Grades 1-5 Art

Category: Learner Profile: Thinker

Second Grade: Knowledgeable Learners and Reflection

(Note: Videos/Slide Shows, Audio, and Gallery may be more accessible via PC or Laptop)

In recent weeks Second Grade Learners have been thinking about the importance of owning some scientific and mathematical knowledge in order to create a self portrait, and their ability to reflect upon their learning. Using iPads, they have closely observed their own facial characteristics, in addition to looking at a number of images to help them with shape of hair, and placement of eyes, nose, mouth.  When viewing your child’s work on Seesaw, be sure to ask him/her about the steps he/she took to create it: specifically the diversity of hair shape within their class, and the measuring of facial proportions. Students have also worked on mixing a variety of colors to create a skin tone to match themselves, inclusive of surprising colors such as green, blue, red, purple.

Seesaw Posts: Reflection helps learners develop their ability to articulate their process, with increasing use of art vocabulary. Learners have worked together to identify a range of challenges met, and a variety of strategies to overcome them. This should be included in their speaking/writing. Students are learning that Seesaw posts are not only a means for final presentation. It is also a means of documenting learning throughout. It took much courage for some students to upload un-finished work (“… but I don’t want my Mom to see it like this”). These students should be praised for taking this risk and noting that the work is not finished, and articulating their ‘next steps’ for the work. Well done to those students for finding the courage.

Please find below, two examples of Seesaw Posts, a YouTube Video/Slide Show of student work and a Second Grade Portrait Gallery. Enjoy!

Izabel’s Self Portrait and Reflection


Bella’s Self Portrait and Reflection


Second Grade Portrait Gallery

Second Grade: Present

Second Grade are currently on their break from art class, as they enjoy alternative learning experiences. We look forward to welcoming them back in late November. In the meantime, thank you and well done to Katie and Anthony of 2GA who presented in assembly yesterday. Katie and Anthony highlighted our Learner Profile ‘Thinker’ for us, and shared the following video of our Second Grade Creative Thinker’s journey from August to October. If you would like the link, without blurred faces, please feel free to contact me! Enjoy!

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.

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!





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