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Art Class Syllabus

Overland Trail Middle School Teacher: Megan LeSage


Course Description:

This course will include beginning, intermediate, and advanced concepts in Art through an exploration of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture. My goal is for students to develop a strong interest in, appreciation of, and passion for the world of Art and the many perspectives and cultures it encompasses. There is something in Art for everyone, and my hope is that each student will find something in this course that inspires his or her life.

My teaching philosophy is that all students can be artists; Art is like anything else: the more you practice, the better you’ll become!

Historical figures, movements, and techniques in Art History will be examined using various media, and will involve the incorporation of literacy, numeracy, and technology.

Students will learn to use art as a form of communication and expression, and will learn to analyze and critique art based on rules of composition and use of the Elements of Art and Principles of Design.

Each quarter, there will be a theme that has been aligned with the curriculum from other core classes, such as Social Studies, Language Arts, Math, or Science. All of the assignments completed in Art will relate to an interdisciplinary theme.

Please see the OTMS Art Websites to see how the Art curriculum is aligned to other content areas each quarter, and to access Power-Points and assignments for all projects:

6 th Grade Art:

7 th Grade Art:

8 th Grade Art:

Assignments are subject to change in accordance with time limitations; sometimes students will need more time on projects than expected, and sometimes students will work faster than expected, leaving time for additional assignments or projects. Furthermore, I reserve the right to alter the curriculum at any time during the course should different learning opportunities arise, such as prospective field trips, visiting artists, or other events.

Art Class Supplies:

*Pencil(s) *Sketchbook *Ruler *Elmer’s Glue (Optional) *Colored Pencils (Optional) *Watercolor Paints (Optional)

These supplies will be kept in the Art room for the duration of the quarter (and will be returned at the end of the quarter).

Your sketchbook should have at least 70 pages of 8.5”x11”paper to keep in the Art room. This can be a sketchbook with plain pages or a spiral notebook with lined pages.

Students can purchase spiral notebooks from me at any time during the year for 25 cents per notebook (even if it is for another class!). The money received goes to re-stock notebooks only.

Please write your name on all of your supplies.

If you cannot obtain any of these supplies, please contact me in person or via email and these items will be supplied for you.

Always bring a pencil and planner to class; we will be drawing almost every day, even during painting and sculpture assignments, and there will always be a daily objective to record in planners.


Any artwork completed outside of Art class (and not for a different class, i.e. a Social Studies project) can be turned in for extra credit.

I like to encourage students to draw as much as possible, because the more they draw, the more they will develop their artistic skills, so any extra artwork will be awarded extra credit points.

Writing and Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a very important part of the creative process, and a variety of brainstorming skills will be taught in this class.

All brainstorming will be graded using the “Writing Rubric” on the following page of this syllabus, and will be part of the weekly participation grade.

Brainstorming will be graded based primarily on participation, originality of ideas, and the organization of ideas into a cohesive plan.

Students will not be graded on the basic grammatical constructs such as spelling and punctuation as the point of writing and brainstorming in Art class is to cultivate IDEAS and learn how to organize those ideas.


Students are welcome to bring their personal electronics to Art class for research and personal music purposes only! Students MUST bring their own headphones if they want to listen to their own music while working on their projects.

***However, if a student is using his or her technology inappropriately or in a way that is disruptive to his or her own learning or to the learning of others, I reserve the right to confiscate the technology for after school pick-up in the front office.***

***Students bring technology to class at their own risk; the school will not be held responsible for any damage to student-elected technology that occurs during class.***


20% Participation, 80% Assessment

A=90-100% B=80-89% C=70-79% D=60-69% F=below 60%

The +/- System will be applied to grades.

Each project will be graded on specific artistic qualities, such as composition, successful application of media and techniques, effort, and conceptual components. Please see the following page for a more detailed explanation of how I grade each assignment.

All projects must be turned in before the last day of the quarter. I will have an open studio session once a week on Mondays from 3-4:30pm only for students who need extra

time outside of class to work on Art projects, although this may be subject to change.

Otherwise, open studios are specifically reserved for students who participate in National

Junior Art Honor Society. Any student who attends an open studio MUST have a safe way of getting home at 4:30.

If students cannot attend any open studio sessions and cannot complete their Art projects

during the allotted class time, it is their responsibility to complete the assignment as homework. They can check out art supplies to take home if necessary, or they can schedule an appointment with me to come in before or after school to work on their Art


I will accept late work for full credit at any time BEFORE THE LAST DAY OF THE QUARTER. HOWEVER, if a student chooses not to use the allotted class time to work on the project, and chooses instead to socialize or be otherwise off-task, I will only accept the assignment for .75 credit BEFORE grading (meaning the student’s work would have to be A+ quality just to earn a 75% on that assignment)!

All artwork should contain content that is school-appropriate, meaning there shouldn’t be any blatant or suggestive content relating to gangs, drugs, violence, or other material that is clearly not middle-school-appropriate. Failure to comply with this rule will result in an automatic grade of zero for the assignment. If at any time a student is unsure of whether the content of his or her artwork is school-appropriate, he or she should ask Ms. LeSage before completing the artwork.

Students receive a participation grade each week that reflects how well they stay on task during class, and how respectful they are to me, their classmates, and their supplies. All students start the week with 100% of the participation grade, and as the week progresses,

they will either keep their 100% or they will lose points due to failure to stay on task or to

a failure to be respectful in the Art room. If they lose points at the beginning of the week,

they have the opportunity to earn them back throughout the rest of the week by demonstrating extra helpful or respectful behavior toward classmates or by helping clean up areas of the Art room that are not their direct responsibility. Friday is the last day that participation points for the week can be added or taken away.

Due to the fact that I give students this kind of flexibility in my grading policy, you may notice fluctuations in grades throughout the quarter.

5 Things You Will Be Graded On for Each Assignment

(Each Assignment is Worth 100 points)

1. Composition (10 points):

*Did you consult the “Composition Corner” for tips on how to create an appealing composition? *Did you apply any of those tips to your artwork?

2. Craftsmanship (10 points):

*Did you take your time? *Does your artwork look “Museum-Ready” or “Art-Show-Ready”?

3. Technique (10 points):

*Did you try to apply the specific techniques you learned about for this assignment, such as those associated with certain movements in Art History or certain historical figures in Art History?

4. Effort (60points):

*Did you spend each class period working hard and trying your best on your artwork? *Did you ask yourself, “what else can I do to make this better?” instead of telling Ms. LeSage, “I’m done” right away?

5. Originality (10points):

*Does your artwork look like the artwork of your classmates? Does it look similar to examples shown in class? (I hope your answer to both

of these questions is NO!)

*Did you take your artwork to the next level by applying the same techniques and media as others but doing it in a unique way with unique

images? (I hope your answer to this question is YES!)

Household Items to Send to the Art Room:

If you have any empty cereal boxes or other boxes constructed of a similar light and thin cardboard, please send them to the Art room if you don’t need them! We will be making cardboard sculptures in several classes this year, and would prefer to be green and recycle old materials.

Please contact me with any questions or concerns you may have; email is the most effective way to get in touch, and from there we can schedule an appointment to meet in person if necessary.

I very much look forward to this Art-filled quarter at OTMS!


Parents or Guardians, after you have read the syllabus, please fill out your student’s name and sign and date on the lines and have your students bring this part of the syllabus back to Art class for a participation grade (they should have a 1/2 sheet of paper for you to sign that they received in Art class).

Student Name

Parent or Guardian Signature