Curriculum Guide: K/1st Grade

(These projects are subject to change depending on the skills and interests of the students, and the time of completion. I strive to improve the lessons each year.)

Color Magic pizza
Students will practice their coloring and cutting skills while learning the basics of the color wheel and color mixing.

Roller coaster Sculpture
Students will learn different styles of lines, names of shapes, and folding and gluing skills as they make a playful paper sculpture.

Students will use previously learned skills to create a drawing of themselves. Facial proportions are key. They will also add their favorite things in their picture, learning to use symbols instead of words.

Mosaic Collage
Students will be introduced to the subject of still life painting. They will create a mosaic and relief collage of a vase of flowers. Their fine motor skills will be exercised in directional paper tearing. They will also be introduced to the terms "composition and balance."

Native American Pinch Pots
Students will learn about Native American symbols and culture. They will be introduced to the clay medium and pottery traditions and functions.

Students will be introduced to the art of puppetry. They will learn how to construct their own puppet with plaster. They will learn how to use a pattern and simple sewing skills. Students will learn the terms
characters, setting, and plot as they create their own script and perform a puppet show.

Students will study the art of printmaking through the creation of several printing projects including
thumbprint animals, string printing, and making abstract creation using random objects.

Under the Sea Painting
Students will learn about life under the sea and organizing the objects on their page into a foreground, middle ground, and background. They will experience the medium of watercolor.

Curriculum Guide: 1st Grade

(These projects are subject to change depending on the skills and interests of the students, and the time of completion. I strive to improve the lessons each year.)

Shape Shacks
Students will learn about architecture as an art form and career. They will study geometric shapes and learn how to overlap shapes to design their house. Pattern making, improving coloring skills with markers, and filling their page are part of the project's focus.

Junk Monsters
Students will use recycle materials to create a sculpture of a monster/creature/robot out of sculpey. We will look at found object artists. And use the building skills we learned from the 2-D shape project. This is a problem solving project.

Career Portraits
We will look at the many jobs people have and talk about what the students might want to be when they grow up. In order to create their watercolor portrait, we will study body proportions, visual clues, and environment. We will look at portrait paintings of people doing their jobs.

Penguin Sculptures
Students will study penguins and their habitats. We will ready Tacky the Penguin to inspire the kids to create a sculpture with personality. We will look at artists who sculpt animals. We will use clay and then create an ice burg out of plaster. A side project will be to create a collage using penguins and their environment. Students will learn how to cut paper without drawing first.

Egyptian Sarcophagus
Students will learn that they can make art out of recycled materials. They will study Ancient Egyptian culture. Students will use plaster to create a sarcophagus that they can paint and decorate as a replica. The painting takes very fine motor skills.

Jasper Johns Alphabet
Students will learn how to make bubble letters. They will make a painting using these letters as they study the art of Jasper Johns. We will look at complimentary colors.

Monet’s Garden
Students will use their fingers to create a garden picture with an impressionist style. They will learn about negative space and layering color.

Curriculum Guide: 2nd Grade

(These projects are subject to change depending on the skills and interests of the students, and the time of completion. I strive to improve the lessons each year.)

Students will experience painting with watercolors and learn about mixed media. They will be creating a fantasy landscape picture that will show perspective through size comparison. They will also learn new techniques for creating texture with paint. They will learn how to look at an object and draw what they see.

Students will study reptiles and create a clay turtle using details, texture and paint. They will also learn about clay and its properties and process. In doing so, they will learn rolling, scoring, and slip.

Students will study complex pattern making, and complimentary colors. They will look at Van Gogh's "Bedroom" painting to see how you can learn something about a person's feelings or life through the pictures they paint. They will learn many scissor cutting techniques and actually learn to draw with their scissors as they create a picture of their own bedroom. They will make a head to toe drawing of themselves to fit into the picture.

We will look at various forms of 3-D art. Students will be expected to use their drawing skills to plan out their sculpture. They will learn to mold an armature for their piece, and to work from general shapes to fine details. They will create a plaster mixed-up creature sculpture. They will use three different animals to make one creature.

Curriculum Guide: 3rd Grade

(These projects are subject to change depending on the skills and interests of the students, and the time of completion. I strive to improve the lessons each year.)

Students will learn the difference between dying, silk screening, and printing. We will use a dying technique on fabric and study symmetrical designs. We will also look at the connection between artists and poets as they play eye spy with their abstract design.

Students will learn more information about drawing people who are moving or holding things. They will utilize their new knowledge in a self-portrait piece that will include themselves and their pet or favorite animal. They will learn how to create space in their drawings by showing overlapping and size comparison.

Still Life
After learning how to draw what we see, students will create a collage of a basket of fruit. They will create proper view point in perspective, overlapping their fruit.

Our focus is to learn how to take something realistic and abstract it. We will focus on Picasso and cubism to create a self-portrait. Students will draw with glue and use oil pastels to create bright patterns behind their abstract portrait.

Students will learn about the properties of clay and the clay process. We will focus on Greece and Red Figured Greek Vases and they will create their own. I recommend a trip to the NCMA to view the vases in person.

Paper Sculptures
Students will learn about 3-D art in combination with masks from different cultures around the world. This is also a study of color and mood. They will create their own mask that has shape, expression, and designs.

We will look at nature and learn to draw what we see, how trees grow. Students will learn about perspective to create their landscape. The students will use pastels to learn color mixing, layering, and the concept of shadows and highlights.

Curriculum Guide: 4th Grade

(These projects are subject to change depending on the skills and interests of the students, and the time of completion. I strive to improve the lessons each year.)

In the beginning, students will have a refresher lesson on drawing people, movement and gesture. They will use this information in their sculpture project. Drawing will be an important part of all our projects.

We will investigate types of 3-D work and how they differ from painting. Their art will be about creating a work showing gesture, movement and negative space. Students will build armatures, and use several different materials to complete a sculpture of themselves in action.

Students will work with tempera paint, the focus being on learning to draw with paint, color mixing, and photo realism. We will look to the Dutch Masters and "art as a science." I recommend a trip to the NCMA to view Dutch Still Lifes in their exhibits.

Students will investigate an animal of their choice and its habitat. Using that knowledge and their drawing skills, they will plan a collage piece. We will use torn and cut paper techniques and discover the order of layering the papers, contrasting colors, and size comparison to create their animal and landscape.

We will look how weaving has been an important part of many cultures. We learn a basic weaving technique that will allow us to design a small wall hanging that can include found objects.

Students will study shields and character symbols. They will choose a symbol that represents their character and create a medallion to wear.

Curriculum Guide: 5th Grade

(These projects are subject to change depending on the skills and interests of the students, and the time of completion. I strive to improve the lessons each year.)

In this lesson, students will create an extreme perspective self-portrait. They will learn foreshortening, correct size of objects as they recede. Capture frozen movement. Create a likeness of themselves.

Students will study the work and life of Abstract Expressionist artist, Jackson Pollock. They will learn a different way to create art that has no tangible beginning. (Action Painting)

Mola Design Pillow
This lesson involves the culture of the Kuna Indians of the Baha Islands, in Panama. They will study the art of layered cut fabric to create a pillow with a stylized animal design. Students will hand sew all the part for the pillow, learning 4 different stitches.

The potters of Seagrove NC and the famous Owen family will inspire students to create their version of NC face jugs. They will study the slab method to create a "face" mug.

Radial Design
Students will study radial balance as they create a circular design likening a kaleidoscope. They will have to do measuring, use a compass, and come up with organic and geometric shapes. They will focus on black and white contrast.

Curriculum for Middle School (6th Grade)

(These projects are subject to change depending on the skills and interests of the students, and the time of completion. I strive to improve the lessons each year.)

Students will look at M.C. Escher and his amazing tessellations and illusions. Students will come up with a tessellation shape and rotate it to create a 4 panel work of art. They will imagine an image that the tessellation shape can represent. They will learn a technique for using colored pencils.

Students will learn how to build a wire/foil armature to support their Sculpey clay. Their goal is to create a mini them. We will look at claymation and the characters of Wallace and Gromit.

Instruments and sound
We will look at paintings of instruments from the past in different parts of the world and how this tells us what kind of music they listened to. Students will choose instruments to draw. They will create a drawing that has a balanced composition. Their instruments may bend, show different sizes, and must show the sound of the music they imagine it would make. We will be using oil pastel.

Students will create a self-portrait. The goal is to create a drawing that looks more like them, as they will be looking in the mirror. They will learn the art of zentangles, choose designs from a dictionary. In the background they will create an atmosphere of zentangle designs to create contrast and highlight the portrait.

Can Cats
Students will study the recycled artwork of Didier Triglia. They will crush a soda can and create a sculpture of a brightly colored cat with a patterned background.

Bowl weaving
Students will learn how to do a circular weaving using a bowl as their loom.

Students will create a composition using different sized circles, some overlapping. They will turn these into spheres with color and shading using pastels.

Curriculum for Middle School (7th grade)

(These projects are subject to change depending on the skills and interests of the students, and the time of completion. I strive to improve the lessons each year.)

Students will be creating a large water color painting from nature. They will learn how to transfer a sketch into a final drawing on a larger scale. The subject will be animals in their habitat. We will learn techniques that involve textures, overlapping, and in depth color study.

Students will learn to see the relationship between art and music by studying the artist Kandinsky. They will be able to draw with mixed media, concentrate on their composition in an abstract design, and have a better understanding of line and color as it relates to rhythm and volume.

Students will create a clay frame to paint with an open circle. Inside this circle the students will create a colorful circular weaving. They have to carefully choose their paint and yarn to give the artwork the feeling they desire.

Still Life drawing
Students will set up different cans, some lying down, some crushed, some standing up. They will use the rule of thirds to arrange these on their page. They will learn to draw with different weighted pencils and how to shade with a stump. These are realistic drawings. They may include hands or spilled soda.

Students will manipulate wire and use tissue paper to create a balanced mobile in the likeness of Alexander Calder sculptures.

Curriculum for Middle School (8th Grade)

(These projects are subject to change depending on the skills and interests of the students, and the time of completion. I strive to improve the lessons each year.)

American Gothic
Students will study the American Gothic painting by Grant Wood. They will be introduced to the concept of parody. They will draw a rendering of American Gothic using characters that would be a parody on this painting.

Abstract sculpture
Students will look at several abstract sculpture artists. They will use wire, wood, and nylon stocking to create their own design. They must look at all sides of the sculpture to ensure it is balanced. They will paint it with their own idea.

Animal Pastel
Students will choose an animal that has a lot of texture, pattern, or color. They will learn to draw a very realistic portrait of the animal with the face being prominent. Their drawing will be enhanced by using pastel to create depth, shadows, texture.

Sculpey vase
Students will learn how to create flower caning with Sculpey clay and use it to decorate the surface of a vase. They have to come up with their own color concept and pattern.

Watercolor Landscape
Students will use all of their previous drawing experience and knowledge of landscapes to create a landscape drawing. They will learn new watercolor techniques to give their painting more depth. They will study atmosphere, season, and style.

Units of Study For Visual Arts I

(These projects are subject to change depending on the skills and interests of the students, and the time of completion. I strive to improve the lessons each year.)

Drawing Unit
Students will practice and understand the importance of sketching and planning a composition or design. They will be exposed to several still life paintings and drawings from art history. We shall study line, value, space, form, shape, texture, composition, and perspective. We will use different weighted pencils and blending tools.

Painting Unit
Students will practice and understand color mixing. They will learn to categorize colors and the rules of the color wheel. The knowledge they learn will be applied to an abstract piece of art in watercolor. They will learn a method of creating an abstract work from a realistic photo, as well as discuss other abstract artists.

Sculpture Unit
Students will look at Oaxacan wood animal sculptures and pay attention to their painted designs. They will create a stylized animal sculpture by building an armature and covering it with paper clay. They will come up with a patterned design that will fit their sculpture.

Students will have a black and white photo taken of them. They will use that to draw a portrait. Their focus will be on using negative space to transfer their drawing and using measurements to find location of features.

Depending on how long these units take, we might have time to fit in a printing unit to include exposure to etching, linoleum cuts, and mono prints.

Units of Study For Visual Arts II

(These projects are subject to change depending on the skills and interests of the students, and the time of completion. I strive to improve the lessons each year.)

Students will study Illuminated Manuscripts. They will use their initial to create a letter design. That design will also include images that are a part of the letter or behind the letter to describe themselves.

Students will be the study of 1 point perspective in creating a cityscape. They will look at different styles of architecture. They will pick their perspective and the type of city they would like to draw.

The students will work with floating colored panels to produce a sculpture with movement. We will study Alexander Calder's "Stabiles" We will be using wood, wire, plaster, and paint. I want to introduce them to using composition and negative space in a 3-D form.

Coil Pot
Students will use recycled magazines to create a coil pot. We will look at recycled art and coil pots from different cultures.

If students did not experience printmaking in their previous class, it will be done in this class.

Units of Study For Visual Arts III

Students will use their knowledge of color and composition to create an abstract design without any prior planning. They will work off the top of their head, adjusting as they work by looking at what the artwork needs.

We will be looking at how Greek, Roman, and modern architects use relief sculptures to enhance the beauty of their buildings. Students will be free to choose the subject matter of their clay relief sculpture. They will learn methods of adding and subtracting clay to produce the illusion of space through layering.

Pen and Ink
Students will utilize all of their previous drawing knowledge to create a pen and ink design of an animal, realistic or stylized. Inside the animal will be filled with zentangle designs. They must work to fit the right design into the shapes they have created.

Students will look at artists such as Salavor Dali. They will come up with an idea that represents surrealism. This will be drawn realistically using pastels.

The students will have their choice of subject matter as they experiment with expressing their ideas with acrylic on canvas. Their focus will be to utilize what they have learned about composition, the elements of art, and the principles of design.

Curriculum Guide
Drawing I

This class is an introductory class to the elements of art and the principles of design used by artists. Students learn how to incorporate fundamental techniques into their drawing projects. Students will experience a variety of drawing mediums and subject matter.


  1. Learning Right Side of Brain Theory
  2. Exercises in seeing
  3. Contour lines
  4. Value Scale and Shading

Project: Drawing of a hand with pencil


  1. Negative Space exercises

Project: Drawing of flowers in pen


  1. One Point Perspective
  2. Perspective drawings of boxes
  3. Measuring
  4. Color Theory
  5. Color Blending

Project: Linear Perspective Drawing of a room with objects in colored pencils


  1. Composition
  2. Texture
  3. Overlapping
  4. Light Source

Project: Copying a photo of an animal with graphite

Curriculum Guide
Drawing II

Students will be introduced to the grid method of drawing that was used previously in Art History and by current artists and muralists of today. They will be transferring a photo portrait of a ¾ turned head onto paper with charcoal. Great practice for observing and drawing what you see.

Gesture Drawing Exercise:
Students will learn the freer form of drawing called, gesture drawing in contrast to the grid drawing. They will learn to draw with their arm using conte crayon, in very quick drawings that capture frozen movement of the figure. They will be studying the weight of the figure in different poses as well as proportion.

Students will review the anatomy of the hand and review landscape pictures. Then, they will create a landscape inserting the hand as a part of the landscape. The focus will be demonstrating their understanding of composition and using the elements of art and principles of design. This will be done with a variety of weighted pencils. This is more of a fantasy work.

In Drawing I class, students drew animals using graphite. That familiarity will allow students to move to the medium of pen (quill) and ink. This go round they will include some habitat to create more depth in their picture and use their knowledge of perspective. With this medium, students learn how to create a variety of marks, and spacing of those marks to assist in creating value and textures. This medium requires a lot of fore thought.

Still Life:
Students will take their experience with and knowledge of colored pencils into the pastel medium. They will create a realistic still life drawing of a vase of flowers. They will practice the skill of hand pressure, direction of strokes, layering colors, creating value with color, edging, seeing colors that aren't readily apparent, and adding lines to a pastel drawing.