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LBS 405: Engineering & the Arts in the Elementary Classroom

The Visual Arts Note-taking & Assignment Guide

Name: Athena Alderman (#3)

Class Section:01
Instructor Name: Dr. Navarro
Section I: What are the Visual Arts?

I. Slide 3​: Quick Write. Before beginning this module, write your responses to the following questions in
your own words:
a. What is visual art?
b. What types of experiences have you had with the visual arts?
c. How do you feel about visual arts, either as a participant or as an observer?


II. Excerpts from the California Frameworks about the Visual Arts

Slide 4​: Based on the framework excerpt from Kindergarten, what are some things kindergarten students
should be doing in visual arts?

Some things kindergartners should be doing in visual arts are nature walks, to identify patterns on
flowers or the shape of a leaf. Students should also be able to notice the repetition of patterns like
brickwork. In addition, students should be able to recognize perspective such as noticing that objects
tend to be larger close-up and smaller when farther away. Within their kindergarten class, children
should also be able to show feelings through geometric shapes and lines. Once they understand the
basics, students are then expected to be able to analyze as well as compare their artwork to those of
other artists.

Slide 5​: Based on the framework excerpt from Grade 2, how does the teaching and learning of visual arts
change by grade 2?

By grade 2 students have more independence and control over their artwork. In this grade students are
also taking field trips to local museums and understanding the distinctions between the art of various
cultures. Children will also be able to critique their own work and determine how well they did on their

Slide 6​: Based on the fifth-grade framework excerpt, what are students doing by fifth grade?

Based on the grade 5 framework excerpt, students should be understanding the multiple principles of
design to apply to their own works of art. Here students focus on refining their work and using
different methods to express their art such as drawings, sculpture, mixed media, and digital media.
Students also further their ability to assess their own work and explaining what they would like to alter
or improve their art.


III. Slides 7-8:​ Elements of Art: Watch the videos on the elements of art and take notes (and draw if you
want) about each element
Element Notes
● line is the path created when an object moves from one point to another.
Line ● lines are made when you draw or paint marks on a paper or canvas, or
materials such as wood, glass, and metal are bent or shaped.
● lines can also be made by photographers.
● lines can be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal, straight, curved or freeform,
light, dark or all of those things.
● rough lines, smooth, implied, zig-zag, jagged, bold.

● fruit is a popular subject for artists to work with.

Shape ● when the beginning of a line connects with its own end or intersects with
another, a shape is formed.
● in visual arts, shapes are flat and are defined by their length and width
● there is an infinite number of shapes, but they all fall into 2 categories -
geometric or organic.
● geometric shapes are squares, hexagons, rectangles, and circles.
● organic shapes are free form and often one of a kind.
● shapes inherit the quality of the lines that were used to construct them.

● the illusion of depth created by artists that tricks your eyes.

Form ● when shapes get this 3-D of depth, they become forms.
● when given form, circles become spheres, squares become cubes and
triangles become pyramids.
● form takes up space in either a real or implied way.
● in paintings and drawings; form is implied because it’s an illusion of 3
● with sculpture; form is real because it takes up a three-dimensional space.
● light/shadow effects help create the illusion of a 3-D form.
● increasing contrast b/w highlights and shadow areas creates better

● texture is the look or feel of a surface.

Texture ● can also be real or implied.
○ implied textures are only visual, they can’t be felt.
○ real textures can be touched and felt.
● textures can also be created through use of shapes.


● artists often feature the natural textures of the materials they use or
textures uniquely created and formed by hand.
● textures are an expressive tool artists use to reinforce their overall

● value is how light or dark a given color or hue is.

Value ● values can be better understood when they are visualized as a scale or
● any hue or tone has a similar scale from dark to light.
● different values are created by lightening the hue.
● when an artwork has many tones in between black and white, it is
considered low-contrast.
● a high-contrast image would have very few tonal values between black
and white.
● the texture of an object’s surface can play a role in how we see value.
● the different ways artists create lines and implied textures can also affect
how we perceive value.

● when light hits an object, some of it is absorbed and some of it is

Color reflected, depending on the materials the object is made of.
● the light reflected off the object is what we see as an object’s color.
● the primary colors are red, yellow, and blue.
○ they cannot be made from the mixing of other colors.
○ but can be mixed to create nearly every other hue imaginable.
● secondary colors are green, orange, and violet.
○ created by mixing 2 of the primary colors together in equal
● mixing primary and secondary colors creates a tertiary color.
○ tertiary colors such as red-orange, blue-green.
● every individual color can be altered by changing its value through tinting,
shading, and toning.
● tint is any color with white added to it.
● a shade is created by adding black to any color.
● a tone is created by adding black and white to a color.
● one way to categorize color is through temperature.
○ reds, oranges, and yellows are referred to as warm.
○ blues, violets, and greens are called cool.

● space is the area in which an artwork is organized.

Space ○ encompasses the area within a work of art and can also include the
area immediately outside of and around a work of art.
● in paintings, drawings, and other 2-D work, the space of an artwork is
usually contained within the borders of the paper or canvas it’s made on.
● the main objects in a work of art take up positive space -- the area around
them then is called negative space.
● sometimes artists intentionally blur the boundaries between positive and
negative space.
● in sculpture and other 3-D arts, positive space is the area that objects
actually occupy and negative space is all the other areas in between and
around the objects.

I. Slide 9:​ Principles of Art: Watch the You Tube Video on the elements of art and take notes (and draw if
you want) about each principle.
Principle Notes Describe how this principle can be
applied to the painting Starry Night by
van Gogh
● things that are opposites ● orange highlights within the stars
Contrast (clouds + cacti). and celestial bodies against
● by color - red and green yellow and white
● landscape - water and land ● dark and light blue hues

● blending colors together ● swirling pattern unifies the

Unity ● creating a monochromatic contrasting colors and brush
picture strokes
● having everything in one ● also unified by the overall use of
environment (ocean) blue
● using all the same shapes ●
● blending all shapes together or
attaching them
● symmetry ● asymmetrically balanced if the
Balance ● having an all over, even pattern image is cut in half
● having an even, symmetrical ● large tree form is balanced out by
portrait many houses and mountains on
the other side

● highlighting with a color ● moon is emphasized because it’s

Emphasis ● have everything point to an the brightest and largest thing in
object the sky
● have one thing apart from all ● the sky also seems to sweep in
the others that direction

● different sizes of people ● variety of different objects on the

Variety ● different kinds of patterns picture
● different sizes of one shape ● variety of brush strokes
● different uses of color ● variety of colors

● water moving in a picture ● sense of waves in the background

Movement ● one shape going in one with hills and swirling movement
direction in the sky
● a road moving down to the
● a scenic picture

● predictable or mechanical ● an unpredictable pattern if stars

Pattern ● natural pattern of leaves would ● unpredictable number of lights in
be unpredictable because they the windows and houses
occur in nature ● pattern of all over brush strokes
● the same shapes repeated in a
● shapes following the same
pattern throughout a page.


Slide 11​: There are some variations in the list of art and design principles. How is the list of design principles
from the Getty different than the list above?

The descriptions of the design principles provided by the Getty are more in-depth and include more
vocabulary than was mentioned in the chart above.

Slide 12 & 13​ Read the article ​Direct Instruction vs. Arts Integration: A False Dichotomy by​ Arnold Aprill which
discusses the issue of direct instruction (art discipline centered) in the arts versus integration.

Respond: Write a short paragraph using the following two questions as a guide:
• Why does Aprill call it a false dichotomy?
• What does he believe about arts instruction

Aprill states that there is a false dichotomy between direct instruction in the arts and arts-integrated teaching
and learning. One of the main issues behind the dichotomy is a lack of funding in schools to have full art
lessons. This lack of funding has also led to art instructors being in the classroom less and resources are not as
abundant. With schools placing more focus on rasing test scores in math and reading, less attention is being
put on arts education because it does not carry the same importance. Aprill believes that through a quality
education in the art, student’s understanding of other academic subjects grows. “Serious arts integration
results in extraordinary artwork that is both conceptually compelling and aesthetically sophisticated. Rigorous
approaches to arts integration not only promise to deepen thinking in other academic areas but also promise
to deepen thinking in the arts” (Aprill, 2).


Slide 14: Classroom Example 1

Watch the 12-minute video ​Elements of Art: Color, Space, and Texture (​ K-2)

Response Questions:
1. What are some of the objectives/goals of Mrs. Davidson’s lesson?

● reviewing the elements of art and principles of design

● the students were required to create a 2-D work of art based on their observations of nature
● fir well into the 2nd grad
● students demonstrate an understanding of composition following the principles of design to create a
narrative based on a theme which was underwater.
● focused primarily on color, space, and texture

2. What painting did the students analyze the day before?

Henri Russo’s Exotic Landscape

3. What are some of the things that Mrs. Davidson modeling during the different parts of her lesson?
Why is modeling important?

Mrs. Davidson would stop to ask students if they could come up with the principles of art, and would
continuously check in to monitor their memory of the content they had learned the day before.
Modeling is important because it gives a student their introduction to new material, from that initial
observations, students should be able to demonstrate their understanding through activities.

4. How do the students apply the elements of art to a mixed media art project?

Students used tin foil and paints to create an underwater scene. To create the fish, they use the tin foil
as well as watercolor paint to get the texture of the ocean. Students also add salt to the paint with
pulls the color up from the paint to create light and dark areas.


Slide 16: Classroom Example 2

Watch the video ​Studying Balance in Art and Science

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Response Questions:

1. What art and design principle does this art lesson focus upon?

● Plants and animals

● habitat
● background
● balance

2. How does analyzing art enrich students' learning about ecosystems?

From analyzing art, students gain more understanding regarding sustainability and balance within the
ecosystem. Students also can identify consumers and producers, apart of the same habitat. At the end
of the lesson, the teacher asked the students and created a discussion asking them overall if they
thought it was a balanced ecosystem located in the piece of art.

Resources: ​See slides 17-19​ for resources for your lesson plan and for later when you are teaching.