Even with standards and a plan, it’s hard to know exactly where a student should be at in their development at a certain age, and in turn, where to guide them to next, not to mention the wrench that the last couple of years have thrown into both our expectations and realities in the classroom. However, from my observations, many students still tend to follow the same general path as their art skills develop.
In Part I of the Student Milestones in Art series, we covered developmental stages and expectations for kindergarten through second-grade students. This second installment is geared towards third, fourth and fifth graders.
THIRD GRADE (Ages 8-9)
Third-graders are capable creatures. This is the magical age of art-making. These kids are skilled, love to learn and are still young enough to enjoy books for transitions in art. Picking projects for this age group is fun, since they can adapt to lessons for either younger grades or older grades. Start the year off with easier projects and build the difficulty level as the year progresses.
– Uses foreground, middle ground and background to create the illusion of space.
– Begins to understand basic color theory, using both warm and cool colors and tints and shades.
– Draws based on observation of objects or scenes in daily life.
FOURTH GRADE (Ages 9-10)
Children in fourth grade are beginning to gauge their art compared with their peers. While you can’t cater to every child, keep lessons varied and interesting all year long. Kids this age are eager to learn to draw anything… keep them interested by teaching lots of new techniques.
– Can weave, create coil pots and build papier mâché forms.
– Loves to draw realistic things like animals and buildings.
– Uses shading to transform a two-dimensional object into a three-dimensional form.
FIFTH GRADE (Ages 10-11)
By the time children reach fifth grade they are able to focus quite well on a variety of art subjects. They are very much aware of who is “good” at art and perhaps might downplay their own abilities. The trick with this group is to keep challenging them with cool techniques (they LOVE perspective) but it must be taught effectively so everyone is successful.
– Uses one-point perspective to create the illusion of space.
– Can handle a variety of ceramic technique.
– Creates drawing from observation using contour lines.
Join us in the final installment of our series where we share milestones for middle school students. And if you haven’t already, read the first post in the series Student Milestones in Art | Kindergarten, First and Second Grade.
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