How we express ourselves

Creativity is a powerful tool for extending our ability to think, invent and express ourselves.

In our final unit, art was integrated into the happenings in class.  In the art room we explored making super heroes and a story.  However, the classes were most excited by expanding on the story If by Sarah Perry.  Here is what they came up with,

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Sharing the Planet

People can make choices to support the sustainability of the earth’s resources.

Our second to last unit in art is supporting the learning in the unit on which the classes are working. Learners have been inquiring about resources, reusing, and recycling.

In the art room, we used plastic bottles, newspaper and created our own sculptures based on the glass artist Dale Chihuly.  Students researched the shapes and forms for their sculpture and then each individual sculpture was combined to create a class sculpture and displayed outside of the K-1 Class areas in the ECC.

plastic bottlesnewspapers paper mache formsadd paintadd paintinstallation        installationinstallationinstallationinstallationinstallationinstallation installation

Place and Time

In this unit, learners looked at how art can record our journey.  This can be a simple drawing observation, a made up collage using a vehicle or even an abstract map of NISC.In the beginning of the unit, we took a walking tour of the new building and new art class that we moved into in the middle of February.  We also explored using a cutout from a magazine as a start for a detailed drawing of a journey that we have taken or would like to take.

SeungChan Tong Aarush Sienna

Abstract maps were the ending of this unit in art, learners used what they understood from their classroom exposure of maps to create their own abstract representations based on aerial photographs of NISC.  We looked for shapes, colors and symbols to illustrate our campus.

Amelia AbstractMap Angelina AbstractMap Jack AbstractMap Zaina AbstractMap
Organize Ourselves

Artists use a variety of skills to record and reflect on the happenings in their community.

In this unit we looked at various roles in the Phnom Penh community and used collage techniques to create paintings of what we discovered.

Cyclo drivers Watermelon carts Crab market Pig trucks fruit seller

How the World Works

All living things go through a process of change.

In this unit, Art is directly tied into what the learners are exploring in their classrooms.

First we looked at Process, Change and Transformation in the Art Cycle, learners identified and named different stages in making a painting:

Then we chose an animal and created 3D stages of that animals life cycle:

Who We Are

Start of the new school year and a new inquiry: Awareness of our characteristics informs an artist’s expression of who we are.

What better way to start off the art year by looking at who we are and how we are the same as our friends in class.  Then taking a closer look to see our small differences that make us, well us.  First we start by drawing what we think we look like, then out come the mirrors to take a closer.  After playing with some flesh color markers, we are ready to paint. Here two pencil drawings ready for paint:

Here are a few of the finished Self Portraits:

And some of our friend’s portraits:



Books are used for a variety of purposes

In this unit we explored how illustrators use pictures to tell a story.  Sometimes the books use no words at all, other times there are quite a few on a page.  We designed our own picture books after we thought up a “Story Self”and a “Story Friend”.  Hope you enjoy this sample, click on the link below the cover page to see more.

K1’s Exploring Picture Books

How Matter Changes:

In this unit we experimented with clay and changing rice to use in art.

Here are a few examples of what we noticed (combined from different learners reflections):

At first clay is sticky, wet and cold… then we can roll it to snakes (coils)… make it go in circles and go up…. then it has to dry… it gets lighter brown… cooked it is hard like rocks… then we can paint it with colors.

K1 also experimented with dyes and rice… what happens when we mix rice with colors?

Some thought it would not change and some thought the color would stick:

Here is what we discovered:

and here is what we did with the colored rices:


We explored spaces around NISC and then designed our own space to be perfect for something we really enjoy doing- ie: a dance room, video game room, a reading room or an art room…

Natural materials:

The natural world inspires and challenges artistic development.

We looked at natural materials around NISC, used them as tools to create art and materials used in art:

Here the natural materials were used to start us thinking about ideas to paint:

Cultural Art:

Culture may be expressed in a variety of ways.

K1R is looking at New Zealand and the Maori Koru designs:

K1B is looking at Adinkra Cloth from Ghana:

K1Y is creating Huichol Yarn paintings from Mexico:

K1G is looking at Australia and the Aboriginal Dot Paintings:

The first unit this year… 

Color and Shape:

Looking at Mondrian and the use of primary colors and squares and rectangles, we will create our own paintings to show movement.

Here are a few of the Mondrian-esque images we developed using primary colors and squares, rectangles, and lines:

Next part, was looking at what happened when those primary colors mixed and we learned what yellow and blue made!


How We Express Ourselves
In art, K1s talked about imaginary worlds, super hero powers, and story books.
After looking at Sarah Perry’s Book If, here is what we did…


We looked at Eric Carle and Romare Bearden as Collage artists….

We also looked at what potters do…

Who We Are

Portraits of our Friend in Class

Full Body Tracings with a Partner

Increasing awareness of our personal characteristics
and abilities, and those of others, allows our self identify
to develop.

Here are some of the things our students have been busy with… hope you enjoy them!

Self Portraits

Who We Are


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