1st Graders complete their Family Portraits

In their homeroom classes the 1st graders studied how one’s family history provides insight into one’s own personal identity, and the students finished drawing & painting their self-/family-portraits. Each student developed the background of his/her picture by adding imagery from the memory of family events or from knowledge of his/her family’s history. The task proved challenging as the students had to determine how to represent, visually, what they envision in their minds and can discuss verbally.

See the students’ artwork, below, shortly before the completion of these family portraits. Or, if you would like to hear some examples — in the students’ own voices — of their family histories, click on the Twitter feed to the right and select the students whose comments you would like to hear (scroll down until you find the student you’re looking for).

5th Graders & the visual presentation of the PYP Exhibition

The 5th Graders have been working diligently for over 4 weeks in preparation for their culminating PYP unit, the Exhibition. Each student (having identified and chosen a particular passion) works to research, develop, express, and present some aspect of his/her passion to the school community.

Given the amount of time students spend researching and writing and organizing their ideas, they want to be sure to present their passions — to communicate them visually — in the best manner possible. So, in art class, the focus has been on visual presentation. How do artists and designer present information visually which clearly communicates an idea and which is appealing, compelling, and/or striking to the eye?

The students have been focused on three design principles, Contrast, Unity, and Balance, as guidelines. And they have been challenged to think creatively so as to develop their Exhibition presentations beyond a simple panel of text & images.

Here are the students at work on various stages of their presentations:

2nd Graders near completion of their illustrated storybooks

After many weeks of work writing and editing their stories in their homeroom classes and illustrating in art class, the Second Graders near completion of their personal 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. Many students are now binding their books: some with staples, some with glue, others with needle and thread.

Here are some images of these young author-illustrators at work:

4th Graders complete their fictional campaign posters

The 4th graders have completed their 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.”

Focusing on a favorite movie, book, or comic character or on a real person or a pet, each student assumed a new identity and determined: 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 developed their 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 results, the campaign posters created by these young graphic designers:

3rd Graders complete their environmentally-aware comic strips

The 3rd graders have completed their comic strips which follow 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. Each student’s personalized comic strip reflects some aspect of their understanding about the effects of consumption, recycling, littering, or creating waste.

The 3rd graders wrote and sketched as methods of brainstorming ideas, developed simple story lines, created rough sketches in pencil, and have now completed their 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 finished comic strips and the students in action:

Kindergarten continues exploring new ways to make & color pictures

The students have continued to pursue a central idea in Kindergarten which is that materials can be manipulated to suit a purpose. In art class we have been taking 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.

Having painted with white paint on black paper, then colored with a variety of dry media (oil pastels, chalk pastels, colored pencils, markers), the students then were offered numerous other materials to add to their pictures. Having already explored materials such as wood, paper, metal, plastic, and cloth & string — and where these things come from — the students used these items as they saw fit to develop an artwork. The main focus was two-fold: one, to develop an awareness of the source of the materials that people use to make art and, two, to explore and understand various methods of combining and attaching different materials together to achieve a personal objective.

Here are the students in action along with their completed artwork:

The Young Artists Group has finished its first mural!

After months of brainstorming, research, surveying students, drawing, cutting, tracing the images directly on the Inge Building wall, and finally painting the “shadows”, the Young Artists Group has finally completed its first mural.

These pretend “shadows” represent students engaged in their favorite out-of-class activities — playing basketball, reading, talking with friends, eating snacks, and running around and playing tag — which they determined after interviewing students of all ages earlier in the year.

Now the Young Artists Group is back at work, coming up with a new idea for a new mural… coming soon to a wall near you!

5th Grade continues their expressive self-portraits on Peace & Conflict Resolution

Earlier in their homeroom classes, the 5th graders addressed the central idea that “there are many ways to create peaceful solutions to conflict” by looking at how each student manages situations of conflict and interpersonal problems. And so in art class, we were taking this opportunity to create self-portraits that express each person’s understanding or belief about this theme.

We had to put this project on hold recently so as to focus on the visual preparations for their PYP Exhibition presentations.

Students were incorporating both drawing (pencil) and collage (magazines primarily) to represent their own faces and to communicate their particular belief or understanding about peace and conflict resolution. The students were also required to use text (words or sentences) in addition to imagery in their picture. Early on, students were instructed in ways of observing themselves in mirrors and depicting their faces by drawing, although the amount and type of drawing in this project is entirely up to each student.

We will continue on with this project following the Exhibition on April 23-24.

Here are the students in action: