Students in grades five and six understand the concept of differing points of view. They are able to reflect on their actions, thoughts, and feelings and compare the point of view of another with their own. They have feelings about their ideas and ideas about their feelings. Students are asked to use their increased command of the tools and materials and their developing understanding of the processes to make representations from memory or imagination that visually reinforce the viewers' position. Students are able to understand images or objects as metaphors for particular feelings and ideas. They can represent non-concrete ideas and feelings by the way they arrange objects in a painting or drawing.

Perspective and proportion are introduced. Students in grades five and six use these tools for creating convincing images. They are interested in capturing the details that are important to them and try to show how these details relate to the whole composition. Their ability to create space and depth to represent three dimensional objects in two dimensional works becomes a greater focus.

In grades five and six students easily find fault with their drawing skills. These artists are becoming more aware that their art works will elicit responses from others. Their desire to enhance the realistic quality of their drawings needs to be supported with new understanding of the qualities of space and depth. Working with 3D materials such as clay or wire helps them gain a new understanding of space. This can help them gain the confidence necessary to translate new ideas about space into their two-dimensional work. Students are motivated to gain genuine understanding of the art processes and considerable command of the tools and materials as they seek to create representations that incorporate what they see, what they know, what they understand, and how they feel in a clear, powerful way.

-- excerpt from Brookline Visual Arts Learning Expectations

Past Assignments:

Single Point Perspective:


Sixth graders are learning ways of representing three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface by using the technique of single-point linear perspective. This technique was originally developed by artists like Leonardo da Vinci during the Italian Renaissance (around 1500 CE), and involves establishing a horizon line and vanishing point. Orthogonal lines (lines connecting to the vanishing point) are drawn between the front faces of the buildings and the vanishing point to represent the sides of the structures.
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This is an example of how Leonardo Da Vinci used single-point perspective in his painting "The Last Supper".




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A picture of the Linear Perspective display in the art studio.


After the students master the basic idea using the format of a cityscape they start to add details like windows, doors, lamp posts, and chimneys. They also begin stacking forms, overlapping buildings, and making irregular shapes appear to be in single point perspective. They were asked to draw a city based on a "What if" or "I wish" sentence- for example, "What if the city was underground", or "I wish the city was made of chocolate". Here are some examples of the in-progress drawings:



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The next step will be shading (adding highlights and shadows) using colored pencils.