Visual Arts K

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Visual Arts in Kindergarten

Making art is fundamental to being human.  Visual arts have always been a means of learning, reaching understanding, and communicating, of voicing, making connections, speaking to one another, and sharing-- in fact, the experience of what it means to be human.  Because each material lends itself to a new interpretation of experience, the studio is a place where kindergarteners are introduced to a wide range of materials and then encouraged use them to bring experience to life, to understand their world in new ways.  Through an exploration of both 2D and 3D materials, students’ natural curiosity is ignited, as lessons are framed to support children’s creativity and discovery.  Through this engagement students begin to develop a broader range of skills and techniques, both for making art and “reading” art. Some projects are cross-curricular in content, while others are focused primarily on students’ expansion of material fluency.

Please note:  Because teaching and learning in the studio is responsive to students and their interests, it is continually evolving, and the specific projects may change from year to year.  The essential concepts and attainment of techniques through using materials, however, remains.

Units

Unit Essential Questions Habits Of Mind Content Skills and Processes Assessment Resources Multicultural Dimension
Welcome to the Studio!

What is the studio?  

What can I do here?

Care of materials and classroom space.

Respect for each other’s work

Develop routines for what to do when one enters the studio and create expectations for the process of working

Become increasingly independent with materials throughout the year

Teacher observation: Do students feel comfortable and “know what to do” in the studio?

Wide range of materials, some of which are always available and others which are out during a particular time

There are always books available for students to look at, showcasing a variety of art from many cultures.  In addition, the wall and a shelf is a rotating display of student works.

Collage

How can I express what I am learning and experiencing through my art?

How can I use a variety of materials in different ways?

Curiosity:
What happens when I...?:
(mix, cut, layer, etc.)

Noticing differences in materials: (i.e.the properties of various papers, or 3D objects)

Aesthetic choices

Prediction

In collage, different forms are glued together to create a new whole.

How can I decorate this box to make it special?

Students paint a re-used box (shoe box, egg carton, tissue box, etc.) and then collage it, using various papers, (including student decorated papers), and small 3D objects.

Choosing and mixing tempera paints

selecting collage materials

cutting paper

gluing with both stick and Elmer’s glue, both 2D and 3D

experimenting with individual aesthetic

drawing inspiration from peers’ work

Teacher observation and interaction during student work time

materials:
tempera paints, brushes, Various papers, including student painted papers, cut magazine images, transparent colored papers, tissue paper, etc.,
scissors, elmer’s glue, stick glue,
small 3D objects, such as beads, sequins, colored toothpicks, noodles, etc.

Student boxes as exemplar: each box reflects its maker.  

Students were shown Bend Gee’s Quilts: seeing how different shapes and colors were fitted together to make a whole.

Natural Materials

How can I express what I am learning and experiencing through my art?

How can I use a variety of materials in different ways?

Collaboration

Communication

Compromise

Observation: slowing down to see what is around you

Categorizing

Comparing

Using materials in a new way

Envisioning

Experimenting

Revising

Risk taking

Imagination

Students collect materials on campus, in groups of two or three

Students collectively sort the materials

Students may use these natural materials to:

Make textures in clay

Print

Create still life arrangements and draw

Construct

Tell stories

categorizing  to sort materials

envisioning, brainstorming to decide how to use the materials

experiment with properties of natural materials and clay,

examine texture

use natural objects to roll, paint, and print

build structures with the natural materials, using string and hot glue to connect

anecdotal evidence

photographs

students’ conversations

products

Student and teacher-collected objects

Artists inspired by nature, such as:
Antoni Gaudi, Andy Goldsworthy, Ansel Adams, Georgia O’keefe

Using gathered natural materials literally steps from a specific time and place

look at the way people from other places have used natural materials in their artwork

Printmaking/textiles

How can I express what I am learning and experiencing through my art?

How can I use a variety of materials in different ways?

Exploration: using various combinations of materials for stamp printmaking

Curiosity: how will this print?   

Envisioning

Experimenting

Revising

Risk taking

Reflection: what worked and what will I try to do differently next time?

One form of printmaking and fabric dying is stamping.  

Many objects can be used for stamping, including natural objects.

Students use corn, fall leaves, and other gathered natural objects  to print a textural design onto paper.  This is then used  as “fabric” to design a seasonal costume for the fall parade.

transferring paint onto a stamp

pressing the stamp onto paper, repeating to create textile texture

experimentation with natural materials, colors, textures

envisioning and planning a costume

cutting the paper to create a costume

transforming paper into costume: taping, gluing, etc.

embellishing the costume: hot glue

Teacher observation and interaction during student work time

Observed student experimentation and problem solving

materials:
corn, fall leaves, other natural objects, “ink”, rollers,
scissors, glue

other students’ costumes

photos from previous parades

Share textiles with students from Senegal

Drawing

How can I express what I am learning and experiencing through my art?

How can I use a variety of materials in different ways?

Creativity, Discovery of materials:
“What if I...?”

Noticing capacities: similarities and differences between drawing tools (process and effect)

Observation:
Looking closely and representing what you see

Investigation

Making aesthetic choices

Introduction to several drawing tools: comparing the kinds of marks you can make with each, color mixing and/or making value with each.

Children use these drawing materials to make an observational drawing.

Creating lines: expressive, descriptive lines.

Observation: looking carefully at and representing shapes, spaces, colors, relationships, noticing changes in color and value

Children’s participation,

Teacher observations

Portfolio: student works over time

materials:
graphite pencils colored pencils, oil pastel,markers, water soluble crayons and pencils, chalk and charcoal

Student drawings

Sharing selected related drawings from various times/ places.

Painting

How can I express what I am learning and experiencing through my art?

How can I use a variety of materials in different ways?

Prediction: color mixing

Curiosity: What happens when I...?:

Expression

Creativity

Noticing effects of varied processes

Aesthetic choices

Color mixing: primary, secondary, tints, shades.  

Warm/ cool colors

Using a paintbrush (and alternative brushes)

Noticing effects of different painting materials

Making various brushstrokes and textures

Conveying feelings

Students practice using primary colors to mix secondary colors and experiment with many brushes and alternative painting materials.

Students create an expressive painting: showing a specific feeling or sensory experience through their painting

Children’s participation

Teacher observations

Portfolio: student works over time

materials:
tempera
water color paints

brushes,
alternative brushes, including sponges, sticks, etc

Student work

Books with images of many different painters and subjects

Clay

How can I express what I am learning and experiencing through my art?

How can I use a variety of materials in different ways?

Curiosity and discovery:
What and how can I build with clay?

Collaboration

Communication

Noticing how creating in 3D is different from, and the same as, creating in 2D

Imagination

Observation from different angles

Record to remember

Aesthetic choices

Introduction to clay and basic handbuilding techniques, including:

Pinch
Coil
Slab

Later in the year, students fire and glaze a piece

Students use clay handbuilding techniques to build a collaborative piece. 

Practice rolling balls of clay, rolling “snakes”, pinching forms, and rolling out clay to build together.

Learn attachment techniques for clay

Students may also use these handbuilding and observational skills to model, for example, an eagle in motion.  

Students learn to glaze to add color to their clay figure

Children’s participation,

Teacher observations

Portfolio: student works over time

Photographs

materials:
clay
glazes
clay tools

Images of ceramic works.  

Books with images of eagles.  

Photographs of children in motion

other children’s clay works.

Creating in clay has been found all around the world, throughout time - examples shown.

Clay creations reflect culture

Sculpture - Construction

How can I express what I am learning and experiencing through my art?

How can I use a variety of materials in different ways?

envisioning

risk taking

problem solving

critical thinking

aesthetic choices

curiosity

balance, structural support

observation from different angles

Using the materials gathered for the “100’s collection”, students create a sculpture, inspired by materials and thought about creating “in the round”.

Using various methods of attachment (hot glue, modeling clay, pipe cleaners, wire, etc.)

Students conceive of and construct a sculpture that she/he considers interesting from various angles, using the objects from their collection.  Along the way, students are likely to have pieces that do not stay and have to figure out another way to make the materials “work” towards their vision

Children’s participation,

Teacher observations

Portfolio: student works over time

Photographs of process of building

materials:
vary, depending on student collections

“joiners”, including::
hot glue,
wire,
modeling clay
pipe cleaners, etc

previous student works/ photos

books with images of sculpture, construction, architecture

Digital Photography

How can I express what I am learning and experiencing through my art?

How can I use a variety of materials in different ways?

Seeing from different perspectives or angles, literally.

Making a visual record, to help remember expereinces

Represent and recast

Aesthetic choices

Imagination

As an introduction to digital photography, students take several photographs from different angles.  The student chooses his/her favorite photograph.  Part of the image is then cut and drawing tools are used to fill in missing spaces and to create a new scene.  Imaginary additions are encouraged.

Experience taking photographs from several angles and scales (point of view, zoom)

Integrating chosen drawing tools for mixed media

Using photography as a starting point, experience and then use drawing tools to expand: create real or imaginary space, texture, colors, etc.

Teacher observations and conversations with students during work time,  

Photographs

Product

Portfolio

materials:

digital camera,

print,

oil pastel,

colored pencils,

water soluble pencils/ crayons

Books of photographers work with varied content and perspectives 

Art that uses photography as a “jumping off place”

Magical Illustrations by Chris Van Allsberg

Visual Literacy

How can I express what I am learning and experiencing through my art?

How can I use a variety of materials in different ways?

Aesthetic choices

Noticing effects of varied processes

Curiosity

Students spend time looking at artwork of other people, including artwork in books and their peers’ artwork.  They share what they notice with their peers.

In looking at the artwork of their peers, students learn from each other, may be inspired by peers, ask questions, compliment, and learn to give kind critiques.  

As they look at art in books, they begin to learn to “read” art, including noticing elements and principles (colors, shapes, space, balance, repetition, etc.), materials used, content, style, culture, emotion, etc.

Students develop language and vocabulary to describe their observations.

Children’s participation,

Teacher observations

Students’ observations

materials:
student artworks,
art books, magazines, post cards, picture books, etc.

Students are exposed to each other’s art and art from different places and times

Revisiting the Portfolio

How can I express what I am learning and experiencing through my art?

How can I use a variety of materials in different ways?

Represent and recast

Reflection

Review of previous processes/ materials we know how to use

Envisioning

Creativity

Noticing differences/ similarities between materials

Students revisit their portfolio multiple times throughout the year to remember experiences and see how they have grown.  In one project, they choose a piece that they already finished and recreate it using a different material.  For example, a clay sculpture may be re-envisioned and re-created as a painting.

Review of all of the kinds of materials that we’ve already used.

Review of the student’s body of work (and growth).

Seeing a piece and envisioning a different way to represent the thinking, imagery, design elements and/or  principles, etc.
 

Student’s participation in review of portfolio and experiences.

Knowledge of other materials used during the year.

Enacting an idea for representing and recasting.  

Talking about comparison of the two art products.

Portfolio

Previous student works

Show of other artists that have reworked in various forms

Changing materials can be a lense for changing perspectives and seeing/ understanding something in a different way.

Open Studio

How can I express what I am learning and experiencing through my art?

How can I use a variety of materials in different ways?

independence

exploration of materials, expanded experience in various media

individual working/ artistic process

artistic voice

creativity

risk taking

critical thinkng

As the year progresses and students have been introduced to a range of materials and behaviors in the studio, they are given freedom during “open studio” to use the (sometimes rotating) materials to envision and create “what they want to.”  This is a time for children to “tinker” around, using their technical  skills and the materials, while they still receive guidance,

Depends on each child, materials, and each experience,

Also, see this section’s “habits of mind”

Children’s participation,

Teacher observations during student work time

Portfolio: student works over time

Materials:
some materials will always be available, such as paper, scissors, glue, pencils, markers, etc.  

Other materials  will rotate, including types of paints, specific natural materials, the light table, hot glue, printmaking materials, clay, etc.

Depending on the explorations of students, books and ideas will be gathered from various perspectives and cultures to expand their thinking.