Category: mixed media

7th Grade – Fashion Design

7th Grade – Fashion Design

Description of the Unit – Students will create their own fashion line, featuring at least three different looks that share a unifying theme, be it color, pattern, line or particular article of clothing or accessory.

Photo of a catwalk for men's fashion
Students will attempt to create a fashion line of at least three pieces unified by a theme of some kind
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6th Grade – Nonprofit ads and reinforcing visual literacy

6th Grade – Nonprofit ads and reinforcing visual literacy

Description of the Unit – Building upon what students learned in 5th grade about product advertisement in print (https://anitasagastegui.com/2020/07/27/5th-grade-print-advertising-and-cultivating-visual-literacy/), students in 6th grade will look at ads from NGO, nonprofit and charitable organizations to examine how imagery and elements of design are used to sway people to a particular cause. It is interesting to go back and look at the 5th grade product advertisements, comparing them to the 6th grade NGO ads. Reinforcing and reviewing what they studied last year has helped to make the nonprofit ads all the more visually dynamic and sophisticated, as you can see. Students will work in groups to create a non-profit organization of their own, complete with mission statement and logo, and one advertisement aimed at convincing viewers to donate or work for their organization’s cause. To test the ads’ effectiveness, we will have a contest between the groups, with faculty, as well as students in 3rd-8th grades voting on the most eye-catching and persuasive ad.

Billboard ad that was part of a campaign by the Tobacco Education Clearinghouse of California. The ad is a parody of certain cigarette ads that romanticize the rugged, cigarette-smoking cowboy.
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5th Grade – Print Advertising (and cultivating visual literacy)

5th Grade – Print Advertising (and cultivating visual literacy)

Description of the Unit – Students will take a critical look at a variety of award-winning print ads, exploring the ways in which the ads use elements and principles of design to sell a product, and as such cultivating visual literacy by understanding mechanism of persuasion. Using what they have learned, students will work in groups to create an ad (for a real-world product but imaginary brand) that works to catch the eye and persuade the viewer to buy the product they are selling. To test the ads’ effectiveness, we have a school-wide contest to choose the most effective, persuasive and visually interesting ad.


These two ads for Samsung cameras use famous figures (Vincent Van Gogh and frida Kahlo) and a bit of humor to draw its audience and tell a story
These two ads for Samsung cameras use famous figures and a bit of humor to draw its audience and tell a story
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Kindergarten – Halloween Shadow Puppets inspired by Wayang Kulit puppets

Kindergarten – Halloween Shadow Puppets inspired by Wayang Kulit puppets

Description of the Unit – When I was about eight years old, an uncle of mine returned from working abroad in Jakarta, Indonesia, and brought back a pair of Wayang Golek rod puppets. These two-foot tall dolls both frightened and fascinated me, with their elaborately painted, expressive faces and beautifully dyed, patterned clothes. Many years later I learned that these puppets were related to another Indonesian puppetry art-form: the Wayang Kulit shadow puppets. These puppets are mostly two-dimensional and are manipulated in front of a diaphanous, backlit screen. The puppets themselves have designs and patterns cut into them making them look almost lace-like, adding to the characteristics of individual puppets.

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6th Grade – Architectural Foil Repousse inspired by artist Stephen Wiltshire

6th Grade – Architectural Foil Repousse inspired by artist Stephen Wiltshire

Description of the Unit –

Students will learn about the life and work of artist Stephen Wiltshire. Using his incredibly detailed drawings of buildings and cityscapes, students will create a mini architectural drawing that they will then transfer onto foil.

Artist Stephen Wiltshire working on one of his cityscape panoramas
Artist Stephen Wiltshire working on one of his cityscape panoramas
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5th Grade – The Eye of the Dragon!

5th Grade – The Eye of the Dragon!

Description of the Unit –

Students will use a variety of artistic techniques to create a bright, vivid and wildly textured magnified dragon eye. When you look through the students’ dragon eyes below, note how remarkably unique each one is: it speaks to the fact that by 5th grade, many students are really beginning to hone in on their personal artistic styles!

5th grade art lesson - magnified dragon eye
5th grade art lesson – magnified dragon eye
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Kindergarten – Andy Goldsworthy’s Environmental Art

Kindergarten – Andy Goldsworthy’s Environmental Art

Description of the Unit –

Students will explore Andy Goldsworthy’s ephemeral land art, then venture outside to come up with their own environmental sculptures.

Activity statement –

Andy Goldsworthy is known as an environmental or land artist. What this means is that he uses natural artifacts—branches, leaves, rocks, ice, etc.—to create his sculptures and installations. Goldsworthy’s art is also temporary. He never creates anything that won’t eventually be destroyed by waves, wind and natural processes. Goldsworthy invites the viewer to contemplate the ephemeral, transitory beauty of the natural world. His works involve the use of pattern, color and balance. Interestingly, all of the color in his work comes from the objects themselves, never from him painting any of it. So for example, if you look at the image that looks like a tree trunk ringed with glowing light or fire, he simply used fallen gold and orange leaves to give it that effect.

Four examples of Andy Goldsworthy’s environmental sculptures
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