Primary grades classes (Kindergarten through second grade) focus on young children’s natural abilities to perceive, create, and appreciate the visual arts, while developing a positive attitude, and perhaps, a lifelong interest in art. Painting, collage, ceramics, drawing, sculpture, and fiber art projects often relate to the themes that the children are studying in other areas of their curriculum. Clay owls, brightly painted monsters, three-dimensional action figures, mosaic tiles, and coil pots are a few of the creations that emerge from these lively classes. The children’s work is often displayed in hallways and galleries around the school.
Students in third through fifth grade continue to build foundational skills using a variety of media. Most of their projects are designed to complement the curriculum in science, literature, and social studies: inventor sculptures, arabesque pillows, clay candle houses (a highlight of the fourth grade!) environmental painting and representations of the natural world, Egyptian and Greek arts are a few of the beautiful works our students produce during these years.
Young children have a natural ability to perceive, create and appreciate the visual arts. Colors, shapes, and forms come alive in kindergarten art classes, as students explore and become familiar with a wide variety of media: paint, clay, fabric, wood, wire, and natural materials. We teach basic techniques and encourage a positive attitude, fine motor skills, patience, and concentration, and, perhaps, a lifelong interest in art. Lessons are often motivated by the reading of stories or poetry. Owls, faces, book characters, and familiar places all become the subjects of exciting projects.
The rich curriculum of first grade provides a strong foundation for arts projects. The children study the arts of Native America and Africa in alternate years. Materials and techniques from historical and cultural traditions are integrated into drawings, textural projects, and mixed-media works. Children regularly explore and experiment with new ideas in their sketch books before they create their final projects. Projects are often motivated by literature, including folk tales, fairy tales, and poetry.
Second grade art project often reflect the themes and environments of the science and social studies curriculum. The children draw, paint and construct, using a variety of materials and connecting their work with language arts, math, science and social studies. The children study the arts of Native America and Africa in alternate years. Materials and techniques from historical and cultural traditions are integrated into drawings, textural projects, and mixed-media works. Projects are often motivated by the reading of stories or poetry. The children are taught to care for and respect art materials.
One of the showcase projects of third grade is a ceramic “wall pocket.” As the children learn to manipulate, carve, and mold slabs of clay into a desired shape, they gain new skills with a familiar medium.Third graders also learn to sew, by hand and by machine, learning to maneuver a new tool in the process of making fiber art project. The program follows the classroom curriculum with opportunities to explore colonial art forms and materials. Students also draw still-life representations, and engage in colorful printmaking projects.
The fourth grade year has an emphasis on art history. With each project, students are encouraged to fully explore their creative potential through experimentation with techniques, references to art history, and expressions of personal experiences. Self-evaluation, decision making and flexibility are encouraged. A highlight of the fourth grade year is the ceramic candle-house project, which the students proudly display during a special winter-themed celebration in December.
In conjunction with the study of environmental issues in the classroom, a central theme in fifth grade art is the appreciation and perception of forms of beauty in nature and in man-made creations. Students closely observe the color and texture of food by creating a realistic colored-pencil drawing of fruits and vegetables. Their favorite meals are constructed in clay and served on a highly decorated clay dinner plate. Various Egyptian and Greek art projects are integrated into the classroom curriculum. An extensive study of Japanese Sumi-e painting and Ikebana (flower arranging) culminates the year.
Computer coding is an interactive, hands-on pursuit at Foote. For a third grade STEM project, students design robots using LEGOs and program their movements using click-and-drag Scratch coding.