2nd Graders complete (and launch) their storybooks

A final post for the 2nd graders here — to announce that after long, arduous, and impressive work, the young authors & illustrators have completed their storybooks and held their book launch for parents.

See the images of the children at work illustrating and binding (as well as some of their favorite pages) below — and previous posts here and here — to get an idea of what went into this massive project. And if you haven’t read any of their stories, find a second grader today and ask!

Down in the park: Kindergarten artists

The lovely spring weather saw the kindergarten artists take a walk with sketchbooks in hand to the park across the street from the school to explore the plants, flowers, trees, walkways, fellow nature-lovers and artists, and to see what sorts of things we might like to draw from observation. Students chose from pencils, ink pens, and colored pencils to sketch their chosen scene.

The park art-adventure is part of our shared unit focused on the idea that people use a variety of languages to communicate their ideas and feelings. Even when drawing from observation (and not imagination), the young artists are able to express themselves by virtue of the subjects they choose to draw and in the way they do so. The children have spent much time this year learning to combine different formal elements — line, shape, color, texture — in order to create specific effects.

Look below to see what happened at the park:

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:

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:

4th Graders begin a fictional campaign poster

The 4th graders created campaigns in their homeroom classes. The central idea was: “The media can influence thinking and behavior.” Now, in art class, each student is assuming a fictional identity (someone other than their actual selves; could be a real person, a book or movie character, a cartoon character, or a creature or animal) as the starting point of their new project.

Then each student attempts to see what it would be like to be a student at Y.I.S. as this fictional character and to determine: What would I campaign for at this school — what would I want to change — to make my experience better at Y.I.S.? Next, the students are challenged to create campaign posters to communicate their ideas to others, via images and text (pictures and words). The example presented by Mr. Reed is Bugs Bunny: if Bugs Bunny were a student at YIS, Mr. Reed thought, he would certainly want there to be more carrots in the cafeteria. And so Mr. Reed’s development of his campaign poster follows suit.

Students are being guided through a basic approach to design known as C.U.B. (Contrast, Unity, Balance) — focused on three design principles which help to make for the effective visual presentation of an idea.

See the students at work on the current stage of their projects here:

2nd Grade completes their “Passion” books

After several weeks of focusing on the visual depiction of their favorite things, the second graders have finished the construction of their books as of this week. The objective of this drawing and bookmaking project was to understand that people can communicate visually: the students sought to express a personal passion and to communicate this passion in a book without words, only images.

The students began by sketching as a method of making notes of their thoughts about the things they like and like to do. Through discussion and describing these images, the students determined what pictures best convey what they are passionate about. Having chosen their images, the children drew them realistically (either from memory or via downloaded images from the laptops); then added critical details to their drawings; inked the pictures; cut & glued them into their folded pages; and finally, constructed the front and back covers by carefully wrapping the hardcover boards with a selection of printed Japanese paper.

See our young, passionate bookmakers in progress below…

Here is the video the students watched to learn how to wrap their two covers with the Japanese paper:

2nd Grade creates books: communicating one’s passion visually — without words

Having completed their three-dimensional clay sculptural portraits, the 2nd graders have moved on to a different type of construction: the creation of small books. The objective of this project is two-fold: to express a personal passion and to communicate this passion in a book with no words, only images.

The students have used sketching as a method of making notes of their thoughts. Through discussion and describing their images, the students begin to hone their choices as to what pictures best convey what they are passionate about. Once they’ve chosed their images, the children are challenged to draw them so that they are recognizable; in some cases they must add critical details to their drawings in order to make the audience aware of their imagery. Students collaborate and give one another feedback so as to reach a visual clarity in their artwork.

Once the images are drawn in pencil and then traced in black ink, the assembly of the book and covers will begin.

Here’s the video the students watched to help them begin to construct their books: