McGuffey’s Art curriculum is designed so that most students are working on similar projects at the same time, regardless of grade level. While this certainly helps prevent utter chaos in our studio space, it also teaches the concept that the materials we use in Art shouldn’t be limited by age (unless there is a safety concern). What we are able to and choose to do with a medium is what really matters. As a teacher, it’s a lot of fun to do similar projects among a wide range of ages. From class to class, you can see examples of the various stages of fine motor development, and compare the ways that different age groups try to solve problems using a common medium.
However, the Grade 1 Art curriculum intentionally does not follow this design. Grade 1 students come to Lower Elementary with experience in a wide variety of basic artistic skills that were presented to them during Kindergarten Studio sessions. Now their Art curriculum is considered to be a sort of McGuffey Art 101, and is designed to introduce new, more advanced materials and techniques, show them how to work in the Art room, and encourage confidence in self-expression. After an introduction like this, they are fully prepared to dive into project work of all kinds with the rest of the school.