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Visual arts enables students to express themselves creatively as they grow in their ability to explore, imagine, and represent their understandings of the world through artworks. Foundational knowledge and understanding of the elements and principles of art supports students in developing visual arts literacy and skills. Through creative processes, students learn that individual and collaborative art making fosters meaningful artistic expression. Creating and presenting artworks allows students to express ideas, feelings, and experiences by using artistic vocabulary, skills, media, and methods. Appreciating, interpreting, and responding to works of art prepares students to understand and appreciate enduring historical, cultural, and contemporary works of art and artists.
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Grade 1
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Grade 3
Organizing Idea
Foundational Elements and Principles: Visual arts literacy is developed through knowledge and application of foundational elements and principles.
Guiding Question
How are line and shape interrelated?
Guiding Question
What is the role of line and shape in artworks?
Guiding Question
How can an understanding of colour and texture contribute to artworks?
Learning Outcome
Students connect line and shape as elements of art.
Learning Outcome
Students examine how line and shape can communicate meaning in artworks.
Learning Outcome
Students analyze colour as an element of art.

Students examine various ways in which texture can be represented in artworks.
Line can be combined with other elements of art, including shape, space, value, colour, and texture.

A variety of tools and materials can be used to create numerous combinations of lines.

A picture plane includes the sections of an artwork, including top, bottom, right, and left.

Horizontal line can be used to divide a picture plane into interesting and varied proportions of sky and ground, as seen in landscape paintings or drawings.

Enclosed lines that create shapes in artworks can be seen in
  • Henri Matisse, Icarus, c. 1947
  • Ivan Shishkin, Oak Grove, 1887
  • Prudence Heward, Rollande, 1929
Colour can be applied to line.

Lines have directions, including side to side (horizontal), up and down (vertical), and corner to corner (diagonal).

Direction of line can be seen in artworks and can include
  • sculpture:
    John Mawurndjul, Mardayin Ceremony, 2000
    – Songye, Mask (kifwebe), c. 19th century CE
    – Terracotta krater c. 750–735 BCE

  • architecture:
    Himeji Castle, also known as White Heron Castle, in Japan
    – The Guggenheim Museum, in New York, New York

Line has physical characteristics, including
  • short or long
  • thick or thin
  • straight or curved
  • dotted or dashed
  • zigzag
  • blurred or crisp
Line can be repeated to create patterns or decorations.

Physical characteristics of line can show movement, as seen in
  • Diego Rivera, The History of Medicine in Mexico, c. 1953
  • Emily Carr, A Rushing Sea of Undergrowth, 1935
  • Lance Cardinal, Love of Nations, c. 2019
  • Natalia Goncharova, The Cyclist, c. 1913
  • Utagawa Hiroshige, Naruto Whirlpool, c. 1853
Line is an element of art.

Line is created from a moving point.

When line is enclosed, it creates a shape in artworks.
Skills & Procedures
Describe the direction and physical characteristics of line in artworks.

Explore how lines can depict movement in artworks.

Use lines to divide a picture plane.

Reproduce lines using a variety of methods, materials, tools, and media.

Demonstrate an understanding of line directions.
Emphasis (principle of design) can lead the eye to a focal point in artworks.

A line can be sloping.

A line can emerge when there is contrast between other lines, shapes, or colours, as seen in
  • Jacob Lawrence, Parade, c. 1960
  • Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa, c. 1503
Direction of a line in artworks, including where and how it moves, can indicate a sense of depth or distance.

Linear perspective can create an illusion of space, depending on where lines appear.

Location of a line in an artwork can enhance or diminish its visual weight depending on where it is in the picture plane.

One-point perspective contains vertical or horizontal lines that recede to a vanishing point on the horizon, as seen in drawings of railroad tracks or roads that appear to vanish in the distance.

Lines can create various effects when combined, including three-dimensional forms.

Cross-hatching is a technique that can create shading and textured effects when parallel lines are layered at right angles to each other.
Location of a line in artworks affects how it is perceived.
Skills & Procedures
Use visual arts vocabulary to describe how the direction of a line can lead the eye or indicate a sense of depth or distance in artworks.

Create linear or one-point perspectives in artworks.

Incorporate a focal point in artworks.

Explore how lines can be used to create shading, texture, or other effects in artworks.
Colour is a visual response to wavelengths of light.

Colour can seem to change in value when light is varied.

Colour can be detected as part of the visible spectrum, as seen in rainbows and prisms.

Hue is the generic name for a colour and defines the purest state of a colour within the visible spectrum.

The visible spectrum includes the colours
  • red
  • orange
  • yellow
  • green
  • blue
  • indigo
  • violet
The use of light in artworks can be seen in
  • Elioth Gruner, Spring Frost, 1919
  • James Chapin, Ruby Green Singing, c. 1928
  • Johannes Vermeer, The Milkmaid, c. 1660
Colour is light that is reflected from an object.
Skills & Procedures
Examine how artists use colour in a variety of artworks.

Explore how light can change the way colour is perceived.
Line can be explicit or implied.

A line can be seen in artworks when two different colours or shapes meet (implied).

A line can be purposely added to an artwork (explicit).

A contour line defines the outer boundaries of or space around an object, as seen in Salvador Dali, The Persistence of Memory, 1931.

A contour line can be perceived when two contrasting colours meet in a composition, as seen in
  • Marc Chagall, I and the Village, c. 1911
  • Grant Wood, Parson Weems’ Fable, c. 1939
Line indicates an edge that is known as a contour.
Skills & Procedures
Identify contour lines in artworks.

Explore how contour lines can be applied to artworks.

Physical characteristics of line can convey emotion or character:
  • Blurred lines may convey uncertainty.
  • Jagged lines may convey anger.
  • Bouncy or curvy lines may convey joyfulness.
Artworks that emphasize physical characteristics of line can include
  • A. Y. Jackson, Winter Morning, Charlevoix County, 1933
  • Emily Carr, Self-Portrait, 1938
  • Julie Mehretu, Refuge, 2007
  • Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night, c. 1889
Direction of a line can convey a message, including the following:
  • A horizontal line may imply serenity or stability.
  • A diagonal line may imply agitation, motion, or instability.
  • A vertical line may imply poise or aspiration.
Lines can be used to represent subject matter as realistically as possible, as seen in
  • Leonardo da Vinci, Portrait of a Man in Red Chalk, 1512
  • Rembrandt van Rijn, Cottages before a Stormy Sky, c. 1641
  • Rembrandt van Rijn, Self Portrait, Wide-Eyed, 1630
  • The Qingming Scroll, c. 1100
A mural is a painting on a wall; examples can include
  • Diego Rivera, The History of Medicine in Mexico, c. 1953
  • Lance Cardinal, Love of Nations, c. 2019
Line can communicate meaning in the way that it is applied in artworks.
Skills & Procedures
Interpret what message lines can communicate in artworks.

Employ line as a way to communicate meaning in artworks.

Experiment with lines and shapes to draw a variety of subject matter from direct observation.
Many variations of colours can be created by mixing colours.

Colours can complement other colours.

The proportion of colour used when mixing a new colour can affect the resulting colour.

The use of secondary colours in artworks can be seen in
  • Helen Frankenthaler, Blue Atmosphere, c. 1963
  • Mark Rothko, Red, Orange, Tan and Purple, c. 1954
  • Paul Gauguin, Tahitian Landscape, c. 1892
Colour can be used to create emphasis, focal points, and contrast, as seen in Diego Rivera, La Piñata, n.d.
Colour is an element of art that is categorized into
  • primary colours, including red, blue, and yellow
  • secondary colours, including orange, purple, and green
Secondary colours are created by mixing two primary colours.
Skills & Procedures
Experiment with colour mixing and application of colour.

Apply colour to create focus through the use of contrast or emphasis in artworks.

Evaluate the use of primary and secondary colours in various artworks.

Describe how colour can enhance the visual effect of an artwork.

Apply various colour combinations in a composition.
Emphasis (principle of design) can be used to create a focal point in artworks.

Emphasis can make a line stand out in an artwork, as seen in
  • Jonathan Borofsky, Walking to the Sky, c. 2004
  • Paula Rego, The Dance, 1988
Line can be described as having weight, as seen in
  • Maxine Noel, Spirit of the Woodlands, n.d.
  • Pieter Bruegel, The Hunters in the Snow, c. 1565
  • Rembrandt van Rijn, A Woman and Child Descending a Staircase, c. 1625–1636
The amount of pressure applied while creating lines impacts the weight of the lines.

Weight can be applied to physical characteristics of line and can be described as
  • thick or wide
  • thin or fine
  • light or dark
Lines can create emphasis in artworks.
Skills & Procedures
Experiment with the amount of pressure needed to adjust the weight of a line when using a variety of tools and media.

Use visual arts vocabulary when describing the weight of a line.

Create artworks with a defined focal point or emphasis.

Shape is an enclosed space that stands out from its surroundings.

Shape can create space in artworks, including
  • positive—referring to the shape itself
  • negative—referring to the space surrounding the shape
The use of positive and negative space in artworks can be seen in
  • Alexander Calder, Lobster Trap and Fish Tail, c. 1939
  • André Kertész, Self-Portrait, c. 1926
  • Kenojuak Ashevak, Enchanted Owl, 1960
  • Seed Jar, Anasazi culture, c. 1150
The same shape can appear to be either stable (static) or moving (dynamic) depending on how it is arranged within artworks; examples can include
  • static:
    – David Smith, Cubi IX, c. 1961
  • dynamic:
    – Albert Gleizes, Brooklyn Bridge, 1915
    – Bridget Riley, Amnesia, c. 1964
    – Christi Belcourt, The Conversation, 2002

Architecture in various parts of the world can depict shape, as seen in
  • Basilica de la Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudi, under construction since 1882
  • Great Stupa at Sanchi, India,built in the 3rd century BCE
  • The Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya, built in the 7th and 8th century CE
Shape can be implied when it is not defined by an outline.
Skills & Procedures
Describe how shapes can appear to be stable or moving.

Illustrate positive and negative use of shape and space.

Experiment with how shape can emerge because of contrast with other shapes, lines, values, textures, and colours.
Texture can be created by layering or combining line, shape, and colour.

Tools, techniques, materials, and media can be used and combined to create texture.

Hatching and cross-hatching can create texture through the use of line.

Paint can be applied either thick or thin to create a desired textural effect.

Texture can be applied to two- and three-dimensional works of art as seen in
  • Justin Gaffrey, Seascapes Collection, c. 2018–2020
  • The Ife Head, Yoruba, c. 13th century CE
Examples of texture in various artworks can include
  • Claude Monet, Tulip Field in Holland, c. 1886
  • Justin Gaffrey, Seascapes Collection, c. 2018–2020
  • Mary Pratt, Red Currant Jelly, c. 1972
  • Vincent van Gogh, Self-Portrait, c. 1889
Texture is an element that is present in works of art.

Texture can be used to create visual interest or illusions in artworks.
Skills & Procedures
Apply texture to two- and three-dimensional works of art.

Use visual arts vocabulary to describe how texture can be used to create an effect in artworks.
Line is expressive when physical
characteristics are applied, as seen in
  • Julie Mehretu, Empirical Construction, Istanbul, 2003
  • Lee Krasner, Gothic Landscape, 1961
  • Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night, c. 1889
Line can be used explicitly to represent subject matter in a simplified, abstract, or distorted way.

Abstract representations do not attempt to represent reality.

Abstract art uses lines, shapes, and colours in numerous combinations to create an effect.

Explicit use of line in artworks can be seen in
  • Juan Gris, Harlequin with a Guitar, c. 1917
  • Lawren Harris, Pic Island, c. 1924
Line represents and communicates ideas, feelings, and thoughts.
Skills & Procedures
View various abstract and realistic artworks to discuss the use of line.

Explore how line can be applied in abstract artworks.
A two-dimensional shape can be changed into a three-dimensional shape known as a form.

A two-dimensional shape can be given a three-dimensional appearance by adding lines and shading to give the illusion of mass or volume.

Sculpture and architecture use shapes in a three-dimensional context, as seen in
  • sculpture:
    – Beau Dick, Moogums, 1985
    – Edgar Degas, Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer, c. 1880
    – Female Pwo Mask, Chokwe peoples, early 20th century
    – Flying Horse of Gansu,
    from Wuwei, China
  • architecture:
    – Baitun Nur Mosque, Naseer Ahmad, Calgary, Alberta
    – Habitat 67, Moshe Safdie,
    Montreal, Quebec
    – Montreal Biosphere, Richard Buckminster Fuller

Shape can be two-dimensional or three-dimensional.
Skills & Procedures
Differentiate between two- and three-dimensional shapes.

Identify how lines and shading can be added to two-dimensional shapes to create a three-dimensional form.
Actual texture is how an object feels when touched.

Characteristics of texture can be described using words, including
  • wrinkled or smooth
  • soft or rough
  • furry or coarse
Simulated texture gives the impression of how something would feel when touched, as seen in Albrecht Dürer, Young Hare, c. 1502.

Texture exists on natural and manufactured objects.

The texture of an object appeals to some individuals but not to others.
Texture has characteristics or surface qualities that are unique to an object.
Skills & Procedures
Differentiate between actual and simulated texture in artworks and the surrounding environment.

Describe preferences related to texture viewed in artworks.
Value can increase or decrease in lightness or darkness (gradation).

Lines can create shading and texture, as seen in
  • Albrecht Dürer, Young Hare, c. 1502
  • Käthe Kollwitz, Frontal Self-Portrait, 1922–1923
  • Nlaka'pamux Basket-making
  • Rembrandt van Rijn, An Elephant, 1637, 1637
Hatching is a technique that can create shading and texture, including drawing fine, parallel lines close together and in the same direction.

Line has value.

Value describes how light or dark a line can be.
Skills & Procedures
Use visual arts vocabulary to describe value of line in artworks.

Experiment with gradation in artworks.

Explore ways that lines can be used to achieve shading or texture in art.
Variation (principle of design) can be achieved by combining shapes with other elements of art, as seen in
  • Sandra Brewster, From Life 3, 2015
  • Wassily Kandinsky, Squares with Concentric Circles, c. 1913
Basic and complex use of shapes in artworks can be seen in
  • Antoni Gaudi, El Drac, c. 1900–1914
  • Laurena Fineus, Ici repose, 2019
  • Marc Chagall, I and the Village, c. 1911
  • Okon Akpan Abuje, Afaha clan, Anang artist, Funerary shrine cloth, c. late 1970s
Basic shapes can be turned into new or complex shapes by
  • adjusting the size
  • adjusting the contour
  • overlapping them
  • connecting multiple shapes to create one shape
  • covering parts of a shape with another
Shapes can be combined to create new shapes or more complex shapes.
Skills & Procedures
Analyze how complex shapes can be broken down into basic shapes.

Experiment with ways to use basic and complex shapes in artworks.

Observe and discuss how variation with lines, shapes, or colours can appear in artworks.
The boundaries or contour of a shape can have hard or soft edges, as seen in various artworks; examples can include
  • Alex Janvier, Lubicon, c. 1988
  • John James Audubon, Tropic Bird, c. 1827–1838
  • Maxine Noel, Not Forgotten, n.d.
Soft edges make it difficult to identify where one shape ends and the next begins.

Soft edges can give a general sense of a shape.

Hard edges identify where one shape ends and another begins.
The boundary of a shape can be referred to as an outline, an edge, or a contour.
Skills & Procedures
Identify shapes that have hard and soft edges.

Explore how to create a hard and soft edge in artworks.
Shape can create the illusion of depth and distance through techniques such as layering, overlapping, and changes in size.

Shapes can be used to represent subject matter as realistically as possible, as seen in still-life paintings; examples can include
  • Paul Cézanne, Apples and Oranges, c. 1899
  • Willem van Aelst, Still Life with Flowers, c. 1665
Shapes and lines can be organized to achieve symmetrical balance in artworks and architecture, as seen in
  • Alberta Legislature Building, Allan Merrick Jeffers and Richard Blakey,Edmonton, Alberta
  • American 19th Century, Cutout of Animals, second quarter 19th century
  • The Ardabil Carpet, 1539–1540
Asymmetrical balance is seen in artworks where each half of the work looks different but still has visual balance, as seen in
  • Daphne Odjig, Tribute to the Great Chiefs of the Past, 1975
  • Jacques-Louis David, Oath of the Horatii, c. 1784
  • Ruben Komangapik, Light is Life, 2002
Shapes can convey meaning in the way they are organized within artworks.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss how shapes are used within artworks to convey a message.

Experiment with how to achieve symmetrical and asymmetrical balance in artworks.

Experiment with how shapes can be used to show depth and distance.
When shapes are combined or layered they can create texture in artworks.

Shapes can be created using various media and methods, including
  • cutting
  • ripping
  • drawing
  • sculpting
  • painting
  • digital media
Shapes can be used to create pattern and repetition in artworks.
Shape can have value, texture, and colour.
Skills & Procedures
Explore various ways to represent shapes in artworks.

View artworks as a way to discuss how artists apply value, texture, and colour to shapes.
Shapes can be classified as geometric or organic.

Basic shapes are known as geometric shapes that have uniform measurements and form, including
  • circles
  • squares
  • triangles
  • rectangles
A geometric shape can be made of lines that curve, lines that are straight, or a combination of the two.

Geometric shapes can be found in nature, including
  • spiral shells
  • honeycombs
  • snowflakes
Organic shapes suggest living organisms or natural forces found in nature, including
  • rocks
  • trees
  • clouds
  • animals
  • plants
Shapes can be used individually or combined in artworks, as seen in
  • Edward Steichen, Le Tournesol (The Sunflower), c. 1920
  • Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Spring, 1563
  • Henri Matisse, L’Escargot (The Snail), c. 1953
  • Joan Miró, The Harlequin’s Carnival, c. 1925
  • Tim Pitsiulak, Untitled (Bowhead Whale)
Shapes can represent many things, including animals, buildings, and people.

Shapes can be open or closed.

Closed shapes are formed when lines are connected and spaces become enclosed.
Shapes can come in various sizes and can be found everywhere.
Skills & Procedures
Identify basic shapes by name.

Observe the effect that combining various kinds of shapes can have on an artwork.

Identify geometric and organic shapes in the environment and in artworks.

Represent everyday items with shapes.

Differentiate between open and closed shapes.
Organizing Idea
Creating and Presenting: Ideas can be represented through artworks that draw upon foundational visual arts knowledge.
Guiding Question
How can ideas be expressed in and through visual arts?
Guiding Question
How can messages be represented visually?
Guiding Question
How can messages in visual arts reflect what we value and understand?
Learning Outcome
Students construct an idea visually using the elements of art.
Learning Outcome
Students experiment with how messages can be communicated in and through visual arts.
Learning Outcome
Students represent messages through artistic choices related to the elements of art.
Exploration of various media, tools, and materials can reveal artistic ideas.

Media in art can include
  • drawing
  • painting
  • sculpture
  • fabric arts
  • printmaking
  • photography
  • digital arts
Organic and geometric shapes can be created using a variety of tools, media, and materials.

Two- and three-dimensional shapes (forms) can be used to communicate an idea.

Repetition of line, shape, and colour can create patterns in artworks.

Inspiration for an idea in visual arts can come from
  • other artists and artworks
  • stories
  • imagination
  • the environment
  • music
An artistic idea is expressed through the elements of visual arts.

An artist is an individual who can create, appreciate, and present artistic ideas.
Skills & Procedures
Create artworks based on a variety of inspirations.

Experiment with artistic choices when representing ideas through visual art.

Detail artworks using patterns and repetition.

Explore a variety of tools, media, and materials, including strings, wires, or tubes, when incorporating lines in artworks.

Create two- and three-dimensional artworks using found materials.

Use a variety of media to create a landscape.
Artists communicate messages about their artworks through
  • writing about art
  • titles
  • talking about art
  • using visual art vocabulary
A message can be communicated through spoken and written language.
Skills & Procedures
Present a title and description for an artwork that incorporates visual arts vocabulary.

Share interpretations of artworks with others.
Tools, techniques, materials, and media can be used in traditional and non-traditional ways to create a message.

New methods of creating art can be revealed through experimentation and unexpected discoveries.

A message in visual arts can convey meaning through the use of illusions in artworks.

Illusions such as depth, distance, or movement can be created through
  • line—linear or one-point perspective
  • colour—gradation
  • texture—hatching, cross-hatching, layering
  • shape—layering, overlapping, changing size and position on the picture plane
  • value—tints and shades
The use of colour, including black and white, can create optical illusions in art when combined with shape, space, and lines.

Line can be used to create depth and distance as seen in landscapes that feature middle ground, background, and foreground.

Principles of design, including emphasis and contrast, can guide the way that artists use the elements of art to create a message.
Artists intentionally choose ways to effectively share a message.

Artists can combine the elements of art in an infinite number of ways to communicate a message.
Skills & Procedures
Create artworks through experimental and informed artistic choices.

Explore how colour, line, shape, and texture can be combined for a purpose in artworks.

Experiment with how the principles of design can enhance the communication of a message.

Create artworks that feature illusions of depth, distance, or movement.

Explore a variety of ways to create two- and three-dimensional works of art that reflect a message.
Artistic ideas can express feelings, interests, and preferences.

Collaboration can foster a safe learning environment in visual arts through listening to others’ ideas and making decisions.

An artistic idea can be communicated by giving the artwork a title and presenting the artwork to an audience.

Participating as an audience member or artist includes expectations or rules (artistic protocols and etiquette)
An artistic idea can come from brainstorming and collaboration.
Skills & Procedures
Collaborate with others when generating and representing an idea through visual arts.

Brainstorm ideas for creating titles for artworks.

Participate as an artist and as an audience member in a variety of visual arts experiences.

Follow expectations or rules when participating as an artist or audience member.

Collaborate to create criteria that helps determine when an artwork is finished.
The elements of art can communicate a message in artworks, including
  • the use of colour
  • varying the physical characteristics of line
  • adjusting value
  • adding shapes
  • adjusting contour of line and shape
  • organization of line, shape, and colour
  • adding texture
Balance, variety, and contrast (principles of design) can help guide how a message is communicated within artworks.

The mood or emotion conveyed in an artwork can be influenced by
  • personal experiences
  • events
  • memories
  • culture
  • the use of the elements of art
The physical characteristics of line can be used to represent subject matter realistically.

Artists can choose a specific type of media to communicate how a message is revealed in artworks.

Cultures can communicate a message through the use of
  • ideograms
  • pictorial symbols
  • objects
  • sounds
  • letters
  • numbers
  • musical notation
Non-verbal communication of a message in visual arts can be shared in a variety of ways.

A message conveyed through visual arts can carry a variety of emotions and experiences.
Skills & Procedures
Investigate how lines and shapes can form symbols that communicate a message.

Make artistic choices to shape the development of a message in visual arts.

Apply principles of design to artworks.

Explore how to represent mood or emotion in artworks.
Messages can represent a variety of things, including ideas, experiences, and feelings.

Inspiration for creating a message in visual arts can come from a variety of sources, including other artists or artworks, imagination, or stories.

The circle is a symbol that can communicate a message in visual arts, including connection, unity, and cycles.

The circle in First Nations, Métis, or Inuit visual art forms is used to symbolize elements and patterns of the natural world.

Messages in visual arts can be conveyed through the use of patterns, signs, and symbols.

Creative processes can help an artist clarify what they mean to communicate.

The message an artist intends to communicate through an artwork can be clarified
  • through the use of titles and descriptions
  • by stepping back to view and reflect on the artwork
  • by discussing the artwork with others
Messages can evoke different responses from a viewer based on their beliefs, preferences, and feelings.

Artworks can be created for an intended audience.

Some topics or themes represented through artworks can be sensitive to some viewers.
A message is at the centre of communication in visual arts.

Viewing art includes receiving and interpreting messages communicated through artworks.

Messages can represent what an artist means to communicate through artworks.
Skills & Procedures
Create artworks based on an inspiration.

Create a message in artworks through the use of patterns, signs, and symbols.

Create a title and description to accompany a work of art.

Employ creative processes when representing a message in artworks.

Participate as an artist and as an audience member in a variety of visual arts experiences.
Developing an idea can involve practising or repeating a skill, or using tools, media, and methods in new ways.

Problems or challenges related to artistic expression can be solved by asking for help.
Developing an idea through visual arts takes practice.

Ideas that are shared and discussed can give artists inspiration for new ideas.
Skills & Procedures
Identify ways to solve visual arts problems or challenges.

Practise sharing and accepting ideas from one another when creating artworks.

Create art as a means to practise and learn new skills.
A message in visual arts can be generated, sent, received, and interpreted.

Presentations of artworks can be done through informal events, such as sharing in an art class, or formal events, including art shows or art galleries.

An artwork can reflect an artist’s style, which may reflect personal preferences related to creating art.

Empathy and perspectives can be gained through creating, viewing, and talking about art.

Expectations for participating in visual arts, known as artistic protocols and etiquette, can change depending on the context of the experience.
The sharing of a message involves the artist and the audience.

Audience members can have various feelings about artworks.
Skills & Procedures
Participate as an artist and audience member in various art experiences.

Share artworks with others.

Demonstrate an understanding of artistic protocols and etiquette within various visual arts experiences.

Create artworks that express personal preferences.
Creative processes can include
  • generating an idea
  • giving and receiving feedback
  • experimentation
  • practice
  • reflection
Generating an idea in visual arts may involve creative thinking and problem solving.

Artists may step back to view their artwork and discuss it with others before considering it to be finished.
Development of a message in visual arts can involve creative processes.

Messages can be clearly communicated when elements of art are combined with purpose.

Problems related to creating art can be solved by asking for feedback and by practising.
Skills & Procedures
Apply creative processes when creating artworks.

Add finishing touches to an artwork.

Organizing Idea
Appreciation: Recognizing beauty, goodness, and truth in visual arts can be developed by understanding the complexity and richness of great artworks, the artists who create them, and the historical and cultural contexts from which they originate.
Guiding Question
What function did visual arts serve in ancient China, ancient Egypt, and prehistoric times?
Guiding Question
How might cultures from the past and present contribute to an appreciation of visual arts?
Guiding Question
How can an understanding of culture contribute to learning about visual arts in ancient Rome and New France?
Learning Outcome
Students investigate the function of visual arts in ancient times and present day.
Learning Outcome
Students investigate culture in relation to artworks from ancient Greece and present day.

Students examine culture through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artworks.
Learning Outcome
Students relate visual arts cultures of the past with those of the modern day.
From ancient times to present, artworks communicate ways of life, including
  • culture
  • enjoyment
  • celebrations
  • entertainment
Visual arts can have a specific function in a community.
Skills & Procedures
Share personal experiences with visual arts.

Explore a variety of artworks from local communities.

Illustrate personal experiences through artworks.
Experiences in visual arts can include learning about artworks from the past and the people who created them.

Individual components of an artwork can communicate culture, including the use of colour, line, shapes, and media.

Ancient Greeks valued pottery as a form of art and made vases that were admired for their beauty and function.

In ancient Greece, vases were commonly painted black and red using a feather or animal tail for a brush.

In ancient Greece, artists had their own style for painting vases that usually included
  • geometric shapes
  • pictures of humans and animals
  • family life
  • stories
Ancient Greeks introduced the technique of adding wrinkles in cloth to paintings.

Ancient Greeks made very realistic sculptures of people from marble and bronze, as seen in
  • Nike, 490 BCE
  • Winged Victory of Samothrace, 190 BCE
Ancient Greek architecture was inspired by the ancient Egyptians, as seen in
  • Palace of Knossos
  • The Lion Gate of the Palace of Agamemnon
  • Athenian Acropolis
  • The Agora
The Parthenon is a temple in Athens that highlights
  • symmetry
  • length and width
  • size and spacing of columns
  • proportions
Culture is what people do, and is a way of thinking.

Artworks from various times and places can be representative of a culture.
Skills & Procedures
Identify how culture may be communicated through various types of artworks.

Examine ancient Greek artworks and architecture as an inspiration for talking about and creating art.

Discuss the use of symmetry in ancient Greek architecture.

From historical times to today, cultures value artworks for a variety of reasons, including
  • beauty
  • artistic expression
  • cultural or religious expression
  • representation of a culture or society
  • historical documentation
Using vocabulary related to the elements of art can contribute to discussions about art.

Artistic protocols and etiquette may change based on the community, culture, or presentation of artworks.

The topics or themes expressed through artworks may have a particular significance to the culture, time, and place in which the artworks were created.
Artworks are valued differently across cultures throughout history.

Artistic communities can be a venue for artistic expression within various cultures.
Skills & Procedures
Describe how artworks are valued in one’s life and culture.

Demonstrate how to follow artistic protocols and etiquette in various visual arts experiences.

Use visual arts vocabulary when responding to artworks.
A function of artworks in ancient Egypt and ancient China was to record messages, including
  • the alphabet (hieroglyphics) written on murals and the walls of the Great Pyramids
  • paintings combined with ancient Chinese calligraphy
  • ancient Chinese symbols for words or phrases (pictographs)
Calligraphy was invented by ancient Chinese scholars.

Kites were invented in ancient China and used by the military as a way to send messages and for measuring distances.

The function of the kite changed to become a popular form of entertainment and its design changed to include silk, bamboo, colour, bells, and strings.

Examples of how ancient societies documented ways of life can include
  • Altamira Cave in Spain, 13 000 BCE
  • Bhimbetka Petroglyphs in India, 290 000 BCE
  • Blombos Cave Rock Art in South Africa, 70 000 BCE
  • Lascaux Cave Paintings in France, 13 000 BCE
  • Newgrange Passage Tomb in Ireland, 3300 BCE
  • Petroglyphs in Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada, 1050 BCE
  • Stonehenge, Stone Circle, in England, 1100 BCE
  • Venus of Hohle Fels in Germany, 33 000 BCE
Ancient sculpture and architecture may have been created to serve a religious or spiritual function, as seen in
  • Great Temple of Amon
  • Temple of the Queen Hatshepsut
  • The Great Pyramids
  • The Great Sphinx
  • The Step Pyramid of Djoser
  • The Terracotta Army
The Great Wall of China is an example of architecture that was built for the purpose of protecting China.
Ancient societies used artworks for a variety of functions.

Knowledge about people who lived a long time ago can be gained through artworks.
Skills & Procedures
View artworks from prehistoric times as an inspiration for talking about and creating art.

Create artworks inspired by ancient Egypt and ancient China.
First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artworks can reflect aspects of culture, including
  • history
  • relationships
  • ways of life
  • traditional teachings
First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists often use materials from the natural world, including
  • bark
  • hide
  • fur
  • feathers
  • quills
  • sinew
  • bones
  • fish scales
  • berries
  • iron and copper
  • roots
Traditional First Nations, Métis, and Inuit art forms can include
  • beading
  • fish-scale art
  • ivory and soapstone carving
  • wood carving
  • sculpture
  • textiles
  • weaving
Making art in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities can be holistic in nature and have individual and collective benefits, including
  • social well-being
  • physical health
  • spiritual connection
  • emotional and mental well-being
  • intellectual development
First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artworks are often inspired by the natural world and stories, as seen in
  • Bill Reid, Killer Whale, Chief of the Undersea World, c. 1984
  • Elsie Klengenberg, Going Down River, 1989
  • Jason Carter, Play Grizzly, c. 2009
Culture can be revealed through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artworks.

A sense of community and well-being among participants can be established through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artworks.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss how culture can be communicated through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artworks.

View artworks by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists as an inspiration for talking about art.

Discuss how creating artworks can contribute to personal well-being.
Ancient Roman artworks were inspired by the ancient Greeks and other ancient cultures.

Artworks in ancient Rome were valued for their ability to communicate ways of life and historical events.

Semicircular arches were so common among Roman architecture that these arches are now known as Roman arches.

The principles of design, including balance, repetition, and harmony, apply to ancient Roman architecture, and can be seen in
  • Basilica of Maxentius
  • Le Pont du Gard
  • Roman Theatre of Orange
  • The Colosseum
  • The Pantheon
Roman pottery was a functional form of artwork in ancient Rome and was categorized as follows:
  • Fine ware were formal and decorative pottery pieces.
  • Coarse ware were used for daily purposes such as cooking or food storage.
Ancient Roman pottery was engraved and glazed as a form of decoration, unlike Greek pottery that was painted with designs and images.

Ancient Roman artworks have been found preserved in Pompeii and include
  • murals painted into the plastered walls of buildings (frescoes)
  • images made from tiny pieces of glass or ceramic (mosaics)
Ancient Roman culture was reflected through artworks and architecture.

The culture of ancient Rome has an influence on modern day artworks.
Skills & Procedures
View artworks and architecture from ancient Rome as an inspiration for creating art.

Compare art forms and architecture from ancient Rome to those of modern day.
First Nations cultures in New France had established artistic traditions prior to the arrival of Europeans, including moose hair tufting, quilling, and embroidery work.

First Nations artworks in New France reflected traditions and beliefs that continue to be honoured and celebrated today by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.

Protocols related to how or with whom artworks are created and shared were part of First Nations cultures in New France and continue to hold significant importance today.

Art forms used in New France continue to be used today, including
  • sculpting
  • painting
  • metal work with gold and silver
  • woodworking
  • textiles
  • printmaking (lithography)
  • stained glass
  • architecture
The building of churches in New France was funded by the churches in Europe and often included
  • stained glass
  • altars
  • statues
  • chalices
The ceinture fléchée is a colourful, patterned sash that emerged as functional clothing from the New France era.

The ceinture fléchée is representative of the cultural heritage of French-Canadians and Métis.
Artworks in New France served a variety of purposes for the diverse groups of people who lived there.

Art forms from New France continue to influence Canadian art today.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss how culture is revealed through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artworks.

View a variety of artworks from French-Canadian artists, past and present, as an inspiration for talking about and creating art.