Welcome to the month of October! There is a lot to look forward to this month and for the rest of Fall. As most students know, we have a classroom management procedure in the art room called “Mona Lisa Quiet” and this has made many students interested in learning more about the subject of the painting, the artist, and the reason why this is such a famous work of art. First through third graders will begin a Leonardo da Vinci unit this month and learn more about the Mona Lisa as well as da Vinci’s contribution to the arts and sciences. 

UPK students have been working on a Sunflower Paper Plate project inspired by the artwork of Vincent van Gogh and his famous sunflower paintings. After this project is completed, they will start learning about warm colors and create fall themed projects. 

Kindergarten has learned about the artist Yayoi Kusama and her polka-dot pumpkins and complimentary colors. After this project is completed, they will start learning about warm colors and create fall and Halloween themed projects.

1st, 2nd, and 3rd Grade will be learning about Renaissance artist, Leonardo da Vinci, and his famous artwork and inventions. Students will be introduced to his artwork through the Mona Lisa and will then learn more about his various inventions as well as his interest in flying. Students will be designing and creating their own flying machines out of paper pyramids and custom designed wings. 

4th Grade will be learning about positive and negative space, the minimalism art movement, and about Minimalist artist Jiro Yoshihara and contemporary artist Noma Bar. Each student will create their own positive and negative space artwork. The subject matter will be their choice, however, they were encouraged to have a Fall or Halloween theme. 

5th and 6th Grade have finished their personalized name project and will continue learning about words in artwork through the work of Pop Art artist Robert Indiana. Students will be introduced to Indiana’s work through a video with an interview with the artist explaining his famous Love sculptures and the goal he had while creating them. Students will choose a four letter word that has a positive and uplifting message and will begin with pencil and a ruler to work on making letters similar in size. Once the letters are done in pencil, they will then learn how to paint flat color with the color palette of their choice.

7th and 8th Grade are continuing to learn about The Elements and Principles of Art. The Elements of Art and Poster Design project is almost complete and students have been assigned a principle for their next project. The Principles of Art project is focused on typography art and students will be challenged to make their word into a design similar to the style of contemporary artists Dan Fleming and Daniel Carlmatz. 

Art Overview:

The Art curriculum at Catholic Academy helps to develop personal expression, an application of diverse art styles and art history, plus an understanding of art in our lives and as a career. All grades use a variety of media and visuals. Technology, through individual internet assignments and classroom use of the internet, enables a more thorough experience. Art this year will have an overall theme of self-expression and focus on various themes in art while learning about elements and principles of design.

Grades K-8 will all have sketchbooks that they will use as not only a sketchbook but a journal as well. Students will use these sketchbooks in class and at home for art prompts and assignments. In addition to the sketchbooks, there will be a plan to have a way for students to create regular art projects as well. Google classroom will be extremely important and there will be homework, quizzes, and response questions posted on there to be completed at home and submitted by the posted due date. 

If a student is learning virtually, google slides, links, and videos will be posted and we can do zoom calls during the class time. If there are any questions on an assignment, Wednesdays during school hours would be the best time to email me with questions or to schedule a zoom conference. 

My Art Teaching Philosophy:

The arts are an essential part of the curriculum and visual art is present in everything we do. Artistic practice is beneficial in the art room as well as other subject areas and aspects of life. Art allows for creative thinking and problem solving in addition to building knowledge of art and art history. I believe that through art, students can express themselves, have a creative outlet, and find new ways of questioning, thinking, and learning. I believe that creative expression can foster healing and mental well-being. For me, it is important to integrate science, history, math, and technology as well as other subjects into lessons and projects because of art’s connection to multiple disciplines. My philosophy also includes the understanding of child development, artistic development, and the different ways in which students learn. While I want students to learn the foundations of art, above all, my goal is for students to be in a safe environment where they are encouraged to learn, explore, and hopefully have some fun along the way! 

Miss. Jennifer Smyczynski





Ms. Jennifer Smyczynski - Art