Creativity and the brain

PYP unit 1: Who we are (How we Learn)

Central Idea:Understanding the way we learn helps us to reach our potential.

Age group: Grade 5 (11-12 year olds)

Media: painting, drawing/sketching,

Elements of Art: line, shape, colour

Starting of the year I guided students through a fast paced self portrait lesson.We used mini mirrors to try to sketch our faces, focusing on getting the right parts of our faces in the right places (proportion)-no more eyes in the middle of our foreheads! We also talked about our inner and outer personalities and created an artwork to show our outer shell and our inner self. This was a great min project which combined some explicit teaching with personal freedom and some pre assessment on my part to see whether or not the students had a concept of which materials mixed well together and which did not.

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When learning about the brain and creativity with grade 5 students, we  started out our year with hands on investigations. Students experimented with different markers and pens to figure out which work best with watercolour paint.

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Next students experimented with a range of brushes (and we even learnt some of the names of the parts of a brush) and tempera paint. I asked students to work out different ways to hold a brush and how to create thin and thick lines.While our results might look like a mess, our learning was certainly on track.

Learning about The Elements of Art are a vital part of understanding the vocabulary of art. While there are millions of different stimulating ways to teach each element a lot of teachers are interweaving them when and where they make sense. As a pre assessment I asked my grade 5 students if they had even heard of The Elements of Art and realised that most didn’t know this specific vocabulary. I thought it would be helpful to try out a few different mini lessons, with my main aim that students could flip back throughout the year to remind themselves what the elements are!


About Miss Frolchenko

Originally from Australia I am currently living and teaching at an international school in Rome, Italy.
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