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Visual Arts

The Lower School art program aims to broaden and deepen students’ artistic knowledge and development while they experience the joy and meaning found in the process of being a creative, artistic individual. We consider art an essential component to educating the whole child.

Students thrive in an environment where they are encouraged to imagine, design, create, and collaborate. Each class meeting is designed to offer kinesthetic opportunities that expose students to a vast array of art media and techniques, such as drawing, painting, printmaking, collage, assemblage, woodworking, ceramics, new media, and STEAM based projects.

Class time and projects increase students’ visual literacy as they are exposed to a wide range of artists and their art forms, both multicultural and historical. Students experience art through children’s literature, digital media, museum trips, visiting artists, and most importantly seeing their own artwork prominently displayed throughout the school.

Curriculum by Grade


Our youngest students discover and expand their artistic confidence by exploring a variety of materials and tools to develop sensory perception through hands-on play. Skill building is a focus as they glue, cut, tear, discover shapes, and make their mark in their new community.

Grade 1

As first-grade students display greater confidence with basic tool use, they are now ready to develop a deeper understanding of the elements of art, such as line and texture. Students are ready to delve into the art making of other cultures and strengthen their observational skills.

Grade 2

Art lessons continue to be child-centered and embrace students with varying ranges of experience, as second grade is an entry point level. The curriculum focuses on reviewing basic art-making skills and tool use, and introduces the use of more challenging materials such as cardboard and found material. Lessons encourage imagination, self-expression, and the development of narrative in art to help make deeper connections with their classroom studies.

Grade 3

In Grade 3 the curriculum supports increased perceptual awareness of their physical environment, heightened dexterity, and a greater understanding of how to add detail to their work. Students begin to look more carefully as they create more work from observation.

Grade 4

Fourth-grade students expand their visual literacy as an understanding of 3-dimensional space deepens. The curriculum allows students to experience a thematic approach to their art making as they explore grids, geometry, form, perspective, scale, and value. Students make connections with their classroom studies, independently solve problems, and begin to express more of themselves in their work.

Grade 5

In the Grade 5 art curriculum students deepen their understanding of the elements of art and are introduced to the principles of design and design thinking. They continue to develop verbal and nonverbal communication skills in relation to the arts and their studio practice as they reflect on the impact of art on their own lives and in the world around them. Students take greater risks as they are encouraged to share more of themselves and their ideas about art.