Visual Arts - 6th Grade
Last updated: 1997
Utah State Office of Education
The Core Curriculum for Elementary Fine Arts is written to communicate what students are expected to know and be able to do in dance, music, theater, and visual arts. The intended result is to effect in students: (a) the development of affective, cognitive, and psychomotor skills in the arts, (b) the joy of self-expression and aesthetic awareness, (c) a personal connection with community heritage and varied cultures, and (d) the achievement of Life Skills. The Core espouses no specific methodologies but supports the experiential development of primary arts skills as the natural vehicle for discovering the attendant history, culture, aesthetics, critiquing, and other relevant connections to the student's world in and out of school.
The Core centers on discovering the joy, richness, and depth of the arts through active involvement with the art form. It is designed to strengthen and advance the kinetic, pragmatic, playful, curious, creative, sensitive, and imaginative nature of elementary students through self-expression, heightened perception, and development of skills indigenous to dance, music, theater, and visual arts. To deepen understanding of the traditions and cultures of various peoples and communities, recommended music, art, literature, and folk arts are coordinated with the topics in the Social Studies Elementary Core Curriculum.
Implications for Implementation
The Core Curriculum for dance, music, theater, and visual arts provides the basis of professionalism and accountability for teachers, and defines the expectations and achievement standards for students. Curriculum standards create strength, unity, and heightened concern for the achievement of essential learning objectives. Each student and teacher must view these standards as both essential and desirable. Students have the prime responsibility for their own artistic achievement. The success of these curriculum standards will only be accomplished by the broad-based acceptance of classroom teachers, students, administrators, parents, artists, and dance, drama, music, and visual arts specialists from kindergarten through college throughout the state of Utah.
Teachers are the guides who provide direction for learning by continuing their personal professional development and collegial collaborations and by offering students engaging and positive opportunities for skill development, high caliber models of artwork, authentic and accurate sources of information, relevant connections to the student's world, and guidance in formative self-assessment. The role of administrators is to provide the necessary leadership, instructional time, qualified personnel, facilities, professional development, technological support, materials, and administrative support for achieving the Fine Arts Core Curriculum.
Parents are encouraged to supplement classroom learning through encouraging the study and appreciation of art, music, dance, and theater as a family, listening and being informed of school activities and requirements, and personal involvement in school and community activities as appropriate. Professional artists can provide models of career opportunities, expertise, local relevancy, and opportunities for teachers and students to collaborate in the professional setting.
Organization, Sequence, Format
The Elementary Fine Arts Core Curriculum appears in alphabetical order: Dance, Music, Theater, and Visual Arts. The curriculum for each is organized into four standards, with accompanying objectives and assessment indicators. A statement of student work clarifies the parameters of each standard. The objectives articulate specific goals to be accomplished by the student. The assessment indicators are tools designed to measure achievement of the objective through relevant performance tasks. Examples of instructional strategies and literature have been thoughtfully included in many instances.
All standards are printed in boldface type. Boldface type words found elsewhere in the document signal the reader that a definition may be found in the glossary. All assessment indicators are set apart with a bullet, and all strategy examples are underlined. Correlations to other elementary core documents have been footnoted to identify possibilities for integrated instruction.
The numbering system works as follows: The kindergarten numbers for dance begin with 1400, music with 1500, theater with 1300, and visual arts with 1000. The last two numbers of the four digits change according to grade level; e.g., first grade dance being 1410, second grade music being 1520.
The number of the standard is the underlined figure appearing after the hyphen. The specific number of each objective appears as the last two underlined digits in the series of four numbers which indicate the standard and the objective; e.g., 0102 means the second objective of the first standard, 0401 means the first objective of the fourth standard.
Elementary Visual Arts Core Curriculum
The Visual Arts Core is dedicated to teaching the students of Utah to develop and refine their skills in creating works of art, to analyze and reflect upon both their own and significant works of art, to find an artistic means of expressing their thoughts and discoveries, and to find meaningful relationships between the visual arts and the many faceted world in which they live. The Visual Arts Core is designed to teach these things by way of active participation in the creation of works of art and thereby develop an appreciation of artworks. The students will be taught from significant artworks as well as the arts created in their region.
To prepare children to become functional adults in our modern civilization, we must educate them not only to understand our world but to contribute to it. They need to know how to do more than survive; they need to know how to make their own way in an everchanging landscape of technology and information exchange. In the range of modern human experience, there is far more information to be gained than can be conveyed in words and numbers alone. This is why the arts are included and required in the Utah State Core Curriculum. The arts enable the students' perceptions and imaginations to grow and develop. An education in the visual arts gives students the opportunity to perceive and interpret knowledge in existing images as well as the opportunity to express themselves meaningfully and creatively through visual images.
To attain this kind of visual literacy, the Visual Arts Core provides experiences that prepare the students to generate, identify, and then solve aesthetic problems throughout their lives. The Core also fosters artistic perceptions and thinking skills such as observation, memory, imagination, innovation, interaction, reflection, and independent thinking. The Visual Arts Core teaches that art is a mode of inquiry as well as a form of expression helping people communicate and deal with ideas that cannot be captured in traditional academics. It also gives opportunities to create works of art that reflect the students' uniqueness and deal with significant ideas that possess personal meaning. Indeed, the Visual Arts Core Curriculum will provide a powerful and lasting contribution to Utah students' ability to acquire life skills to be successful.
The visual arts standards are designed to teach first an active participation in the creation of artwork. The Core then provides the opportunity to learn the other significant attributes of art such as aesthetics and the relationship of art to other learning.
The four standards are laid out in a sequence that suggests an increasing level of difficulty in skill and knowledge. The first standard deals with the use of art tools, materials, and processes. To be successful in an art program, a student must gain a degree of control and a measure of confidence with art materials and techniques. The second standard is concerned with students looking to significant works of art to recognize the elements and principles, and, once having seen how they function in those masterful pieces, the students use complex thinking to apply them in their own art. The third standard brings the students an understanding of the content and aesthetics of artwork as they are led to effectively communicate by expressing meanings, ideas, and stories through art elements and principles and a variety of art materials. The fourth standard stages activities that give the students a personal sense of visual arts heritage and responsible citizenship in the arts as well as using their art skills in a collaborative mode to develop and enhance all learning.
Teaching these standards in order will provide a smooth progression of skills. However, once a standard has been introduced, it is not necessary to complete all the indicators of every objective before moving on to the next standard. The next standard can be introduced while maintaining a practice and continuation of the one(s) preceding it. Ideally, during the last few weeks of the school year, the students should be working with all four standards as there is a great deal of educational value arising from the interrelationship and interdependence of all the standards.
Elementary Visual Arts Standards
Standard 1: Making
Standard 2: Perceiving
Standard 3: Expressing
Standard 4: Contextualizing
Abstract: Artwork presented in a highly stylized manner that stresses the elements and principles of art. This artwork is based on recognizable objects, but often the objects are so distorted they are almost nonrepresentational.
Basic Shapes: Simple shapes such as circles, ovals, squares, rectangles, and triangles.
Block-in: A method of drawing that begins with a basic shape that most resembles an object's overall shape and continues with drawing basic shapes that resemble elements or parts within the object. Detail is added last.
Color Family: Any group of colors that are variations of a hue such as red, rose, pink, burgundy.
Complementary: Colors opposite each other on the color wheel such as red-green, yellow-purple, blue-orange.
Composition: The way the principles of art are used to organize the elements of art.
Content: The story, idea, theme, or meaning of a work of art.
Contour Lines: A line drawn to represent the outermost edge of an object, or lines drawn to portray the form or structure of an object.
Contrast: The use of two or more elements with a significant difference such as black with white, warm with cool colors, jagged with smooth lines. This usually results in the creation of a focal point.
Cool Colors: Hues on half of the color wheel with blue in the center.
Craftsmanship: The execution of a piece of art with attention to its final quality such as details, surface beauty, and overall appeal as an art object.
2-D: Two-dimensional, flat art, such as paintings, drawings, or prints, whose physical dimensions are height and width.
3-D: Three-dimensional, in-the-round art, such as sculptures, architecture, or carvings, whose physical dimensions are height, width, and depth.
Depth: See illusion of depth.
Elements of Art: The most basic components used to create and analyze art: line, shape, value, color, form, texture, and space.
Focal Point: A principle of art that combines contrasting elements to attract attention to a particular area within an artwork.
Form: A shape in a painting that has the appearance of a three-dimensional object.
Functions of Art: See purposes of art.
Genre: A name for any group of artworks that are related by subject, media, or style.
Geometric: Precise shapes that can be described using mathematic formulae. These shapes generally have hard edges, corners, or a machine-like quality.
Half Tone: A gray-in shading that represents light indirectly striking a surface.
Height Placement: A method of creating the illusion of depth in a painting or drawing by making the base of objects in the background higher than objects in the foreground.
Highlight: The lightest tones in shading that represent the light source directly striking a surface.
Horizon Line: A real or imagined line that represents where the sky meets the flat earth and is always found on the viewer's eye level.
Hue: The name of a color such as red, purple, magenta.
Illusion of Depth: The appearance of the third dimension (depth) in a flat work of art. This is achieved by tricking the eye with such methods as linear perspective, overlapping, height placement, size relationships, shading, and aerial perspective.
Intensity: Term used to describe the strength and purity of a hue or color.
Line: The most basic element of art; it is a stroke between two points.
Media: Materials or supplies used in creating art; it is that which an artist applies to a surface or uses to form artwork.
Motif: A basic element repeated in a work of art to give the work unity or a theme.
Movement: A principle of art created by the repetition of an element.
Nonrepresentational: An artwork whose subject is not recognizable or whose subject is the artwork itself.
Novel Materials: Tools and materials that are nontraditional and go beyond simple pencils, crayons, and clay. For some schools this might be the use of markers, chalks, or oil pastels; for others it would be handmade paper, colored sand, or whatever stretches the experience of the students.
One Point Perspective: A method of drawing that creates the illusion of depth. This method directs all receding parallel lines to converge at a single point called the vanishing point, which is found on the horizon line.
Organic: Term used to describe shapes and forms that are uneven, undulating, or having the quality of growth. Often these shapes have no hard edges.
Patterns: The repetition of lines, dots, shapes, tones, and colors in regular or sequenced manner such as a checkerboard, paisley, or plaid.
Principles: The planned interaction and relationship among the elements of art within a work. Several key principles are unity, balance, focal point/emphasis, harmony, variety, gradation, movement, and rhythm.
Properties of Color: Hue, value, and intensity.
Purposes of Art: How artworks are used. Many crafts are used for cooking or fill other utilitarian needs. Painting and sculpture are used for such purposes as worship, propaganda, celebration, education, personal expression, history, and decoration.
Realistic: Describes an art image that closely resembles what the artist looked at or considered for a work.
Reflected Light: A small amount of light within the shadow side of a shaded object caused by light bouncing off the surface upon which the object rests.
Repetition: The repetition of art elements creates eye movement and gives the artwork movement and rhythm.
Secondary Color: The resulting color from a mix of two primary colors such as orange, purple, and green.
Shadow Edge: The darkest area within the shadow side on a shaded object.
Shadow Side: The dark side of a shaded object opposite the source of light.
Shapes: An element of art created by a line that encloses an area.
Sitter: The person who models for a work of art.
Sky Band: The horizontal strokes or scribbles primary age children place at the top of their artwork to represent the entire sky.
Style: Used to describe any group of artworks that share visual characteristics.
Tertiary: A color created by mixing secondary and primary colors such as yellow green or blue green.
Texture: Lines, dots, values, shapes, colors in an irregular manner.
Thumbnail Sketches: Small, quick sketches used to plan out an artwork's composition or layout.
Value: Black, white, and all the grays that can be achieved by mixing them or varying the pressure of a pencil. Value is also a property of color which refers to the inherent lightness and darkness of a color (blue is naturally darker than yellow) as well as how a color is modified by the addition of white or black to it.
Value Key: The overall range of lightness or darkness of a work of art. An artwork with a lot of white and/or light elements is classified as high key, and an artwork with a lot of black and/or dark elements is classified as low key.
Warm Color: Hues on half of the color wheel with orange in the center.
These materials have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State Office of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State Office of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200.
For more information about this core curriculum, contact the USOE Specialist, Cathy Jensen or visit the Fine Arts - Visual Art Home Page. For general questions about Utah's Core Curriculum, contact the USOE Curriculum Director, Sydnee Dickson . UEN Contact Info: 801-581-2999 | 800-866-5852 | Contact Us