Kindergarten students are adventurous and intuitive. They accept the world the way it is and have a hard time isolating specific information from a larger pool. They don't categorize objects logically. When drawing, kindergartners do not use realistic proportion. They draw things that are important to them in large scale, and might exclude things that are not important to them. Rather than drawing what they see visually, they tend to draw what they know about the person or object they are drawing.
Effective lessons for students at this age are short and repetitive. Repetition is particularly important in kindergarten because it encourages students to experiment and gives them time to develop awareness.
Perceptual development is intense at this age, and experiences that stimulate multiple senses such as sound, touch, and smell work particularly well.
When looking at a work of art, students are able to:
- pick out an object that is different from the rest.
- distinguish between bright and light, as well as dull and dark, colors.
- recognize basic shapes such as squares, triangles, and circles.
- identify types of lines, such as long and short, thick and thin, and straight and curved.
Suggestions for Discussion
Have students engage in exercises to identify the elements of art. For example, a guided-looking activity could focus on the elements of color, shape, and line. Asking questions that call on students to compare things that are alike and different is also effective at this grade level.
Suggestions for Art Production
Encourage intuition and spontaneous expression by providing a variety of materials. This allows for free expression of ideas and space. For example, in one activity you can give students access to different types of paint (watercolors, poster paint, tempera), crayons, pens, pencils, and papers of various colors and sizes to give them choices and experience with wet, dry, opaque, and transparent media.
Large-sized paper and large brushes allow these students, who are still developing fine motor skills, to make big gestures. Students can use paint to explore color and color mixing. Develop students' abilities to recognize the names of art tools and describe their functions.
Clay and clay substitutes teach additive and subtractive concepts. Students can explore texture by constructing three-dimensional sculptural collages.