Drawing Grades 6,7,8

West Haven Public Schools

Unit Planning Organizer

Revised July 2010

Subject: Visual Arts                                                      

Grade: 6,7,8

Unit: Drawing                                                               

Pacing: 1-4 weeks (depends on scheduling)

Essential Question(s):

  1. In what ways is drawing a learnable skill rather than a talent?
  2. How can the skills revealed in drawing be applied to other aspects of your life or other areas of study?
  3. How has drawing heightened your sense of observation about the world around you?

Big Idea(s):

  1. Developing one’s drawing ability is essential to success in aspect of life, and can be improved upon with practice, like any other skill.
  2. Drawing is the process of training one’s eye to see like an artist.
  3. Each person draws what he/she sees in the light of past and present memory and intuitive perceptions.


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

Content Standard 1: Media

  • 1.2 improve the communication of their own ideas by effectively using the characteristics of a variety of traditional and contemporary art media, techniques and processes (two-dimensional and three-dimensional, including media/technology)
  • Core Team Connections:  Students demonstrate the capabilities of one medium by completing several works of art. Students will use hatching, crosshatching, blending, and stippling techniques in their art work.

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 Connections: Students will apply correct usage of visual terminology when evaluating their own work or that of others. Students analytically study elements (shape, form) and organizational principals of art (rhythm, repletion).

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 Connections: Students will practice drawing from observation, memory and imaginative explorations by selecting and applying media (ie. Pencil, graphite, charcoal, pen, pastel) learning techniques (ie. blending, shading, contour drawing, gesture, volume) and communicating meaning to subject matter. (ie. Still-life, portrait, realism, fantasy, surreal, cartoon, abstract, landscape and figure drawing)

Content Standard 4: History and Cultures

  • 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 Connection: Students may research a specific artist, time period, art movement, or style. Students may discuss the visual characteristics of the art work.

Content Standard 5:  Analysis, Interpretation and Evaluation

  • 5.3  compare a variety of individual responses to, and interpretations of, their own works of art and those from various eras and cultures
  • 5.4  reflect and evaluate the quality and effectiveness of their own and other’s work using specific criteria (e.g. technique, formal and expressive qualities, and content)
  • Core Team Connection: Students apply critical and aesthetic criteria for the purpose of improving their own works of art. Students will reflect critically on various interpretations to better understand specific works of art.

Content Standard 6: Connections

  • 6.4  apply visual arts knowledge and skills to solve problems common in daily life
  • 6.2 describe ways in which the principles and subject matter of the visual arts and other disciplines taught in school are inter-related
  • Core Team Connection:  Students will make connections between the visual arts, daily life and other disciplines.

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

Concepts(Need to Know) 

Skills(Able to Do) 


Standard 1:



Standard 2:

elements of art, principals of design, communication




Standard 3:

art content

subject matter, symbols and ideas



Standard 4:

ideas, characteristics




Standard 5: 


quality, effectiveness



Standard 6:

knowledge and skills

interrelated principals and subject matter



Standard 1:

improve (communication)


Standard 2:

select (elements of art, principals of design)

improve (communication)



Standard 3:

consider, select, apply (art content)

consider and compare (subject matter, symbols, ideas)



Standard 4:

analyze, describe, demonstrate (ideas, characteristics)



Standard 5: 

compare (responses)

reflect, evaluate (quality, effectiveness)



Standard 6:

apply (Knowledge and skills)

describe (Interrelated principals and subject matter)






3, 6





















 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



  • www.apple.com   (Software Tutorials)
  • www.howdesign.com
  • www.layersmagazine.com
  • www.printmag.com
  • www.photoshopelementsuser.com
  • www.photoshopuser.com (National Organization Of Photoshop Professionals)
  • www.justcreativedesign.com   (The work of Jacob Cass)
  • www.areaofdesign.com  (Overviews of icons of American Design)
  • www.miltonglaser.com  (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)







Shape (geometric, organic, free form)

Positive Space





Horizontal Line










Negative Space













Still Life






Oral Reports

Additional arts criteria specific to the project

Written assignment/project




Math, History, English, Writing, Science Strands