Crafts, Mixed Media Grades 6,7, 8

West Haven Public Schools

Unit Planning Organizer

Revised July 2010

Subject: Visual Arts                                                

Grade: 6, 7, 8

Unit: Crafts/Mixed Media                                       

Pacing: 1-4 weeks (depends on schedule)

Essential Question(s):

  1. In what way does combining various art media enhance the visual and tactile experience?
  2. Which elements of art and principles of design will be the most dominant in a Crafts/Mixed Media project and why would these be most used?
  3. How has the use of mixed media/crafts influenced your appreciation for art related opportunities?


Big Idea(s):

  1. Use of multiple materials and processes produce a unique and individual craft/mixed media project.
  2. The elements of art and principles of design are applied to Crafts/Mixed Media projects based on the requirements and needs of the project, as well as personal choices.
  3. Arts education contributes to the development of visual and technical knowledge necessary for employment in the 21st Century.

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 use different media, techniques and processes to construct and build mixed-media projects.

Content Standard 2:  Elements and Principles

  • 2.3 use ways of arranging visual characteristics and reflect upon what makes them effective in conveying ideas
  • Core Team Standard: Students will apply comprehension and skill in incorporating the elements of art and principles of design in order to creatively solve mixed media design problems.

Content Standard 3: Content

  • 3.1  consider, select from and apply a variety of sources for art content in order to communicate intended meaning
  • 3.2  consider and compare the sources for subject matter, symbols and ideas in their own and other’s work
  • Core Team Standard: Students will consider, select and apply symbols, subject matter and ideas to communicate meaning as well as discussing a variety of sources for art content.

Content Standard 4: History and Culture

  • 4.1  know and compare the characteristics and purposes of works of art representing various cultures, historical periods and artists
  • Core Team Standard: Students will recognize that mixed media art has a history and different cultural purposes and meanings.

Content Standard 5:  Analysis, Interpretation and Evaluation

  • 5.2  describe and analyze visual characteristics of works of art using visual art terminology
  • 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)
  • Core Team Standard: Students will describe their personal responses to specific works of art using mixed media visual art terminology. Students will apply aesthetic criteria for the purpose of improving their own work.

 Content Standard 6: Connections

  • 6.3 combine the visual arts with another art form to create coherent multimedia
  • 6.5 identify various careers that are available to artists
  • 6.4 apply visual arts knowledge and skills to solve problems common in daily life
  • Core Team Standard: Students will describe how the visual arts are combined with other arts in multimedia work. Students will understand the multitude of options available to them for professional opportunities in the visual arts. Students will demonstrate the understanding of how the visual arts are used in the world around us.

 “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:

visual characteristics




Standard 3:

art content

subject matter, symbols and ideas





Standard 4:

characteristics and purposes




Standard 5:

visual characteristics

quality and effectiveness






Standard 6: 


art careers

knowledge and skills


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


Standard 2:

use (Visual characteristics)

reflect (effectiveness)



Standard 3:

consider, select and apply (art content)

consider and compare (subject matter, symbols and ideas)




Standard 4:

know and compare (Characteristics and purposes)



Standard 5: 

describe and analyze (visual characteristics)

reflect and evaluate (quality and effectiveness)




Standard 6: 

combine (multimedia)

identify (Art careers)

apply (Knowledge and skills)

































 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

Elements of Art (Line, Shape, Color, Value, Form, Texture, Space)

Principals of Design (Balance, Contrast, Emphasis, Movement, Pattern, Rhythm, Unity)



Stained Glass

Tie Dye











Paper Mache










Pastel Blending


Fabric Painting








Folk Artist




Oral Reports

Additional arts criteria specific to the project

Written assignment/project


Interdisciplinary Connections


Math, History, English, Writing, Science Strands