AAS Elementary Art

Grades 1-5 Art

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Third Grade: How We Express Ourselves (Transdisciplinary Unit)

“Fish printing is called Gyotaku. In Japan, fishermen used to make a print of the fish they caught to save a memory of that fish. These days, it is an art. If you want to make a fish print, you take an ink roller and then you take a plastic printing plate. You roll the ink on the plate with the ink roller and then take your fish, put it on the ink, and then you stamp on paper. After that you can take a liner or black pen to add small details to the fish.”

By Dima 3CB

“This is Buchae from Korea. It is used for traditional dance in Korea. It is a really famous dance in Korea. I was inspired to create it because it is so beautiful. First I used stiff paper. Then I painted it. I painted white feathers with pink paint and stuck them to the fan. It painted really well. It was challenging to paint the fan because I first painted the roses, and the leaves and then I made the background, so I had to paint the leaves again”.

By Liza 3CK

Third Grade students have been involved in a Transdisciplinary Unit: How We Express Ourselves. This means that both in their classroom Unit of Inquiry, and in art, we address the same Central Idea :Through examining the arts, people can gain insights into culture”, while keeping in mind, the Key and Related Concepts of Perspective, Connection and Communication. In art, we have addressed questions such as “How is art an expression of culture? What is symbolism? How can art communicate personal stories, values and beliefs?”

This unit provides us the perfect opportunity to address both the ‘Creating, and Responding” Standards, from the National Core Art Curriculum Standards. Students are required to speculate about processes an artist uses to create a work of art, determine messages communicated by an image, and interpret art by analysing use of media to create subject matter.

Our most important objective, is that we are able to maintain opportunity for student agency and choice, as a means of ensuring optimal engagement for all.

In art class, the unit was launched before December break. Students were introduced to art works and designs found in Australian Aboriginal Dot Paintings, New Zealand Maori tattoos, wood carvings and jewellery, Mexican Huichol Yarn Paintings and Ancient Egyptian Wall Paintings. As a whole class students analysed and critiqued examples of these, taking note of repeating shapes, patterns and imagery, and sought meaning. What could they tell us about the location of the artists? What do we already know about these locations, or people, or cultures? What could repeating motifs/symbols tell us about what is important to this culture – beliefs, values and lifestyles?

Students discovered these through observational drawing. Provided with many examples, students were offered choices to investigate those which appealed to them most, through a variety of drawing and painting tools.

During this investigational time, students identified the location of the peoples/cultures on the world map, listened to some stories, music, viewed some dance videos, and delved a little deeper into symbolism in Australian Aboriginal Dot Paintings, working on making connections with all of the above.

Our work before December break was a good introduction to how art can address the concepts of perspective, communication and connection. Meanwhile, in their home room class, students were beginning to identify a culture for their own personal study.

In their homeroom class, students learned to research a culture of interest to them. A summative task was set, for students to demonstrate their understanding of the Central Idea, through a presentation, which incorporated an example of one of the arts from the chosen culture. Students were allowed to choose visual, or a performing art (eg music, dance, drama).

Those who made a strong connection to a visual art, were provided up to three art classes to work on their art piece. Additional time was given, for students to use our ‘action station’ (art area outside the art room) at a time agreed with their home room teacher.

With this, students were able to demonstrate their ability to plan an art work, make decisions on materials and tools they need, set up, and be responsible for, their workspace, and independently manage their time.

It was fabulous to see so many Third Graders choosing visual art as their art form and independently taking responsibility for their own learning. We saw the creation of art works from a variety of cultures, in a wide range of media.

Herewith, a small gallery of some finished products, and a video of our awesome artists in action. Enjoy!

All Grades: Wonderful Original Works of Art: Happy New Year!

Welcome back to school and Happy New Year! We hope you had an enjoyable and restful holiday. For those who have not been able to visit school, and view our very large exhibition, both in the ES Lobby, and also upstairs, outside the Art Studio, we have a Youtube Video, which shares much of it. Just before the break, some classes had the opportunity to view all, and document their favorites on Seesaw.

For any new families, welcome! And please see below the video, the notice which was sent out in our ES Newsletter in December, which reviews the first semester of our Choice Based Art Program. Enjoy!

This Semester ES Art Students have been introduced to a different approach to art education. 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?”
This semester, students have focused on developing their sense of ownership over their artistic experience and environment by practising exploration of materials and tools, organisation of workspace, and the generation of ideas.  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 placed on the documentation of achievements, via Seesaw. All pieces are 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 (http://www.pz.harvard.edu/projects/the-studio-thinking-project) which can be directly linked to the National Core Art Standards, PYP learning outcomes and Learner Profile. These are early days, and the depth of exposure and understanding, is dependent on individuals and Grade level. The Studio Habits of Mind can be found at the foot of this notice.
To end the Semester, students have been busy producing a W.O.W piece of art. Please view our ES bulletin boards which are currently being adorned with Wonderful Original Works of Art. A W.O.W art work is one which students have committed two to three lessons to, one which they have carefully thought through, planned, gathered feedback, perfected and persevered until the end. With such personal investment in these pieces, students are experiencing a sense of pride in their efforts and learning process. Please take time to enjoy our W.O.W Gallery and subscribe to the ES Art Blog in order to follow our journey through Choice Based Art, in the new year.
                                      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)

All Grades, and specifically Fifth Grade: Artist Statements

During their final lesson this semester students have been reflecting on our original questions of “What do artists do?” and “Where do ideas come from?” Using teacher questions as guidance, students have written their Artist Statements to share with their audience, their understanding of art form, subject matter, and identify the origin of their ideas. Herewith, a few excellent examples by Fifth Grade Students. Please do visit our W.O.W Gallery in the ES Lobby Area and around the Art Room Area.

Michael 5BL

Hi, I’m Michael and this is my art piece of a forest and a deer lost in the woods. I got this Idea from a memory in the summer when my cousin and I were riding in the woods on our bikes when we saw a deer. I used pencils paint brushes and acrylic paint on a canvas. the hardest part was drawing the deer because I am not good at drawing animal legs, but I kept going because I knew this was one of the main things in my painting. So I knew I had to draw the deer. I feel really proud of my work and I hope you are too.

Rosalie 5PL

This is my abstract art piece. The art piece represents my love of fall. I used all different kinds of colors to represent the fall. I used acrylic paint on a canvas. I also used the technique of blending because I have all these colors and if I had no blending it would look like random colors on a canvas. the hard part was to know which colors I had to use because my plan disappeared so I had to use different kinds of colors. I did not give up because my best friend Eva said that it was all right and it did not matter. I am really happy with my work because I worked on it for a long time and it turned our really nice.

Laura 5PL

This is a painting with a girl that has water wings flying. I got the idea from one of my favorite TV shows, Steven Universe. When I saw a character that has water wings, it gave me an idea for this painting. To make the water wings, I blended white and blue together. To make the sunset, I used orange and yellow and blended them together. To make the clouds, I patted a paint brush with white paint on the canvas. Finally, to make the birds, I stroked black into their shape. The hardest part was to make the mountains because they turned see through really easily. I ended up putting a lot of black paint onto it. I am really proud of my artwork though.

Aran 5FS

This is a painting of a fish as an island. I got this idea from a photo book . When I saw the photo I thought it was so creative because islands are a place where people and fish live side by side . I used acrylic paint on canvas and a variety of brushes. I used the technique of blending colors . The hard part was making the clouds because it was difficult to make them as I imagined them in my head. I am very happy with this work.

 

 

Third Grade: Artists Observe

For the past three lessons, Third Grade students have been involved in investigations to kick start the Transdisciplinary Unit ‘How We Express Ourselves‘, which involves connecting with the same Central Idea, currently, or soon to be, the focus of their Classroom Unit of Inquiry: “Through examining the arts, people can gain insights into culture“. In art, we follow the Line of Inquiry “Art is representation of time, place and culture, and understanding symbolism helps us gain a sense of the artist’s perspective

Both in class and in the art studio, emphasis is placed on the concepts of Perspective, Communication and Connection, and the ‘Approach to Learning‘: Research.

The past three lessons could be seen as ‘small tasters’ of culture through art. Students have been exposed to a variety of art, by which an interpretation of symbols, can inform us of the location of the artist, climate, environment, values and beliefs. They have been ‘Responding‘ to art works through discussion of what we already know, personal interpretation, artist and viewer’s perspective.

Students have been exposed to Cave art, Australian Aboriginal Dot Painting, Huichol Yarn Painting, Ancient Egyptian Wall Painting, and Maori Design. For now, we simply observe. Which elements of art and principles of design are found in these works? Where do we find repetition, and of what? What could this mean, or communicate about the life of these artists? These are simply questions for now, as AAS artists investigate/research, through observation. AAS artists have had choices in the media they work with, and to focus on the style of art which interests them most. Whilst working, they have watched music and dance videos, and located the art on a world map.

In the new year, students will choose a culture of personal interest, to research in their classroom. They will be allowed to use the art studio to plan and create art of their choice, to support their classroom Unit of Inquiry. For those who do not choose to use the art studio to directly connect with their class work, there will be more of a guided inquiry into symbolism in art.

 

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!

All Grades: Parent Conference 28 November 2019

Parent Conference: Thursday 28 November 2019

Unless specifically requested, appointments are not made beforehand. The large studio (3006) will be open for students who choose to show their parents the room and their portfolio. If students choose to bring parents to the art room, they are expected to discuss, as well as show their work. They should be speaking to you about topics along the lines of – from where I found my inspiration, new discoveries, and the process of creating it, reflections on successes, lessons learned from mistakes, the current stage of their work, and how they envision it when finished.

If you specifically would like to meet with me, please email me before 8 am Thursday. Alternatively, write your name on the waiting list which will be posted in the room (3006). It shall be a matter of first come first served. Please be respectful that others may be waiting, and therefore keep to a ten minute meeting approx. All parents/students are welcome to enter the room, even if there appears to be a parent conference taking place at the time. For any more confidential discussions, we have the small room next door, available to us.

W.O.W – Stage Two

Below are some photos of First (1DE) and Fourth Graders (4SC) working on the second stage of their W.O.W artwork (see previous blog post), thinking about quality, gathering feedback, and working on ways improve and perfect a work to completion. Also, with the aim of meeting a deadline – the end of our next art lesson. Demonstrating stamina to engage and persist when challenges are met, are being practised by all.

 

AAS 70th Anniversary Artwork

You may have noticed three large paintings (1.5m square, each), recently hung near to the ES Office. Sofiya Shiyan (Class of 2020) led Grade 4-5 students, and some Grade 9 student assistants, in creating this artwork to mark the 70th Anniversary of AAS.

The three colors represent our three divisions – Elementary, Middle, and High School. The variety of shades/tints and shapes represent the 60+ nationalities of students, who attend AAS. Please enjoy the photos below, of student involvement in this permanent artwork.

AAS Moscow, October 2019

Respect – Integrity – Courage – Curiosity – Care

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!

 

The Beauty of Choice Based Art

A choice based program allows students to home into specific personal interests, and take control of their own learning. This in turn, is a great motivator and generally there is 100% engagement happening in ‘Our Studio’. As students are becoming familiar with ways in which they can navigate the environment, many are arriving with preconceived ideas regarding how they wish to spend their time. The teacher can then guide and facilitate this, expose them to possibilities, new art vocabulary, and further assist students in making personal connections to the art world.

Example: For weeks on end Jaden’s choice as been to draw buildings. Every week they look the same. Noticing this repeated behaviour, it was suggested that he try something new. “But I LOVE drawing buildings” says Jaden. He explains his personal connection to a specific city, which is well known for it’s stunning architecture and we began to find images to take a closer look at details. Jaden learned that artists can create ‘cityscapes’.

We then embarked on some brief research into the artist Stephen Wiltshire

Artist traits such as closely observing, engaging, and perseverance was discussed and with this Jaden has discovered a greater determination for detail, working up until the last minute of art class. I’m personally hoping this personal connection may spur Jaden’s interest in finding new art forms in which to express his ideas, as the school year continues. We currently have Drawing, Painting and Collage stations open now. Slowly construction and printmaking shall emerge in the second semester.  

Please enjoy this short video about the fascinating story for Stephen Wiltshire. Many, more lengthy documentaries, can be found on Youtube.

 

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.

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