Art 2 Middle School (8th Grade)
(1) The fine arts incorporate the study of dance, music, theatre, and the visual arts to offer unique experiences and empower students to explore realities, relationships, and ideas. These disciplines engage and motivate all students through active learning, critical thinking, and innovative problem solving. The fine arts develop cognitive functioning and increase student academic achievement, higher-order thinking, communication, and collaboration skills, making the fine arts applicable to college readiness, career opportunities, workplace environments, social skills, and everyday life. Students develop aesthetic and cultural awareness through exploration, leading to creative expression. Creativity, encouraged through the study of the fine arts, is essential to nurture and develop the whole child.
(2) Four basic strands--foundations: observation and perception; creative expression; historical and cultural relevance; and critical evaluation and response--provide broad, unifying structures for organizing the knowledge and skills students are expected to acquire. Each strand is of equal value and may be presented in any order throughout the year. Students rely on personal observations and perceptions, which are developed through increasing visual literacy and sensitivity to surroundings, communities, memories, imaginings, and life experiences, as sources for thinking about, planning, and creating original artworks. Students communicate their thoughts and ideas with innovation and creativity. Through art, students challenge their imaginations, foster critical thinking, collaborate with others, and build reflective skills. While exercising meaningful problem-solving skills, students develop the lifelong ability to make informed judgments.
(3) Statements that contain the word "including" reference content that must be mastered, while those containing the phrase "such as" are intended as possible illustrative examples.