October 1, 2011
This year I am teaching in a 5th grade class at Joshua Hills Elementary School in Palmdale School District in California. This is my first year teaching in 5th grade, so I am learning a new curriculum. I have been looking at the standards in English language arts since the school year began. I have taught 4th grade for the past few years and compared to the 4th grade standards, 5th grade standards in language arts require more analysis. The content in 5th grade is much more rigorous. As I was looking at the visual performing arts standards I noticed that they are also very rigorous. The overall umbrella of the different content areas for these standards state that students must learn in the area of artistic perception, creative expression and historical and cultural context, aesthetic valuing and the last area connections, relationships, applications.
In the area of artistic perception students are asked to develop and use their perceptual skills to analyze art using the vocabulary and elements of art. They are asked to compare and contrast two pieces of art. This could easily be incorporated into language arts in the area of writing. Students could easily be taught to look at the elements of art over a period of time culminating into a written analysis of two pieces. Comparing and contrasting is a skill that is required in 5th grade, and is a higher level thinking skill. Doing this activity in the classroom aligns with both sets of standards in this grade level and would be a wonderful way to get kids looking at and writing about art.
The creative expression area is the area that students rarely get, but most of them really enjoy. I enjoy teaching this area because students get to actually create a piece of art. In the past few years I have noticed that my students have been very artistic. They love to draw and use colored pencils and markers. I had a student who brought me a drawing and in the drawing I noticed that she mixed two different colors in her drawing. It struck me because mixing colors isn’t something I would have thought to do as a child. The students in my class are very creative and seem to pursue art on their own even if we don’t teach it. In an urban area where students come in with a variety of problems I think incorporating arts into the curriculum would be a wonderful outlet to express their selves. Communication and expression through an original piece of art would be a wonderful way to do this. I am not sure how I could work this into the other curricular areas but look forward to researching a way to do this.
In the area of music and dance the standards are organized in the