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Visual Arts

Visual Arts

Visual art classes are part of each student’s course load for each year of middle school. It is a mandatory, non-tracked class. 

The art course at the middle school is focused on inquiry and exploration as students have the opportunity to practice drawing, painting, ceramics, and sculpture amongst other forms of art and craft. Students gain self-confidence through the development of fundamental artistic skills and reflection on their progress in personal sketchbooks as well as digital art portfolios. 

The art classes are a chance for students to explore their identities and their relation to the world around them. Through art creation and performance, students think about and express their likes, dislikes, preferences, beliefs, and even purposes in life. Students create art for themselves and their community, learning to collaborate and work independently. We believe that students, even at a young age, have had enough life experiences to have something important to communicate through their art. Emphasis is put on looking at the art around our globe and building tolerance and understanding for others. 

Art students at French International develop abilities in risk-taking by expressing themselves through their art. Students learn what it means to be open-minded by thinking about art from various cultures and periods and reflecting on why people make art. Students become inquirers and critical thinkers by analyzing and coming up with their reasons for defining what makes good art. Students learn how to give caring and productive feedback during reflection sessions. 

Aims and objectives 


  • Discover artistic abilities, talents and enjoy the process of artistic creation 
  • Experience curiosity, interest, and personal satisfaction in the creative process 
  • Explore the process of artistic creation from brainstorming multiple options and conjuring different perspectives
  • Develop fundamental artistic skills required in the visual arts 
  • Understand and be able to use the language and principles of artistic design 
  • Acquire the critical thinking skills required to appreciate and evaluate their art and the work of peers 
  • Create artistic work students are proud of and want to share with others 
  • Become increasingly aware of the role of the visual arts in culture and the significance of art in daily life 

They will learn how to:


  • Demonstrate the ability to plan, make artistic decisions, and complete creative solutions to visual problems 
  • Understand the language of artistic feedback and demonstrate the ability to reflect and evaluate their 
  • artwork. Use group discussion and the feedback of others to deepen artistic self-awareness and set goals for future growth 
  • Contribute to a positive working environment by respecting the creative process, their artwork, and the work of others.

Methodology: Students are introduced to new concepts through the presentation of an artistic problem or exploration. A short lecture/class discussion highlights new language, skills, and project requirements. Students demonstrate artistic understanding as they plan, create and evaluate visual arts projects, reflect on the process in digital portfolios and increasingly participate in self and peer feedback of completed work. Answer reflection questions to solidify knowledge of art terminology, art history, and media techniques. 


At the French International School of Oregon, teachers commit to a variety of summative assessment tasks tied to learning objectives, skills, and criteria. Before an assessment or along with it, teachers will hand out clearly described tasks and criteria for assessment. All units of work include formative assessments leading to the summative piece.

Sequence of units 

6th Grade: Sketchbook Foundations, Focus on diversity of purpose and imagination-based drawing, Chimera Project, Research, brainstorming, and planning

7th Grade: Sketchbook Foundations Review, Focus on brainstorming and practicing, Visual Pun Ceramic Sculpture, Cartooning 101, Understanding proportion, expression, and gesture for communication

8th Grade: Sketchbook Foundations, Review-focus on visual notetaking, Bookcreator and Canva, Identity Masks, 8th-grade Legacy Project, Public Art Proposal varies by year


More Middle School Teaching and Learning