Visual Arts

Exposure to diverse media throughout students’ IB visual arts experiences encourages development of critical thinking skills and promotes individual self-expression.

The K through 5 Visual Arts program is designed so that students may make creative use of their personal experiences and knowledge, using many tools and methods and keeping in mind that art is the universal means of communication. As such, students learn to “speak in a hundred languages!”  

The Kindergarten program focuses on encouraging students to experiment with a wide variety of media to explore and express ideas.

The First Grade program focuses on reinforcement of the concepts of line, shape, color and form in the creation of works of art. 

The Second Grade program focuses on reinforcing the concept that individual artists and cultural groups, work with a wide variety of styles and purposes. 

The Third Grade program focuses on recognizing that art is a means of expression that is universal, not solely individual. 

The Fourth Grade program focuses on recognizing that art is a means of expression that is universal, not solely individual. 

The Fifth Grade program focuses on fostering students’ confidence as artists and developing their individual artistic visions.

In grades Kindergarten through Two there is a particular emphasis on the relationship of great works of children’s literature to art, and children often create works of art inspired by these books. Most projects in grades Kindergarten through Five are also interdisciplinary endeavors which are inspired by the IB curriculum and corresponding units of inquiry. The works of great masters such as Van Gogh, Matisse, O’Keeffe, Picasso, Rousseau, Jasper Johns and many others are introduced and provide inspiration to our young artists as they explore a variety of themes

Grade Six

Sixth grade students have the opportunity to explore a variety of different media in Visual Arts.  Students are provided with an Arts Process Journal which will be kept in the art room through their middle year’s program.  This is the IB equivalent of a sketchbook.  Lessons, project planning, and reflection are done in this book along with project rubrics.  The curriculum ties into other subject areas of the curriculum throughout the year.  For example, students focus during the first trimester revolves around the Catalina Field Study.  Students learn about the marine life indigenous to Catalina and then choose an organism that they individually study.  Students have the opportunity to use sketch-n-wash pencils to create their respective animals with implied 3-D.  They then follow this up with an actual Ceramic 3-D sculpture of their chosen animal.  This is a cross curricular lesson with Science and Language and Literature.  Later during the year, students will be attending the Huntington Library for a Math and Art field trip.  Students will be rendering a pencil drawing of a piece from the Huntington collection they will be seeing.  Several more media and cross curricular projects will continue through the year.

Grade Seven

Seventh grade students continue with their exploration of media.  Students are provided with an Artistic Process Journal during their Year 1 course and will continue to use this same journal.  This is the IB equivalent of a sketchbook.  Lessons, project planning, and reflection are done in this book throughout the Middle Years Program.  The curriculum continues to tie into other subject areas throughout the year.  For example, students create a faux stained glass painting once they learn about the history of it, while at the same time studying the Middle Ages in Humanities.  Students also have the opportunity to learn certain techniques while incorporating other disciplines into the curriculum.  For example, students create a Percussive Pod, also known as a rattle, out of clay. They are taught how variations in size, shape, and ventilation holes can change the pitch.  Using the tools and knowledge they have gathered, they can plan ahead when designing and predict the sound they will end up with. 

Grade Eight

Eighth grade students finish their third year having studied a variety of media in Visual Arts.  They continue on this final year with their Artistic Process Journal that has been used in both Year 1 & 2. This is the IB equivalent of a sketchbook.  Lessons, project planning, and reflection are done in this book throughout the Middle Years Program.  As with the other Years, the curriculum continues to have ties into other subject areas of the curriculum throughout the year.  For example, our students participate in the Chapman Holocaust & Writing Contest.  In collaboration with Language and Literature, survivor video testimonies are viewed and students choose a survivor in which to give focus to an artistic piece they create. They create a voice through their art for that survivor using several different materials which are provided to the students to choose from so they can put together a piece that tells the story and mood they are trying to convey.   This project alone allows the students to explore history and understand it on a deeper level.  As students’ progress through the Middle Years Program, they are encouraged to find their own aesthetic style and voice.