6th Grade Visual Arts

Students learn that art is a means to communicate feelings and ideas, to articulate what they think and know, to reflect upon issues and to come to a clearer understanding of themselves, their culture and other people. Through art, our students seek to inform, inspire and move others emotionally or intellectually. Creating art is as much about the journey as it is about the completed artwork.

The art program is organized around the following three conceptual faculties:
  • Imagination/invention
  • Observation
  • Communication/expression

In the course of each project, students receive instruction in the following:
  • Art appreciation/ history/criticism
  • Elements and principles of visual design
  • Techniques - learning to use and control tools and materials
  • Vocabulary
  • Work habits and "habits of mind," such as problem-solving strategies, planning, perseverance, patience, organization, working with purpose, aiming for excellence
  • Self-discovery and empathy for self and for others

Our projects are complex, layered and incorporate numerous mini lessons. Students accomplish three to four major projects a year. All of our projects are adjusted to meet appropriate age and skill levels, which build upon each other and require a higher level of thinking each consecutive year. For example, each grade will do a project that focuses on the skills necessary to understand and represent the human face; these skills are developed through the following order of projects:

Three-dimensional project
  • Revisit drawing proportions of the face
  • Observe the difference between the frontal and the lateral view of the face
  • Draw a profile portrait either from observation or from a photograph
  • Embellish drawing with headgear based on those worn in one of the ancient civilizations studied in 6th grade social studies
  • Using reduced photocopies of the original drawings, create ceramic portrait medallions
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