Tag Archives: characteristics

Kindergarten Student

The Kindergarten Child

Characteristics of Kindergarteners-

  • Able to verbalize needs
  • Quite self-centered
  • Unable to sustain any activity for terrible long
  • Leave out things that are not important
  • Feel no need to make colors relate to reality
  • Do not work particularly well in groups
  • Have little sense of scale- they are the center of the universe in their art

What Kindergarteners can do with materials-
Art equipment: learn to take care of brushes and put them back in proper containers; learn about and use art tools in a safe, responsible manner

Clay: manipulate to form a ball; make a coil; flatten; squeeze; make a pinch or coil pot

Drawing and painting materials: learn to use large markers, crayons, large and small brushes

Paper: cut, glue, tear, bend, fold, curl, pleat, fringe, fold in half and match edges

Print: make a simple print with stamps, fingers, or objects

Scissors: use with control to cut curved or straight lines and create a circle

Found objects: create sculptures from found objects
Kindergarteners’ understanding of concepts-

  • Identify and draw differences in line: thick, thin, zig-zag, curved, straight, interrupted
  • Recognize and draw geometric and free- form shapes, categorizing as large or small
  • Make large shapes by combining geometric and free- form shapes
  • Identify and use light and dark colors
  • Identify and use primary and secondary colors: red, yellow, blue, green, violet, and orange, but may not be able to identify weather they are primary or secondary
  • Identify and create pattern by repeated use of line, form, or a single shape
  • Perceive things that are alike and different
  • Recognize differences in art media
  • Talk about their own art and that of other artists, identifying the subject of an artwork
  • Communicate ideas that are personally important
  • Be aware of houses, buildings
  • Be able to talk about design on clothing

Suggestions for Teaching Kindergarteners-

  • Allow kindergarten students to experiment with materials.
  • Let them make portraits of themselves, family, and friends.
  • Give skills and media lessons step-by-step.
  • Allow each student to make an individual portion of an all-class project.


Kindergarten Content Connections

Language Artsleft -to-right hand-and-eye movement; sequencing of thoughts; puppetry; journals with writing and drawing.

Have students draw a picture that tells a story about an experience they had last weekend. They could dictate or tell the story to an older student or adult helper who could write it.

Dancestretching, turning, bending; tempo; working with a partner; running, skipping, hopping, leaping, sliding, galloping; moving forward, backward, and diagonally.
Take students outside and allow them to interpret different kinds of line (curving, straight, zig-zag through physical movement). Let them make “line” to music.

Mathematicsshapes; patter ns; measurements; counting concepts.
Challenge students to fold copy paper into eight sections. Have them draw the number and appropriate number of geometric figures in each section: 1 circle, 2 ovals, 3 triangles, 4 rectangles, 5 pentagons. In the remaining three sections, they can draw free-form figures (clouds, an outline of a shoe, a star).

Scienceclassification of living and nonliving, seasonal change; weather; plants; habitats; animals (wild and domestic); volume measurement.

Each student may make an individual portion of an all-class project, which is assembled on a large paper background (butterflies, fish, flowers).When these are pasted in place, an appropriate background could be painted in by several students.

Have students make a drawing that shows awareness of nature (seasons, trees, flowers, animals).

Social Studiesself, home, family, relatives, neighbors, community, holidays, and safety.
Have students make a portrait of the family taking part in a community celebration (being in a parade, flag raising ceremony, fair, fireworks display).

Students can draw an “indoor picture” of a bedroom, family room or kitchen, classroom.

Have them draw an “outdoor picture” of a building they know (the school, a movie theater, the grocery store).

Grade 1 Student

The First-Grade child

Characteristics of First Graders-

  • Have difficulty with more than one idea at a time
  • Are more aware of the people around them, and can work with others in a group
  • Can draw a complete figure, but exaggerate the more important parts
  • Love lessons that are full of activity and fu n: imaginative stories, fantasy, plays, games, and dances
  • Can work enthusiastically and be absorbed in creating art
  • Show satisfaction with artwork and desire approval of the teacher and classmates
  • Are interested in mechanical devices and moving parts
  • Draw what they know, not what they see
  • Have a great range of maturity that results in wide differences between them on ability to listen, comprehend, and follow directions


What First Graders Can Do with Materials-

Brushlearnto make cont rolled (dragging, not pushing) strokes with the brush

CIaymake pinch pots or form a piece of “pinched out“ sculpture from clay; make simple coil pots and apply glazes; simple slab construction

Equipmentuse safe practices with art tools

markers, pencils, or crayon:use materials to fill an area with solid color or value differences

Paintmix primary colors to make secondary colors; fill an area with solid color, make value differences (colors lighter or darker), finger paint: watercolor; understand and use crayon resist

Glueuse with control, take care to close the bottles

Paperfold and identify and edge; glue; fringe; pleat; tear (with difficulty); cut

Print: make a Simple mono-print by painting with watercolor (damp paper will reactivate the watercolor)

Weavingweave paper in a Simple pattern

First Graders’ Understanding of Concepts-

  • Recognize and describe line, shape, color, and pattern in historical artworks
  • Respond to a feeling about a work of art based on their own lives
  • Appreciate rhythm in a work of art such as Van Gog h’s Starry Night
  • Understand that form and function go together (a clay pot must be strong)
  • Know that artists have designed clothing, buildings, and furniture
  • Recognize and use different shapes (geometric and free form) and categorize size differences
  • See the difference between two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional forms
  • Discuss subject matter in art; understand differences in still life, portrait, landscape, seasons
  • Understand careers: police officer, doctor, minister, firefighter, barber
  • Understand how to show space (with reminders): overlapping, figures smaller in background
  • Identify the concept of middle or center
  • Recognize texture and pattern in clothing or in nature, and describe it


Suggestions for Teaching First Graders-

  • Teach students one step at a time.
  • Encourage them to talk about their own work and that of others.
  • Introduce the vocabulary of line, rhythm, shape, and space.
  • Have them identify line and shape in the room or on their clothing.
  • Teach them to thread a large-eye needle, tie a knot, and do simple stitchery.


First-Grade Content Connections-

Language Arts: oral directions; working in sequential steps; rhyming words; categorization of objects, picture stories; care of materials.
Have students draw a picture with their family “all dressed up and ready to go” somewhere (the beach, a film, a picnic, a worship service, a wedding). They should write who is in the picture and where they are going.

Math: patterns, sets, geometric shapes, rhythmic curves; comparison of lengths; picture graphs; symmetry; problem solving; corners and sides.
Have them create an alternating pattern (ABAB) using line or shape.

Sciencesize relationships; changes in nature (moon, plant life, wind, clouds, light, animals, seasons]: light and shadows; mechanical devices.
Have students fold a paper in fourths, horizontally, then draw a deciduous tree in four seasons- winter, spring, summer, and fall – one per section.
Have them make a marker drawing of one location where they have seen animals such as a zoo, a farm, or their own pets, and discuss the jungle or desert, and other natural habitations of animals.

Social Studies t he extended family; community helper s (barber, police officer, grocer, fire fighter); earning and spending money; symbols such as traffic signs; U.S. symbols (flag, Liberty Bell, eagle}.
Show artwork from different cultures or parts of the world such as Asian, Native American, and African. Talk about similarities and differences using some of their “art words” such as color, shape, texture, line, and subject.

Grade 2 Student

The Second-Grade child

Characteristics of Second Graders-

  • Welcome responsibility- the chance to show they know how to do something
  • Observe more details in their surroundings (buildings, people, clothing )
  • Love nature (animals), imaginary creatures, fantasy
  • Are extremely self-confident; willing to tackle anything
  • Are fascinated about how things work: cast les, boats, machinery
  • Are open to new experiences: field trips, TV, books, movies, new clothes
  • Love games, stories, dances, plays

Second Graders’ Understanding of Concepts-

  • Become more aware of size relationships in comparing objects and in regard to themselves
  • Become more aware that things are designed by artists (cars, clothes, kitchen items, furniture, buildings)
  • Become aware of themes in artworks from various cultures
  • Be able to add texture that resembles real texture, for example, half, or to incorporate real texture within a composition
  • Understand that personal selections, such as clothing, reflect personal expression
  • Understand that line can be used to make something appear three-dimensional
  • Make geometric shapes
  • Understand positive and negative shapes (may be best done with cut paper)
  • Describe how atmosphere can be shown by color differences
  • Observe design (pattern, balance) in natural organisms such as butter flies or insects, and in art
  • Recognize differences in art media
  • Introduce unfamiliar art forms and materials

What Second Grades can do with materials-

Generalconstruct sculpture from found objects; create realistic forms such as animals

Brushwash brush between col rs
Claycreate sculptures; roll coils; make a slab with a roller; make pinch pots; apply glazes

Equipmentunderstand and use safe practices, assist in getting materials out and putting them away

Paintmix two colors of tempera paint to make a third color; control paint to make a variety of lines

Pencil, crayon, charcoalcreate value by changes in pressure
Paper; use joining methods; curling; bending; scoring; folding, tearing; attaching one piece to another; weaving to create a pattern

Suggestions for Teaching Second Graders-

  • Stress cooperation, sharing, an d responsibility.
  • Talk about jobs that artists have-let them be designers.
  • Allow them to combine found materials in sculpture.
  • Show them fantasy art in hi story and encourage fantasy paintings and sculpture.
  • Create a composition that uses a variety of lies: dotted, zig-zag, wavy, interrupted.
  • Introduce a paint-mixing technique that uses several values (tints and shades) of one hue, such as green. Allow the use of a small amount of the complementary color (red).
  • Lead them to compare and contrast two works of art, referring to subjects, the purpose of which it might have been created, the media used, and elements and principles of art.
  • Help them recognize differences in art between several cultures:”Western” art (European and North American), Native American, Hispanic, and Egyptian. Caution them about not using trite symbols (suns in corners with rays, stick figures, pointy mountains, “balloon” trees).
  • Have them make an origin al landscape or cityscape about their school, home, or neighborhood that creates the illusion of space (foreground, middle ground, background). Other appropriate themes are nature, countryside.

Second-Grade Content Connections-

Language Artssequence stories; writing books; observing details. Have them select a story that has many characters in it. They can use paper bags to make hand puppets “literary” using markers, scrap paper and doth, glitter, and glue.
Allow them to write all original play for puppets and to act in it.

Mathematicspatterns; temperature; length and area; symmetry; three-dimensional forms. Show students how to recognize differences in artworks between two-dimensional geometric shapes and three-dimensional geometric forms such as cubes, sphere s, cones, and cylinders.

Music: patterns in music and patterns in art. Have students draw to the music.

Science: geographic environments; animals in their habitats; seasonal changes; geology; human growth. Select a classification of animals, insects, or fish and discuss their habitats.
Have students draw creatures wit h a marker and cut them out. On a larger sheet of paper, they can apply torn or cut paper to make a background collage of the habitat, then glue the creatures in place.

Social Studies: neighborhoods; style variations between Western and Asian landscapes; traffic signs; changes in shelter or transportation; clothing from earlier times.
Have students make a work of art in the manner of Plains Indians (kraft paper parfleche[tote bag] decorated with symbols) or a tipi decorated with symbols. Have them make a decorative “marker embroidery” based on the style of woodland Indians, Compare the housing of the two cultures, on the basis of available resources.
Have students design a building that includes a roof, an entrance, windows, and a specific building material (brick, siding).This could be something like a filling station, a grocery store, home, city hall, a police station, or another type of community building.

Grade 3 Student

The Third-Grade Child

Characteristics of Third Graders-

  • Enthusiastic, open to new experiences and using new materials
  • Anxious to please their peers, careful not to do anything too different from what the other students are doing
  • Tend to separate themselves by gender outside the classroom, but work well in mixed group projects
  • Interested in learning to draw realistically, frustrated at times when they are not able to appreciate that fantasy exists in the imagination and may be used in artwork
  • Enjoy art museum visits and learning about the role of artists in society

What Third Graders can do with materials-

Generaldistribute and collect materials; clean tables; take general responsibility

Paintmix tempera; understand crayon resist; use and take care of watercolors

Inkstamp with vegetables; make potato print s; do fingerprinting or brayer prints; make mono prints; use collagraph printmaking; stamp

Metal tooling foilemboss and stipple

Printing materials:glue cardboard, string, or found objects to a plate and make a print from it

Fiber artsweave or stitch with yarn

Colored pencil, oil pastellayer two or more colors

Papercut well with scissors; use joining methods; curl; bend; score, fold; make forms from paper (or origami, portrait heads)

Crayonscolor firmly for scratch-art

Papier machecover balloons; create facial mask forms

Paintapply watercolor or thinned tempera in even strokes to make a wash (as in a sky); use tempera to draw shape s and fill in evenly

Brusheswash brushes; mix colors with the brush

Claycreate sculpture s; make coils or slabs; make pinch pots; apply glazes

Third Graders’ Understanding of Concepts-

  • Use horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines, textures, colors, and sizes
  • Comprehend foreground, middle ground, and background, and show these by use of middle ground, overlapping, size differences, and value differences
  • Discriminate between warm and cool colors; identify how artists have used colors for expression
  • Define symmetrical, asymmetrical, and radial balance; identify columns, beams, domes, and arches, and analyze how a building is constructed; develop personal use of color and other element s effectively in two dimensional work
  • Recognize and use real and invented texture
  • Identify contrast in a variety of size and color
  • Become aware of articulation of parts of the human figure


Suggestions for teaching Third Graders-

  • Discuss proportions of the human form; have them draw their classmates in an action pose.
  • Allow them to create a nonobjective work of art through the introduction of historical artworks.
  • Teach them to see-teach: contour drawing of a hand and t he human form (blind contour drawing maybe a little beyond them) .
  • Have students make a “community” assignment (family, teams, scouts, classroom, people who work together).
  • Talk about how things work (buildings, machinery, transportation) – the why of form and function.
  • Discuss hew some people feel one way about a work of art, and others have very different reactions, and why that is.
  • State objectives when beginning, then help them evaluate halfway through whether they are meeting the objectives in their own work.
  • Talk about works of art; compare and contrast two similar paintings from different cultures or time periods. Discuss subject, elements and principles, the theme of the artwork.
  • Introduce sculpture in the round (both by showing existing artworks and demonstration).Help them realize that t hi s is not just two-dimensional (height and width) but also has depth, and will be looked at from all directions.


Third-Grade content connections-

Social Studiescommunities (differences due to location and weather); ancient and foreign cultures; multicultural similarities and differences (any art project should relate to the history of the culture that worked in the same manner).
Have students identify artworks from cultures within the following areas: United States, Europe, and Africa. Students should compare masks from various cultures around the world (Native American, Italian, African). They can make a mask from tooling foil.
Have students make a “community” assignment (family, teams, scouts, classroom, people who work together).

Science:the solar system; electricity; magnetism; the environment; energy (light); rocks; how to classify animals: reptiles , birds, amphibian s, mammals; simple machines (inclined plane, balance).
Have students draw flowers, butterflies, trees, animals, shells, or plants either from life or reference photos. Stress that when using a photo reference, it is important to make changes in the background or the pose, otherwise it is simply copying.

Music: singing scale in accurate pitch; performing folk, patriotic, and spiritual music; recognizing rhythmic patterns ; identifying musical symbols; comparing music to painting; using terms common to both (rhythm, color).
Have students compare the art and the music of a particular culture or time period, and find similarities and differences.

Language Artswriting about artwork; creating and illustrating stories.
Have students make or decorate a container of folded paper, clay, or papier mache, then write several sentences about how they made it.

Mathamaticsmapmaking; geometric forms; symmetry; multiplication; division.
Have them identify lines of symmetry in shapes and in polygons.

Grade 4 Student

The Fourth-Grade child

Characteristics of Fourth Graders-

  • Are developing a sense of humor; love comics and cartoon characters
  • Can develop feelings of inferiority about their lack of ability todraw what they see
  • Compare their work to that of peers
  • Are open to viewing different art styles and do not yet judge if something is “good” or “bad”

What Fourth Graders Call Do with Materials-

Brushes:successfully mix paint; care (or watercolor sets; wash brushes and clean up

Claydo ceramic coiling; make pinch pots or clay animals; create portrait and figure sculpture; apply glazes

Paintmix colors to make tints and shades; apply watercolor wash. wet-en-wet, and resists

Pencil, marker, charcoalmake a value scale’; create light medium and dark values

Ink:  create a brayer printing, a glue-line print, oil collagraph, or a monoprint on plastic sheet; draw with pen and ink

Papercut skillfully with scissors score, curl; fold origami shapes

Fiber Artsweave with a simple loom (cardboard, straws, paper plate); make decorative stitchery

Sculpture materials: handle plaster-gauze well; do additive sculpture; use papier mache

Fourth Graders’ Understanding of Concepts-

  • Comprehend color scheme based on color wheel: warm versus cool, contrast, mood, “grayed” colors
  • Create the illusion of space through placement, size, and value
  • Use facial proportions correctly; develop a. more realistically proportioned human figure; show movement
  • By looking at art, become aware how artists depict animals and the human figure
  • Identify different media, subject matter, and art forms such as sculpture, tempera, water color, prints, portraits, landscapes
  • Comprehend that form follows function in design, and can point out or bring in specific examples
  • Understand that many artists express themselves and their cultural identities through their artwork
  • Recognize architecture from various climates and cultures of the world on the basis of the construction materials used, including their own regional architecture
  • Can show various styles of art and discuss aesthetics issues: “Could something ugly be art?” “Should the artist care whether other people appreciate what he or she is doing? “Why might mountains look different depending on which culture paints them?” “Should art look real?” “What is beautiful?”

Suggestions for Teaching Fourth Graders-

  • Use distortion, simplification, or exaggeration to create an-abstraction of an object, place, facial characteristics, a still life.
  • Avoid having them copy, as many already lack confidence in their ability to draw. Remind them to avoid trite symbols such as “balloon” trees, happy faces, and rainbows. But talk about real symbols- things that are understood by most people, such as street signs.
  • Introduce still life to foster the decision-making process, highlighting unity, variety, emphasis. Talk about positive and negative space, radial balance, center of interest, focal point, contrast.
  • Introduce proportions of the face; have them do self-portraits: draw fellow students; discuss body proportions; learn to really look.
  • Encourage exploration of color schemes through an open-endedlandscape assignment .
  • Introduce sculpture in-the-round.
  • Compare and contrast two artworks from two different cultures (time or place], on the basis of theme, media, subject, and elements and principles of art.

Fourth-Grade Content Connections-

Language Arts:research skills related to artists; bookmaking.

Tell students to imagine themselves inside the picture looking out at the viewer. Have them write a letter to a “pen pal” about how the world looks from that viewpoint (even if you are a flower or a bowl of fruit).

Mathematicsestimating fractions; shapes (trapezoids, parallelograms, pentagons, hexagons, octagons); use of money; measuring length; creating computer drawings; using calendars; using the metric system.

Have them design a new paper hill and coin for a country or state. It could be based on a political figure, or a profile of themselves as a king or a queen. They should make a design for each side.

Science: ecology; constellations; weather forecasting; space travel; light and color; body systems; machinery.

Have students draw a factory. They should think about how things might work to manufacture something they like (a toy, candy, t-shirts, television sets). They can use ballpoint pen or colored pencil to draw a factory where this might be manufactured.
Have them select a real constellation (perhaps from one that is visible in the month they were born) and draw an imaginary person or creature using the locations of the stars within that constellation.

Social Studiesstate history (politicians and pioneers), regions of the world (tundra, rain forests, deserts); mapmaking; Native American cultures.

Have students do a painting about an event in the life of a well-known person from your state or region that made him or her famous.

Drama:drama from a variety of cultures and periods, improvisation.

Have students learn facts about a famous artist or other individual from your state. They can pretend they are the person, and even wear similar clothing. Have them tell facts about that individual as if they were a robot, once someone “presses their button.”

Grade 5 Student

The Fifth-Grade child

Characteristics of Fifth Graders:

  • Love being designers-doing an actual assignment to design clothing, furniture, a house, and so on
  • Are eager to help; enthused about art; take responsibility; are helpful to classmates; work well in groups; are open to creative problem solving
  • Are interested in learning about new tools and techniques; are capable of  working with almost any material
  • May lose confidence in their artistic ability because their drawings arenot “real” enough or think their classmates’ projects are better
  • Tend to stay separate (boys and girls), with different interests, hobbles, activities
  • Are able to concentrate for much longer periods of time
  • Can begin to display giftedness in art; those who love art will devote long hours to it

What Fifth Graders Can Do with Materials:

  • Charcoal, pastels, pencil, colored pencil: create texture and surface interest
  • Equipment: use scissors; lino tools; cutting knives
  • Clay; make clay tiles; create boxes; do slab or coil construction; make a portion of a mural
  • Paint: tempera-make a sharp edge; watercolor- blend from light to dark, mix a variety of hues: acrylic- same skills as tempera, use intermediate tones, Payons
  • Ink  and markers: apply ink wash; display control of line: use markers with style and control
  • Paper: fold; score; cut with scissors; do controlled tearing; use joining techniques such as slits or tabs
  • Fiber arts; do batik; print; use tie-dye; stitch; use appliqué
  • Sculpture materials: create an assemblage of found materials; use papier mache and plaster-gauze: create a ceramic sculpture; create a cardboard sculpture
  • Printmaking: use line-cuts: do eraser stamping; create stamp Styrofoam images

Fifth Graders’ Understanding of Concepts:

  • Learn that sculptors are sometimes commissioned to do monumental artwork for public places
  • Respect that appropriate sculptural materials must be used, or the sculpture may disintegrate
  • Recognize the influence of geographic and climatic conditions on building materials used in private homes and public buildings
  • Compare and recognize differences in artworks from a variety of cultures
  • Recognize the artist’s intention in using images and color to create mood
  • Identify symbols, natural images, and objects used to create artworks
  • Understand and use several different ways of showing depth (overlapping differences in color and size, rudimentary perspective); recognize that light, distance, relative size, and motion affect the appearance of an object 

Suggestions for Teaching Fifth Graders:

  • Let them point out strengths and weaknesses in their artwork and changes that might improve it.
  • Introduce many different styles of art and discuss whether something has to be “real” to express the artist’s idea.
  • Assign research projects about artists.
  • Enlist students to assist in hanging artwork, organizing materials, in performing any of the art room chores.
  • Review concepts of realism, abstraction, positive and negative space, light and shadow, texture.
  • Introduce one- and two-point perspective.
  • Do group study, reporting, and projects.

Fifth-Grade Content Connections:

  • Language Arts: advertising; group work on research of famous Americans.
  • Mathematics: decimals; fractions: angles; Roman numerals: computer drawings; length (metric and feet).
    Have students work with a partner to measure a room in the school (sometimes they can measure floor tiles and figure out the total by multiplying the tiles).After they have figured the measurement out in yards and inches, have them convert it to metric standards.
    Have them learn about a horizon line and vanishing point by using converging lines to create a perspective drawing of a cityscape, giving the illus ion of space.
  • Music: classical versus popular; instrumental differences; melody, harmony, rhythm, pattern) and variation; pitch and beat; standard notational symbols.
    Find works of art from two different periods, and music from the same general eras also. Play the music, then have students select in which era they think the artwork was produced. Have them put it in words. This can lead to an interesting discussion of similarities between art and music.
  • Science: machinery (turbines, water power, pulley), habitats; human functions: astrology; flight; environmental preservation; use of the microscope, classification; nutrition.
    Have students select an environment (desert, jungle, water, air, temperate climate), then select one classification of creature that lives there- animals with fur, insects, birds, meat-eaters (carnivores), plant-eaters (herbivores). They should research how environmental change affects that creature, or if it does. They can then do a painting of the creature(s) in their habitats.
  • Social Studies: American history; cultural symbols, the environment; geography.
    Talk about visual culture. Ask students to talk about comics, video, movies, websites, and advertisements they see. Have them make a tag board “cereal box” with their name as part of the name of the product. They can make preposterous claims for what this cereal will do .Emphasize thinking about ads they see, and what they think of them.

Grade 6 Student

The Sixth Grade Student

Characteristics of Sixth Graders:

  • Know everything, or think they do, but still quite open to new experiences
  • Are interested in learning about artists, why their work looks the way it does, what contemporary artists are doing; have begun to form a real opinion on certain kinds of art and artists
  • Experience dramatic mood swings because of physical and emotional changes; seek peer approval
  • Have a short attention span at times
  • Display a preadolescent interest in music, language, videos, movies, television
  • Often prefer being by themselves, independent of adults
  • Respond positively, and are proud to see their work on display

What Sixth Graders can do with materials and technology:

  • Drawing Media: use charcoal, pencil, pastel, or oil pastel; draw an object from observation; apply tip or side of media firmly or softly
  • Clay: sculpture a bust; make boxes; do slab or coil construction
  • Paint: mix colors in all paint media; overlap and smoothly blend colors
  • Ink: control ink wash; make line drawings
  • Paper: create a sculpture; use three-dimensional forms; make origami folds
  • Fiber arts: use batik; print; create tie-dye; tie simple knots; wrap; weave; do beading; stitch; use appliqué
  • Sculpture materials: use assemblage; use papier mache; make a cardboard relief; sculpt with paper or pulp; use found materials; cut paper
  • Printmaking: make a monoprint, a collagraph, or a string print
  • Technology: create different kinds of lines using general computer software; take digital photographs or use a disposable camera

Suggestions for teaching Sixth Graders:

  • Base as many projects as you can on self (self-portrait, human form). Have them create realistic portrait.
  • Help develop abstract thinking through giving several different three-dimensional projects.
  • Help students be able to look at a work and identify into which of the following categories it most logically fits: reality, expressing feelings, elements and principles, and serving a purpose.
  • Conduct aesthetic discussions about nonrealistic works of art. Talk about how different coulters have  different ideas about what is beautiful . Students may respond negatively to unfamiliar artwork from other cultures or time periods because of their personal experiences or what their friends may think.
  • Take them outside the classroom to draw houses, buildings, people, cars, playground equipment.
  • Help them progress sufficiently in their art skills so they will want to continue learning, rather than concluding that because they may  not draw realistically, they are not “artists”.
  • Find out what they know and understand about art and artists; have ongoing discussions about the influence of society on the type of art that is created and the place of the artist in society.
  • Interest them in art from other cultures and trying their hand at similar projects.
  • Introduce them to making posters, teaching the use of balance, space, and emphasis.
  • Motivate through encouraging fantasy art or depicting imaginative experiences; they should be very interested in Surrealism.
  • Make handmade books to be used for journals.

Sixth Grade content connections:

  • Language Arts: art journals; poetry related to artworks; literature from other cultures; oral directions. Have students research and make a visual report on the life of an artist, then present it orally to the class.
    Have one person describe a work of art to the class, which the others may not see. They are to draw what they think it looks like based on what they hear.
  • Mathematics: measuring; geometric figures; scale drawing; rations and proportions; fractions; area; volume; perimeter.
    Have students draw a floor plan of their room or home to scale.
    Have them “enlarge a masterpiece.” They can use a magazine photo or postcard, with the ratio one quarter inch equals two feet.
  • Music: jazz, orchestral theater, classical and contemporary music; musical vocation.
    Have students select music and art from the same culture, then compare them and find similarities and differences.
  • Science: weather; geology; climate; natural resources; magnetism; nuclear energy; human organisms; genes and chromosomes; substance abuse; aviation; space exploration.
    This is the perfect age for biological information about the human organism. Students can draw their own hand or foot from direct observation.
    Have them cut a piece of blue or black construction paper into eight small pieces. They can use chalk to draw cumulous, stratus, cirrus, and nimbus clouds. They should glue each small piece onto a piece of paper, identify it, give the altitude at which it is generally found, and describe the appearance (example: fluffy storm clouds).
  • Social Studies: the ancient world; current events; environmental concerns; animal rights; their county’s heritage.
    Students can learn to identify the characteristics of works from Greece, Rome, Egypt, or or locations in Africa or Asia. They can compare and contrast similar works from two entirely different cultures, discussing theme or cultural context.
    Have them study African empires, dividing research on agriculture, arts.