2nd Graders illustrate their original stories

The Second Graders have been working in their homeroom classes on creating storybooks — written, illustrated, and published by each student individually — based on the central idea that stories can be constructed, retold, and interpreted in different ways.

In art class, the students have been focusing on how to communicate their stories visually through the illustrations which accompany the text on each page. By examining and reading a number of different storybooks, the students observe and discuss that there is a relationship between the pictures and words on a single page.  They also observe and come to understand that the illustrations can be greatly varied yet need enough detail to show the action, the important events of the story.

The Second Graders begun the visual aspect of their books by planning: creating storyboards with thumbnail sketches to show the basic progression of images. They are also making choices about how they publish their storybooks: the size, the manner of printing and displaying the text with the images, the binding, and various details concerning the front and back covers. Here are some images of these young author-illustrators at work:

4th Graders progress with their fictional campaign posters

The 4th graders continue to create fictional campaign posters — using assumed identities of a favorite character or animal or creature — focused on the centail idea that “the media can influence thinking and behavior.”

Each student is assuming their new identity (who is also a student at Y.I.S.) and determining: What would I campaign for at this school — what would I want to change — to make my experience better at Y.I.S.? Having created sketches and plans for campaign posters (using images and text) to communicate their ideas to others and following a basic approach to design known as C.U.B. (Contrast, Unity, Balance), the students are now well into the creation of their final projects.  The visual arts aim is to have the students understand and know how to employ these three design principles so as to help to make for the effective visual presentation of their ideas.

Here are the young graphic designers at work, including samples of some of their concepts:

3rd Graders create comic strips about recycling, reusing, and waste

Following along with their unit on recycling, reusing, and waste — the central idea of which is that the choices people make as they buy and consume things can lead to the creation of waste — the third graders have been working in art class to create personalized comic strips. Each student’s strip reflects some aspect of their understanding about the effects of consumption, recycling, littering, or creating waste. Though most students are creating humorous comics, some are dramatic, others scary or true-to-life.

The 3rd graders wrote and sketched as methods of brainstorming ideas, developed simple story lines, created rough sketches in pencil, and are now completing final versions in pencil, ink, and colored pencil. The students are primarily focused on line, color, and balance in the development of their comic strip creations — aiming to make their images and words clear so that their audience understands their intent.

Here are some photos of the comic strips in progress and the students in action:

Kindergarten explores different ways to make and color pictures

A central idea in Kindergarten is that materials can be manipulated to suit a purpose. So, in art class, we take the time to consider the various types of materials that can be used to create artwork — or anything that the children’s minds think up.

As we seem to spend a lot of our drawing and painting time working on white paper, we decided to make pictures with white lines and shapes on black paper instead. After looking at different white-on-black images made by other artists, the students had their choice of what to depict.  Once their pictures were dry, we looked at the primary types of dry coloring materials that we use in art class: oil pastels, chalk pastels, colored pencils, and markers. Each student spend some time testing these colors on black paper, and then we discussed together their observations. Students then made choices about the type of coloring materials they used to color their white-on-black pictures.

Here’s the exploration in process:

Kindergarten explores construction with 5 different materials

A central idea in Kindergarten is that materials can be manipulated to suit a purpose. So, in art class, we take the time to consider the various types of materials that can be used to create artwork — or anything that the children’s minds think up.

Recently, we looked at and touched with our hands some different materials: wood, paper, metal, plastic, and cloth & string.  We discussed what each is made of and from where each materials comes.  Then we looked at some photos and watched a few videos that document the process of making different things: how ore and scrap metal is processes and forged into new metal things (like wire); how cotton becomes cloth and string; how trees are turned into paper. Some of the children had a good amount of knowledge about where things come from and about how they are made.

Presented with some items made from these materials — paper straws and strips, thin colored wire, various sized wooden sticks, colored string, and plastic beads — the students were shown different methods of attaching them together. And then they began to construct their own sculptures with these materials, starting with a single wooden stick hanging on a string from the ceiling, allowing them to work “in the round”.


4th & 5th ESA artists have begun painting the new mural

After weeks of brainstorming, research, surveying students, drawing, cutting, and then tracing the images directly on the Inge Building wall, the Young Artists Group has now begun painting the new mural. This past week, the six girls donned protective art shirt and gloves and then set out in the cool, wet winter air with brushes and paint and wet sponges (to take care of any messes). They carefully painted along the detailed edges of the body shapes first — these pretend “shadows” of students engaged in their favorite out-of-class activities — before beginning to fill in the interior areas. Soon 4pm was upon us and we headed back indoors to clean up. Once ESA Session III begins, the Young Artists Group will be back on the job to complete the project and provide the YIS campus with its new mural.

Then, we’ll begin our next Public Art project… wait and see.

1st Graders focus on their family histories

Aligned with the first graders’ homeroom study of how one’s family history provides insight into one’s own personal identity, the students have finished drawing & painting their self-portraits and are now transforming them into family portraits.  Each student is developing the background of his/her picture by adding imagery from the memory of family events or from knowledge of his/her family’s history (which the students have been discussing with Ms. Robidoux and Ms. Saito).

The task is proving challenging as the students must determine how to represent, visually, what they envision in their minds and can discuss verbally.  See some of the students, below, as they work to develop their family portraits.