Digital Art Grades 6, 7, 8

West Haven Public Schools

Unit Planning Organizer

Revised July 2010

Subject: Visual Arts                                                      

Grade: 6, 7 ,8

Unit: Digital Art                                                             

Pacing: 1-4 weeks (depends on schedule)

Essential Question(s):

  1. Why would an artist use digital media concepts, techniques, and processes for a project instead of another medium?
  2. Which elements of art and principles of design will be the most dominant in a digital media project and why would these be most used?
  3. Why is life experience a good source of inspiration for an artist?


Big Idea(s):

  1. Digital media my be used for it’s unique characteristics and how effective it can be within the confines of a given project.
  2. The elements of art and principles of design are applied to digital media projects based on the requirements and needs of the project, as well as personal choices.
  3.  Life is all encompassing. Each day offers new experiences which add to the creation of new ideas and references to draw inspiration from.


 CT State Standards (includes West Haven’s “Priority” GLES’s in BOLD and “Supporting” Standards)

  • Content Standard 1: Media
  • 1.3  use different media, techniques and  processes (two-dimensional and three-dimensional, including media/technology) to communicate ideas, feelings, experiences and stories.
  • Core Team Standard: Students will understand, select and apply media techniques and processes to improve the communication of their own ideas, including  art and technology.
  • Content Standard 2:  Elements and Principles
  • 2.3 select and use the elements of art and principles of design to improve         communication of their ideas
  • Core Team Standard: Students will select and use the elements of art and principles of design to improve the communication of their ideas. Students will recognize and reflect on the effects of arranging visual characteristics in their own and others works. 
  • Content Standard 3: Content
  • 3.2 consider and compare the sources for subject matter, symbols and ideas in their own  and other’s work
  • 3.1  consider, select from and apply a variety of sources for art content in order to communicate intended meaning
  • Core Team Standard: Students will develop their own ideas for content using various programs and processes. Students will be introduced to graphic software, hardware and technology.
  • Content Standard 4: History and Culture
  • 4.3  analyze, describe and demonstrate how factors of time and place (such as climate, natural resources, ideas and technology) influence visual characteristics that give meaning and value to a work of art
  • Core Team Standard: Students will learn to make connections between digital media and contemporary culture and between their own media projects and life experiences.
  • Content Standard 5:  Analysis, Interpretation and Evaluation
  • 5.5  reflect on and evaluate the quality and effectiveness of their own and others’ work using specific criteria (e.g., technique, formal and expressive qualities, content)
  • 5.6  describe/analyze their own artistic growth over time in relation to specific criteria 
  • Core Team Standard: Students will learn to analyze a digital media project, interpret it’s meaning(s) and evaluate the success of the project.
  • Content Standard 6: Connections
  • 6.4 apply visual arts knowledge and skills to solve problems common in daily life
  • 6.1 compare the characteristics of works in the visual arts and other art forms that share similar subject matter, themes, purposes, historical periods or cultural context
  • 6.3 combine the visual arts with another art form to create coherent multimedia 
  • Core Team Standard: Students will learn to make connections between digital media and contemporary culture and between their own digital media project and their own life experiences.

 “Unwrapped” Concepts and Skills, and Bloom Levels (BL)

Concepts(Need to Know) 

Skills(Able to Do)


Standard 1:                                               art media, techniques, processes (two-dimensional and three-dimensional),  ideas, feelings, experiences and stories



Standard 2:

elements of art, principals of design







Standard 3:

subject matter, symbols, ideas,


art content



Standard 4: 

factors of time and place

visual characteristics

value and meaning




Standard 5:

quality and effectiveness

own artistic growth




Standard 6:

visual arts knowledge and skills




Standard 1:                                              use (art media, techniques, processes (two-dimensional and three-dimensional) communicate (ideas, feelings, experiences and stories)



Standard 2: 

select and use (elements of art, principals of design)

improve (communication)




Standard 3: 

consider and compare (subject matter, symbols, ideas)

consider, select and apply (art content)



Standard 4:

analyze, describe and demonstrate (factors of time and place)

influence (visual characteristics)

give (value and meaning)




Standard 5:

reflect and evaluate (quality and effectiveness)

describe/analyze (own artistic growth)



Standard 6:

apply (visual arts knowledge and skills)

compare (characteristics)

combine (visual arts)






































 Instructional Planning

Suggested Resources/Materials:


  • Adobe CS3 for Mac (InDesign, PhotoShop, Illustrator)
  • Photoshop Elements 6 for Windows and Mac – Nick Vandome, 2008, Computer Step
  • Adobe InDesign CS4 one-on-one  - Deke McClelland, 2009, Deke Press



  •   (Software Tutorials)
  • (National Organization Of Photoshop Professionals)
  •   (The work of Jacob Cass)
  •  (Overviews of icons of American Design)
  •  (The work of Milton Glaser)



  • The Secret Life of Logos – Leslie Cabarga, 2007, HOW Design Books
  • The Big Book of Logos – David E. Carter, Editor, 2006, Collins Design
  • The Non-Designer’s Type Book – Robin Williams, 2008, Peachpit Press
  • The Mac is Not a Typewriter – Robin Williams, 2007, Peachpit Press
  • Logo, Font and Lettering Bible – Leslie Cabarga, 2004, HOW Design Books
  • New Master’s of Poster Design: Poster Design for the Next Century – John Foster,  2006, Rockport Publishers
  • Modern Dog: 20 Years of Poster Art – Michael Strassberger, 2008, Chronicle Books
  • The Non-Designer’s Design Book – Robin Williams, 2008, Peachpit Press
  • Graphic Design, The New Basics – Lupton and Phillips,  2009, Princeton Architectural Press
  • Janice VanCleave: Geometry for Every Kid
  • Janice VanCleave: Math for Every Kid
  • Robertson: Stop Faking It
  • Christopher Hart: Carooning for the  Beginners
  • Claudia Zaslausky: Math Games & Activities from Around the World
  • Istvan Banyai: Zoom
  • Paul Ross Wallach: Drafting
  • Crystal Productions: Bridging The Curriculum Through Art, Interdisciplinary Connections
  • Curtis Tappenden, Luke Jefford, Stella Farris: Graphic Design
  • Jill Britton: Symmetry & Tessellations
  • Dale Seymour & Jill Britton: Introduction to Tessellations
  • Jim McNeill & Pam Stephens: Tessellations: The History & Making of Symmetrical Designs
  • Mike Artell: Cartooning for Kids
  • Mike Artell: Funny Cartooning for Kids
  • Noel Ford, Pete Dredge, Steve Chadburn: Draw Cartoons
  • Doug Marlette: In Your Face
  • Jill Britton & Walter Britton: Teaching Telssellation Art
  • Phil Metzger: Perspective Without Pain
  • David R Morin: Perspective Made Easy
  • Jil Fine: Art, American Pop Culture
  • Greg Tang: Math-terpieces, The Art of Problem Solving
  • Christine Fleming: Art as Science
  • Heather Miller: The 10 Most Provocative 20th Century Artworks


  •  Take 5 - Crystal Productions : Digital Art Media
  • M.C. Escher: Metamorphose
  • M.C. Escher Company: Escher Collection
  • Crystal Productions: Jim McNeill, Tessellations
  • Crystal Productions: Careers in Art
  • Crystal Productions: Know the Artist, Set 6 and 7
  • Crystal Productions: Printmaking
  • Crystal Productions: Perspective
  • Crystal Productions: Elements of Art
  • Crystal Productions: Principals of Design
  • Carolina Mathematics: Why Study Geometry
  • Carolina Mathematics: Why Study Algebra
  • McDonald Publishing: Math & Art


  • Fly By Night: Doodle! #10 Careers in Art
  • Fly By Night: Doodle! #8 Perspective
  • Fly By Night: Doodle! #2 Cartooning and Characatures
  • Fly By Night: Doodle! #6 Comic Book Art
  • Fly By Night: Doodle! # 7 Light and Shadow
  • Crystal Productions: Tessellations, Jim McNeill
  • Kultur: Artists of the 20th Century, Andy Warhol
  • Crystal Productions: Dropping in on Andy Warhol
  • Disney: Cars
  • Crystal Video: Drawing for All, Volume 3 Perspective & Landscape
  • Learn & Earn Video: Graphic Design 1
  • Learn & Earn Video: Graphic Design 2
  • Crystal Productions: Careers in Art: Graphic Design
  • Crystal Productions: Optical Illusions, How to Create Them
  • Crystal Productions: Basic Perspective Drawing
  • Learning Zone Express: 6 Tips for Graphic Design
  • Double Diamond Corporation: Perspective Drawing: Getting the Basics
  • Mike Artell: Basic Cartooning

Suggested Research-based Effective Instructional Strategies:

All recognized strategies are included, individual teachers can choose which they feel are appropriate:

  • Identify similarities and differences
  • Summarizing and note taking (sketches)
  • Reinforcing effort and providing recognition
  • Homework (Sketchbook) and practice
  • Nonlinguistic representations
  • Cooperative learning
  • Setting objectives and providing feedback
  • Generating and testing hypotheses
  • Cues, questions and advanced organizers (portfolios)


Vocabulary/Word Wall


Interdisciplinary Connections


Elements of Art

(Line, Shape, Color, Value, Form, Texture, Space)

Principals of Design

(Balance, Contrast, Emphasis, Movement, Pattern, Rhythm, Unity)






Color Theory




Graphic Arts

Print Media






Positive Space

Negative Space






Vanishing Point/View Point

Horizon Line

Foreground, Middle Ground, Back Ground








In Design

Reverse Image





Geometric Shape(s)













Commercial Art


Oral Reports

Additional arts criteria specific to the project

Written assignment/project




Math, History, English, Writing, Science Strands