Art and Design

Pedagogy described offers ways to assist students in the development of their skills and knowledge in visual arts.  Staff is encouraged to review and incorporate those pedagogy that are most effective in helping all students reach their potential for this discipline.  Articles, videos, and resources for further exploration is provided below.
Visual Literacy - CoreStand- This video (4 minutes) reviews ideas for supporting student learning in visual literacy and includes helping them read illustrations, charts, and photographs. 
Visual Literacy 101 - This 7 minute video provides a step by step approach to supporting learners in reviewing a painting through art vocabulary and concepts.

Exploring Weather Conditions through Paintings- Grades K-4 students will learn about weather influences on daily life by examining paintings depicting different types of weather.

Discovering National Parks - Grades 6-8 students explore the role of artists in preserving and respecting our national parks. 

Artistic Expression- Gr. 3; 14 min. video. Students interpret poetry using music and art.
Monster Match- Gr. 3; 5 min. video.  Students explore and evaluate use of adjectives in descriptive writing.
Non-Figurative Drawing- Gr.6-8; 13 min. video.  Students express emotions through non-figurative art.
Art: Capturing Nature- Gr. 3-5; 5 min. video. Students apply their observation skills to create scenes from nature.
Mythical Creatures- Art and Math- Gr. 3-5; 13 min. Students use geometry to construct mythical creatures.
Art and Skateboards- GR. 9-12; Engage students in skateboard construction

Comic Book Templates: An Entry Point into Nonfiction- Gr. 9-12; 8 min. video.  Students use templates, imagery, literary cues, and words to identify attributes of nonfiction. 

Arts Educators Explore Ties to Common Core

Advocates are making the case that the arts can help students meet the demands of the common core in English/language arts and mathematics.

Nathalie Miebach: Art made of storms- Gr. 6-12; 4 min. video. Artist Nathalie Miebach creates complex structures from weather data. Many of her sculptures have been interpreted into musical scores

First Look at the High Museum- Grades K-5; 2 minutes. Students utilize the elements of art to critique work from the museum and later to create their own pieces. 
I See Literacy- Gr. 4; 2 minute video. Students tour an art museum focus and discuss utilizing disciplinary literacy skills.
Exploring Symbolism - Gr. 3-5; 6 minute video. Students create abstract art symbolizing their personal life journey.
Examining Stories Behind Art- Grades 3-8; 15 minutes. Students analyze and express the ideas and stories behind a painting. 


Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB) was developed over 35 years ago in Massachusetts.  It is a nationally recognized choice-based art education approach to teaching art which has enables students to experience the work of the artist through authentic learning opportunities.

TAB Website, Choice without Chaos video (30 sec.),Peek into A K-4 Choice Art Room (4min.),  Publications, Pinterest TAB


Picture Interpretation: Critical Thinking StrategyThis slideshow offers educator information about interpretation activities to push students to think more deeply and more creatively. (2 min. 20 sec.)

Drawing videos by children- 
Why the Mona Lisa is famous?- presented by Sophie 
Sophie draws her version of Van Gogh's Starry Night.

From The Field-
Here are ideas shared from art educators.  Please consider sharing your thoughts and resources for this page.  Forward to Julie Palkowski through the link- From the Field.  
  • Warm/Cool Color Rubric- shared by Sarah Weigandt of Sun Prairie School District

    Description- The teacher guides students through a pre-activity in identifying skills and proficiency levels for the upcoming activity.  

    The rubric is designed with student input and available for students to use while they create their art piece.  

    After the piece is finished, the students reflect upon the rubric skills and competency levels.  They complete the rubric, marking the levels of proficiency they have attained, along with evidence that supports that decision.

    Example-Warm/Cool color sea scene in watercolors- Students designed a specific fish based on real/ imaginary traits.  They designed the background and identified warm/cool color sections for their water color painting.  The rubric offered students specific artistic areas to focus on within their work.
  • Essential Learning Targets - shared by Sarah Higley of Baraboo School District

    Description – Targets are posted for each grade level for art within the classroom.  For lessons, the teacher shares the main target and identifies with clothespin arrow markers.  A re-cap of the goal is visited at the end of class for student reflection on their success meeting this target and any needs for support.   


  • Winter Arts Festival - shared by Bob Smith of the New London School District 

    Description This festival features student work and art demonstrations.  A “Bottomless Bowl” dinner and sale of the student created bowls are part of the events. The High School music department, forensics team, and Middle School Jazz Band performs at the festival..

  • Google+ Events & Digital Photography - shared by Vincent Kuepper of Westosha School District

    DescriptionWe are using social media to engage students with content, resources and each other. An event is a common place to post specific topic content & images to a shared album. We engage in conversation & critique using the comments & +1 features. Check out an example: Course postsEvents page.  Examples-

  • Song Interpretation Project shared by Lisa Winchel of Tomah School District

    DescriptionThe lesson plan encompasses music, art, and reflective writing. The project benefits the student to create individualized artwork conceptualized from the feeling or words of a song. The learner builds skills in creative thinking and composition. Two student art examples with an excerpt of their reflection are provided below.

Articles/Videos/ Interactive Sites- 
Nick Cave,  Chicago-based performance artist and sculptor, constructs “Soundsuits.” Watch the video (2 minutes) and read the article describing his work and career. Video- In the Classroom (3 minutes); Educator Materials

McKinley Intermediate School, in Brooklyn, created a 2,500 square foot hallway mural which includes over 500 original student poems and essays. The work is a content fusion of visual arts, literacy and social studies. Video (3 minutes)


Thousand Words Project; Gr. 6-12. This interactive website utilizes art from the Bates College Museum of Art’s collections and videos of artists and writers to demonstrate the relationship between writing and artistic process. Students actively review the connection between art and communication of ideas. Educator tools are available within the site.  

Richard Serra, "Man of Steel", creates large scale sculptures utilizing metal. Gr. 8-12; This interactive site offers critical thinking and reflection activities for the viewing of his work.
Shin Tanaka- Paper Toys: Grades 6-12; Japanese artist, graffiti writer, paper toy creator, designer creates one of a kind toys out of paper. (3 minutes)
Terra Cotta Warriors- China- Grades 7-12; The video describes the care and installation of three large scale pieces, two soldiers and a horse, for the exhibit. (4 minutes)
The ABC of Architects video -A tour of famous architects via the alphabet along with their best known building. Created by Andrea Stinga and Federico Gonzalez.

Romero Britto- Pop artist; 7+
Modern Masters Series- Clips available online for review.  As all videos/ sites, please preview for age/level appropriateness before use. 

Matisse Cutouts- Gr. PreK-2. This interactive site allows the visitor to create artwork based on Matisse ideas. Other Matisse sites:

Rangoli - Multi-grade levels. Indian-inspired pattern creation through online tool.

Student Curators: Becoming Lifelong Learners- ArticleFifth grade students learned about ancient Egyptian culture in a memorable, hands-on way.  part of their educational journey involved curating skills, critical thinking, and problem solving.