Exploring Masks


In our current unit the essential questions the grade 4 are exploring are:

What is the process that artists go through to create art?

How do artists use the elements of art to create meaning?

When considering the first question the students made agreements about what they thought a creative process would be. One that they thought they could all use, even if they each followed the process in a different order.

Screenshot 2013-10-17 13.50.20

The second question has been harder to answer and the students have been looking at a variety of masks from around the world in order to investigate how the artist who made the masks used the elements of art to make it clear what the purpose of the mask is.



The challenge now is to see if they can use the creative process to make their own mask which will use the elements meaningfully to demonstrate a clear purpose.



In the first week of school it is always good to take time to get to know each other. I have a lot of old friends in my class and a lot of new ones too! We started by making collages to go on the cover of our sketch books. The students used layers, colours, textures, images and text to create collages that thought carefully about aesthetics and composition but also held some meaning about the personality of the artists. We learned a lot about each other already!

Mask Making Research

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Can you guess who these people are? Do the masks hide or show their identity?

Grade 4 artists are investigating masks from around the world. Please encourage your grade 4 kids to open up the google doc they have been working on at home and share with you the information they have found out about a particualr style of mask or a mask from a particular culture. The research is shared accross grade three so they can learn a lot from each others research.

Metal Work

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Repoussé is a metalwork technique in which a malleable metal is decorated or shaped by hammering  from the reverse side. Chasing is the opposite technique to repoussé, and the two are used in conjunction to create a finished piece. It is also known as embossing.

While repoussé is used to work on the reverse of the metal to form a raised design on the front, chasing is used to refine the design on the front of the work by sinking the metal. The term chasing is derived from the noun “chase”, which refers to a groove, furrow, channel or indentation. The adjectival form is “chased work”.

Having had a chance to experiment with this new material the grade 4 students reworked their printing designs to suit this new technique. Using the same essential questions “How do artists generate ideas and work on their ideas to create original pieces of artwork?” and ” How do artist use the elements of art?” they treid to make thier work original an use as many different elements as they could.

The Elements of Art are: Shape, Line, Colour, Texture, Space and Form.


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From their design work the grade 4 students used three different printing techniques to create their Super Print  They used layers by creating background prints and using overlapped prints on the foreground to add depth to their work. They had to be sure to work in a very organised and controlled way to keep their work space clean with help from their print buddy. This helped to keep the printing clean and the prints crisp and bold

Spotlight on Specials

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It was great to see so many parents during the week of Spotlight on Specials. The children really love being able to share their learning with you. Thanks for getting involved with the lesson. If you didn’t get a chance to come during this week you are always welcome to come to class and see what we are up to in art. See you soon !

Art with Kids from Child Hope

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Child Hope is an organisation who work to educate and support children who live on the streets in Manila. The children they support come from two main areas of Manila; Divasoria and San Miguel. Child Hope volunteers take time to educate the children about what their rights are as children, how to protect themselves and where they can find help if they need it. About 4 times a year the children come to school to experience a fun day out. They go to the ES gym and play ball, they watch movies, they play games, they play on the playground and they do art. The children really enjoy the art activities as they do not have access to paper and pencils everyday like we do. They love to draw pictures, write letters to each other and make paper airplanes! I know we often talk about how lucky we are to have such amazing resources as we have at ISM but when I see these kids each year making joy out of simple things like paper, paint and pencils it really brings home to me how privileged be are.

ES Art Creations Exhibition 2013

Thank you to everyone for coming to the ES Art Exhibtion this week. The children were so excited to have been able to share their learning with you. I really love to see the children in the exhibition talking about the work they have done during the year and also enjoying the work of other artists in the elementary school. The opening on Monday was a buzz of excitement with teachers, parents and students all sharing in the experience. Student Council were there as tour guides to the work of each grade level and did an excellent job of explaining the work and the process they went through to create it.

Thanks for your feedback on the exhibition, which is always much appreciated. One point that came up was that children felt disapointed if their work was not shown. It is so hard to include some work by every single child, simply due to the lack of space. We always endevour to make the exhibition a showcase of the curricullum and the varied talents of the students. It is by no means, and is never intended to be, a talent show and so we try to incude work done by as much of a variety of students as possible.

Sadly, the exhibition will come down on Monday, but feedback can still be sent via email or blog posts or via the Star Wall, which will be outside the ES office.



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Super Print

Grade 4 have been asking the questions Are my ideas Unique? and also How can I build on Ideas to make my work more interesting? As students head into middle school they have to be able to move from coming up with one idea to being able to generate and explore a variety of ideas. Work on, build, adapt and combine a range of images or concepts into one art work. During this unit the students spent a lot of time exploring ideas and reworking them. They are becoming very independent at seeking out and giving feedback to help them to think of things from a different perspective.

Students will use a variety of printing techniques to create their final pieces of work.

Have a look at one students refection on the process:

Nika’ Reflection