Visual Arts Design Syllabus



Degrees and Certifications:

Visual Arts Design Syllabus

Visual Art Design and Art

Years 1, 2, &3



In years one, two, and three of Visual Art, students will work to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through performance based/project learning, collaborative learning, direct instruction, formative assessments, and summative assessments. Students will learn about the elements and principles of design and will demonstrate knowledge of specific tools and techniques relating to each of our learning goals. Students will be exposed to a variety of mediums as well as techniques for working in each. Our units will also help students to make connections to their communities and cultures as well as those from around the world. This class should strengthen students’ creative thinking skills as they continue on the path to becoming life-long learners.


This class is specifically designed as a semester-long course for eighth grade students that are enrolled in year-long performing arts classes for their sixth through eighth grade years. This integrated course of visual arts and design will include units to address and assess the criterion for both visual arts and design

While in this course, students will inquire into and analyze design problems, develop solutions to the problems through the creation of artwork, and evaluate the artwork’s solution to the problem. Students will also be asked to research histories of artworks, understand the arts in context, and build an awareness of the aesthetic in real-world contexts through this integrated course (IBO 2014).


Visual art:

A: Knowing and understanding

B: Developing skills

C: Thinking creatively

D: Responding

Art and Design:

A: Inquiring and analyzing

B: Developing ideas

C: Creating the solution

D: Evaluating

As a part of the Middle Years Program (MYP), of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, the aim of teaching visual art is to encourage and enable the student to:

Visual Art:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the art form studied, including concepts, processes, and the use of subject-specific terminology
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the art form in original or displaced contexts
  • Use acquired knowledge to purposefully inform artistic decisions in the process of creating artwork
  • Demonstrate the acquisition and development of the skills and techniques of the art form studied
  • Demonstrate the application of skills and techniques to create, perform and/or present art
  • Develop a feasible, clear, imaginative and coherent artistic intention
  • Demonstrate a range and depth of creative-thinking behaviors
  • Demonstrate the exploration of ideas to shape artistic intention through to a point of realization
  • Construct meaning and transfer learning to ne settings
  • Create an artistic response that intends to reflect or impact on the world around them
  • Critique the artwork of self and others

Art and Design:

  • Explain and justify the need for a solution to a problem that can be solved with art while demonstrating knowledge of the applicable art form, including concepts, processes, and the appropriate language.
  • Construct a research plan demonstrating knowledge of the role of the art form and which outlines the research needed to solve the stated problem.
  • Analyze a group of similar products that inspire a solution to the solution to the problem.
  • Use acquired knowledge to inform their artwork by developing a design brief which presents the analysis of relevant research.
  • Demonstrate the acquisition of development of skills and techniques of the art form used by presenting a range of feasible design ideas which can be interpreted.
  • Develop a design specification, which outlines the success criteria for the design of a solution based on the data collected.
  • Develop accurate planning, drawings/diagrams and outline for the creation of the chosen solution.
  • Present the chosen design and outline reasons for the solution and demonstrate the application of skills and techniques by creating the final product.
  • Outline a clear and feasible artistic intention by constructing a logical plan, which lists an efficient use a time and resources, sufficient for peers to be able to follow and create a solution from.
  • Demonstrate excellent technical skills when making the solution which outlines alternatives, perspectives, and imaginative solutions.
  • Follow the plan to create the solution which functions as intended.
  • Explain changes made to the chosen design and plan when making the solution by demonstrating an exploration of ideas through the developmental process to a point of realization.
  • Describe detailed and relevant testing methods, which generates accurate data, to measure the success of the solution by outlining connections and transfer learning to new settings.
  • Create an artistic response inspired by the world around them that explains the success of the solution against the design specifications.
  • Describe how the solution could be improved by evaluating the artwork of self and others.
  • Describe the impact of the solution on the client/target audience.


Key concepts promote the development of a broad curriculum. They represent big ideas that are both relevant within and across disciplines and subjects. The key concepts contributed by the study of arts are aesthetics, change, communication and identity. The key concepts for Art/Design are communication, systems, communities, and development.


Related concepts promote deep learning and are useful for exploring key concepts in greater detail. The related concepts for the visual arts are audience, genre, presentation, boundaries, innovation, representation, composition, interpretation, style, expression, narrative, and visual culture. The related concepts for Art/Design are adaption, evaluation, innovation, perspective, collaboration, form, invention, resources, ergonomics, function, markets and trends, and sustainability.


  • Note: Visual art and Art/Design are semester long classes.

Year 1:

Quarter 1 or 3: Fibers (focus on simple weavings), paper manipulation (focus on sculpture) and drawing (focus on proportion and scale)

Quarter 2 or 4: Painting (focus on basic painting techniques) and ceramics (focus on pinch hand-building method) and sculpture (focus on wire armature and papier mache)

Year 2:

Quarter 1 or 3: Ceramics (focus on coil hand-building method) and drawing (focus on shading techniques)

Quarter 2 or 4: Painting (focus on color mixing and expression) and copper foil (focus on tooling techniques and bas relief)

Year 3:

Quarter 1 or 3: Ceramics (focus on slab hand-building method) and drawing (focus on proportion and shading techniques)

Quarter 2 or 4: Painting (focus on color scheme and pattern) and multimedia (focus on paper mache and sculpture)          


At KMS, MYP students will engage in community projects. Students will choose a community in need, research the needs and how to help, write an action plan, take action on the plan and complete the service, and then create a presentation of their work. They will demonstrate Learner Profile attributes and will reflect on the Approaches to Learning skills that they are strengthening. The service learning projects are semester-long. Students use a self-paced guide and process journal to complete these projects. In addition, teachers act as facilitators as students work through their projects rather than direct instructors. The work for these service learning projects take place on our “C” day Wednesdays.



Global contexts direct learning towards independent and shared inquiry into our common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet. MYP arts can develop meaningful explorations of:

  • Identities and relationships
  • Orientation in space and time
  • Personal and cultural expression
  • Scientific and technical innovation
  • Globalization and sustainability
  • Fairness and development


Students will work independently and collaboratively. Most instruction will be directly lead by the teacher, but will also be inquiry-based and student lead when possible.


Students will be assessed informally and formally. Informal assessments occur during the beginning phases of a unit in order to make sure students have the proper skills in order to complete a finished project. Formal assessments occur during the end of units and are in a written format. The written assessments provide information in regards to retention of material by students as well as data for the teacher to see where instruction needs to be retaught either in whole group or in small group instructional formats.


“Art Guide.” Edited by IBO, International Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, 2014,