Unit 1 PYP-Who we are (Values & Beliefs)
Grade 2 students began our year by exploring their central idea “Our values and beliefs are part of who we are and can influence how we live our lives”.
This was an inquiry into, how different factors (family, education, community, etc) influence who we are, our values and beliefs as individual people and as a community and how we show our beliefs and values.
The main concepts students focused on were Connection and Perspective.
*Perspective: Children looked at, discussed and sorted sets of pictures which showed different perspectives.They were then asked to sketch their own pictures to show different perspectives in their sketchbooks and were reminded to look back in their sketchbooks over the year to help remind themselves of art vocabulary.
Media: painting, drawing/sketching, designing
Elements of Art: line, shape, colour, value
Grade 2 students explored the concept of Value (as in what they valued in their own lives) as well as in the artistic sense where value is described as the state the lightness of darkness of a colour.
They investigated how value worked when using coloured and led pencils, crayons and markers. Students discovered that it was hard to show value when using a marker but easy when using pencils or crayons.
Their investigation into the concept of value in art was further extended by mixing one colour with white and painting lines to show the changing value of a colour.
Summative Assessment: By linking in their understanding of what value meant in their own lives was enhanced by a final project in art.Students were asked to create a jar and fill in with all the things they valued.Some children used found images in magazines, others drew their own pictures, some included words whilst others only images. They were then asked to explain their artistic choices to a friend.
Unit 2 PYP-How we organise ourselves (Organisation)
In our second unit Grade 2 students were asked to think deeply about their new central idea “effective communication and personal responsibility enable people to organise themselves”.
This was an inquiry into, types of communication, different roles and responsibilities and ways people work together to organize themselves”.
The main concepts students focused on were Function (how does it work) and Responsibility (what is our responsibility?).
*Function: We jumped into our unit by completing a treasure hunt and by using the Visual Thinking Strategy ( I see, I think , I wonder).Students looked carefully at the ways in which our art classroom is organised.
From this analysis students were asked to come up with new ways to improve our classroom layout and organisation. We moved desks, chairs, rugs, sharpened pencils, changed our Artist’s ToolBox and looked carefully at our bilingual labels.
*Responsibility: The students were asked to take on a lot more personal responsibility when using and taking care of our resources. Children were asked to think about news ways to take responsibility. Should we re arrange our classroom again? Could the children organise resources they might need to make their own artwork in a group or independently? Should we re label items in our classroom?
Media: painting, drawing/sketching, designing/ making objects
Elements of Art: line, shape, colour, form
Some students decided that making a mini art book might help them to understand how to organise themselves and their resources more. Others thought that they might be able to organise themselves to make some arts and craft products to sell at our school’s Giving Back Bazaar in December and a few students liked the idea of organising some fun art activities that other children could participate in outside during break times.
Summative Assessment: Students were given a choice of the 3 main activities above and put themselves in teams in order to develop their personal responsibility and to learn how to organise themselves.
Unit 3 PYP-How the world works (Weather)
Our central idea was “Changing weather affects the world around us and our daily lives”.
This unit inquires into, ‘the Elements of weather and how they function, weather in different parts of the world, the impact of weather on the environment and our daily lives and extreme weather and its impact on people and their lives’.
The main concepts students focused on were Function (how does it work), Causation and Change .
Media: painting, drawing, printmaking
Elements of Art: line, shape, colour, texture,space
The Inquiry Cycle
1. TUNING IN: To get our students excited about this unit I decided to start off our unit with 3 exciting activities.
Graffiti Carousel: This is a wonderful activity where students or the teacher writes an interesting open ended question and students are asked to write/ draw their ideas on a large sheet of paper ( I often put these up in different places in the classroom or outside).To extend this activity students can be asked to read all their classmates responses and to come up with some conclusion (similarities) between all the answers.
Gallery Walk: Another fantastic strategy linked in with Visual Thinking Strategies. Place a range of artworks (photos, paintings, prints etc) up around the school or in a room.Obviously real pictures would be ideal, however printing images also works just as well and allows you to show students a much wider range to include things like installation and sculpture pieces. Students walk around the gallery and fill in a ‘I see, I think, I wonder‘ sheet to help them delve deeper into artwork.
Colour/ Symbol/ Image: Another strategy by our friends at Project Zero-Harvard University, Colour, symbol, image asks students to think deeply and may seem easier than it really is!.
I asked students to watch a short clip called MOVE (STA Travel)and to notice the weather in the film. The film is very fast paced and shows a man traveling around the world 1 second at a time. Students were then asked to colour in a small square of paper and choose a colour that best represents the film.Next they had to draw a symbol/ simple icon that described the film and lastly create an image. See their results below.