Arts 6


Unit Essential Questions Content Skills and Processes Assessment Resources Multicultural Dimension Integrated Learning
Sixth Visual arts

-How do students use the Elements of Design to understand and descrbe the world?
(Color,Line,Value, Texture,Symmetry,Space Shape and Form)
-What applications will best serve the students?
-How can they demonstrate their understanding?
-What cultures, periods of art and artists will support their expereince?

*Elements of Design
Shape and Form
*Appropriate use of the Elements of Design

*Student will be introduced to a variety of media and the Elements of Design. These will inculde drawing, painting, and printmaking


Develop an understanding of Elements of Design as they relate to drawing, shading, color mixing, painting and printmaking.

Self assessment
Teacher narratives
Student-teacher conferences

Web sights of Galleries, Art Museums 

Arts periodicals


Visits to artist's studios and Art Galleries

Student will look at many cultures, periods  and examine how art is used to record and reflect a culture.

Students will look at cultures and different periods of history for design methds, techniques and varied media use.

Collaboration: Classroom projects work with classroom teachers can include designing and creating a pront for their Heroic Journey Anthology,

Watercolor illustrations for classtrips and portrait drawing for biographical poems.

Drama 6

How can we use drama to engage with and explore important events and issues in our lives?

How is improvisation relevant to every day life?

How does teamwork contribute to a successful production?

What relevant life skills can be learned by doing a production?

What is comedy?

How can we bring a comic character to life?

Improvisation skills - Students learn about improvisation through a variety of exercises and games

Basic Script Writing - Students create a comic sketch applying the structure of The Hero’s Journey to the 6th grader’s experience entering the middle school.

Basic Public Performance - Students perform their episode of "The Sixth Grade Hero's Journey"

Introduction to Puppetry - Students build basic characters using 'found-object' puppets.

Introduction to Mask Work - Working with masks, students explore building a physical character.

Introduction to Clowning - Students create their own clown character and work together to perform classic clown "lazzis" (comedy sketches)


Build and create a supportive ensemble

Discover confidence to take chances in the group.

Support and cooperate with classmate.

Experiment with roles as leader and follower.

Learn and demonstrate attentive audience behavior.

Make mistakes with freedom and see them as creative opportunities.

Collaborate and negotiate with a group to write a script.

Physical and vocal character work.

Basic performance techniques including vocal diction and projection, stage presence and characterization.


The Sixth Grade Hero's Journey sketch is a class-bonding, tone setting and self-confidence building project.  It is not graded.

Directorial notes

Self Assessment

Theatre Games for the Classroom - Violin Spolin

The Second City Guide to Improv in the Classroom: Using Improvisation to Teach Skills and Boost Learning - McKnight and Scruggs

101 Improv Games for Children and Adults - Bob Bedore

At Play: Teaching Teenagers Theatre - Elizabeth Swados

Theatre Games for Young Performers: Improvisations and Exercises for Developing Acting Skills - Maria C. Novelly

How to be Really Funny - Mark Stolzenberg

Be a Clown: The Complete Guide to Instant Clowning - Turk Pipkin

Pixar Short Films Collection - Volume 1 (2004)

The Regard of Flight and The Clown Bagatelles (1983) - Bill Irwin

Sing a Song of Six Pants (1947) - The Three Stooges

This class integrates with the Sixth grade English/Language Arts unit: The Heroic Journey / Fantasy & Mythology Genres Literature Circles / Water / Ancient Creation-Flood-Utopian Stories:

Singing, Dancing, Xylophones, World Music and Computers

How to intergrate traditional musical practices with computer technology.

How to give students a broad musical experience in a short time.

How to move from classroom instruments to classroom computers

Singing in four parts

Performing on classroom instruments, improvising, writing poetry

Dance and choroegraphing original pieces

Learning to use computers to compose music

Looping and recording techniques

Saving and sharing work using the server and burning CD's

Rotation 1

Learning four part vocal rounds and adding student choreographed movement to it. Playing accompaniments using classroom xylophones to accompany the dance.

World Music: Japanese Music. Students learn about traditional Japanese instruments (koto, shakuhachi, shamisen). Perform classroom instrumental version of Japanese traditional song "Sakura". Study the scale and introduce term pentatonic scale. Related activies: students will work in pairs making up ostinato patterns using the pentatonic scale used in Sakura. Students improvise melodies using the same scale. Students write original Haikus and compose a piece with a partner that involves their poetry as well as improvised pentatonic accompaniment on a xylophone, metalophone or glockenspiel.

Computers: Using GarageBand (music software), students learn the basics of the program and learn about looping. Students are given time to compose their own loop pieces using iMac computers. Additional computer work will involve students taking ideas they have produced on the xylophones using pentatonic scales and compose a trio for three kotos. Two of the parts will be osinato based and the third an improvised melody. All three parts will be played on a piano keyboard and recorded into GarageBand.

Additional technology: Students will learn to be able to save their work to the school server and also learn how to send their pieces to iTunes and to burn a CD of their compositions.


Rotation 2

Traditional composition using pencil and paper. Students review treble/bass clef, 1/4,1/8 and 16th notes and the names of the lines and spaces when using the treble clef.

Students write their own rhythms and take down rhythmic dictations clapped by the teacher

Students write their own melodies on paper and perform them for the class

Students perform some of their work into a computer and print a score of their work.


Gocart Cheer:

Students work together in their gocart groups and write original poetry about their gocart. Students then use GarageBand to compose a musical accompaniment and later record their voices onto the musical track. Students burn CD's of their work to take home.

Gocart Cheer compositions are played at the 6th Grade Portfolio Night as they drive their gocarts down the hill.

Students critique each others work.

Student self evaluation

Teacher assessment through observation and note taking

Formal written report

Parent/student conferences


Classroom instruments

Sound system

Computers/keyboards (GarageBand software)

Blank CD's


Recording Devices/microphone

Japanese music for Rotation 1

Gocart Cheers demonstrate collaboration between Music and Shop classes. Gocarts are a tradition at the school and involve a lot of the community during the running of the gocarts at 6th grade Portfolio Night at year's end.