About Visual Arts Instruction
The District 15 visual art curriculum helps students understand how media, technique, and process are used to create works of art; how artworks are structured; how art has a variety of functions; how to identify, analyze, and select subject matter, symbols, and ideas for personal/cultural expression; how historical and cultural contexts provide meaning for works of art; and how to assess the merits of their own artworks and the artworks of others.
District 15 visual art teachers use the arts as an instructional vehicle to strengthen the academic, emotional, creative, and social skills of all students. It is their goal that each child will develop a lifetime knowledge of, and appreciation for, the arts through increased participation in and exposure to all forms of artistic expression.
The visual arts program in District 15:
- Uses the elements of art and the principles of design as a foundation for exploring visual arts concepts and processes.
- Employs developmentally appropriate processes for teaching and learning that are based on activity-oriented methods.
- Encourages disciplined creativity by using higher-level critical thinking skills to identify problems, explore original solutions, and complete the problem-solving process. This has practical application not only in visual arts, but in all areas of the curriculum and for life-long learning.
- Utilizes reading, writing, and math to explore art concepts and facilitate learning in these three areas.
- Develops and promotes self-expression.
- Makes enriching connections between and integrates visual arts and other curriculum areas.
- Expands aesthetic and intellectual awareness through reading, writing, listening, researching, discussing, critiquing, and reflective thinking.
- Teaches how to use both traditional media and incorporates new technology to create art that is individual and expressive.
- Builds knowledge and understanding of ideas, values, and beliefs of people in different times throughout history as communicated through visual art with the goal of developing visually literate students.
- Challenges students to recognize their own ideas, values, and beliefs, and communicate them through visual arts.
- 7th Grade Art—The seventh-grade semester long art course is designed to meet the Illinois state standards. The curriculum focuses on the study of art through the use and understanding of the Elements of Art including, shape, form, space, texture, value and color. The program encourages students to develop cultural and historical awareness through the visual arts. Students are exposed to a variety of art materials, methods and production opportunities. Students focus on problem solving, self-directed learning, peer collaboration and managing materials as they purposefully design, produce and present their own expressive works of art.
- 8th Grade Art—The eighth grade semester-long art course continues to build on concepts learned in seventh grade art. Students review and apply their knowledge of the Elements of Art including line, color, value, space, texture, shape, and form. Students begin a study of the Principles of Design that include rhythm, balance, pattern, unity, movement, contrast, and emphasis to create original works of art. Cultures are investigated and universal themes are explored to inspire personal responses that will be reflected in students’ own art work. The curriculum is designed to meet Illinois state standards through experiences in art criticism, philosophical/aesthetic issues, and historical and cultural inquiries, as well as production and presentation in a variety of media.