Art is an integral and unique part of a child’s core education, developing curiosity, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving skills through study, creation and reflection. At Midland Public Schools, the art department strives to teach students to be willing to explore different options, tackle open-ended challenges, take risks, make choices and refine possible solutions through exploration of art. We strive to cultivate self-discipline and persistence and become creative problem solvers. Our mission is to prepare students to be appreciators and supporters of the arts as they become contributing citizens of the community.
Overview of Elementary Art Classes and Curriculum:
At the elementary level (grades K-5th grades), students will have an opportunity to learn art every week in a 45-minute art class. Although individual projects and assignments will vary from building to building, all students will learn and create art based on both 2D materials (pencil, crayons, markers, oil pastels, chalk pastels and colored pencils), 3D materials (such as clay and/or paper mache) and fibers (sewing and weaving). The goal at the elementary level is to teach each student the Principles and Elements of Art as well as growing their love and passion for art in upcoming years.
Primary Years Programme (PYP) is taught at the elementary level through a concept-based curriculum that ties art to everyday learning in the classroom. It also encourages student-led projects and working collaboratively with classmates. Among many other things, the PYP program helps develop the child into a well-rounded student, both emotionally and physically.
Overview of Middle School Art Classes and Curriculum:
Sixth Grade Art: This class is offered to students for one, two, or three days a week for a semester or all year. Students have the opportunity to try out two or three electives. Art offers them a creative outlet to explore different 2D & 3D mediums. This exploratory class provides an introduction to drawing, watercolor painting, perspective, ceramics, oil pastel, and many other art mediums.
Seventh Grade Art: This class is offered to students for one semester. They have the choice of up to four different electives during the school year. Art offers them the opportunity to practice more of what they learned in 6th grade while also increasing their skills in new mediums. Students are introduced to acrylic paint, two-point perspective, and types of carving. While this is still an exploratory class, students are able to practice and improve their skills.
Eighth Grade Art: This class is offered to students for one semester or all year. Most students choose to take the full-year course because they are able to experience the full range of mediums and processes. They also develop their skills in art and are able to see the growth from the beginning to the end of the year. Students will try out more advanced techniques with colored pencils, watercolors, acrylic paints, and ceramics. This is a great opportunity and class before taking any art courses at the high school level.
Overview of High School Art Classes and Curriculum:
Beginning Art: This course is offered to students for their first year of high school art. It also satisfies the VPAA credit for high school graduation. This course covers a broad range of 2D, 3D and screen based art mediums. This broad range helps students select an art course for their second year. Many students excel in either 2D or 3D mediums and can decide if they want to improve their skills further with an advanced class. With a teacher’s recommendation, students can enroll in Advanced 2D Design and/or Advanced 3D Design. If they feel they need another year to further develop their skills, they can choose Intermediate Art.
Intermediate Art: This course is offered to students for their second year of art. It can also satisfy their credit for a second year of a world language for high school graduation. Students get another year of a broad range of 2D, 3D, and screen based art mediums. They continue to work on their skills and can take an advanced course the following year if they choose.
Advanced 2D Design: This course is offered to students after they have successfully completed Beginning and/or Intermediate Art. This course looks more in depth at drawing, painting, and print-making media. Students create a portfolio and practice skills that they will use either in a more advanced class or after graduation at the collegiate level. This course also satisfies their credit for a second year of a world language for high school graduation.
Advanced 3D Design: This course is offered to students after they have successfully completed Beginning and/or Intermediate Art or after taking Advanced 2D Design. This course looks more in depth at sculpture, ceramics, casting, and carving. Students create a portfolio and practice skills that they will use either in a more advanced class or after graduation at the collegiate level. This course also satisfies their credit for a second year of a world language for high school graduation.
Commercial Art (DHS): This course is offered to students after they have completed either Advanced 2D or 3D Design. It is an Honors course as well as a one or two year course. It is currently only offered at H.H. Dow High school, but can be offered at Midland High School if enough students enroll. This course looks more in depth at graphic design, print-making, screen-printing, and product design. Students practice skills that are directly relevant to graphic design and production of goods. Many second year students create materials for members of the community.
IB/AP Visual Art: This course is offered to students after they have completed either Advanced 2D or 3D Design. It is an Honors course as well as a one or two year course. It is currently offered at both high schools. Students have the opportunity to earn college credit in this course. AP testing is available for first or second year students in AP 2D Art and Design, AP 3D Art and Design, or AP Drawing. IB testing is available for IB SL (first year students) if they are diploma candidates or IB HL (second year students) for diploma candidates or individual certificate students. (Please note that testing is available for IB SL students who are not diploma candidates, but it is discouraged because universities only accept IB HL credit.) Students can also take this course and not test. They will have the opportunity to build an advanced portfolio for applying to colleges, universities, and art programs of their choice. Day to day activities include working on a sketchbook and their studio work as part of their grade. Students who do not test still experience the rigor of the course, but do not submit their work at the end of the year.
AP Visual art offers an opportunity for students to earn college credit in high school. Students can choose between IB SL Visual Art, IB HL Visual Art, AP 2D Art and Design, AP 3D Art and Design, and AP Drawing to earn college credit. Each of their prior art classes helps them prepare for the portfolio they will eventually submit.