Learning Resource Type

Classroom Resource

The Elements of Art: Form

Subject Area

Arts Education


3, 4


Students will explore form in sculptures by Alexander Calder.  They will experiment with lines by drawing and creating sculptures.  

    Arts Education (2017) Grade(s): 3 - Visual Arts


    Use learned vocabulary to evaluate artwork based on given criteria.

    Unpacked Content



    • Creativity
    • Criteria
    • Critique
    • Design
    • Media
    • Mixed media
    • Monochromatic
    • Principles of design
      • Rhythm
    • Technology
    • Visual image

    Essential Questions

    EU: People evaluate art based on various criteria.
    EQ: How does one determine criteria to evaluate a work of art? How and why might criteria vary? How is a personal preference different from an evaluation?

    Skills Examples

    • Identify the basic elements of art in a work of art through discussion and writing.
    • Observe and compare similar themes in artwork from historical and contemporary eras.
    • Theorize how individuals can have different opinions about works of art.
    • Demonstrate and apply critiques of personal work and the work of others in a positive way.
    • Select an art object and explain reasons why it is a work of art.
    • Use feedback and self-assessment to improve the quality of personal artwork.
    • Discuss the difference between Meret Oppenheim's Object and an everyday cup.
    • Discuss how art can be related to other subject areas.

    Anchor Standards

    Anchor Standard 9: Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.
    Arts Education (2017) Grade(s): 4 - Visual Arts


    Individually brainstorm multiple approaches to an art problem.

    Unpacked Content



    • Constructed environment
    • Cultural traditions
    • Digital format
    • Engagement
    • Tertiary color
    • Preservation
    • Proportion
    • Principles of design
      • Unity
    • Shade
    • Style
    • Tints & shades

    Essential Questions

    EU: Creativity and innovative thinking are essential life skills that can be developed.
    EQ: What conditions, attitudes, and behaviors support creativity and innovative thinking? What factors prevent or encourage people to take creative risks? How does collaboration expand the creative process?

    Skills Examples

    • Create a list of multiple ideas, sketches, or thumbnail-sketches before beginning the final version of an artwork.
    • Identify, select, and vary art materials, tools and processes to achieve desired results in their artwork.
    • Brainstorm (alone or with others) potential art styles for a given piece of art, such as Monet's Water Lilies.
    • Create an artwork from direct observation (still-life, self-portrait, figure drawing, etc.).
    • Design a two-dimensional drawings of a futuristic art room, town, or planet
    • Use wood, found objects, wire, paper, or clay-based materials to construct a three-dimensional form.
    • Locate business logos in the community and explore the visual arts skills and materials that were used to create these works.
    • Engage in group critiques of one's work and the work of others.
    • Experiment with art materials by using them in unusual and creative ways to express ideas and convey meaning.
    • Use and care for materials, tools, and equipment in a manner that prevents danger to oneself and others.
    • Mix equal parts of a primary and a secondary color located beside each other on the color wheel to create a tertiary color.
    • Use the design principles of repetition and alignment to add visual unity to an artwork.
    • Create a painting using a monochromatic color scheme by using one color (red) adding white to create a tint (a lighter value--pink) and adding black to the color (red) to create a shade (darker value).

    Anchor Standards

    Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
    Link to Resource

    CR Resource Type

    Learning Activity

    Resource Provider


    Resource Provider other

    National Gallery of Art

    License Type