Enlargement and Exploration Drawings

This unit was taught within the IB MYP curriculum: 8th grade students ​selected a photographic reference image to enlarge using a gridding technique. Students learned realistic drawing techniques and practiced adding accurate proportions to their grid drawings. Next, students experimented with a variety of materials and mediums in order to select a chosen material to add realistic shading, value, and color. Students completed both formative and summative assessments throughout the unit.

Reality and Fantasy 

Surrealist Collages

This unit was taught within the IB MYP curriculum: 6th grade students studied the works and lives of surrealist artists, including Salvador Dali, MC Escher, and contemporary artists Krista Franklin and Nathaniel Mary Quinn. They sketched a plan for a landscape that combined elements of reality and fantasy together and created a collage or drawing that incorporated layering, juxtaposition, and scale shift. 

Op Art and Perspective


This unit was taught within the IB MYP curriculum: Students practiced a variety of one-point perspective and op art techniques in their process journals and then created a sketch that incorporated at least one of the practice techniques (formative assessments). They studied the lives of contemporary and historic op art artists and also learned about kinetic art. Then students created a unique drawing using materials of their choice.

Social Justice Zines

Summer camp students created zine layouts that combined skills in illustration, collage, and book binding. Zines focused on a social justice issue that was important to them. Students created list poetry on words such as "oppression" and "worry" for idea generation. 

Social Justice Silhouettes

7th and 8th grade students looked at the work of Kara Walker to learn about social justice advocacy ​in the realm of art. They learned about positive/negative space, silhouettes, composition, body language and gesture. Students acted out gestures that related to a social justice issue and used a photographic reference to create a silhouette. Class conversation focused on whether or not silhouettes, where critical visual information is mostly anonymous, become stereotypes for greater societal issues. 

Layers of Me

"Selfie" Portraits

Middle school students used a photographic reference to trace the contour line for a self-portrait. Students practiced shading, layering, and hand-lettering techniques to incorporate aspects of their  identities into their portraits. Connections to social media and online identities spurred class discussion as they used art making to share meaningful information about themselves.

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