Tag Archives: grade 7

Grade 7 Student

The seventh-grade student

Characteristics of Seventh Graders:

  • Are more aware of physical appearance than previously; suddenly interested in the opposite sex
  • Would like to be treated like an adult, yet often revert to childish solutions and behavior
  • Want to be individuals, yet very sensitive to peer pressure and want to identify with a group
  • Interested in exciting experiences

What Seventh Graders Can Do with Materials and Technology:

  • General: capable of handling materials and equipment with skill
  • Equipment: use lino-cutting tools; X-acto knives
  • Clay: do slab and coil building; create sculpture; make pinch pots
  • Paint: understand mixing color to make tints, shades, “grayed ” colors; make textures with a variety of strokes
  • Ink and markers: use hatching, cross-hatching, sketching, and ink wash, understand controlled direction al use of markers; create implied texture
  • Paper: make handmade paper; create origami or paper sculpture
  • Fiber arts: stitch; weave; make baskets; use batik; make a fabric collage, knot; wrap; make paper; quilt; use applique; understand book arts
  • Sculpture materials: use files or sandpaper; adhere materials; work with clay or plaster craft: make papier mache
  • Printmaking materials: make a relief block print (woodblock or hue-cut)
  • Technology: create different types of shapes; work with a variety of fonts on the computer; apply design knowledge to photography

Seventh Graders’ Understanding of Concepts:

  • Transform personal experiences in to art forms
  • Recognize that different cultures have styles in artwork that reflect people ‘s values and beliefs
  • Identify and use elements and principles of art, recognizing rhythmic lines, complex shapes , analogous colors, balance (radial, symmetry) and asymmetry), focal point and contrast
  • Do research on something if it is of interest to them
  • Record reality in landscapes, cityscapes, and portraiture
  • Be aware of how color, line , shape, and composition affect a composition
  • Interpret subject and theme, identify center of interest
  • Show interest in learning about architecture; recognize how different cultural influences and location affect the style of buildings

Suggestions for Teaching Seventh Graders:

  • Encourage them to take photographs or use the video camcorder to record their world.
  • Compare and contrast two artworks by artistic style, media, and art processes. Notice how class members react differently to abstract and nonobjective works.
  • Encourage computer-graphics experimentation.
  • Spend more time talking about what artists might have been thinking, why they work the way they do, and what effect society bas on the appearance of art.
  • Give assignments that are open-ended enough to allow the students to show unique interpretations.
  • Occasionally allow students to select the appropriate media to express themselves.
  • Discuss appearance: about how people look, why people wear what they do, how hair styles differ.

Seventh-Grade Content Connections:

  • Language Arts: using dictionary and encyclopedia; group discussions and presentations; listening skills: speaking in front of the class.
    Have students be an “art critic” for a newspaper.
    Assign small groups to research an artistic movement, culture, or time period on the Internet or library to share with the class. They can write a tabloid “newspaper” about that time period (using their own words).Assign a different “section” to each per son or group (food, art critic, books, comics, headline stories, obituaries).Appropriate illustrations could accompany each section.
  • Drama: film and drama reviews; plot, setting, character, theme; oral communication (skits, demonstration, speech, pantomime). Have students interpret a famous work of art with props, acting, and costumes. For example, one small town in the United States sets aside one week a year- in which town people make life-size interpretations of twenty-five famous paintings (a definite tourist attraction).
  • Mathematics: volume, area, perimeter; shape and space; segments and lines; parallel and perpendicular lines; circumference of a circle; angles: square roots; percentages; fractions.
    Plan a pi day celebration on March 14 (3-14).Have students dress like “math geeks,” serve pizza, make mandalas (circular designs with personal symbols) or hex signs (geometric forms based on a circle).
  • Have students make three-dimensional geometric forms.
  • Science: human body systems; genetics; ecosystems and community; animals and their habitats; reptiles; flowers; trees and shrubs.
    Take students outside to find a tiny living organism (such as a plant, an insect, or a bird). They can use colored pencils to “enlarge” the item, making a · scientific illustration- to display in class. It may take a second day to finish this.
  • Social Studies: world geography; inventions; Renaissance art; political organizations; mythology; religious architecture; maps.
    Have students read a few myths, then writ e a myth to explain a natural phenomenon such as an earthquake, a volcanic eruption, the sun coming up and going down each day, leaves falling from trees, chicks being hatched from eggs, and so on.
    Compare religious architecture from several cultures (Native American, European Gothic, Asian temples, Islamic Mosques), Talk about similarities and differences.

Art Skills

Grade Seven Art Skills


  • Introduction to Linear perspective
  • Atmospheric perspective and spatial relationships
  • Introduction to further tonal effects – Bill Jacklin’s work
  • Silhouettes
  • Line quality and variation used to express mood and emotion – Expressionism movement
  • Introduction to foreshortening
  • Gesture drawing
  • Further exploration in soft media such as chalk and charcoal

Painting techniques:

  • An introduction to restrictive and barrier applications to the medium will be covered through a variety of techniques and processes.
  • Vocabulary of Color- A continuation to previous knowledge learnt with an emphasis on the use of tints and shades by means of monochromatic and high/low intensity color value relationships.
  • Marbling– Two colors intermingled on a dampened surface.
  • Paper Tissue– Blotting paint with a tissue eliminates brush marks and soaks up unwanted paint or water.
  • Wax Resist- This method is achieved by rubbing an ordinary wax candle over the surface of a piece of paper (water color technique). Wherever the candle has touched the paper the wax deposit will resist the paint.
  • Masking Tape– A roll of masking tape is very useful as a quick way of masking out areas of paper while the students are painting in order to protect the surface and to keep the white of the paper or color layer below.
  • Graduated Wash– Just as the students can employ two methods, wet and dry, to produce a flat wash, they can do the same with a graduated wash. It starts with strong and barely diluted color at the top and steadily progress down the paper, decreasing in tone as more water is added to the pigment to dilute the intensity. This is done until the color becomes so pale it merges into the white of the paper.

Textiles and creative embroidery:

  • Many of the above techniques should be reinforced; in particular, the properties of fabrics, their warp and weft, natural vs synthetic.
  • Alternative frame shapes. Working fabric onto kite shapes.
  • Resist methods: tie and dye. Two colors or more.
  • Resist methods: batik
  • Continuation of stitches as above; A more mature approach.
  • Pulled thread work.
  • Fabric manipulation.
  • Printing methods.
  • The making and padding of free-standing calico shapes.

Clay methods and techniques:

  • Rolling out clay slab and wrapping around a form.
  • Added decoration on a 3D form.
  • Use of impression moulds for bowls, small flat slabs or coils.
  • Surface design onto flat slab/tile. These can then be placed together to form a group arrangement.
    They can experiment with surface design such as: scgrafitto through a layer of colored slip, using slip trailers and a variety of different colored slips, inlay with a different colored clay, paper resist, using oxides to paint on a pattern/design, using glazes to create a design.
  • Wrap clay around a rolling pin or similar object such as a tennis ball tube. First wrap paper around so that the clay does not stick to the surface. Add a base from a small piece of clay rolled out using rolling pin and guides. Before assembling experiment with rolling the clay into a variety of different things such as scrunched up paper, dried flowers, string, leaves and other vegetation to create a natural form. After biscuit firing oxide can be applied to the surface and wiped off so that it goes into the intricate lines. Use a clear glaze to bring out the nuances. This is a lot bigger and more complicated than those done in Grade 5. Holes can also be made into the surface to link up design.
  • As above except impress with objects after it has been assembled. The objects could be based upon a theme such as toys, writing implements, buttons/zips/fastenings etc.
  • Explore the human form and make figures. As a starting point it is a good idea to have them produce drawings from observing the wooden mannequins as these are divided into sections. Work out proportions and have them make the figure in sections before joining together. This works well if you have a plan on paper first. The figure can then be decorated by adding appropriate clothes and put into a scene. They will then need to make other objects out of clay as well as a base to assemble the objects onto. Remind them about hollowing out larger forms they may want to make and have them observe the actual objects i.e. a filing cabinet, a chair, a dog etc. They must consider how a body moves and have the figure displaying some movement or interesting pose such as bending down to pick something up, sitting in a chair reading, a move in gymnastics etc.


  • More sophisticated linoleum printing, cut to waste/reduction printing
  • Registration of prints
  • Introduction to using more than one color for the print


  • Having mastered writing about Artists and their contexts during 6th grade, students are ready to write about this consistently.
  • Classroom discussions about Artists and themes/movements continue as in previous years.
  • Students write one contextual piece per term about either the Artist, theme or movement being studied.
  • One page will be the norm.
    a) Two images, related to the writing, will be on the page.
    b) One of these images will be drawn by the student.

Contour Line Drawings

Familiarity is often a roadblock to seeing. One of the challenges that an art teacher faces is encouraging students to develop a keen sense of observation. Contour drawing provides a method of translating observation into line. The difficulty lies in getting students to focus intently on the ordinary things that they are used to seeing every day of their lives. When planning a unit on drawing faces, we came up with a unique idea for giving students a fresh way of viewing the face. Why not ask a couple of students at each table to put their heads down and take a nap’

The supplies included pencils and an 11″ x 14″ (28 cm x 36 cm) or larger piece of newsprint. We followed the normal procedure for contour drawing by asking students to resist the urge to look at their papers and to imagine that their pencils were actually touching the edges that they were drawing. Close observation was stressed rather than accurate proportions. Learning how to do contour drawing is somewhat like learning how to ride a bike, There are a lot of things to coordinate for the first time. Hand and eye must learn to work together. Students have to develop a “cadence” This is not an easy task, but once learned, it is learned for life.

As our sleepers assumed a comfortable position, their classmates picked up pencils and began to draw. The art room became very quiet and it was obvious that the students were totally absorbed in what they were doing. After about twenty-five minutes o) intense concentration, the drawings were completed. The result? Some fantastic contours. Students were very pleased with their drawings. They were amused by the distortions, but recognized the expressive qualities that had emerged in the contours

Another variation of this project that can be equally successful is as follows:

A student at each table was asked to sit with his/her back to the others so that only one quarter of his/her face would be visible Once again, the unusual orientation helped students to draw what they saw rather than what they thought a face should look like. For the first time, students realized the importance of contour drawing and began to see fewer, simpler fines as a valuable artistic communication.”

Design: Creating Coins

Purpose:   To introduce students to the art/craft form of coin design Emphasis is on the creation of meaningful designs within the constraint of a coin format. 

Materials: The choice of materials, technique and resources will he determined by the grade level being taught. They may range from paper and pencil to metal casting requirements. Illustrations and sample coins will be needed for all lessons!

Process: Look at and discuss illustrations of ancient coins, foreign coins, ect. Closely examine various coins. Emphasize the importance of designs that suit the size, shape and intentions of coins.

Have students write up specifications for a coin staling its intended use, size, symbolic requirements and required words (if any) Then have them do a large design mock-up of coin. After refining design, have them execute it in actual size Coin can be anything from a pencil drawing on paper to a silver casting Technical process is teacher’s option.

Critique finished coins. How closely do they fit within specifications? Are they well-crafted? Easily understood? Unique?

Cut Out Action Figures

Goal: Culminating project for a unit on fig­ure drawing.

Objective: To draw a full body self-portrait showing action or—”doing something.”

Motivation: Students choose their favorite sport or activity—skateboarding, skiing, horseback riding, basketball, soccer, listening to music, or simply jumping.

Development: Students begin by drawing a picture of themselves in action on regular size drawing paper. I remind them to dress their figures in the appropriate attire such as a uni­form or their favorite jeans.

The next step is to enlarge the figure onto a large piece of corrugated cardboard by using an opaque projector. Transfer as many details as possible. Cut out the figure with an art knife, reminding students that using the knife like a saw enables them to cut the figure out very easily. Have them paint details with acrylic paint.

Evaluation: Hang projects on the walls of the cafeteria or common space. Can students correctly identify who did each figure and the action or activity being represented?

Time: Approximately ten class periods (forty-five minutes per period)

Design: Who’s Coming to Dinner?

Ask the students to design a place setting that represented a famous artist or art movement. They are to choose an artist whose work appealed to them, research the life and work of that artist, then use that information to design a placemat, dishes, food and whatever else they might imagine in their artist’s style Place art books and magazines on individual artists around the room. Students can browse through the books until they found an artist or, in some cases, a period of art that they thought was interesting. Each student recievces a piece of 12″ x 18″ (30 cm x 46 cm) construction paper, a paper plate and plastic silverware. Other materials included wallpaper, tissue paper, yarn, paint, Styrofoam, cardboard, clay, etc.

Students emphasized their artists’ patterns, colors and subject matter in their placemat and plate designs. They drew upon the artist’s nationality or subject matter for ideas for food to serve. For example, one student chose artist Jasper Johns His placemat was an American flag. He used a blue plate with a palmetto tree design-South Carolina’s state flag. The food was a papier-mâché slice of watermelon – a South Carolina delicacy! The blue napkin and spoon were decorated with yellow concentric circles – a design taken from a Johns painting. Place settings were designed for Da Vinci, Oldenberg, Pollock, Op Art and Prehistoric Art. The results were exciting and imaginative and I am sure those students will never forget the artist they invited to dinner!”

Lettering: Illumination

When the seventh graders were studying medieval history, I thought it would be inter­esting to create a project centered around the illumination, red letters of that era. Illuminated manuscripts are books written and illustrated by hand. The word illuminated comes from the Latin word meaning “to light up.” In the Middle ages, illuminators usually embellished the first letter of a paragraph with brilliant colors made of gold leaf. The gold leaf was made by beating a piece of gold until it became pa­per thin.  Tiny, intricate designs were created around and through the enlarged letter. The decorations often had a religious theme or re­flected the beauty of the nature.

The following guidelines were discussed with the students before they began:

  1. Sketch a first draft on scratch paper.
  2. Pick a nature-oriented theme.
  3. Create detailed and imaginative designs.
  4. Fill the space around and inside the letter.
  5. Color finished designs with felt markers.
  6. Erase pencil lines that show after coloring.
  7. Take your time.

Students drew large block letters—the first letters of their first names—on a piece of 7 x 9″ (17 x 22 cm) heavy white paper. When they completed their designs, they outlined the letter with white glue and added glue dots in places they thought appropriate. At the illuminating table, gold glitter was sprin­kled over the glue and the excess was tapped off.