GRADE 5 Art Classes
In fifth grade, students explore the question: What is the role of the artist in our world? They journey through a wealth of experiences that examine contemporary and historical art, while advancing their understanding and engagement with artist roles in society. Themes include: The Artist as Designer, The Artist as Observer, The Artist as Architect, The Artist as Scientist, and many more. As explore the roles that artists play, they are challenged to create original works of art that enhance skill development, thinking processes, and creativity. Students work in 2D, 3D, and technology-based mediums.
Fifth graders learn how to sight read notated rhythms and melodies using the solfeggio system of syllables. These skills are then applied to their work at the electronic keyboard. Students study classical composers such as Vivaldi, Handel, and Wagner, as well as each composer’s most significant musical contributions. Students are also introduced to the world music of Mexico and Jamaica.
Fifth graders are given more detailed instruction in the use of hand tools. Following a review of safety, children are presented with a mechanical drawing that helps them learn and understand scale, read dimensions, and recognize views. The scale drawing guides students in measuring, cutting, and assembling parts of a board game tied to their history studies of ancient cultures.
GRADE 6 Art Classes
Sixth graders explores the theme Art and Identity and learn how to develop their own unique voices as an artists. Students dig deep into their ideas and hone their skills of observation, expression, craftsmanship, and creative thinking, as they embrace the possibilities of the traditional and technological media presented in class. A few of the intriguing prompts that students will explore during the semester include: “making the ordinary extraordinary”, “inside out self-portraits,” “a glimpse behind the curtain,” and “actions speak louder than words.” The projects and learning experiences allow students to investigate who they are as artists, to understand their personal aesthetics, and to gain confidence as they consider the internal and external factors that contribute to their identity.
Sixth graders further develop sight-reading and electronic keyboard skills using solfège. Students also learn the art of body percussion through discovery and performance, compose a piece of music as an entire class using online music software, and learn about various world instruments through an assignment called The Unusual Instrument Project.
Sixth grade students are introduced to the use of power equipment in the manufacturing of a project. After a review of general shop rules, children learn safety procedures, parts, and the proper operation of specific power equipment in the woodshop. Each child demonstrates competency in operating a tool and must pass a written quiz before being permitted to use each one. More advanced joinery is required for sixth grade projects, and students are encouraged to work with a keener eye toward quality when developing and executing an original project theme.
GRADE 7 Art Classes
Seventh-grade students explore the theme Art and Change. During the semester, students use their art as vehicles to examine concepts such as changing perspectives, contrast of the traditional versus the contemporary, and art as a vehicle for social progress. They will work with a wide variety of materials including ink brush painting, multi-media sculpture, and stop-motion animation. Through these projects, students develop their skills of observation, expression, creative thinking, and craftsmanship, as they recognize the power of art to foster change.
Seventh graders are provided an introductory foundation to various forms of theatre through diverse units of study. A series of activities, games, improvisations, writing tools, Playback Theatre, Story Theatre, and Readers’ Theatre are used to introduce students to the basic tools of the dramatic arts. These include ensemble building, acting, improvisation, character development, public speaking, listening skills, heightened self-awareness, presence, confidence, and compassion.
Seventh graders compose original music through the software program GarageBand. Students learn different music recording techniques, musical forms, and music genres. Genres of music include electronic, Jazz, and Latin.
Seventh-grade woodworkers build on skills developed in the sixth grade in the safe and proper use of power tools. A project requiring more advanced methods of manufacturing is selected as a means of improving fine motor skills and to further the students' understanding of equipment capabilities. A completed project, with intricate design, carved and shaped elements, and detailed finish can transcend utility to a work of art.
GRADE 8 Art Electives
In Grade 8 students select two semester-long electives from among the following choices.
Pulling the Thread
This elective challenges students to discover their own creative thread to explore and unravel throughout the course of the semester. Each thread represents a theme or a big question for a student to delve into as they enlist a variety of traditional and contemporary mediums to build their portfolio of work. In this class, students are encouraged to ask intriguing questions, to develop innovative solutions, and to experiment with new materials in order to weave their thread into a beautiful tapestry of artistic expressions.
Students are given the unique opportunity to write, illustrate, and create original stories using a combination of traditional and technological tools. Stop-motion animation, digital animation, comic book layout, and children’s book design are just a few of the vehicles that students can use to bring their creative visions to life. From character design to storyboarding to finished product, students work through the process of storytelling in the digital age. Everyone has a story to tell, and Peck students are given the opportunity to make theirs a stunning reality.
Students are immersed in a creative, explorative process that culminates in a play performed at the end of the school year in front of the entire community. In addition to honing acting skills, each student contributes to the may roles inherent in a play production — including set, prop, lighting and sound design; costumes; playbill design; and advertising. Each student actor experiences the joy of theatre while being part of a committed ensemble.
School of Rock
Students experienced in playing musical instruments and passionate about singing, come together in School of Rock to perform pop and rock songs. Performances take place throughout the semester.
Each student is encouraged to choose a project to construct that challenges his or her capabilities. Sketches are first submitted for approval, then a scale drawing and a plan of procedures are made to serve as guides for manufacturing. Eighth graders review general shop rules and power tool safety and proper operation. More complex power equipment — such as the sliding compound miter saw, lathe, the table saw, and laser cutter — can be used to help create a baseball bat, bowl, jewelry box, cutting board, bookshelf, chess board, photo frame, storage chest, table, or other project.
Break it. Shake it. Make it.
During a semester in the Idea and Design Lab, students will develop proficiency with high-tech and low-tech tools, as well as various materials. Students will learn how and why various products (e.g. electric guitars, sneakers, computers, toasters, etc.) are made and work. They will also develop ideas and rudimentary designs to improve these products. Moreover, students will learn how to observe a “client’s” environment and needs.