Art around the Globe

K-6th  Elementary Art Curriculum Overview- created by J. Heiser, Fall 2008- to present


Big Idea: Understanding that Art is a Humanity

In addition to Studio art activities where the fundamentals of art making are taught, Art students will continue the curriculum of  studying different artists and styles of art from around the globe. Discipline Based art education will be used meaning in each unit of study there will be lessons for all grade levels in Art History, Art Production, Art Aesthetics, and Art Criticism. Students will explore art around the globe to help them understand that art is unique to being human, and part of the human experience. As students “travel” the globe, they’ll see artwork that document our world’s history and, ultimately, this experience will help them better understand who they are.

My goal as an art educator is to get my students to think! This happens when they listen, when they look and when they are allowed to question the “whys” of art, as they are being inspired to create their own individual or collaborative pieces.

Creativity, technical skills, art vocabulary, and critical-thinking skills are all extremely important elements to creating a successful and meaningful curriculum. Sticking with one theme throughout the school year enhances these elements, and the ultimate indicator of success is that the kids “get it.” Students are able to talk about their art and, in the case of the “Art around the Globe” curriculum; they can talk about our world, the continents and the different countries they “visited” as they discover great artists and artwork of our world. I hope you enjoy the displays of student artwork influenced by the various places we “visit”.

Tentative Unit Overview for 2013-2014
I have chosen broad categories of art to explore around the globe each year,  and I will alternate some of the places year from year to give a rich and varied exposure to art in our world.  My list is constantly growing as I explore with my students various places and cultures.  Broad categories I cover each year are: Asian Arts (Japan, China, India) Latin American Arts (Mexico, Central America) American Fine an Folk Artists, European Masters and Modern Artists, Tribal Arts (Africa, Native American)

Ralston Guided Unit: Cultural Connections

Place: Ancient Egyptian Arts

Objective:  Students will understand that art is a reflection of time and place.

Theme: "Identity- What does culture look like?"

Overview: All students will specifically look at the art of the ancient Egyptians and discuss how evidence of culture can be found in art. Each grade level will explore  multiple methods of art making and art styles used in ancient Egypt and create original works of art influenced by their understanding of how art shows time and place.


Ralston Guided Unit: Elements of Art

Place: Mexico

Objective: Students will understand that all artwork are made up of one or more of the seven art elements in artwork.

Theme: "How can I use the Elements of Art?"

Overview: All students will study and discuss the artwork of various cultures and places in Mexico. Each lesson will focus on discussing how artists used line, shape, color, value, texture, space or form in the artwork. Students will use a variety of art making methods focusing on how they use the art elements in their original work of art.


Ralston Guided Unit: Art Movements

Place: EUROPE- Masters of Art and their styles

Objective: Students will understand that art comes in many forms and styles

Theme:  "Understanding Art Styles"

Overview: All students will study a particular Art Style developed by artist(s) of Europe. Students will use the same art style they explored to create an original work of art of their own influenced by the artist who is known for developing or using the style.  Students will be encouraged to let their own Personal Style show through in their work.*** Unit Connection: Students will also review and understand how each artist uses a process to create art in their individual style as well as build upon knowledge of the seven art elements***

Ralston Guided Unit: Discovering Great Artists

Place: AMERICA- American Artists

Objective: Students will understand that all artists develop particular styles and make multiple pieces of art to convey messages

Theme: "What do I want to say?"

Overview: All students will discuss one or more Famous artist of America in depth. Each lesson will focus on showing students multiple copies/examples of the particular American artist style. Students will create original works of arts influenced by the art of the American Artist studied, as always personal style and expression are encouraged.  *** Unit Connections: Students will also reflect on how art is a reflection of culture, time, place. Students will reflect upon the various styles artists create through using the seven art elements. ***

All units I have created for students are designed using Discipline Based Art Education (DBAE). Each unit will include multiple lessons within the unit in the four areas of DBAE; Art History, Art Criticism, Art Aesthetics and Art Production. The very nature of art itself allows for many areas to cross over and connect with each other. In order to fully investigate and explore each "place" we visit during the first four units, I have allowed for the other four Ralston Visual Art Education Guided Units to be included in various learning areas during each "place" we visit. 

Ralston Guided Unit:The Art Process

Each grade level will experience a variety of art media and art processes in each unit as they discover art around our world and use this knowledge to create original works of their own. 

Ralston Guided Unit: Clay Infusion

Various grade levels will create one or more clay projects through studying one of various cultures above.

Ralston Guided Unit: Technology and Art

Each grade level will create one or more projects  using technology through studying the various cultures above.

Ralston Guided Unit: Self Expression

All units I have created for students are designed so students must express themselves through various art projects. There is no copying or mimicking of others artwork, and themes are given that encourage the student to reflect on themselves, such as "What Symbol would you use for yourself" or "What is your favorite Winter Memory".  Therefore each work of art will have a personal connection to the artist, as all art making should connect to the art maker!