing), and one which may express our own values/beliefs However, as this was a focus of our last unit (many lessons were spent generating ideas for a painting) this trimester we have skipped directly to developing skills and creating, as we do need the extra time for ‘making’. So, this time, having also viewed some images of masks from other cultures, students are diving in! This is  spontaneous creativity! Most have ideas in their minds, but have not been required to share this yet (Reflection/Evaluation to come later). During this part of the process, students are developing skills by changing the shape and building on a basic form by use of cut out cardboard pieces, and the creation of 3D shapes, to add to the original form (This is not easy). Having created a strong foundation, they have been learning to use paper and paste to form one piece. This, as you might imagine, is more than fun, for all.

So here we are, ready to embark on our fourth week. For more news, watch this space!





Second Grade: Process & Reflection

Creative Process: Tune In/Research, Develop Skills, Make Personal Connections, Generate Ideas, Plan, Create, and throughout, Reflect, Evaluate and Improve.

This unit has focused on the following PYP Learner Profiles: Inquirer, Thinker, Knowledgeable, Caring

Second Grade Art Class is drawing to a close for now. The new schedule, which has allowed art to take place twice a week has been beneficial in providing students greater continuity. Students have been guided through the creative process in a way that in future years, they will manage independently. The following slide show will be viewed by students next week and help them to gain clearer understanding of the progression they have experienced. Reflection/Evaluation occurs throughout, and to end, students have been taking a final look at their work and making basic notes about their experience. Second Grade Students will return to art class, the week of 3rd December to further explore the Transdisciplinary Theme of ‘How We Express Ourselves”.

Can I take it home? This is a frequent question, and it is wonderful that students feel so proud of their work. The Ceramic Tiles Relief work (after firing) will be kept in school for a few weeks to be exhibited in display cabinets. Also photos shall be taken as a record of student achievement, before being sent home. We therefore need to keep them for approximately one more month. 2D work will be kept until the end of the school year. Parents are welcome to view their child’s work in school – please email to arrange a mutually convenient time.

(First Slide Hundertwasser image borrowed from

Second Grade: Organisation and Refining Skills

Note to self: Second Grade students LOVE working with clay! Every student has been fully engaged. All have arrived excited and ready to start. All have listened and taken care to follow artistic procedures. All have been mindful of safety with tools and respectful in sharing them. All have contributed to tidy and clean up time. All have been trying their best. All have shown willingness to elaborate on and extend ideas. It has been wonderful to observe students demonstrating their ability to Love Learning, Respect and Contribute! Some classes are now moving on to the final stage of their studio work. It is easy to say “I have finished”. Students are now spending the next two lessons learning to take their work further by ‘Refining’. It’s time to step back, self evaluate and ask peers, what can I do to improve it? Noting that empty space is not interesting to look at, students are using a tools to add a variety of textures to both shape and space to bring more interest to the work. It is also important to vary the patterns in texture, in order to maintain sight of original shapes. In addition to this they are ensuring that all pieces are secured, cleaning up and smoothing out rough surfaces/edges where necessary. The first of the finished works are emerging and it is inspiring to see, the capabilities of a Second Grade student.

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