I make an effort to connect my art lessons to the learning objectives of each grade level. The sixth graders theme was music. After some thought I decided to use musical instruments as my tie in. We began the first session of the unit with a review of the elements and principles of art and then looked at artwork that included musical instruments. We discussed the elements of art and the art media used in each example.
The second week the students practiced drawing instruments from photographs and then created a final design focusing on one or two of the art elements. By the third week most were ready to start their final project. After a necessarily brief demonstration on how to use pastels and watercolors the students were allowed to choose the media that best suited their design.
The entire project took 4 one hour sessions. The end result was a fabulous mix of colorful, abstract designs. I was very impressed with the variety and creativity of the final projects.