5th graders express what is most important to them

The 5th graders are now designing and drawing small double-sided cards which are autobiographical in nature — communicating not only some basic information about each student but also revealing (in unique images) some of their personal needs and desires.  The students are challenged to select the 3 things they would bring with them to a deserted island and to invent/create/depict a machine or device with an important function of their own choosing.

1st Grade makes autobiographical crowns

The 1st graders have begun to create crowns by cutting, drawing, gluing, coloring, writing, and stapling, taping, and inventing.  These artworks describe not only each students name but also communicate personal things about each person: what he or shc likes to do and make, enjoys thinking about and creating.  It’s also an opportunity to try new things with different art materials and to discover new ways to learn and create.

Kindergarten looks at themselves

Ms. Zoe and Ms. Tasha asked me to come to their rooms during the first week of school to talk with the children about pictures of our faces, to show them some examples of drawings, paintings, and sculptures of people from around the world, and to get them started drawing their first self-portraits of the year.  We used mirrors, black markers, and paper and then hung up the self-portraits afterwards for all to see.

3rd Grade endeavors to communicate…

…”who we are” in both words and pictures.  In an effort for us all to get to know one another better, students had to identify not only some of their more known attributes (name, age, nationality, family members) but also some of their less-well-known likes, interests, desires, and ideas.  Students worked in pencil, marker, colored pencil, and pastel on paper.

4th Grade’s first art project

Mr. Geddes and Ms. Nanwani asked me to come to their classrooms to help the students get started on self-portraits — in text and images — intended to help the students get to know one another (and themselves) better at the start of the year.  After tracing one another’s head and neck, students began writing around their own silhouettes whatever personal, descriptive thoughts came to mind.  Then they created — by drawing, painting, and/or collaging — images both within & outside of their ‘heads’ so as to describe both their private & public thoughts, ideas, and likes.


Hello students and parents,

My name is Aaron Reed, and I am the new Elementary School art teacher here at Y.I.S. this year.

I wish you a warm welcome back to school for those of you who are returning, and for those of you new to Y.I.S. and/or to Japan, I hope you are finding your way around well (everything is new to me as well).

We’ve begun our ES art classes and are right into our first art projects, as well as getting to know one another. As you know, the art classes follow the Primary Years Program and thus are well-integrated into the work the children are doing in their home classrooms. It’s an exciting place to learn and grow and push new boundaries.

Please do feel free to drop into my classroom (upper floor, K-1 building) at anytime to ask questions or simply to introduce yourself. My email contact is: reeda@yis.ac.jp

Best to you all in 2012-13,

Mr. Reed