Mrs. Claflin
(Email Me)

Trimester Art Elective

Grades 6th, 7th, and 8th




 Trimester Art Elective is a class which students take on either an ODD day or an EVEN day over a 10 day rotation, for the duration of a trimester. Therefore, they will have this class 5 days out of 10 for approximately one hour per session. This class is only open to students that do not participate in Band or Chorus.


 Topics and curriculum covered in this class aim to be inter-disciplinary in nature, align with National Visual Art Standards, and provide students with a tactile learning experience within their academic life.


 Trimester Art Elective is designed for students to explore a variety of media and materials, as well as multiple approaches and solutions to an art problem or area of study. Many lessons are connected to learning in other subject areas of the middle school curriculum. It is the goal of this class to increase critical thinking strategies, reinforce innovation and creativity, problem solving, and decision making.


 The materials and techniques commonly used in Semester Art are both two and three dimensional. Focus is on painting, drawing, modeling clay, plaster gauze techniques, and a variety of other art materials. It is expected that every student participate and try their personal best in class.



Web Museum: 

 This is a great website for students to look at a variety of artwork throughout history and is organized in a very “kid friendly” manner. This website provides visuals of selected famous artists, and also has informative biographies about each one and their respective influences to art and culture.


Rhode Island School of Design Website:

 This is a virtual treasure of a museum located on downtown Providence. The RISD Museum is always worth the trip. Often they promote upcoming activities for school age children and their families. To find out more about these events please call RISD or check the JOURNAL BULLETIN for a listing of activities for children.




National Visual Art Standards Grades 5 through 8:


Content Standard 1

v  Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

Achievement Standard

v  Students select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not   effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of their choices


v  Students intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas



Content Standard 2

v  Using knowledge of structures  and functions

Achievement Standard

v  Students generalize about the effects of visual structures and functions and reflect upon these effects in their own work


v  Students employ organizational structures and analyze what makes them effective or not effective in the communication of ideas



v  Students select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of their ideas



Content Standard 3

v  Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas

Achievement Standard

v  Students integrate visual, spatial, and temporal concepts with content to communicate intended meaning in their artworks


v  Students use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks


Content Standard 4

v  Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures

Achievement Standard

v  Students know and compare the characteristics of artworks in various eras and cultures


v  Students describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts



v  Students analyze, describe, and demonstrate how factors of time and place (such as climate, resources, ideas, and technology) influence visual characteristics that give meaning and value to a work of art




Content Standard 5

v  Reflecting upon and assessing  the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others

Achievement Standard

v  Students compare multiple purposes for creating works of art


v  Students analyze contemporary and historic meanings in specific artworks through cultural and aesthetic inquiry


v  Students describe and compare a variety of individual responses to their own artworks and to artworks from various eras and cultures



Content Standard 6

v  Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines

Achievement Standard

v  Students compare the characteristics of works in two or more art forms that share similar subject matter, historical periods, or cultural context


v  Students describe ways in which the principles and subject matter of other disciplines taught in the school are interrelated with the visual arts







The following is an excerpt from the Los Angeles Times:


 “And now back to my favorite subject: the curative power of art. A few months ago I cited the study of a few hundred people ages 65 and older---that found that art “boosted the immune system and decreased loneliness.” Another study suggested that looking at art improves the observational abilities of medical students, therefore preparing them to be better doctors. Yale, Stanford and Cornell, among other schools, have added art appreciation classes to their medical curriculum. And, now the latest as reported by the New York Times. It seems that continuous exposure to art helped children become better students. Hundreds of New York City third graders, who participated in a Guggenheim Museum program called “Learning Through Art”, scored better in six categories of literacy, and critical thinking tests than those who didn’t participate in the program. I’ve spent a lifetime helping people appreciate art and I’ve watched people being transformed by their encounters with art. I wouldn’t claim that art can make us better human beings, but it can definitely make us smarter. An anxious parent asked me once, “What would be the appropriate age to introduce his kids to a museum?” “How old are your children?” I inquired. “They are five and nine years old,” he said. You know what my response was? “You are five and nine years late.”





 Visual Thinking Strategies


Observing More—and More Deeply


Developing Interpretations Backed by Evidence


Speculating Among Interpretations


Articulating Ideas Aloud and in Writing


Considering the Ideas of Others


Participating Willingly and Openly


Connecting to Art Personally


Growing as a Viewer of Art and Other Images


Developing Self-Respect and Confidence