In our first year, students at Sunset received monthly art lessons from artists-in-residence from the Coos Art Museum.  During the year, students learned about:

  • Collage and shape
  • Drawing human figures and animals
  • Lights & Shadows and Peaks and Valleys

Peaks and Valleys Class

  • Composition
  • The Color Wheel, Mark Making, and Water Color Technique
  • Wet Felting and Needle Felting


  • One Point and Two Point Perspective
  • Zentangle

Zentangle--Peters' Class

In addition, students got to:

  • take a field trip to the Coos Art Museum.
  • interact with the Traveling Lantern Theatre and Greek Mythology.
  • watch Peter and the Wolf Ballet.
  • build Cigar Box Guitars and perform with Justin Johnson in concert.

5th Grade CBG practice with Justin Johnson

Looking at the Data:

After each art lesson, students answered a series of reflection questions about their artwork.  These questions were kept in an art journal.  At the end of the year, a random selection of reflection journals (28 per grade level) were read to see what students learned.  We looked for the following:

  • Can students write about their artwork in a meaningful way?
  • Did students understand the topic?
  • Can students critically evaluate their artwork?

Reflection journals were scored on a proficiency scale of 1 – 3.  Earning a 3 meant that the student was able to discuss his/her art in an honest and critical way that showed understanding.

What the Data Told Us:

  • There is a huge difference between 4th/5th graders and 6th/7th graders.
  • Even though students had a great experience, they need to be taught skills that will help them reflect upon their art.
  • Classroom teachers need to understand the expectations regarding their role during and after art lessons.
  • Offering professional development will help teachers integrate art into core subjects, which will help strengthen student’s newly learned skills.
  • Classroom teachers need to be taught how to facilitate class discussions regarding art.
  • Students need to take an active role in their learning of new vocabulary and skills.

Graphs showing proficiency scores for each topic at each grade level will be attached here.4 Critical 4 Meaningful 4 Understanding 5 Critical 5 Understanding 5-Meaningful 6 critical 6 Meaningful 6 Understanding 7 Critical 7 Meaningful 7 Understanding

Written by Rebecca Peters and Kathy Sizemore