Visual Arts for the Lower School

Each lower school grade level studies drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, and art appreciation. An attempt is made to display all artwork in the hallway or in the display case next to the Elementary Media Center. Each year our Art department fundraiser gives the parents an opportunity to purchase their child’s artwork, which is printed on a large selection of merchandise. As a gift to the student and their family, a Christmas card is printed using their own production of the true meaning of Christmas. Each grade level also has an area of focus that is addressed for skill development.

Please visit our lower school gallery.


The students are introduced to the line and shape families and productions center on straight lines, curved lines, angle lines, dots and circles. Painting includes mixing colors, which is essential because the art room only supplies primary colors. We sponge paint and use brushes for long strokes. These lessons teach the students color wheel basics. A unit on figure drawing culminates in an album labeled: All about me”. Cutting, gluing, tracing, tearing, construction, assembling and using their imagination continue throughout the year. Seeing God’s design in the natural world helps this level to incorporate a realistic view in their art productions.

Grade 1

Portraits stressing correct placement of facial features and subtle use of skin tone pastels help the students see the importance of how God created us. We are all unique and this idea transfers to the art production. First Graders visit Butterfly World and they have a substantial ocean unit, which culminates at the beach. Our productions use these experiences to learn symmetry with the butterflies and texture as we lift prints off of a red snapper. A lesson in close and far helps the student create a beautiful winter landscape. Clay sculpture and beginning weaving help the development of small motor control.

Grade 2

 Knowledge of the color wheel is expanded and productions use the primary colors, secondary colors, neutral colors, and warm and cool colors. To create these productions we use markers, oil pastels, construction paper, and paint. Development of painting skills begins with the use of palettes, water pots, and multiple brushes. Weaving is our second concentration. The students work on a loom to create a yarn weaving. Basic weaving terms such as loom, warp, and weft are used each class period. Color theory, patterns and other materials are discussed. Weavings from different cultures are shown and discussed.
The wall hangings that are created are displayed with great pride.

Grade 3

Design is the focus for the Third graders. The year begins with a positive/negative shape design. Next is the “Design a Leaf” project. The leaf shape is used in a composition where overlapping is introduced and utilized to create a pile of leaves. Small brush control and knowledge of the color wheel are necessary to complete this production. The year continues with designs in fiber art, batik, eraser stamping. The elements of design are discussed and assessed in the productions. Art appreciation includes landscapes paintings by a variety of artists. As we produce the painting, we also produce a narrative that tells us what is happening and who the people are in our artwork.
Third graders keep a journal of the various elements and principles of design that they have studied.

Grade 4

As the year begins, the students draw an abstract self- portrait. This is a “getting-to-know-you” exercise, which requires drawing skills and great imagination. The year holds three major productions. First is a comprehensive drawing unit. Drawing folders are created and they are used for basic shape and shading practice. At the end of the unit, a still life is produced which takes the objects from shape to form by using what they have learned in the practice sessions. The second major project is a 3D painting unit that explains the natural color spectrum. The student designs an appropriate composition to show how colors advance and retreat in an artwork. They wear 3D glasses to check the effectiveness of their design. Thirdly, printmaking is introduced using plates, brayers, inking stations and carving tools. Students are required to create a design that lends itself to repetition, produce an edition of single prints, print an overall sheet called “wallpaper” then finish with a final project using their print in a creative way. Through these projects the elements of line color, shape, texture and space are experienced on a more developed level.

Grade 5

Fifth Graders study American Art in their classrooms, so productions and art appreciation focus on American artists and their works. The year begins with the production of a hardcover sketchbook. The book is used for art appreciation, project development, and practice drawing. The cover of the book is decorated by a string stamp print created by the student. Throughout the year productions include pastels, abstracts, en plein air drawing, and perspective drawing. The major production for the second semester is a while producing a papier-mache figure. These are painted, displayed and treasured.