Visual Arts

West Hartford Elementary Fine Arts Standards

During the elementary years from PreKindergarten to grade 5 the goals and standards of the Visual Arts Department are sequenced to build upon each student’s skills. The National Standards for the Arts (1994) and the National Core Arts Standards (NCAS) (2015) serve as a foundation for instruction and expectation, ensuring implementation of a rigorous and relevant curriculum in the Visual Arts. Student experiences are developmentally appropriate and foster 21st century critical thinking skills. Art teachers will guide students in making meaningful connections between the Visual Arts and their everyday lives.

It is the expectation of the Visual Arts Department that every student will demonstrate an understanding of each of the Anchor Standards:

• Creating: applying art materials, techniques and processes; use and apply the elements and principles of design to create an art composition.

• Connecting: synthesizing and relating knowledge and personal experience to make art; making connections with art and other subjects such as Math, Science and English.

• Responding: perceiving and analyzing artistic work; describing, analyzing and evaluating subject matter, symbols and ideas.

• Presenting: discussing works of art and being able to make judgments; selecting, analyzing, interpreting artistic work for presentation.

Lessons the Arts Teach

  • The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.
  • The arts teach children to make good judgments that do not necessarily depend on rules.
  • The arts celebrate multiple perspectives so that they may see the world in many ways.
  • The arts show children to be willing and able to accept the world of possibility in their problem solving.
  • The arts teach that the limits of language do not define what we know.
  • The arts teach that small differences can have large effects.
  • The arts teach students to think and express through use of a material (medium).
  • The arts enable children to have an experience they can have from no other source.
  • The arts teach children acceptance and appreciation for a wide variety of cultures, artists and artforms.

Adapted from Elliot Eisner’s “10 Lessons the Arts Teach,” NAEA publication.


  • Colors and Shapes/Piet Mondrian, Grandma Moses/Leo Lionni/Mexican Art

Grade 1

  • Self Portraits/Mary Cassatt/Henri Rousseau/Eric Carle/ African Art

Grade 2

  • Figure Drawing/Romare Bearden/Paul Klee/Claude Monet/Japanese Art

Grade 3

  • Soft Sculpture Fish/Color Theory/Vincent Van Gogh/Henri Matisse/ Alexander Calder/Native  American Art

Grade 4

  • Carousel Horses/Georges Seurat/Georgia O'Keeffe/Optical Art

Grade 5

  • Pop Art/Surrealism/Andy Warhol/Pablo Picasso/ Rene Magritte