Public Art Unit

  • Fifth graders learn about the various types of public art in their community and around the world in art class. They engage in a collaborative activity to simulate the creation of public art and the way it connects people in communities. As an individual reflection, they write their name as a work of art after learning about lettering and public art used in public spaces. This piece will serve as their portfolio for the school year.



    All students create a large portfolio with their name displayed creatively on the front. 

    Students design the block letter shapes that make up their name after exploring different types of Graffiti and Street Art.  They are encouraged to demonstrate individuality and creativity in adding color and other design elements. Students blend colored pencil to add shading to their names. 


  • Fifth graders create Zentangle Landscapes, magical images filled with doodles and patterns. This meditative activity is created with black pen and ink. Students will learn to find calm in the artistic process, and recognize a sense of well being and positivity. Here is one resource we use:

    Yoga For Your Brain Tangle Cards


    We also learn about contemporary artist Shantell Martin and discover her amazing murals. Below is her website and a video of her discussing her process.

    Shantell Martin

Zentangle Landscapes

Coil Pot Unit

  • Students will learn how to use basic handbuilding techniques to build a ceramic vessel. Using coils and the slip/score technique, they will plan and build their own vessels after looking at a variety of examples. We will explore the Jomon pottery of Japan, specifically an ancient technique used by the indigenous Japanese. We will look at examples of modern artwork utilizing the coil technique. Students will learn about the stages of clay, including:

    • Greenware
    • Bisqueware
    • Glazing


  • Observational Drawing and Pop Art

    Each fall, students experience looking closely at their shoes and creating observational contour line drawings of them. Observing details like outline, logos, shoelaces and patterns, students discover they can only draw what they see. They add the colors of their choice to their drawings after learning about Andy Warhol's Pop Art style shoe illustrations. Students can redesign the shoe (colors, patterns and textures) based on their personal preferences.

Shoe Illustrations

From a Drone's Point of View

  • This is a National Art Education Association Lesson called “From a Drone’s Point of View” dealing with perspective, community, geography, and personal experience. The conversations kids have about their work with myself and others are deep and meaningful.

    The students use Google Maps to search up their neighborhood, favorite vacation spot, extended family homes, or places they hope to visit or are just curious about (like Antarctica). They print a satellite image of that place, zooming in or out until they find an interesting artistic composition. They make an impression of the image by tracing over foam, then do a rubbing of the impression with chalk.

    They then CHOOSE their medium from tempera paint, colored pencil, watercolor or a combination of those, and add color to the image in their own way. This is a great lesson featuring CHOICE and cross curricular connections!