ARTSY ATTRIBUTES!

Grade K: Artsy Attributes

Unit Description

Students will observe and experience classifying various items by their attributes to create original visual art and also to better understand and differentiate stimuli in the world around them. Students will engage in arts integrated projects that explore the attributes color, shapes, and lines. Students will then have the opportunity to sort and classify art media to create a mandala using 3 dimensional items. They will also experience constructing a cityscape collage using geometric 2-dimensional shapes. This Artsy Attributes unit offers an opportunity for Kindergarteners to apply their knowledge of classification in a creative, dynamic, artsy way!

Unit Essential Question

How does the process of classifying by attributes help students understand the world around them?

Real World Context

We learn the skill of classifying attributes to help us better understand the world around us. Putting together things that are the same is called classification. When we classify, we are using information about what is the same and what is different. This comparing/contrasting is a higher level thinking skill. This learning happens over time. At first, students classify items based on how they look, sound, and feel. The foundation of math and reading are rooted in the process of classifying information.

Cross-Cutting Interdisciplinary Concepts

Classification
Parts of a Whole

Projects

Project 1: Community Collage
Students will be introduced to the concept of classification and attributes using the visual arts. They will specifically explore the visual arts attributes of color, shapes, and lines. Students will create a community collage together and also explore masterpieces, applying their knowledge of classification and sorting.

Project 2: Shapes All Around Us
Students will identify shapes in visual arts pieces by various artists that feature cityscapes. Students will then explore shapes using their bodies to create tableaus. Finally, students will work in small groups to take their classified attributes and create a composition of a cityscape at night.

Project 3: Magnificent Mandalas
Students will apply their knowledge and understanding of classifying attributes in this visual arts integrated project. Students will begin by exploring how we can explore visual arts media. Students will use either assorted dry pasta and beans or various colors of yarn and ribbon to sort attributes. They will then use these materials to create a composition in the form of a mandala.

Standards

Curriculum Standards

ELAGSEKL5 With guidance and support from adults, explore word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

  1. Sort common objects into categories(e.g., shapes, foods) to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent.

ELAGSEKSL5 Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.

MGSEK.CC.5a Count to answer “how many” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, rectangle, array or a circle.

MGSEK.MD.3 Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count.

SKP1 Students will describe objects in terms of the materials they are made of and their physical properties.

  1. Compare and sort materials of different composition (common materials include clay, cloth, paper, plastic, etc.).

Arts Standards

VAKC.1 Applies information from other disciplines to enhance the understanding and production of artworks.

  1. Explores universal concepts (e.g., pattern, balance) and creates artworks inspired by ideas from literature, science, music, and/or math.
  2. Creates works of art inspired by universal themes (e.g., self, family, community, world).

VAKCU.2 Views and discusses selected artworks.

  1. Talks about artworks of significant artists that have recognizable subjects and themes.

VAKPR.2 Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes of two-dimensional works of art using tools and materials in a safe and appropriate manner to develop skills.

VAKPR.3 Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes of three-dimensional works of art (e.g., ceramics, sculpture, crafts, and mixed- media) using tools and materials in a safe and appropriate manner to develop skills.

Character Education

Components

Throughout the unit, emphasize audience behavior while others are presenting, being respectful of others and self, sharing materials, and maintaining your work space.

Concepts

  • Self-respect
  • Self-control
  • Courtesy
  • Respect for others
  • Respect for the environment
  • Kindness
  • Self-confidence
  • Diligence
  • Resourcefulness
  • Acceptance
  • Cooperation
  • Perseverance

Summative Assessments

  • Students will complete a shape sort.
  • Students will create a cityscape using the shapes they classified/sorted.
  • Students will complete a color sort (independent sort).
  • Students will create a tally chart that documents their findings when sorting their strings/ribbons.
  • Student-created mandala will serve as the summative composition.

Partnering with Fine Arts Teachers

Visual Arts Teacher:

  • Assistance with reviewing arts vocabulary and concepts associated with these projects, specifically: value, forms, lines, colors, geometric shapes, mixed media.
  • Assistance with teaching the techniques used to create collages, cityscapes, and mandalas.

Appendix (See Project Downloads)

  • Masterpieces by Paul Klee
  • Sorting Mat
  • Examples of Mandalas
  • Cityscape Examples

Credits

U.S. Department of Education
Arts in Education--Model Development and Dissemination Grants Program
Cherokee County (GA) School District and ArtsNow, Inc.
Ideas contributed and edited by:
Heather Burgess, Octavia Ferguson-Chenault, Barbara Clark, Jessica Espinoza, Richard Benjamin Ph.D., Michele McClelland, Mary Ellen Johnson, Jane Gill

Community Collage

Science, English Language Arts, and Visual Arts

Description

Students will be introduced to the concept of classification and attributes using the visual arts. They will specifically explore the visual arts attributes of color, shapes, and lines. Students will create a community collage together and also explore masterpieces, applying their knowledge of classification and sorting.

Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • Explain the concept of classifying and provide examples
  • Identify attributes and provide examples

Essential Questions

  • How do I identify various attributes of items in the world around me?

Curriculum Standards

ELAGSEKL5 With guidance and support from adults, explore word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

  1. Sort common objects into categories(e.g., shapes, foods) to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent.

ELAGSEKSL5 Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.

SKP1 Students will describe objects in terms of the materials they are made of and their physical properties.

  1. Compare and sort materials of different composition (common materials include clay, cloth, paper, plastic, etc.).

Arts Standards

VAKCU.2 Views and discusses selected artworks.

  1. Talks about artworks of significant artists that have recognizable subjects and themes.

VAKPR.2 Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes of two-dimensional works of art using tools and materials in a safe and appropriate manner to develop skills.

Content Vocabulary

  • Attribute
  • Value
  • Sort
  • Classify/Organize/Group

Arts Vocabulary

  • Color
  • Line
  • Shape
  • Form
  • Collage

Technology Integration

  • Image of “Red Balloon” by Paul Klee (see Masterpieces by Paul Klee in Downloads)

Formative Assessment

  • Teacher Notes during Instruction
  • Questioning
  • Small Group Collages

Materials

“Red Balloon” by Paul Klee (see Masterpieces by Paul Klee in Downloads); variety of artwork (one for each group to use during questioning); butcher paper or heavy white thick large piece of art paper; glue sticks; variety of different textured, designed fabric swatches and/or scrapbook paper sheets; pre-cut shapes (square, triangle, circle, rectangle, hexagon); string/ribbons to create lines (zig-zag, curved, straight, angled); masking tape; legal size sheets of construction paper/poster board

Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

  • Observe “Red Balloon” by Paul Klee
  • Lead Class Discussion:
    • What do you see? (Encourage students to just express what they see. Draw attention to: What colors they see? What sort of lines they see? What shapes they see?)
    • What do you think about what you see? (Encourage students to make inferences.)
    • What do you wonder about what you see? (Encourage students to ask questions.)

Main Activity

The students will be placed into groups to discuss and identify attributes and values of artwork from various Masterpieces by Paul Klee (see Downloads).

Part 1:

  • Teacher will begin the process of creating a piece of art using a think aloud technique.
  • Teacher will add elements such as color, lines, and shapes to create an image that will be displayed in the classroom (promethean board, chart paper, etc.).
  • Initiate and reinforce the term “attribute” during think aloud.
  • Teacher will randomly select students to help complete teacher artwork adding the various elements.

Part 2:

  • Split class into 4 small groups.
  • Direct each small group to create a collage together using the pieces of fabric, paper cut-out shapes and string (to make line segments).

Reflective Strategies

  • Each group is given the opportunity to share-out their collage art piece.
  • As a class we classify the attributes.
  • We look for the lines, colors, and shapes.
  • We then go a step further to classify what types of lines, colors, and shapes we see.

Create a Class Tally Chart:

  • As a class, explore how to classify attributes by creating a tally chart (Headers: Lines, Shapes).
  • Direct students to count how many lines and shapes they have in their collage.
  • Create a class tally chart of the attributes.
  • Discuss how tally charts help us quickly see how things are organized.

Differentiation

Below Grade Level/EL Students:

  • Expose students to the visual arts vocabulary prior to the lesson.

Above Grade Level:

  • Students could classify types of shapes by counting sides and vertices and creating a tally chart documenting their results.

Credits

Shapes All Around Us

Mathematics, Science, English Language Arts, and Visual Arts

Description

Students will identify shapes in visual arts pieces by various artists that feature cityscapes. Students will then explore shapes using their bodies to create tableaus. Finally, students will work in small groups to take their classified attributes and create a composition of a cityscape at night.

Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • Classify items based on shape
  • Identify geometric shapes in art
  • Create a composition using geometric shapes to tell a story
  • Compare shapes and sort them into appropriate categories
  • Use my body to create shapes

Essential Questions

  • How can we use our knowledge of classifying shapes to compose a cityscape?

Curriculum Standards

ELAGSEKL5 With guidance and support from adults, explore word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

  1. Sort common objects into categories(e.g., shapes, foods) to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent.

MGSEK.CC.5a Count to answer “how many” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, rectangle, array or a circle.

MGSEK.MD.3 Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count.

SKP1 Students will describe objects in terms of the materials they are made of and their physical properties.

  1. Compare and sort materials of different composition (common materials include clay, cloth, paper, plastic, etc.).

Arts Standards

VAKPR.2 Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes of two-dimensional works of art using tools and materials in a safe and appropriate manner to develop skills.

VAKC.1 Applies information from other disciplines to enhance the understanding and production of artworks.

  1. Explores universal concepts (e.g., pattern, balance) and creates artworks inspired by ideas from literature, science, music, and/or math.
  2. Creates works of art inspired by universal themes (e.g., self, family, community, world).

Content Vocabulary

  • Shape (2 dimensional shapes)
  • Rectangle
  • Square
  • Semicircle
  • Circle
  • Triangle
  • Circle
  • Attributes
  • Sorting
  • Classifying

Arts Vocabulary

  • Shapes
  • Cityscape
  • Tableau
  • Body levels
  • Composition
  • Geometric
  • Collage

Use of Technology

  • Document camera to model sorting shapes and creating composition

Formative Assessment

  • Teacher observations during classifying activity
  • Group work when creating composition
  • Student tableaus depicting the various shapes

Summative Assessment

  • Student completion of a shape sort
  • Student creation of a cityscape using the shapes they classified/sorted

Materials

Cut-out shapes (triangles, squares, rectangles, circles, semicircles) of various sizes from brightly colored cardstock/construction paper; empty baskets labeled with index cards for each type of shape cut out for each group (baskets are for sorting); glue sticks; black markers to provide detail (windows, bricks on buildings); heavy weight black art paper or poster board

Activating Strategy (5-10 min)

Review Geometric shapes using Tableau:

  • Explain that a tableau (pronounced “tab-blow”) is a frozen picture, like a statue with your body.
  • Explain that we can create shapes using our body levels: high, mid, and low.
  • Today we will play a game where we create silent shapes with our bodies.
  • Place students in small groups of 4-5 students.

Silent Shapes

  • Groups must work together to create a tableau for the shape called out.
  • The group can NOT talk, so they must communicate silently.
  • Direct students to work together as a team.
  • Give them 20 seconds for each of the below silent shapes:
    • Circle
    • Square
    • Rectangle
    • Triangle
    • Semicircle
  • Ask students to be sure their group shape they made with their bodies has the correct number of corners and lines.
  • Direct groups to give other groups feedback on correct attributes of the shapes.
  • Explain that today students will create a city scape using these very same shapes.

Main Activity

Part 1:

Gallery Walk of Cityscapes: As a class, examine the Cityscape Examples by established artists (see Downloads).

Questions to ask students during Gallery Walk of images:

  • What do you see? (Making close observations.)
  • What do you notice? (Making sound inferences.)
  • What do you wonder? (What questions do you have for the artist?)
  • What shapes do you see? What do the shapes represent?
  • How does the artist represent the buildings and the sky in the cityscape?

Part 2:

  • Use thick paper/poster board to cover a large table.
  • Keep students in their groups from the tableau exercise and assign each group to a table.
  • Place a pile of cut-out shapes on each table.
  • Direct small groups to sort/classify the shapes into groups based on their attributes.
  • Observe the sorting and track student’s progress.

*Optional: students can create a group tally chart that represents the number of each shape they found in their pile.

Part 3:

  • Groups work together to create a cityscape collage.
  • Direct groups to brainstorm together by first assembling the shapes and considering what they could be.
  • Once the group is finished filling the space in the composition, they can begin gluing the shapes.

Reflective Strategies

  • At the end of the project, direct students to do a Gallery Walk of each group’s composition.
  • Students can create tally charts for the shapes they see in each cityscape.

Students can also have a class discussion about:

  • How were the shapes used to represent the buildings and the sky in the cityscape?
  • How did we use our sorting skills to complete this project?
  • Why was it important to sort first before creating our composition?

Differentiation

Below Grade Level:

  • Provide support with the classifying and lead the group in their creation of the tally chart.

Above Grade Level:

  • Give these students more geometric shapes to work with when sorting and creating their composition (ie. pentagon, hexagon, parallelogram,etc).

Additional Resources

Books:

  • Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber
  • Handsprings by Douglas Florian
  • Spring-An Alphabet Acrostic by Steven Schnur
  • Weather: Poems for all Seasons by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Appendix (See Downloads)

  • Cityscape Examples

Credits

Magnificent Mandalas

Mathematics, Science, English Language Arts, and Visual Arts

Description

Students will apply their knowledge and understanding of classifying attributes in this visual arts integrated project. Students will begin by exploring how we can explore visual arts media. Students will use either assorted dry pasta and beans or various colors of yarn and ribbon to sort attributes. They will then use these materials to create a composition in the form of a mandala.

Learning Targets

“I Can…”

  • Classify/sort arts media to make a mandala
  • Classify items based on their color
  • Classify hot and cool colors
  • Classify primary and secondary colors
  • Compare and contrast colors

Essential Questions

  • How can art media be classified to then create a composition?

Curriculum Standards

MGSEK.CC.5a Count to answer “how many” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, rectangle, array or a circle.

ELAGSEKL5 With guidance and support from adults, explore word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

  1. Sort common objects into categories(e.g., shapes, foods) to gain a sense of the concepts the categories represent.

SKP1 Students will describe objects in terms of the materials they are made of and their physical properties.

  1. Compare and sort materials of different composition (common materials include clay, cloth, paper, plastic, etc.).

MGSEK.MD.3 Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count.

Arts Standards

VAKPR.3 Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes of three-dimensional works of art (e.g., ceramics, sculpture, crafts, and mixed- media) using tools and materials in a safe and appropriate manner to develop skills.

VAKC.1 Applies information from other disciplines to enhance the understanding and production of artworks.

  1. Explores universal concepts (e.g., pattern, balance) and creates artworks inspired by ideas from literature, science, music, and/or math.
  2. Creates works of art inspired by universal themes (e.g., self, family, community, world).

Content Vocabulary

  • Classify
  • Sort
  • Attribute
  • Value
  • Tally chart
  • “How many?”
  • Different/alike

Arts Vocabulary

  • Color
  • Primary colors: red, blue, yellow
  • Secondary colors: green, purple, orange
  • Hot colors: red, yellow, orange
  • Cool colors: blue, purple, green
  • Lighter/darker
  • Lightest/darkest
  • Composition
  • Mandala

Technology Integration

  • Document camera could be used to model the sorting of items with the students
  • Document camera could be used to model creating a pattern for the composition

Formative Assessment

  • Teacher observations
  • Questioning

Summative Assessment

  • Students will complete a color sort (independent sort).
  • Students will create a tally chart that documents their findings when sorting their strings/ribbons.
  • Student-created mandala will serve as the summative composition.

Materials

Various types of dry pasta (macaroni, rigatoni, bowties, shells, etc) AND various types of dry beans (pinto beans, lima beans, etc); OR various colors, textures and lengths of yarn or ribbon; markers; paper plates; a designated sorting area (see Sorting Mat in Downloads); glue (large container); plastic bowls

Activating Strategy

Explain what a mandala is:

  • The word "mandala" is from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit. Loosely translated to mean "circle," a mandala is far more than a simple shape. It represents wholeness. Mandalas include patterns that unite around a central point. A mandala is an integrated structure organized around a unifying center. Definition by Longchenpa.

Then share Examples of Mandalas (see Downloads) through a Gallery Walk.

Questions to ask students during Gallery Walk of images:

  • What do you see? (Making close observations.)
  • What do you notice? (Making sound inferences.)
  • What do you wonder? (What questions do you have for the artist?)
  • What steps did you have to do before you were able to design your composition?
  • How is color used in these mandalas?
  • Where do you notice patterns?

Explain that today students will be creating their own mandala.

Main Activity

Option 1: Create a mandala using dry pasta and beans

  • Students are given a bowl of different dry pasta and beans.
  • Students are directed to sort the pasta and beans into groups using the Sorting Mat (see Downloads).
  • Use the Sorting Mat to help with assessing students ability to sort the attributes.
  • A selection of classifying various attributes can be specifically assigned to differentiate instruction.
  • Students create a tally chart that classifies their materials.
  • Students compose a mandala using a pattern.
  • Urge students to create a pattern in their mandala that helps tell a story.
  • Encourage students to arrange their composition of the mandala thinking about the attributes of the beans/pasta.
  • Hand out paper plates to students.
  • Students submerge the beans/pasta into glue and then place in an arrangement on their paper plate.
  • Allow time for the beans/pasta to dry on the plate.
  • Optional: Markers can be used to color the pasta and beans to create a color pattern on the mandala.

Option 2: Create a mandala using a ball of colored yarn or ribbon

  • Students are given a ball of random lengths, colors, and textures of yarn/ribbon.
  • Students use the Sorting Mat (see Downloads) to sort their ball of yarn/ribbon by the following attributes:
    • Color
    • Primary Colors vs. Secondary Colors
    • Texture (scratchy vs. smooth)
    • Warm Colors vs. Cool Colors
    • Length
  • Use the Sorting Mat to help with assessing students ability to sort the attributes.
  • The selection of classifying various attributes can be specifically assigned to differentiate instruction.
  • Students create a tally chart individually based on one of the processes of sorting the attributes.
  • Students then create a composition of their yarn/ribbon in the form of a mandala.
  • Urge students to create a pattern in their mandala that helps tell a story.
  • Encourage students to arrange their composition of the mandala thinking about patterns of colors and attributes of the yarn/ribbon.
  • Hand out paper plates to students.
  • Students submerge each piece of yarn/ribbon into glue and then place in an arrangement on their paper plate.
  • Allow time for the yarn/ribbon to dry on the plate.
  • Optional: Students can use paint to add more color to the composition of their mandalas.

Reflective Questions

  • What were the most important things to think about when creating your tally chart?
  • How did understanding classifying help you create a pattern for your mandala?
  • Why did we sort our items before creating our composition?

Differentiation

Below Grade Level:

  • Art materials given for the mandala project could consist of only primary colors and sorting could be limited to classifying these primary colors. These students could be tasked with sorting and creating a 3-column tally chart (teacher-led small group) that tallies the results. *Student Centers could be created to reinforce the concept of attributes.

Baskets of materials to sort by attribute could also include:

  • Unifix cubes
  • Crayons
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Colored pom-poms

Above Grade Level:

  • Go deeper with classifying colors. The teacher could use the following YouTube links to introduce vocabulary for primary/secondary and warm/cool colors. The teacher could have the students sort their art materials by primary/secondary and warm/cool colors. The above-level students could also sort the yarn by length. They could make a tally chart/bar graph to represent the data they collected.

Additional Resources

YouTube Links for reinforcing concepts:

Appendix (See Downloads)

  • Sorting Mat (for classifying)
  • Examples of Mandalas

Credits

Grade K: Changes in the Season

Additional Resources

Books

Videos

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