Sunday, January 10, 2016

Abstract Art

 Soooo I know I have mentioned how this year I was given an:
Elementary Visual Arts Matrix-Scope and Sequence
AND I believe I may have indicated that I am NOT amused by this. I believe my teaching has suffered and I'm starting to feel like I'm teaching to the test.
With. Students. That. Are. In. Elementary. School. 
Look I know there is a lot of information we give to students that can be on a test. But I still believe the best way to assess them is with their finished art project. AND so what if they didn't get it......... they made some fantastic art in the process.

Anyway......... 5th grade's focus for the unit on shapes was Abstract and Non-Objective Art.
I put up these art posters by Bierstadt, Picasso and Pollack.

They were labeled realistic, abstract-objective and abstract-non objective. We talked about them. What was different about them. How objective abstract art shows objects the artist exaggerated but, we can still recognize, versus non-objective abstract which we can't always figure out. And how realistic art is something that looks almost like a photograph.

 Since I felt that my contemporary art self portrait lesson bombed due to a lack of structure-which apparently they need....... I decided they would do abstract animals from the book How to Draw 101 Animals:
They also had the option of looking up animals on the iPads.

NOW-  2nd grade's shape focus was on 2-D Organic shapes and I found a super lesson on Teachers Pay Teachers titled Elementary Art-Abstract Cats made by Kirstin Irish. The power point is perfect and my students loved getting inspiration from it. The focus is on Laurel Birch cats and my students loved looking at all the pictures. Check out their finished work:

 The beauty below is part of a display at one of the court houses in our county. I'm so proud!
Last week I blogged about getting published and I would like to add that my Blog Post T'was the Week before Halloween was actually picked up and published in my state magazine Fresh Paint. The layout they did was just fantastic. It is SUCH a good feeling to be noticed and included in something so important.

Can hardly wait!

  Tell me about your lessons for teaching abstract art, I love to hear about it!
Thanks for reading!

UPDATE!!!!!! Just found out The Art of Ed is accepting nominations for the best art blogs!!!!!

If you enjoy reading my blog please consider nominating me! Click here!


  1. We have a curriculum framework in our district that states what we need to cover when, including scope and sequence. I have my students 1st through 5th grade keep an art journal that we make in class. I spend the first 5 minutes in class with a quick assignment aligned with the framework. We do this for a grade, and then we get to producing artwork. My school requires that I keep anything with a grade attached to it so that we have it in case a parent wants to know about why their child has the grade they do. I grade the art journals and not our art projects, that way the students can take their art home when they are done, and can focus more on enjoying making art and not stress out about it being a certain way.

    Thanks for your post
    Jack Fleming

    1. Thank you! I love that idea. If fact I believe I did do that once or twice. But now will put more time into working it that way. And my students also have sketchbooks they made, that they can use for this. Thank you again-I love how you think!!