"Students who are exposed to a consistent, quality arts education develop skills that will enhance their ability to learn throughout their whole lives." — Paul Bakeman
By Miriam Myers , GreatSchools Staff
If the school has a rich art program, your child will have opportunities to create, appreciate and learn the history of the visual and performing arts. She will be encouraged to relate them to other subjects. Your child may go on a field trip to a concert, dance performance, play, or art museum to extend classroom learning.
Research has linked arts education to overall academic achievement and social development. Paul Bakeman, our teacher consultant and award-winning music teacher, adds: "Students who are exposed to a consistent, quality arts education develop skills that will enhance their ability to learn throughout their whole lives.
The arts may not be taught as a separate subject in some schools, but most states require that they be included in the curriculum. Most states have National Standards for Arts Education. Nancy Roucher, our educational consultant and arts specialist, notes that arts instruction, like math, should build each year on the skills learned the year before: "The ideal is to have sequential arts education taught by certified qualified specialists and integrated with other subject areas."
In fifth grade, students study the visual arts — painting, sculpture, and photography — from different cultures and time periods, learning about famous artists, styles, and cultures. Your child studies and creates art, including landscapes, portraits, sculptures, and collages. He explores various art materials such as pastels, clay, papier-mâché, and watercolors. He learns the elements and principles of art such as color, line, shape, form, texture, space, balance, and repetition.
Your fifth grader compares and interprets works of art. He is able to create works of art by selecting subject matter, elements, composition, media, and techniques to communicate an idea, mood or feeling. He works with warm and cool colors, and contrast and perspective to show depth.
Your child learns about different art movements and artists. He may study the influence of history, for example World War II's impact on modern art. He may study the work of Pablo Picasso before attempting his own cubist portrait. He may work collaboratively to create a mural about the civil rights movement. He compares and contrasts abstract and realistic art, and discusses the big question: "What is art?"
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