Grades 1-5 Art

Category: Impacts: Social Intelligence

Third Grade: Sharing the Planet 2

Continued from the previous Third Grade blog post.

Reflection and evaluation is an important part of the process where students can verbalise their procedures, challenges and strategies to overcome them. All students constantly reflected throughout, and used feedback to make decisions on their next steps. At the end of the unit, students were required to upload a spoken or written reflection to Seesaw, including information regarding the connection they made to the original central idea.

David’s (3CK) reflection, part way through his process, identifies procedures and ways in which his group researched, and he has used Seesaw tools to demonstrate they way in which they broke down the shapes to form their hammerhead shark. David’s reflection can be found here.

Dayun (3IC) incorporates all that was required to be included in her reflection.

“This is my 3D paper & paste art work of a cat. I worked on this project by myself. It is finished and it was actually really fun to make this. I wished that I made the ears more smaller because I think they are too big. I made this by scrunching up the newspaper, and taped it with masking tape to keep the shape. After I made the cat I ripped magazine paper and glued it on with special glue. It was hard when I couldn’t find the right colors but some of the teachers helped me to find it. This connects to the unit on Sharing the Planet because we used recycled newspaper and magazine”. (Dayun, Seesaw Reflection 30 April 2019)

Students were also asked to carefully consider the composition of the final photo of their work, inclusive of background colors, emphasis and good use of space.

This was a successful unit. Students made clear connections to the key concept and learning taking place in their home room class. The very tactile nature of the construction/paper & paste art form, and opportunity to work with friends, led to high levels of motivation. I have been quite astounded by the quality of the art work. Much of the work is very well formed with (mostly) reasonably lifelike proportions. Truly amazing! The work can be found in the ES Lobby area for one more week before being returned to students. Please see our gallery below. We also have a display mounted on the wall, which explains the inquiry/creative cycle. This will remain on show throughout the summer.

Please enjoy the gallery below.




Third Grade: Sharing the Planet 1

(Note: You Tube Videos with Sound may be more accessible via laptop or PC)

During Third Grade’s last art rotation of the year, students worked on an Interdisciplinary Unit ‘Sharing the Planet’ with the Central Idea: The consumption of Earth’s resources impacts the environment and requires innovative solutions for sustainability, and with the Key Concept of Responsibility and the Related `Concept of Causation. In Art, our Line of Inquiry was: Interpreting and analysing art enables people to understand artist intent and composition’.

Students tuned in to the notion of creating meaningful art with recycled materials through viewing and discussing the content of the following video.

They also made close studies from images of art created with recycled materials, through drawing and making observations of ways in which artists used materials to create new forms.

(Images borrowed from

The original plan was for students to have the opportunity to be creative with recycled junk materials. Thank you to the families who collected various junk for this work. However, not enough was collected for an entire grade level (we have saved it for future years!). Our unit therefore, changed direction, regarding the final outcome.

Keeping in mind, that we wanted to use recycled materials as best possible, and find ways to create art with limited materials, we moved towards observing the work of a Japanese artist known on Twitter as Setsu and the art form known as chigiri-e, or torn paper collage.

(images borrowed from SBS Australia)

As a preliminary exercise students practised seeing magazine images for their color only, and creating some torn paper collage of their own.

Thinking about our precious planet and the beautiful creatures upon/within it, students moved on to thinking about their favorite animals as a subject for their final work. Having already considered the art element of color, they were now to focus on shape and form. Using images found on the internet students observed basic shapes/forms within the body of a creature of their choice. With newsprint paper and masking tape only, they worked in groups to create and join various forms.

Here a video of artists in action. Some chose to work independently, others collaboratively.

More to follow in next blog post.






Fifth Grade: PYP Exhibition 2019

Transdisciplinary Theme: How We Express Ourselves, PYP Key Concept: Perspective

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 work together use creativity to raise awareness of matters that are important to them.

CONGRATULATIONS to Fifth Grade students as they reach the final stages of their exhibition work. The PYPX Art Station has been buzzing with collaborative artistic activity as many have chosen various art forms to help express ideas and findings. We look forward to hearing about your learning journey and future action steps on matters which have become important to you.

Feel free to take a selfie at our Yayoi Kusama work. Good luck with your presentation! (More photos of students at work to be posted on Seesaw)





Fifth Grade PYPX: Dear ‘Next Artist’…

Week Two of art rotations is complete and things are gaining momentum. Some artworks are appearing successful, some not. We shall need to gather some community feedback after the February Break. Our first week was exciting and energetic, and most students had the opportunity to explore two or more art forms. In recent days, we have taken a breather. A quick reflection: What is happening here? In some cases random acts of creativity, not necessarily connected to what has gone before.  Is this one big paint festival?! What was our original goal? Students are becoming increasingly aware of the power of individual contribution, for the good of the collective whole and the need for communication with their collaborative peers from other classes. Now, as they leave the room, notes are being eagerly written, for the ‘next artist’, with intention to inform him/her of their thinking, in hope that the next contribution to the work, may be more effective. From this we can see a sense of pride and camaraderie developing. A splendid new development this week! Here below, some ‘Dear next artist…’ letters and some video clips from the last couple of days. Wishing you all a rested holiday.


Fifth Grade: Artists as Change Makers

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

Transdisciplinary Theme: How We Express Ourselves, PYP Key Concept: Perspective

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 work together use creativity to raise awareness of matters that are important to them.

Note: Our line of Inquiry strives to place emphasis on three things: Collaboration, Change Makers, Global Issues & Citizenship.

Welcome back! This is going to be a long blog post (student video at end of this post). My aim is to enlighten you, as best possible regards this year’s strong integration of art and the upcoming Grade 5 PYP Exhibition (PYPX). As you may know, during the latter part of this school year, students will be involved in in a personal investigation of their choice. Groups will be organised according to interest and students will involve themselves in a collaborative process of inquiry, and be required to present their learning journey to the whole school community.  This is the culminating learning experience of your child’s elementary school experience and very exciting! Please do not contact home room teachers regards this, at this moment in time. You will be introduced to specific details at the scheduled time, after February break. However, as the Fifth Grade art rotation began last week, and shall continue until Mid-March, art class is currently helping to prepare students to ‘tune in’ to the idea of investigating a PYP transdisciplinary theme, Central Idea, Concept, make specific connections with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and to develop an understanding that there are a variety of art forms, which they could choose to utilize, later.

Identifying Transdisciplinary Themes, PYP Concepts and UN Sustainable Development Goals

During our first week of art class, through close observation/analysis of various artworks, students had the opportunity to clarify their understanding of the PYP Transdisciplinary Themes and Concepts and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. They have begun to consider how art can be used as a means of raising awareness of such issues.

Students have been exposed to the work or artists who clearly have something to say. Completely open to personal interpretation, students have worked as a whole class, to seek meaning, and identify the Transdisciplinary Theme, PYP Concepts and UN Sustainable Goal in various artworks. So far we have specifically observed the work of Jo Atherton, Yayoi Kusama and Von Wong. 

Exposure to a variety of art making forms

During week two and three, students are being reminded that art comes in a variety of forms, such as painting, drawing, construction, collage, and photography. 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 upcoming personal learning journey. It is already a busy and exciting time, as students have rotated through teacher directed, art stations. All classes are contributing to the same stations. They are reminded to constantly keep in mind, the question “How can I use creativity to express a matter which is important to me?”

PYP Attitudes/Attributes (Learner Profile)

Incorporated into all, is consideration of the PYP Learner Profile. A shared painting can be a challenge and cause great frustration when a partner removes, changes, or transforms an area of a work with which you held a moment of great pride. A strong sense of perseverance, and acceptance is required  and students are being encouraged to be responsible and caring in their approach to all. I am pleased to report, that to date, a large percentage of students are demonstrating high levels of positivity in this regard. In fact, as the week has progressed, excited students have returned to art class before or after school, or during recess, simply to observe the new development that has occured during their time away.


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. As we are in the the early stages, some guidance is required in some instances, as they self and peer evaluate. Positive and constructive feedback is encouraged as they make collaborative decisions regards their next steps with the work. At the end of each lesson, a whole class moment of reflection is required, where students discuss challenges met, and any strategies they may be devising to overcome this.

Next Steps

The entire Fifth Grade are 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! Two weeks of planned work is well under way, and in these early days students are requesting more. Together, we are making decision regards the introduction of new stations. And together, we shall decide, later in the year, and as a result of community feedback, which of our collaborative works we agree to being ‘presentable’ for the exhibition.

Below, I share two videos. Von Wong’s ‘The Last Straw’ and his artwork ‘The Parting of the Plastic Seas’, and a video of Fifth Grade artists at work.


Third Grade: HWEO Exploring Culture Through Art

(Note: YouTube Video/Audio may be more accessible via PC or Laptop)

Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context: Relate: Relate artistic ideas with Societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding. (National Core Art Standards) PYP Phase 2 Responding: Investigate the purposes of artwork from different times, places and a range of cultures including their own

Both in their home room class, and art, Third Grade have begun the transdisciplinary unit of Inquiry: How We Express Ourselves. This means we address the same Key Concepts of Connection and Perspective, through the Central idea that ‘Through examining the arts, people gain insight into culture’. 

Considering questions such as “What is culture? How is culture expressed through the arts? What are some expressions of culture? And how does art help us understand the lives of people of different times, places and cultures (National Core Art Standards), and in addition to exposure to a variety of cultural reflections through the arts in their homeroom, art students have begun to specifically observe Australian Aboriginal Dot Paintings. Discussions around the meaning of ‘The Dreamtime’ lead to some wonderful and respectful listening to, and speaking about, various third grade multicultural theories/perspectives, about the beginning of time and creation.

To assist immediate engagement, students have been provided the opportunity to simply practise the very enjoyable activity of creating dot marks, while observing details in some Australian Aboriginal art works. While doing so, students have been exposed to music of the Didgeridoo, and listened to Dreamtime Stories such as Ka-ro-ra (an Aboriginal Creation Myth) The Rainbow Serpent, Tiddalik the Frog, How the Kangaroos Got their Tails, and How the Birds got their Colors.

As we move into the next stage of the unit, students are beginning to notice a common thread of symbols within the works and questions are starting to emerge regards their meaning, and ways in which they might help us to understand stories, beliefs and/or lifestyles.

For now, I leave you with a video of our first two lessons, and examples of some beautiful exploratory work happening in the art room. Enjoy!


Third Grade: Let’s get started!

Third Grade Collaborative Piece

The start of the school year requires time to find our level of comfort in the art room, and establish routines and expectations. This simple, yet visually effective artwork, allowed students to practise contributing to an effective learning environment, focus on their ability to follow basic instruction, continue to familiarise themselves with some Elements of Art and Principles of Design, and realise the importance of their individual and collective contribution.

Inspiration was found from the quilt work of Corinne Sovey. Students are always encouraged to incorporate art specific vocabulary when speaking and writing about art. This time our words focused on analogous color, shape, space, and unity.

This work can be found near to the ES Office.

Second Grade: The Language of Art & Self Talk

Note: Videos and Audio in this post maybe be more easily accessed via laptop or PC

Thank you for signing up to our Grades 1-5 Art Blog. We hope that the first few weeks have run smoothly for you and that you are feeling settled. The first couple of weeks for students, is all about establishing routines and finding our comfort level in the art room. With this in place, we have begun our first unit of the year which focuses on the PYP Transdisciplinary Theme of ‘How We Express Ourselves’ and 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’. 

This year’s blog starts with a short video clip, giving you a sneak peak into a Second Grade Art Class. Art Class can be loud at times, and for this reason, I am often pleased that we are situated away from other classrooms. There will be times devoted to creative thinking, where silence is required and there are other times when noise is encouraged, in a productive way of course. Young children naturally self talk as they play and work through tasks. We have started the year with clearly pointing out the importance of making use of art specific vocabulary whilst talking about our work. We are slowly building word lists, which students will be increasingly encouraged to apply both in writing and speaking, during critique, analysis, reflection and evaluation. Self talk helps us to internalise the process we are experiencing, and solve ‘problems’ both independently, and together. It is also normal at the start of the year to hear comments such as “Mine’s bad” or “Yours is better than mine” and we are working towards helping students to make use of positive self talk as a means of developing a growth mindset.

Some of the vocabulary introduced may seem advanced. However, in general second graders are perfectly capable of learning and using them, even if they cannot spell them! Art words introduced in the last couple of weeks: Hundertwasser, Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and Analogous colors, Line, Shape, Space, Repetition, variety and brush stroke. Color words also include blue-violet, red-violet for example.

(Images borrowed from: and Pixabay)

Second Grade have been observing the work of Austrian artists Friedensreich Hundertwasser (Slides) and discussing his use of art elements in both his architectural designs and paintings. Through this, and specific (whole class) analysis of his work ‘Lollipop Trees’, students have been practising the skill of controlling their brush and paint while mixing primary colors to make secondary and a variety of tertiary. Eg. Red + Yellow = Orange. Yellow + Orange = Yellow Orange, while independently mimicking the style of Hundertwasser’s lollipop trees. This knowledge, and these skills have been further applied to a group work, incorporating some inspiration gained from observing Van Gogh’s Starry Night, noting his thick brush strokes and use of line and movement in particular, to create a forest themed landscape as a final work. 

(Image borrowed from

Art lessons to date have focused on use of vocabulary, positive self talk, color mixing with paint and appropriate use of materials and tools (investigation, exploration, skills). The creative element of the art process shall be our next step as students think on a more independent level, and plan out a relief work in the medium of clay.  Please enjoy these photos from the last couple of weeks.

First Grade: Exploration of Tools and Materials

Videos and inks in this post may be viewed more easily on PC or Laptop

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.





Fifth Grade Action: PYPX

(YouTube Videos may be easier to view from PC or Laptop)

Welcome back. We hope you enjoyed a restful holiday. Excitement builds now, as Fifth Grade students move towards the GOING FURTHER/ACTION stage of the inquiry process.

Those who have chosen to use creativity to raise awareness of their findings, have collaborated, and submitted their group proposals (for those who have not, there is still time to do so). These students may begin to use the PYPX Action Station at times negotiated with their teacher.

This is a fine opportunity for students to be demonstrating the PYP Learner Profile. In this workspace, we encourage students to be principled, responsible, respectful and caring in particular, towards the environment, materials/tools, and each other.

As they become ready to initiate this stage of creation, they will view the following information, to assist them in their development of good organisational skills. Wishing students all the best in ‘taking action’!

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