Ring Elementary School Art first grade students in Janet Gould’s class recently discovered what it is like to become an illustrator. Throughout the school year, Ms. Gould talks about, not only about creating art, but also about an artist’s job when he or she creates a specialized work of art. For example, students learn that an artist who draws art pictures for books is called an illustrator. In first grade, they also work on drawing themes which incorporate ideas that students will have personal experience with and a firsthand knowledge about the topic. One such topic that we have worked with several times this year is family drawings and people. Students identify and name the parts of the face and how an artist would draw a head. They look at how their arms bend and move at the shoulder, elbow, and wrist before working on hands and fingers.
Once students learn the basics, then Ms. Gould asks, “if a group of artists were to create their own book about giants, what would we need to do to show that the picture “is” of a giant instead of a drawing of a regular sized person?” They talk about scale and perspective, using space effectively and drawing the person so large that the head is at the top of their paper and the feet are at the bottom of the paper. The class brainstorms ideas on how they can show, in their drawing, the size of the giant including adding skyscrapers, elephants or a hot air balloon.drawing them small near the giant to make the giant look extra big.
Elementary art also includes discussions on: safe use of art tools and art media, drawing simple houses, trees, various ideas to make snowmen, 3-D ornaments, symmetrical butterflies using organic shape designs created using a transfer technique, animals, the color wheel, collage, painting, working to create practice sculptures using modeling clay, holiday or seasonal art, the importance of sketching lightly when starting a piece of art, and using tempera paint, watercolor, and the proper light use and care necessary when using a paintbrush.
“The emphasis in elementary art is the Elements of Art: Line, Shape and Form, Texture, Color, Space and Value,” said Ms. Gould. We also teach some of the Principles of Art. We have a lot of fun teaching each of these concepts in our own creative way using different art materials and art processes, and will be working to include Common Core curriculum concepts into our lessons to improve student learning.”