With 2012 coming to a close, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on my first year of teaching so far. I began teaching at Oregon Elementary School in August of this year. I teach four sections of grades 4-6, two sections of 1st and 3rd grade, and one section of Kindergarten. The variety is a challenge, but each grade level is rewarding in its own way.
I am fortunate to teach at a school that values the arts. I see students twice a week in my own classroom. Before the school year started, I developed a brand new curriculum for grades 4-6. I decided to structure the curriculum around art history chronologically by geographic regions or art movements. I wanted students to be introduced to artworks from a wide variety of cultures throughout history.
Fourth grade has been studying non-Western cultures such as India and China. We have focused on radial design patterns found in the artwork of these cultures. We've experimented with watercolor, tempera, colored pencils, foil engraving and three-dimensional paper construction. When we return from winter break we will beginning our unit on Japan. I am really excited to make Gyotaku prints with them!
Fifth grade began the year learning about the Ice Age and has recently finished exploring Egyptian artwork. The students have been experimenting with different art processes from painting to digital photography. In addition to learning about art from long ago, we have compared and contrasted historic works with more contemporary examples. Our next unit will focus on the artwork of Greece and Rome.
Sixth graders were also introduced to digital photography this year when we began our Baroque unit. To emphasize how the dramatic light was used in Baroque portraits, students photographed one another and experimented with different lighting positions. Students also created pencil drawn self-portraits in the Baroque style. We recently finished our units on Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, and will soon begin our study of Cubism.
Sixth graders also made artwork outside of the classroom on the annual Outdoor Education Field Trip. We looked at images of art by Andy Goldsworthy and students collaborated to create their own sculptures using elements from nature.
A few first graders also ventured outside the classroom when we presented winter-themed outwork to a local nursing home. Earlier this year first graders were introduced to Claude Monet and created a water lilies painting as well as a ceramic water lily and flower. We just recently finished a painting inspired by Charles Burchfield.
Each of the kindergarten classes contributed to a large mural of a Grandma Moses painting. Since then we have been learning about Henri Matisse and his use of organic shapes.
Third grade has been studying another famous artist by the name of Vincent Van Gogh. We began the year by creating landscapes inspired by Starry Night. We later talked about Van Gogh's still life paintings, and students created their own sunflowers painting from observation.
My first year of teaching has been all that I could have hoped for. I am eager and excited for what 2013 may have in store!
Mr. DeWilde's Blog
I post information about projects and learning experiences from my curriculum.