Visual Art

visual arts Curriculum

Lower Group

Art involves mind, feelings and fine motor abilities that is why the lower groupers get ready for Art at the beginning of each class warming up fingers, mind and heart. Lower Group art is experiential, focusing on the art process as kids discover art through their senses. The program helps students feel comfortable and excited in the art studio environment, learning a visual language as a resource to express themselves. They also learn basic routines like returning materials to their place, cleaning up after class, using an apron, and working in their sketchbooks.

Throughout the year we explore different materials. Using their imaginations and enjoying their different ways of thinking, children find new opportunities to work and learn. Kids learn to share materials and feel free to ask questions as they make connections with other previous experiences. They practice self-expression through art activities like painting with oil pastel, tempera, water color, cutting, sculpture with paper, clay, using tape, collage (with seeds, yarn, fabric or paper, playing with textures), printing, etc. They learn to paint with brushes, and also with sponges, combs, and corks. Through these activities they will develop their fine motor skills while learning that there are no mistakes in art, only opportunities.

Art for the lower group is an open door to a whole new world!

– Back to top –

Lower Middle Group

Lower Middle Group students understand that Art involves trying new abilities, new thoughts, being surprised and using feelings to express and learn about themselves practicing their skills of observation, imagination and using their senses. Classes start with one word on a board, which synthesizes the activity for the day. Through many projects and techniques this group explores color, line, and shape using tempera, water color, oil pastel, scissors, wire, beads, yarn, pipe cleaners, needles. and thread. They also manipulate 2-D materials to create a 3-D effect (paper-folding, tin foil, wire, collage, weaving, pillows, etc.).

Lower Middle Groupers are introduced to several artists focusing on lines, color, shapes and feelings.

Every two months Lower Middle Groupers are given the extra challenge of using pre-chosen materials to explore their possible connections and create something new and unique. This is an opportunity to both practice skills learned before and to go beyond.

– Back to top –

Middle Group

Art for Middle Group is a process of discovery and development of skills, kids learn more painting techniques and the use of new tools like painting knifes, hot glue guns, brayers and pliers. They continue exploring elements of art: line, color, and shape, and are introduced to texture and space. They also begin to comprehend how art is connected to emotions.

Art classes in the Middle Group start with a brief written description of the project on a board. Students read and ask questions about the project. Then a short explanation and overview of possibilities follows. Middle Groupers also learn that there are different ways to do an art project: sometimes you have an idea and while doing it, the idea changes, and other times you don’t know where the project has taken you until the end.

Children learn about a variety of artists focusing on the ideas behind the artwork more than the names of the artists to get inspired to create new work. For example: mobiles, sculptures, “habitat” boxes/ family memory boxes, collage, mixed media projects, a personal map. They start doing projects that will last more than one class.

Middle Groupers comprehend the difference between vertical and horizontal and recognize the horizon line (the line between sky and land). They also demonstrate care and respect in using materials (i.e. wiping out watercolors, putting brushes away appropriately, and leaving things the way they found them). Cooperating during clean up time builds community and a sense of responsibility.

Every two months, Middle Groupers have a challenging class where they are given familiar materials to explore the possible connections among them to create something new and unique. This is an opportunity to practice previously learned skills and move beyond them.

– Back to top –

Upper Group

The Upper Group class combines the freedom of creation with the knowledge and practice of artistic skills. They are able to connect art with imagination, feelings and ideas, and create images based on themes, interests and current events.

Art classes in the Upper Group start with a brief written description or question for the project for the day to explore the process and possibilities. Students develop the project feeling free to ask for help when they have an idea that they have difficulties making it happen.

Children learn about a variety of artists focusing on the ideas behind the artwork more than the names of the artists to get inspired to create clay pieces, sculptures with recycled materials, sculptures (additive and subtractive sculptures), collages, and movement in their work. They
 will also be painting, drawing, printing (linoleum alternative, foam stamps, plexiglass, vinyl records, etc.), sewing, and creating three dimensional creatures and canvases. Each project has multiple interpretations and expressions. Practicing their divergent thought, the students find different ways to solve the problems presented by the project. They learn to respect and admire the different solutions generated by their classmates.

The final project is a “stop animation” movie requiring incorporation of many of the skills learned before and to work in teams with a purpose. The art class encourages kids to work together, learn from each other, and help each other, as ways to develop a sense of community
and solidarity.

– Back to top –

Copyright 2022 Walden Center and School