• Currently, the seventh grade art curriculum has five units.
    Unit one is the name-tag project. It is used at the beginning of the year to help me learn my student's names. Students are asked to create a unique font for their name and to add at least 3 patterns to their design and color them with contrasting colors. One pair of colors must be complementary (the colors opposite on another on the color wheel). Learning how to create simple patterns and what it means to contrast will help students in the future with their other projects. 
    Woodstock   TessellationBoard   Yoda
    Unit two is the translation tessellation. Students learn about M.C. Escher and how to create a unique repeating tessellation. In creating the tessellation they are forced to subtract space from the top and left sides and add that space to the bottom and right side. The space taken away becomes negative and the space added becomes positive. The concept of positive and negative space learned during this lesson will be used again in the scratch-board, clay, and linoleum printmaking lessons. Students also learn that art can be additive and subtractive. Art in which media is added is additive, art in which space or materials are removed is subtractive. Students draw a unique design onto their tessellation and graphite transfer it anywhere from 3-10 times depending on the paper size. Then it is outlined in sharpie. A this point, students use watercolor paints to add value. They are told to create a pattern between tessellations and to use contrasting colors to make their work stand out. These two elements are repeats from the name-tag project.
    Scratchboard_Board   Bug   Working Students
     Unit three is the scratch-board project. It introduces the idea of subtractive art making to my students. The concept of removing the surface of the scratch-board and having to work backwards is a tough concept for some students to understand. The scratch-board forces them to start with a black surface rather than a white one and the areas in their work that they are removing are reversed. (Ie. if they are doing eyes, they must use the tools to remove the white of the eye rather than the black part which they would ordinarily draw.) Realistic drawing is encouraged, and students often use iPads and reference photos to find images or ideas for their images. They are asked to create a project with three values. The more they scratch, the lighter the value, the less they scratch, the darker the value. They repeat the transfer skills used in the previous project and learn how to create subtractive art. They also learn that the black space remaining in their final product is the positive space and the white areas they carve away are the negative space due to the fact that they took away the black layer on the top of the scratch-board.
    cupcake   seal   Clay board   cake
    Unit four is the clay container. This clay project teaches students how to use clay hand building techniques to create a slab container. Students question whether clay is a additive or subtractive art form. Due to it's ability to be both, they are asked to create negative space by removing clay and positive space by adding clay as well as a pattern or texture. They learn how to slip and score as well as the firing and glazing process of their clay projects.
    c   kingkong   board   f   b
     Unit five, is the linoleum printmaking project. Like the scratch-board and clay projects, it is also a subtractive project and perhaps the most challenging. Students use what they have learned about positive and negative space and value to create a unique design. They can create an image in their sketch if it is something simple with thick lines. They are told that their design will turn into a linoleum block stamp and that they must decide what areas of the stamp will leave the print. These areas must be shaded with a dark pencil. Any white areas of their sketch will be carved away. The carved areas become negative space and the raised areas that leave the stamp become the positive space. They graphite transfer their designs to the linoleum blocks and shade in any areas that will be left behind with a sharpie. The students use gouge tools and bench hooks to carefully carve away all remaining areas.  Once students are done carving, the room is set up to facilitate printing. Students have an inking station where they choose black or colored ink for their block, a station where they press the blocks to paper, and a station in which they sign and hang up their work. They are taught the proper printing procedures and techniques and become responsible for setting up and cleaning up all materials.