Grades 1-5 Art

Category: PYP Key Concept: Connection (Page 2 of 2)

Third Grade: Presenting: Interpreting and sharing artistic work.

Select/Share: Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation

Third Grade Students are currently completing their work by preparing it for presentation on Seesaw. In the next few days, you should receive notice of their final work for this years art class. The photographs in the gallery below have been created by students themselves. Through this, they have been carefully considering aesthetics, selecting a section of the work, which is most pleasing to the eye, and seeking out good examples of texture, movement, contrast, repetition and so on.

Through class discussion, it has been pleasing to hear so many students remembering the content specific knowledge about the artist and her connection to our unit ‘Sharing the Planet’ Some have written or spoken about this in Seesaw. With this they are also required to document their thoughts about the process of creating a collagraph print, the challenges met, and how they over came these. They have been encouraged to apply art specific vocabulary. Some students have written or spoken in reasonable depth. Some, simply ran out of time. They should have at least, uploaded their photo.

As always, it has been such a pleasure to work creatively with AAS Students. I look forward to seeing them again in Fourth Grade. Enjoy our final gallery of the year.

Third Grade: Sharing the Planet

You Tube Videos in this blog, may viewed more easily from a laptop or PC.

For Third Grade Parents, this will be a long blog post! However, it will help you to understand the content and depth of our current art unit. The next and final Third Grade art blog for this year, will contain a gallery only, of the student’s final products.

In the past three weeks, students have been introduced to a Transdisciplinary Unit. This means that we address the same Central Idea and Concepts as their classroom Unit of Inquiry ‘Sharing the Planet’, but from an artist’s perspective.

Central Idea: Consumption of resources has an impact on the environment.

Key Concepts: Responsibility & Connection

Related Concepts: Consumption, Impact, Consequences

Tuning into the art form studied: The focused art form, this time, is Printmaking. Therefore, before delving into to questions regards how artists respond to the central idea, it was important that students understood the basic process of printmaking (collagraphy in particular). To start, students had two lessons to explore the process of making prints with textured plates, and in evaluating. Ie. What makes a good print and why? What specific criteria are we looking for? What strategies do we need to apply in order to create a clear print? What are the names of the tools and materials, and how can we use them safely, and apply correct procedure?

Tuning In to the Central Idea: The timing of our third art rotation was perfect, as this meant students were already ‘tuned in’ to the ideas and concepts. They arrived with prior knowledge and therefore were able to quickly connect. It took approximately thirty seconds of viewing the following video, for curious student comments to evolve from “Ooohhhh! Scuba Diving! Oooh! I’ve been there on holiday! Wow look all all the jellyfish! Wait, what IS that? Oh no, that’s plastic! Ooh that’s bad! Oh, that’s disgusting! Where’s all the fish?!” The connection to their class Unit of Inquiry ‘Sharing the Planet’ was made immediately.

Researching & Finding Out

Thanks to their class inquiry, content regards the consequences of consumption, does not need to be discussed in great detail. Rather, in art, Research & Finding Out, involves one artist’s perspective and response to the issue. Students have been exposed in particular to a UK artist named Jo Atherton. Links to her websites can be found by clicking here, and here.

In brief, Jo’s work involves, weaving and printmaking in particular with use of flotsam or general plastics found washed up, or left on the beach. She not only finds fascination in their narrative, a but also considers the visual resemblance in her print designs, to that of microscopic marine life.

“Like the pottery archaeologists use to define human cultures of the past, a layer of plastic will signify our own throwaway society. What will these discarded fragments say about us?” (Jo Atherton), and “Millions of years ago, fuelled by sunlight, marine plankton flourished and then settled on the ocean floor, slowly transforming into oil. This same oil is used to quickly produce the endless plastic objects that dominate the everyday. When inked and printed, plastic flotsam fragments bear a stark resemblance to the rich diversity of microscopic marine life – a worrying and ironic connection to a beautiful natural process” (Jo Atherton)

Such content may well go over the head of a Third Grader, but they can make the connection at their own level. As one commented “wow, that’s deep!”

From an art and design perspective, students have investigated Jo’s application of the elements of art and principles of design when creating compositions for prints.

Whilst working on these observational drawings of Jo’s work, and to assist in the connection with the artwork versus the beauty of microscopic marine life, students were provided short clips (not all) from The Secret Life of Plankton‘ If you have a spare five minutes, you will most likely enjoy this mesmerising video, and beautiful accompanying music, composed by J. Ralph & Anohni. The song was released as the lead soundtrack to the 2015 documentary “The Race to Extinction’ and nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 88th Academy Awards.  

So where are we now? We have two weeks left to create, reflect and evaluate. With this prior knowledge of content and some understanding of the printmaking process and composition design, students are currently creating their own printmaking plates, with spare ‘junk’. Composition is now the key in creation. Students are required to carefully consider composition by using their knowledge of the elements or art and principles of design. The junk pieces are applied with shape, line, and space in particular, arranged through repetition, variety, contrast, and movement and balance.

Please watch this space in a few weeks time, for our final print products.

First Grade: Connecting

Welcome back First Grade Parents! It has been a while. As you know, First Grade students meet just once a week, so some units may take some time before an update is newsworthy. Herewith, an update of learning which has been taking place in the First Grade Art class since the start of December. In order to avoid an overwhelmingly long blog post, part one only, will be posted here for now. Part two and three to come in the next week or so! Enjoy!

Connecting: ‘Connecting’ is one of the NAEA curriculum standards that we work towards, at AAS, and corresponds with the PYP Phase 2 ‘Responding’. It is the study of art in relation to past times, cultures, people, and our personal response to these.

Part One: Connecting with artists from past times – Australian aboriginal Art

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Australian Aboriginal Cave Art and Interpretation

This short, stand alone unit (Who We Are), focused mainly on the power that can art hold in storytelling and ability to connect us with past times and people. In First Grade, the observation and critiquing of art works, particularly these aboriginal cave paintings, is less about finding correct answers and more about appealing to curiosity, questioning, and learning to understand and respect the variety of interpretations among us. Simply the nature of a first grade mind, makes these lessons all the more interesting. Some interpretations are very literal, some extremely imaginative,  and some make strong connections with real life experiences. All of these are precisely what is encouraged. There have been discussions based around aliens (so many stories!), anatomy, and possible messages from the people of the past. And then there are moments of great simplicity. After quite in depth class discussion on handprints, and questions about who the hands belonged to, what might their life have been like, what might they have eaten that day, who were their family, how did they make those hands on the wall, why did they make those hands on the wall, one student concluded the lesson with “Hey! Maybe they just wanted to say hi to us!”

Developing Skills: To follow with the notion that artists are inspired by the world around them, students briefly worked on some drawings of indigenous australian animals before being provided the opportunity to explore earthy colors in soft pastel. They worked to smudge colors to create a cave like, stone effect in which to recreate their own imagery in a similar style.

In addition to this, Australian aboriginal dot paintings were briefly discussed with some recognition and identification of symbolism with in them. Brief dot style activities followed, working on fine motor control and color groupings, while listening to the sounds of the didgeridoo.

Part Two: Connecting with artists who show resilience and perseverance with disabilities – Coming soon.

Second Grade – End of Year

The majority of students have completed their work and will bring it home soon. Please take a moment to discuss the work with your child. It is important that the work is valued beyond the aesthetic. Through this work, your child has demonstrated commitment, perseverance and patience over a number of weeks. Ask your child to explain the entire process to you. Ask him/her, how long did it take? Ask him/her to evaluate “Are you pleased with your work? Why? What is good about it? What did not work so well?” Ask your child about challenges met, and the solutions he/she found. Remind him/her of the Outdoor Learning experience in the forest and seek connections with this. Show him/her this Andy Goldsworthy link (by Niall Dickenson) and use it as a conversation piece. Have your child take pride in his/her work. Take a photo and send it to Grandparents. Place it in a prominent place in your home. And throughout the summer, keep this work in mind, wherever you may be. Provide your child continued exposure to outdoor exploration. Provide him/her opportunities to invent and create. Expose him/her to the work of others through galleries and museums. Point out any outdoor art installations you find, as you travel to your home town, city, country, or vacations elsewhere. Connection is the key. We are now ready and excited for Third Grade. Enjoy your summer with family and friends, and safe travels to all.


Second Grade – Art and Nature

Students have considered the question “From where do artists find inspiration?”

Initially inspired by our Outdoor Learning Specialists, students were exposed to the work of Site Sculptor and Land Artist, Andy Goldsworthy (Slide Show by Niall Dickenson) Students have observed, discussed and sketched the compositional arrangement of natural materials in his work.

With this, and building on fine motor skills practised during Trimester Two, students have created a small weaving loom with natural materials gathered from the forest. Challenging for some, it was wonderful to see demonstrations of determination and perseverance. Using art specific vocabulary, students have focused specifically on color, texture, and the incorporation of the raw materials as an essential component of the aesthetic.





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