IB Course Description:  Grades 7-8

I.  Course Outline

IB Visual Art will delve into art as a form of creativity achieved through appreciation of art and artists; personal research; attention to craftsmanship; and reflection and evaluation as outlined in the Mesa Public Schools Arizona Academic Content Standards for Visual Arts grades 7-8.

Throughout this course, IB students will be asked to reflect on their progress along the Learner Profile continuum, which includes becoming motivated and principled learners. Students will expand their global outlook through research, problem-solving, and communication.

Key Concepts for this course will include aesthetics, identity, change, and communication.  Related Concepts will include, but are not limited to, audience, composition, expression, style, representation.

II.  IB Aims and Objectives

The aims of MYP Visual Arts are to encourage and enable students to:  

  • create and present art.
  • engage in a process of creative exploration and (self-)discovery.
  • understand the relationship between art and its contexts.
  • respond to and reflect on art

The objectives of MYP Visual Arts are for students to demonstrate:  

  • Knowing and Understanding
  • Developing Skills
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Responding

Outside of these, ATL (Approaches to Learning) are always present and helps students “learn to learn” with tools to enable them to become life-long, independent learners.  ATL skills include thinking, social, communication, and research skills.

III. Topics

Major topics for this course include global art appreciation which allows students to connect and respond to historical and contemporary eras, art critique and reflection, and art creation, which includes project planning, working through the creation process, and presenting their work.

IV. Global Contexts

Global Contexts provide a framework on which to build each unit of study. The six Global Contexts will be integrated within the various units of study to help provide a basis for class projects.  The six Contexts are Identities and Relationships, Scientific and Technical Innovation, Fairness and Development, Orientation in Space and Time, Globalization and Sustainability, and Personal and Cultural Expression; however, specific emphasis will be placed Personal and Cultural Expression.  

V.  Internationalism

Internationalism for this content will include investigation into art from different countries and cultures. The arts enable students to establish links between subjects, cultures and different areas of experience. Students will develop the ability to express themselves and their ideas about the world they live in. Student awareness of the contribution various cultures have made to society, and how art has improved the quality of life for everyone worldwide is emphasized. The arts promote an understanding of how traditions, history and beliefs have influenced the way art is made and valued in society.      

VI. Teaching Methods

Teaching methods for this class incorporate study skills which include lecture, cooperative group experience, individual studio work, and inquiry-based research. These techniques are designed to help the student become a developing artist, one who is able to assess their skill level and target the areas that they need to further develop.  Students will have opportunities to decide their area of study and identify and discuss issues that pertain to their projects.

VII.  Assessment

Students are given an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the Criteria A-B-C-D skills using a variety of assessments such as tests/quizzes, projects, presentations.  Performance-based assessments take up most of the class and the specific objectives for each project are introduced at the beginning of the project. Students’ work will be assessed against defined criteria and not against the work of other students. Feedback will take place as students are making decisions during their work process, as well as at the project’s final completion. As students develop their own strategies for learning and problem solving, some assessment tasks may focus less on the actual result or product and more on the thought processes leading to the desired outcome.  This way, students are given an opportunity to self-reflect and refine their product prior to teacher evaluation.