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MISSION: To lead an educational partnership with the Community, maintaining an environment that challenges all students to reach their potential as lifelong learners and responsible members of society.

Art

Bethel Park School District Art Curriculum

Mission:

Art Education goals should be consistent with the goals of education in general. The Art Department supports all opportunities to provide an atmosphere in which all students are encouraged to develop an aesthetic and discerning awareness of the quality and beauty of a global culture, past and present.

Through exposure to sequential areas and experiences, the Bethel Park Art Department Mission is to develop in the learner an experiential and factual knowledge base to enable all students to better understand their personal worthiness as human beings, and to find the right medium through which they may draw upon their creative capacities so they may contribute in some manner to the betterment of society.

Description:

The elementary and secondary art programs provide students with engaging opportunities to develop and refine their knowledge, analysis and creativity of artistic expression in accordance with the Pennsylvania Standards for the Arts.  Instruction is balanced between building a solid foundation of the arts while promoting positive social interactions, leadership skills, problem solving strategies, and awareness of historical and contemporary cultures.  Students at the elementary and middle school levels are exposed to a variety of art principles, tools and techniques, while a wide range of electives are available for high school students who are in pursuit of personal enrichment or careers as artists.
 
Christen Palombo
K-12 Art Curriculum Facilitator
412-854-8571

Elementary Art:

Art education provides creative expression for each child in a variety of media.  Children gain insight into, and identify with, creative and artistic expression.  The children develop skills in a sequentially designed program in grades 1 through 4, and participate in art class at least one time per week under the instruction of a certified Art Specialist.  Student artwork is displayed throughout the year in many different locations within the school and community.

Objectives of elementary art include line and drawing, shape, color, texture, space and architecture, three-dimensional form, fiber arts and crafts, art appreciation, and art history.  The concepts are taught each year, but reinforced at developmental stages appropriate to each grade level.  Art instructors also work collaboratively with regular education teachers to provide an interdisciplinary approach to learning.

Middle School Art:

The middle school art program is an academic curriculum that emphasizes the acquisition of basic art principles and creative thinking skills.  It strives to demonstrate the interconnections of art skills and those used in other subjects and in daily life. Students learn that there are often multiple solutions to a problem and that they need to be able to think beyond one solution. Students learn how to use artistic tools and techniques to produce a more realistic visual result in their artwork.  Vocabulary, visual thinking, logic and problem solving are stressed. Art history and appreciation are integrated into the courses as they relate to the principles being studies.  Applying all of these elements to their art projects and the way students view life takes learning to the next level. Art instruction is completed in a 9-week period as part of the Unified Arts.

Art 5:
The fifth grade art program is based upon the premise that all artwork uses some combination of the Elements of Art organized by application of the Principles of Design.  Those elements and principles are inherent in all of the categories of art making in which the student will be involved.  These categories include drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture/construction, ceramics and multi-cultural arts and crafts.  Yearly themes, historical events and other content areas are often integrated into the art program to provide continuity of purpose. 

Art 6:
The sixth grade art program is designed to start building an academically based knowledge of art principles, skills and thinking, along with promoting creativity, cultural and self awareness.  Students explore drawing, painting, crafts, and color through discussion, exploration, and projects.  Art history and appreciation are integrated into the instruction.  Responsibility for completing required assignments, sharing materials and cleaning up is expected in an effort to develop a sense of personal and social accountability.  The sixth grade curriculum will continue to build on skills introduced in fifth grade including lettering, composition, color theory, crafts, drawing, design and painting.  

Art 7:
The seventh grade art program raises students’ awareness of the visual arts by utilizing a wide range of subject matter, symbols, meaningful images, and visual expressions to reflect their ideas, feelings, and emotions.  Students are evaluated on their participation in the process of creating art in class. During this process students will develop skills in sketching/drawing, visualizing, evaluating, modeling, interpreting, and making connections with their personal experiences.  Students learn to work with a wide variety of tools, techniques and processes.  They learn to coordinate their hands and minds in exploration of the visual world.  Throughout the art process, students will begin to understand the meaning of the impact of the visual world in which they live.

Art 8:
The eighth grade art curriculum emphasizes the study of art history and criticism, design, and 3-dimensional design.  Based on the middle school philosophy, all projects connect with the academics and activities of the school.  Projects are the concrete outcomes of problem solving and divergent thinking.  These thinking techniques are applied to technology and life situations.  The history of art and architecture exposes the students to the solutions others have made in the past and to appreciate their world aesthetically. 

High School Art:

Bethel Park School District requires a minimum of two (2) credits in the Fine/Practical Arts for graduation.  Courses offered within the Art Department meet these graduation requirements.  Elective art also contains a collection of offerings for those desiring personal enrichment and pursuing careers as artists.  These courses provide experiences in developing perceptions, leadership skills, appreciation for the work of others, awareness of historical cultures and contemporary visual culture, and developing artistic skills.  Students who wish to specialize in art are encouraged to enroll in as many art courses offered before graduation and to compile their work into a portfolio as evidence of their growth and establishing eligibility for admission to college or an art-related occupation. 

Course Offerings:

Art I
Grade 9-12
Level 1-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: None

This survey course covers a variety of art applications using the fundamentals of design as catalysts for creative expression.  Experiences in painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics and mixed media will be provided.  Trying new ideas, developing skills in creative thinking and appreciating art historically and culturally are emphasized.

Art II
Grade 10-12
Level 1-3
Full Year Course – 1 Credit
Prerequisite: Art I

In this second level survey course, students will complete in-depth studies focused on developing sophisticated skills in drawing, painting, printmaking, and 3-D work.  Creative applications of media and developing a personal style of self-expression are emphasized.  Portfolio and sketchbook development are required.

Ceramics I
Grade 9-12
Level 1-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite: None

This semester course covers all methods of ceramic construction from basic hand-building through the potter’s wheel.  Both functional pottery and sculptural form will be included.  Some emphasis will be placed on glazing and decorating techniques.  Historical and cultural references will be incorporated into the lessons.  Students will need to exercise problem-solving skills and a respect for the unique differences in other students’ ideas.

Ceramics II
Grade 9-12
Level 1-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite: Ceramics I

This course continues to emphasize the development of wheel throwing and hand building techniques.  Importance will also be placed on the creative application of techniques.  More time is devoted to the use of the principles of design when creating ceramic projects.  Students will learn about the Japanese culture, create a Raku clay project, make their own glaze and participate in the Raku firing process.  The Raku firing unit will teach the students the relationship between Chemistry and Ceramics.  Developing a personal style will be cultivated.  Portfolio pieces will be created for those students planning to major in the arts in college and can be used to fulfill the senior project requirement.

Computer Art I
Grade 9-12
Level 1-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite:  None

This is a beginning course in creating artworks using the Macintosh computer as the artist’s tool.  The students will be instructed on how to make works of art utilizing the tools available with Illustrator, Photoshop and other design programs.  The elements and principles of design will be emphasized.

Computer Art II
Grade 9-12
Level 1-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite: Computer Art I

Students must have successfully completed Computer Art I for enrollment into this course. Students will continue to advance the skills learned in Computer Art I, while more emphasis will be placed on the use of a variety of software techniques and tools.  The focus of this course is not web design or advertising, but drawing and designing with the computer program’s tools. This course can be used to fulfill the senior project requirement.

Painting I
Grade 10-12
Level 1-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite:  Art I or permission from instructor

Painting I students will paint in a variety of water based media and learn to apply color theory in a series of compositions focused on landscape, portraits, and figurative studies of plants and animals.

Painting II
Grade 10-12
Level 1-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite:  Painting I

Painting II students will work on more sophisticated applications of paint media and surfaces.  Attention to scale, proportion and detail is addressed.  Further study and application of color theory and the development of a “painterly language” is emphasized.  Students work on in-depth thematic studies within a selected topic.  Development of a personal style of expression is encouraged.  This course can be used to fulfill the senior project requirement.

Sculpture
Grade 9-12
Level 1-3
Semester Course – ½ Credit
Prerequisite:  None

Creating 3-Dimensional works of art is the main focus of this course.  The students will learn to use a variety of sculpture materials such as plaster, clay, wire, mixed media and more.  The art of sculptors’ past and present will be discussed. This course will provide excellent portfolio pieces for college applications and can be used to fulfill the senior project requirement.