Fifth Grade is a pivotal year in the Art Studio. The artists are constantly learning new techniques, but they already have most of the skills they need to be successful in what they envision making. Now is the time we solidify how artists work. This includes a discussion around the artistic process and how to create a work of art that takes time, this includes research, dedication, risk taking, and learning from failure. Fifth Graders are expected to take on more responsibility in the idea generation portion of their projects and are practicing the Studio Habits of Mind.
In VTS discussions, teachers support student growth by facilitating discussions of carefully selected works of visual art by asking three open-ended questions.
- What’s going on in this picture?
- What do you see that makes you say that?
- What more can we find?
I then paraphrase comments neutrally, point at the area being discussed, and then link and frame student comments. Students are asked to:
- Look carefully at works of art
- Talk about what they observe
- Listen to and consider the views of others
- Discuss many possible interpretations
This nurtures children’s abilities to discuss what they see in an artwork and a willingness to contribute their opinions in a larger group setting and develop the skills to consider and learn from other people’s points of view.
More from the VTS website:
VTS provides a way to jumpstart a process of learning to think deeply applicable in most subjects from poetry to math, science and social studies. Art is the essential first discussion topic because it enables students to use existing visual and cognitive skills to develop confidence and experience, learning to use what they already know to figure out what they don’t; they are then prepared to explore other complex subject matter alone and with peers. Through VTS’ rigorous group ‘problem-solving’ process, students cultivate a willingness and ability to present their own ideas, while respecting and learning from the perspectives of their peers. Engaged by contributing observations and ideas, the students participate in lessons in ways they often don’t in others.