Grades 1-5 Art

Category: PYP Related Concept: Procedure (Page 1 of 3)

First to Fourth Grade: Skill Builders, Printmaking & Reflection/Evaluation

A choice based system most certainly does not mean full time free choice. Of course there must be room for specific skill building and learning of new techniques, which students can then apply to their choice based art later.

Since the start of the new year, Grades 1-4 have been involved in some ‘have to’ lessons (otherwise known as Skill Builders), through the introduction of our Printmaking Station. Emphasis has been placed on organisation of workspace, the actual process of various printmaking techniques, and self evaluation and reflection. Printmaking techniques have been planned to allow progression throughout the grade levels.

First Grade: Fingerprinting, Sponge Dot Printing (after observation and critique of pointillism and work of George Seurat), and Printmaking with Found Objects

Second Grade: Styrofoam Prints with washable markers

Third Grade: Styrofoam Prints with washable markers, and basic reduction print with ink (single color/layer)

Fourth Grade: Mono prints, and reduction prints with ink – two colors/layers

Students are encouraged to keep ALL pieces, no matter how ‘bad’ they may turn out. Bad prints are good! Not only will students be able to demonstrate the progression of their skill, they can also use these to discuss their evaluation of the quality of the print, reflect on problems which may be occuring and seek solutions to these, or strategies for improvement.

Ongoing reflection and evaluation should take place through self talk and discussions with peers and the teacher. Thus students are becoming increasingly familiar with discussing their process, inclusive of art specific vocabulary.

Due to lack of time, students are not required to write or record reflections/evaluations on Seesaw daily. Simply uploading a photo of stages of the work, at the end of the lesson is enough to gain a habit of documenting.

In a few weeks students will complete a ‘W.O.W’ piece of art (as a reminder please click on the following link)

First, Second, Fourth and Fifth Grade: W.O.W 

which was posted on 21st November 2019. This will require a more indepth, written or spoken reflection on Seesaw.

Speak to your child about his/her printmaking experience. We hope they can freely discuss their process inclusive of art vocabulary such as ‘found objects, printing plate, printing ink, brayer, sponge, styrofoam…’ according to grade level.

Please enjoy some photos below taken during Printmaking Classes, Grades 1-4.

All Grades: End Semester

We are now in our last six day cycle of 2019. Students (except Third Grade) are busy finishing up their W.O.W (please see previous posts for explanation). As they finish they are presenting their final art work on Seesaw and we soon hope to have an enormous gallery of amazing, individual, personalised art in the hallways of AAS! During the last week, students are recording, or writing their ‘Artist Statement’. The depth of the statement varies according to Grade Level of course. All should be intentionally making use of art vocabulary when speaking or writing about their work.

It has been a successful semester. Students are very excited to come to art! Many students are arriving with preconceived ideas and a plan! Students are increasingly, independently responsible for their workspace, respectful towards each other and their learning environment. Such joy in learning! Please see the informative Youtube video below, which demonstrates a choice based program in full flow.

Parents of Third Grade, please watch this space for an update. They are currently working on a Transdisciplinary Unit the Central Idea “Though examining the arts, people can gain insights into culture”. A Third Grade blog post shall come soon!

First, Second, Fourth and Fifth Grade: W.O.W

Grades 1,2,4 and 5 have started work on their W.O.W artwork. AAS Artists will tell you, that W.O.W, stands for Wonderful Original Work of Art.

After weeks of practising studio navigation, setting up their work space, exploration of various media, ways to research and generate ideas, artists are ready to demonstrate what they know and can do, by creating a final piece which they would feel proud to display in a public space. 

The criteria for the W.O.W piece, is as follows:

  • I have thought about it for a while and made a plan
  • I spent at least three lessons on it
  • I have fixed, improved, perfected it
  • It looks ready to hang on the wall
  • It might have been frustrating to create but I stuck with it!
  • I have shown it to others for feedback
  • It has enough personal meaning for me to write about it in an artist statement
  • It came from my heart
  • I found satisfaction and interest in creating it
  • It happened through experimentation in the studio

The above criteria is expected to be fully met by Grades 4 and 5, and lower grades are specifically working on the ability to engage and persist with an idea, and work to refine a piece, to a point of completion, over a number of lessons.

We have three full lessons before the December break, so the timing is perfect. A wide variety of artworks are emerging as students make choices about subject matter, format, and art form. (Current options are painting, drawing, and collage only)

Watch this space!


Grades Two to Four: Organisational Skills and Present

One of the National Core Art Standards which will be reported upon at some point this school year, falls under the title of ‘Present’. It involves students gaining and understanding of preparing works for preservation and exhibition.

This week, students in Grades 2-4, have taken a moment to stop, and consider their work to date. Provided with a new folder for ‘My BEST finished work’, students have been relying on peer feedback to consider what it means for a work to be complete, and making decisions on how works might be improved or refined. With this, they have been ‘finishing up’ personally selected pieces, to store for a future exhibit.

Once works are complete and selected, students have continued to work at their own rate, choosing colored paper on which to single or double (or in some cases, triple) mount their work. Color combinations have been considered, and some have been inspired to take their work a step further by presenting in new creative ways, including making use of their own exploration work, as a background to another.

When the work is finally displayed for an audience, you shall be able to view entirely student centred work, inclusive of presentation. It shall therefore appear more child like than work previously seen in school art displays (ie. in some cases, not quite as tidy!), inclusive of developing stages of cutting skills! Artist statements shall also follow.

Pieces that are not selected for this folder are still considered valuable experience which led to final products, and kept in the student’s ‘Process Folder’. Please enjoy some photos of artists independently developing their own visual art portfolio.

All Grades: Documentation: Developing the Habit

Seesaw activity continues to grow and students are becoming more independent in documenting their process. At present, no written reflection/evaluation is being required of students. We have simply been continuing to explore ways in which we can record our process or final products. Every lesson, students are required to upload their chosen plan for the day, and at least one photo which shows achievement, as a means of developing the habit of ongoing documentation.

There is also a new enthusiasm amongst some students to take this further by working on time lapse videos to demonstrate activity, specifically inspired by the work Nathan 3CB. Well done Nathan.

The following videos (with sound) would most likely be best viewed from a laptop or PC.

Nathan’s Video

Zahra’s Video

Anthony’s Video

Silvijn’s Video

Zain’s Video

We have now had approximately eight art classes. It is wonderful to see the variety of exploratory work ,and motivation which comes with our choice based art program. Students are now very familiar with choices within the Drawing and Painting Station and ways in which to navigate and be in control of their learning and environment. After the October break we shall begin to delve into the question of ‘Where do artists get ideas’? through some brainstorming and critique/analysis work. Students will then work on idea generation, leading towards a W.O.W (Wonderful Original Work of Art), hopefully in time for December break.

These are exciting times. Wishing you a restful holiday and safe travels.

All Grades: Choice Based Art & Teaching for Artistic Behaviours

Welcome back to all, and our new subscribers this year! Thank you for signing up. Also many thanks for those of you who have recently donated to our collection of ‘junk’, such as toilet rolls and small boxes, which will be used in future for construction activities, and small items which may be of interest to students for observational drawing, ie. small objects with interesting texture, shape, form, colour (eg cheap junk jewellery, dried flowers/fruit, shiny objects etc).  Please continue to donate – the more the better! Collection boxes can be found outside the art room 3006.

I’d like to start this year by sharing a video, which has been shown to many (not all) students in the last few weeks.

We are now moving into our fourth, six day cycle. This means students have attended art three or four times. A great energy is arising as students are becoming familiar with our new ‘choice based’ approach to teaching art at AAS. This blog post should help you to understand the thinking behind our approach and intentions for student learning.

In previous years, students have engaged in Guided Inquiry Units which have allowed students to experience the creative process, individually and as part of a whole group. Please see previous years’ blog posts for detailed information. This has prepared our students well, for our next step into 21st century learning. Choice Based Art and Teaching for Artistic Behaviours (TAB) places the student at the centre of everything, allowing for greater agency and personalised learning. Through a choice based approach, and continuing to apply the mantra “You are the artist, and this is your studio”, we believe all students will be more invested, engaged and inspired, as this will appeal even more so, to their natural curiosity and personal interests. Through allowing choice, and providing more of a ‘workshop’ environment, students can work at their own pace, and with increased independence, whilst still meeting curricular objectives. 

Throughout the year, we shall focus on the understanding, or Central Idea, that ‘Artists practise a series of behaviours, which lead them through a process, resulting in an art work which conveys personal meaning to them’. We will continue to ask ourselves “What do artists do?” and “Where do ideas come from?”

In recent weeks, we have been focusing on exploration, and the setting up/cleaning up of workspace.  Students are entirely responsible for thoughtfully planning for, and selecting materials and tools in order to initiate exploration/experimentation, observational and/or imaginative work.

Emphasis is also being placed on the documentation of exploration and experimentation. All pieces should be kept, as they provide opportunity for reflection, and are valuable evidence of process.

As we work through the transition to a full choice based program, students are beginning to become familiar with the Studio Habits of Mind ( which can be directly linked to the National Core Art Standards, PYP learning outcomes and Attributes. These are early days, and the depth of exposure and understanding, is dependent on the Grade level. The Studio Habits of Mind can be found at the foot of this blog post.

Thank you for your attention to long blog post! We look forward to seeing you at the upcoming Learning Goal Setting Day.

                                      Studio Habits of Mind & PYP Attributes

Develop Craft: Learning to use tools, materials, artistic conventions, and learning to care for tools, materials and space (PYP Caring and Knowledgeable)

Envision: Learning to picture mentally, what cannot be directly observed, and imagine possible next steps in making a piece (PYP Inquirer)

Express: Learning to create works that convey an idea, a feeling, or a personal meaning (PYP Communicator)

Stretch & Explore: Learning to reach beyond one’s capacities, to explore playfully without a preconceived plan, and to embrace the opportunity to learn from mistakes (PYP Risk Taker)

Observe: Learning to attend to visual contexts more closely than ordinary ‘looking’ requires, and thereby to see things that otherwise might not be seen (PYP Inquirer)

Reflect: Learning to think and talk with others about an aspect of one’s work or working process, and learning to judge one’s own work and working process, and the work of others (PYP Reflective)

Engage & Persist: Learning to embrace problems of relevance within the art world/or of personal importance, to develop focus conducive to working and persevering at tasks (PYP Open Minded)

Understand (Arts) Community: Learning to interact as an artist with other artists (i.e. in classrooms, in local arts organizations, and across the art field)













Fifth Grade Felt Making

Note: You Tube Videos with sound, may be more accessible via laptop or PC.

After their hard work with their PYP Exhibition, students are now involved in a less intense creative activity during the last art rotation of Elementary School. Students are loving the opportunity to try their hand at Felt Making. Still, it is necessary to follow through the same creative process, of developing skills, generating ideas, and seeking feedback, before embarking on the creation of a final work. This blog post shall remain brief, as I allow the video to demonstrate the procedures taking place. Enjoy!

Second Grade: Student Led Conferences 28 March 2019

Second Grade Students should invite parents to the art room to show a photograph of their self portrait and explain/demonstrate their understanding of the line of inquiry “artists use scientific and mathematical knowledge when creating artworks’. Conversations may also focus on the steps required to create their portrait, and specifically the challenges met, and strategies for improvement. Hundertwasser artworks will also be available as discussion points, and some clay provided in order for students to demonstrate skills specifically in clay attachment – the Four S’s – Slip, score, squish, smooth.

Guiding questions/discussion points will be provided for parents to assist students in conversation initiation, though it is the choice of the student, regards which aspect of his/her learning he/she will share.

We look forward to seeing you Thursday.


Fifth Grade: Assessments, Seesaw, and Documenting Process

After tuning into the characteristics of art works from the Op Art Movement, investigating, exploring, and trying out different methods in their process journal, students have been assigned their final work. They have four lessons to complete a work using paper, scissors and glue only, ensuring that their choices are governed by their knowledge and understanding of art elements and principles, in particular, Contrast, Movement and Space.

The assessment of art is very holistic. It views the process as a whole, as well as the quality of the final product. Students have been provided (via Seesaw Assignments) this simple explanation of how they can reach our curriculum standards. It is posted on our Smart Board and discussed during every lesson, as a reminder.


You may have noticed several Seesaw Posts this week, which your child has uploaded. This is not finished work for presentation. It is part of the requirement to document the process as they work through the assignment. There may be several photos of the work at the various stages. Students are encouraged to be independently responsible for ongoing documentation of the process. It may be simply a photo, or they may include a sentence about the stage they are at, their current thinking, and intentions for next steps. From myself, you may see a simple ‘like’ as an acknowledgement that they are working along this path, or there may be a constructive comment, to reassure them that they are reaching the set criteria or advice on next steps. A simple ‘like’ or words of encouragement from you, will always be motivational for your child.

Example of a student’s post: Photo Only

Example of a student’s post: Photo and reflection

Example of a student’s post: Photo, student thoughts, and teacher comment.


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