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planning a unit of art work

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Introduction

Art Assignment The unit of work is intended for a Year 4 class and aims to develop children's knowledge, skills and understanding of how to use line, tone and colour in their own artwork. Children's imaginations are stimulated through a range of stimuli including music, studying artists' work and using different mediums. The inspiration for this unit arose from the children's book entitled 'Once Upon An Ordinary School Day' by Colin McNaughton. The book is brought alive by Satoshi Kitamura's illustrations, which provide clear, vivid and motivating examples of line, tone and colour; perfect examples for children to study and use as stimulation in their own artwork. The illustrations begin in a monochrome palette to represent the characters 'ordinary' school day. The mood gradually changes as the boy moves away from his ordinary life by listening to a piece of music, which kick starts an exciting adventure where his thoughts and dreams transform him to wonderful places. Kitamura cleverly captures this change in mood by switching/rendering the illustrations from pallid grey hues into full colour as the boy takes his first dive into the wonders of his own imagination. As the dreams get more elaborate so too do the colours, lines and tones. At the end of the story everything is depicted in vivid colour. In the planning stage careful attention was given to ensure that each lesson had a specific learning objective, relevant resources for ...read more.

Middle

This was one of the most effective and productive lessons of the unit as all pupils were inspired by the music to reflect on paper what they were thinking or how they felt. As this was the penultimate lesson it was perfectly timed; sufficient time had been spent developing the skills of line, tone and colour providing an excellent opportunity for pupils to use their imagination and put what they had learnt into practise. Some pupils feel daunted when presented with a blank canvas and are asked to paint a real life object, as they feel unable to recreate an exact representation. This task enables all children to be equal as the work is a personal interpretation of what they hear and feel. This could be particularly useful for special needs pupils who are not articulate in communicating their feelings through verbal or written methods. Question and answer sessions at the beginning of each session were effective in helping the teacher to ascertain the current level of pupils understanding. This led on to brief discussions reflecting on previous work, which reinforced the learning objectives and helped to develop an understanding of progression and see the work in context. However, the unit would benefit from similar discussions in the plenaries allowing more time for assessment opportunities. White (1994) stresses the importance that 'interaction with children is necessary for artwork to make real sense and have real educational value'. ...read more.

Conclusion

If pupils see their work on display it clearly communicates that they are valued. It also gives pupils the opportunity to stand back and evaluate their work. In school pupils should be encouraged to take part in arranging the display. If they learn to take care and pride in presenting their artwork this should be reflect in other subjects too. The unit was successful in fulfilling numerous objectives of the National Curriculum; it 'increases pupils' knowledge and understanding of visual and tactile elements of line, colour and tone, developing control of tools and techniques.' Pupils evaluating skills are enhanced so that they study the 'similarities and differences in artists work and compare ideas, methods and approaches in their own and others' work to say what they think and feel about them and describe how to develop it further.' (DfEE, 1999, p120) Overall the unit of work was planned, organised and taught in a methodical way with each lesson having a clear and focused structure, a challenging and enjoyable pupil activity, and relevant resources such as examples of artists work. Each objective linked into the next so that the sequence of lessons flowed and sufficient time was spent developing each new skill before progressing onto the next level. Each piece of work clearly demonstrated the lesson objectives had been taught thoroughly and understood by the pupils. After all this hard work it would be interesting and worthwhile to carry out this unit in school and see how the children react and what work they produce. ...read more.

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