Elementary Art Curriculum
The courses of study contained within the Elementary Art Curriculum, grades 1 through 6, have a Disciplined-Based Art Education (DBAE) structure. The disciplines of art history, art criticism, aesthetics/philosophy, and art production provide the four unifying strands in all art courses. Within each discipline, every course of study contains detailed suggested activities and instructional strategies to aid the art teacher in creating unit and lesson plans that are sequential in nature. Students will build skills gradually, which will help to build their confidence as artists and critical thinkers and will expand their knowledge base about art and the world, as they will have a wide variety of experiences in the visual arts. The knowledge and skills that every student will gain through these courses of study will lay the foundation for a deeper study of art on the secondary level.
First GradeStudents will be introduced to a vocabulary that will enable them to begin to develop the skills necessary to describe various artworks. Students will learn how to use lines, shapes and color to convey meaning. They will explore a variety of subject matters and become keenly aware of their cultural and environmental influences. First grade artists will focus on Asian and American artists and their works.
Second GradeStudents will build on skills acquired in first grade as they learn new skills and techniques with an emphasis on the elements of art focusing on texture and shape. Students will have introductory and developmental experiences in printmaking, drawing, painting, three dimensional craft processes, art history, and art criticism. Students will learn to differentiate among the functional and decorative arts of European American and Native American craftspeople. Students will expand their art vocabulary enabling them to extend their descriptive language.
Third GradeStudents will continue to develop knowledge and skills that will encourage a deeper understanding of art history, production, criticism and aesthetics. The design elements of color, value, shape and form will be explored. Students will be given the opportunity to practice various two and three dimensional media techniques to express ideas. They will learn how to recognize and create spatial relationships in artwork. While students will learn how to use these design elements in their own work, the students will also learn how to formulate a subjective and/or objective statement, and how to provide specific reasons to support such statements. Students will be involved in art history activities which will integrate their study of the Egyptian, Greek and Roman art with their Social Studies units.
Fourth GradeStudents will continue to develop the knowledge and skills needed to produce more advanced and successful work in Art. Emphasis will be placed upon the development of critical and artistic skills emphasizing the elements of space, form, and color. Complex color systems will be investigated, as well as systems of perspective. Specific drawing techniques in pastels will be taught. Students will also explore the use of visual symbols within artworks while expanding their artistic vocabulary. Students will explore the role of the artist as art historian, and study the art history of the Medieval and Renaissance worlds. Additionally, students will be involved in art history activities which will integrate their study of Pennsylvania and Bucks County art and artists with their Social Studies unit on Pennsylvania.
Fifth GradeStudents will build upon the knowledge and skills acquired in the first through fourth grades as they learn new skills and techniques with an emphasis upon an understanding of color, value, and perspective. Students will have developmental experiences in drawing, painting, three-dimensional form, art history, and art criticism. Specific drawing and painting techniques will be taught in order to aid the students to attain a certain degree of realism in their work, and to depict ideas and emotions. Basic color theory will be emphasized in order to help students o achieve desired color effects. Values will be emphasized in order to help students understand the role that lighting plays in our perception of objects. Students will also explore one-point perspective concepts in an attempt to begin to achieve realistic representations of three-dimensional space in two dimensions. Students will explore the art of the 18th and 19th Centuries in relation to their studies of studio techniques. Students will also explore the processes that art historians use to attribute works of art to specific artists and/or cultures. Finally, students will become involved in the initial phases of writing about artworks (art criticism) employing the same steps as the art critic.
Sixth GradeStudents at the sixth grade level will build on skills acquired in the first through fifth grades as they learn new skills and techniques with an emphasis on the elements and principles of design focusing on Compositional Balance. Students will have developmental experiences in drawing, painting, printmaking, three dimensional form, art history, art criticism, and analysis of the work of art. Specific drawing and painting techniques will be taught in shading in order to exhibit realism and to depict ideas and/or emotions. Students will explore historical interpretations of an artwork, suggesting what the visual content of that artwork may have meant to the people of the time in which the work was created. Additionally, students will engage in writing an analysis of the compositional elements present in the work of art while expanding their artistic vocabulary.