ELEM CURRICULUM

ELEM CURRICULUM
REVISED
2009
The Ontario Curriculum
Grades 1-8
The Arts
CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
3
The Importance of the Arts in the Curriculum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Approaches to Education in the Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Roles and Responsibilities in Arts Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Attitudes in the Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
THE PROGRAM IN THE ARTS
Curriculum Expectations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Strands in the Arts Curriculum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Fundamental Concepts in the Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Creative Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Critical Analysis Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
11
11
13
18
19
23
29
Basic Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
The Achievement Chart for the Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
SOME CONSIDERATIONS FOR PROGRAM PLANNING IN THE ARTS
Instructional Approaches and Teaching Strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Cross-Curricular and Integrated Learning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Planning Arts Programs for Students With Special Education Needs . . . . . . . . . . . .
Program Considerations for English Language Learners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Environmental Education and the Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Antidiscrimination Education in the Arts Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Literacy, Numeracy, and Inquiry in the Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Critical Thinking and Critical Literacy in the Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Multiple Literacies in the Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Role of the School Library in Arts Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Role of Information and Communications Technology in Arts Education . . .
Guidance in Arts Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Health and Safety in Arts Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Une publication équivalente est disponible en français
sous le titre suivant : Le curriculum de l’Ontario, de la
1re à la 8e année – Éducation artistique, 2009.
This publication is available on the Ministry of Education’s
website, at http://www.edu.gov.on.ca.
36
36
42
43
46
48
49
51
53
54
55
56
57
58
OVERVIEW OF GRADES 1 TO 3
61
Grade 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Grade 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Grade 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
OVERVIEW OF GRADES 4 TO 6
95
Grade 4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Grade 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
Grade 6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
OVERVIEW OF GRADES 7 AND 8
131
Grade 7 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
Grade 8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
GLOSSARY
159
INTRODUCTION
This document replaces The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1–8: The Arts, 1998. Beginning
in September 2009, all arts programs for Grades 1 to 8 will be based on the expectations
outlined in this document.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE ARTS IN THE CURRICULUM
Since arts experiences offer other modes and ways of experiencing and learning,
children will have opportunities to think and feel as they explore, problem solve,
express, interpret, and evaluate the process and the results. To watch a child
completely engaged in an arts experience is to recognize that the brain is on, driven
by the aesthetic and emotional imperative to make meaning, to say something,
to represent what matters.
The Arts Go to School, David Booth and Masayuki Hachiya, eds.
(Markham, Ontario: Pembroke Publishers, 2004), p.15
Education in the arts is essential to students’ intellectual, social, physical, and emotional
growth and well-being. Experiences in the arts – in dance, drama, music, and visual arts –
play a valuable role in helping students to achieve their potential as learners and to participate fully in their community and in society as a whole. The arts provide a natural vehicle
through which students can explore and express themselves and through which they
can discover and interpret the world around them. Participation in the arts contributes in
important ways to students’ lives and learning – it involves intense engagement, development of motivation and confidence, and the use of creative and dynamic ways of thinking
and knowing. It is well documented that the intellectual and emotional development of
children is enhanced through study of the arts. Through the study of dance, drama, music,
and visual arts, students develop the ability to think creatively and critically. The arts
nourish and stimulate the imagination, and provide students with an expanded range
of tools, techniques, and skills to help them gain insights into the world around them
and to represent their understandings in various ways. Study of the arts also provides
opportunities for differentiation of both instruction and learning environments.
Participation in the arts and learning about the arts can also broaden students’ horizons
in various ways. Through study of the arts, students learn about some of the diverse
artistic practices, both traditional and contemporary, of a variety of cultures. They learn
that they are part of a living and changing culture. They also learn to appreciate the
similarities and differences among the various forms of artistic expression of people around
the world. The arts offer students unique opportunities to engage in imaginative and
innovative thought and action and to develop the ability to communicate and represent
their thoughts, feelings, and ideas in numerous ways.
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Through interacting with various works of dance, drama, music, and visual arts, including
multimedia art works, students deepen their awareness and appreciation of diverse
perspectives. They can empathize with the characters in a dance work, a drama, a song,
or a visual art work, and can imagine what it would be like to be in the same situation
as these people. They can identify common values, both aesthetic and human, in various
works of art, and in doing so, increase their understanding of others. The arts can also
encourage students to be responsible and critically literate members of society and citizens
of the world. Students can learn to approach issues and present ideas and points of view
in new ways and to challenge perceptions, while engaging their audience. They can explore
and create original “artistic texts” in kinesthetic, visual, spatial, aural, and dramatic ways
with attention to both conceptual and aesthetic considerations. Use of current and emerging
technologies (e.g., video, multimedia) is integrated in the four disciplines as means of
recording, enhancing, communicating, and reinterpreting ideas.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
The arts are a way of knowing that provides ways of perceiving, interpreting, organizing,
and questioning various aspects of our world through exploration and experimentation.
Artistic expression involves clarifying and restructuring personal ideas and experiences.
The arts enable individuals and groups to create ideas and images that reflect, communicate,
and change their views of the world. An important part of arts literacy is the development
of an understanding of the nature of the arts, which includes an understanding of what
artists, musicians, actors, and dancers do as individuals and as a community, how ideas are
generated in the various arts, and what benefits are associated with these activities. The
arts themselves can be regarded as “texts” or commentaries that reflect, record, celebrate,
and pass on to future generations the personal and collective stories, values, innovations,
and traditions that make us unique. Students may contribute their vision, abilities, and
creative energies to the extensive arts and culture sector of Canada, and thus help define,
renew, and shape our sense of personal and national identity. The arts broaden young
minds and exalt our spirits; they help us understand what it is that makes us human by
validating our commonalities and celebrating our differences.
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Students will learn to link the study of the arts with the study of a variety of subjects and
topics such as history, geography, language, culture, and human interaction. They gain
an appreciation of the great importance of the arts as sources of enjoyment and as means
of communication in cultures around the world. They also learn to understand that the
arts have long served as important media for recording and communicating ideas and
feelings. Students will learn that all the arts not only reflect historical and cultural values,
but can also be interpreted differently depending on the experiences of the viewer and
the perspective presented by the art work. Artistic “texts” (e.g., modern dance, sculptures,
shadow plays, songs) carry meaning and require analysis, interpretation, and understanding of their context (for example, how and why the work is created and viewed).
Learning through the arts fosters integration of a student’s sensory, cognitive, emotional,
and motor capacities. For example, hands-on materials and activities can challenge students
to move from the concrete to the abstract, and students can develop ideas while working
through the stages of the creative process. The arts can be enjoyable and fulfilling, but
they are also intellectually rigorous disciplines involving the use of complex symbols
(e.g., choreography, gesture, icons, musical notation) to communicate meaning and
understanding. Many of these symbols are rooted in a particular social, historical, and
cultural context and therefore may have meanings that are different from what one knows
from one’s own culture and time.
All of the arts disciplines are distinct, each with its own body of knowledge, and with
its own concepts, forms, styles, conventions, techniques, and modes of inquiry, but these
disciplines are also linked in various ways and they enrich and are enriched by each
other and by other subjects. The world of communication has been affected by the arts
in many significant ways, such as the use of body language, music, visuals, and voice
in the media. It is important, therefore, that students see and understand the arts in their
wider context – as endeavours with important ideas for people – and that they learn to
connect their knowledge of the arts to the world beyond the school. In making links
between the arts and other areas of the curriculum, students will learn to see how the
arts can increase understanding or can give them alternative modes of expression for
their ideas. For example, students can use dance to explore feeling and movement in the
study of a science topic such as the stages of a natural disaster; through drama, they can
explore the point of view of characters whose voice is not heard in a story; they can use
their understanding of the power of music to create mood and a sense of time and place
in a historical film; or they can use the power of imagery in art work or popular media
to influence the viewer.
In producing their own works, students communicate their insights while developing
artistic skills and aesthetic judgement. Since artistic activities are closely connected to
play and human interaction, students experience a sense of wonder and joy when
engaged in the arts, which can motivate them to participate more fully in cultural life
and in other educational opportunities. Participation in arts activities helps students
develop their ability to listen and observe, and enables them to become more self-aware
and self-confident. It encourages them to take risks, to solve problems in creative ways,
and to draw on their resourcefulness to build on new ideas. It encourages them to develop
a personal voice. Fostering a love of the arts in students, even if they do not intend to be
professional artists, will enrich their future experience as audience members. As well,
study of the arts expands the ways in which students can express their ideas, feelings,
beliefs, and values, as well as their understanding of those of others. It encourages
innovative thinking, spontaneity, intuition, divergent thinking, and improvisation.
Such learning is vital for communication, understanding, and intellectual and emotional
growth. It is also necessary for critically analysing and selecting information in an age
when a plethora of information is available instantaneously. The knowledge and skills
developed in the study of the arts can therefore be applied in many other endeavours.
APPROACHES TO EDUCATION IN THE ARTS
The approaches to education in the arts that are briefly discussed below are based on
the ideas underlying the arts curriculum that are outlined in the chart on page 6.
INTRODUCTION
Participation in the Arts. Learning experiences in the arts include aesthetic experiences,
creative engagement, and development of skills of expressive participation, as well as
acquisition of knowledge and skills related to specific arts. Arts experiences are unique
learning experiences since they combine sensory perception, the affective domain, and
the kinesthetic domain with the cognitive domain. Learning experiences in the arts thus
provide opportunities for learning that involve the whole person, and participation in
the arts provides a context for making wide-ranging and personal connections. In arts
education, this is often referred to as “learning in the arts”.
5
Analysis and Appreciation of the Arts. Analysis, criticism, and appreciation are integral
aspects of an arts program that is concerned with understanding the meaning and
“language” of art forms and contemporary and historical artistic products. Learning
experiences in analysis and appreciation of the arts may focus on one of the arts or on
more than one, or on particular art forms or several forms combined. In arts education,
this is often referred to as “learning about the arts”.
Integrated Learning in the Arts. Various aspects of the arts can also be used to illuminate
other aspects of the school curriculum or to help develop students’ skills in other subjects.
For example, teachers may have students demonstrate their learning in other subjects by
using artistic modes of expression. Through integration of the arts with other subjects,
students can also develop broader abilities – for example, communication skills. In arts
education, this is often referred to as “learning through the arts”.
The arts curriculum is based on four central ideas – developing creativity, communicating,
understanding culture, and making connections. Major aspects of these ideas are outlined
in the chart below.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Ideas Underlying the Arts Curriculum
6
Developing
Creativity
•
•
•
•
developing aesthetic awareness
using the creative process
using problem-solving skills
taking an innovative approach to a challenge
Communicating
• manipulating elements and forms to convey or express thoughts, feelings, messages, or
ideas through the arts
• using the critical analysis process
• constructing and analysing art works, with a focus on analysing and communicating the
meaning of the work
• using new media and technology to produce art works and to convey thoughts, feelings,
and ideas about art
Understanding
Culture
• understanding cultural traditions and innovations
• constructing personal and cultural identity (developing a sense of self and a sense of
the relationship between the self and others locally, nationally, and globally)
• making a commitment to social justice and dealing with environmental issues
Making
Connections
• making connections between the cognitive and affective domains (expressing thoughts
and feelings when creating and responding to art works)
• collaborating to create works with others, and performing in ensembles
• making connections between the arts and other subjects (e.g., transferring knowledge,
skills, and understanding to other subject areas)
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN ARTS EDUCATION
Students
Students’ responsibilities with respect to their own learning develop gradually and
increase over time, as students progress through elementary and secondary school.
With appropriate instruction and with experience, students come to see how making an
effort can enhance learning and improve achievement. As they mature and develop their
ability to persist, to manage their own impulses, to take responsible risks, and to listen
with understanding, students become better able to engage with their own learning.
Learning to take responsibility for their progress and achievement is an important part
of every student’s education.
Mastering the concepts and skills connected with the arts curriculum requires work,
practice, study, and the development of cooperative skills. It also requires hands-on
exploration and a commitment to safety practices. Through ongoing practice and review
and revision of their work, students deepen their appreciation and understanding of
the arts. In addition, students can learn to use skills that they have developed in the
arts in a variety of other contexts and subjects – for example, to help them engage with
their learning in other subjects and to revise their ideas. Students can also extend their
learning in the arts by participating in school and community arts activities.
Parents
Parents1 have an important role to play in their children’s learning. Studies show that
students perform better in school if their parents are involved in their education. By
becoming familiar with the arts curriculum, parents can better appreciate what is being
taught in each grade and what their children are expected to learn. This awareness will
enhance parents’ ability to discuss their children’s work with them, to communicate with
teachers, and to ask relevant questions about their children’s progress. Knowledge of the
expectations will also help parents to understand how their children are progressing in
school, to interpret teachers’ comments on student progress, and to work with teachers
to improve their children’s learning.
Effective ways in which parents can support their children’s learning include the following:
attending parent-teacher interviews, participating in parent workshops and school council
activities (including becoming a school council member), and encouraging their children
to complete their assignments and to practise at home. Parents can also promote and
attend artistic events at their children’s school. By attending concerts, exhibitions, and
arts presentations, parents can demonstrate a commitment to their children’s success.
1. In this document, parent(s) is used to refer to parent(s) and guardian(s).
INTRODUCTION
Parents can also provide valuable support for their children’s learning by taking an interest
in their children’s projects in the arts and projects in other subject areas that require the
application of knowledge and skills learned in the study of the arts. Such an interest
encourages students and promotes a positive attitude to the arts, and the recognition
of their achievements helps children develop confidence. The involvement of parents in
their children’s education also gives parents an opportunity to promote safe techniques
in the handling of tools and materials (e.g., musical instruments, paints), and to encourage
their children to take proper care of arts materials and instruments.
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In addition to supporting regular school activities, parents may wish to encourage their
children to take an active interest in using the arts for meaningful purposes as a regular
part of their activities outside school. Parents are encouraged to take their children to
art exhibits, theatrical presentations, and musical and dance performances. These events
often take place in community centres, places of worship, and public parks or schools,
as well as in more formal venues, such as galleries, museums, and concert halls. Such
experiences help develop children’s appreciation of art works and encourage them to
develop their own creativity. The arts curriculum promotes lifelong learning not only
for students, but also for their parents and all those with an interest in education.
Teachers
Teaching is key to student success. Teachers are responsible for developing appropriate
instructional strategies to help students achieve the arts curriculum expectations, as
well as appropriate methods for assessing and evaluating student learning. Teachers
bring enthusiasm and varied teaching and assessment approaches to the classroom,
addressing individual students’ needs and ensuring sound learning opportunities for
every student.
Using a variety of instructional, assessment, and evaluation strategies, teachers provide
numerous hands-on opportunities for students to develop and refine their skills and
knowledge in creating, presenting, performing, reflecting, analysing, and responding in
all of the arts. Through these learning experiences, teachers will enable students to make
meaningful connections between what they already know and what they need to know.
Teachers are also encouraged to use their knowledge of their students and the curriculum
to guide decisions about classroom instruction and activities. Teachers should reflect on
the results of the learning opportunities they provide, and make changes to the activities
where necessary in order to help students achieve the curriculum expectations to the
best of their ability.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Teachers can help students understand that the creative process often requires a considerable expenditure of time and energy and a good deal of perseverance. Teachers can
also encourage students to explore alternative solutions and to take the risks necessary
to become successful problem-solvers and creators of art work. The arts can play a key
role in shaping students’ views about life and learning. Since the arts exist in a broader
social and historical context, teachers can show students that all of the arts are affected
by the values and choices of individuals, and in turn have a significant impact on society.
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Teachers provide students with frequent opportunities to practise and apply arts concepts
and, through regular and varied assessment, give them the specific and descriptive feedback they need in order to further develop and refine their skills. By assigning tasks that
promote the development of creative and thinking skills, teachers also enable students to
become thoughtful and effective communicators. Opportunities to relate knowledge and
skills in arts learning to wider contexts, both across the curriculum and in the world
beyond the school, motivate students to learn and to become lifelong learners.
Principals
The principal works in partnership with teachers and parents to ensure that each student
has access to the best possible educational experience. The principal is also a community
builder who creates an environment that is welcoming to all, and who ensures that all
members of the school community are kept well informed.
To support student learning, principals ensure that the Ontario curriculum is being
properly implemented in all classrooms through the use of a variety of instructional
approaches, and that appropriate time, facilities, and resources are made available for
teachers to allow all students to participate in all four strands of the arts program.
To enhance teaching and student learning in all subjects, including the arts, principals
promote learning teams and work with teachers to facilitate teacher participation in
professional development activities. Principals are also responsible for ensuring that
every student who has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is receiving the modifications
and/or accommodations described in his or her plan – in other words, for ensuring that
the IEP is properly developed, implemented, and monitored.
Community Partners
Community partners can be an important resource for a school’s arts program. They can
provide models of how the arts relate to life beyond school. These models include partnerships of school boards and individual schools with arts agencies and institutions, social
services, community organizations, corporations, and local businesses. Such modelling
and mentoring can enrich not only the educational experience of students but also the
life of the community.
Schools and school boards can play a role by coordinating efforts with community partners.
They can involve community artists and volunteers in supporting arts instruction and in
promoting a focus on the arts inside and outside the school. Schools should ensure that
partnership initiatives are carried out within the context of strong educational objectives.
It is important that schools plan the ways in which visits from artists and other members
of the arts community can help students to achieve particular arts learning expectations.
It is also important to decide what are the best ways of integrating artists’ visits into the
sequence of lessons within the unit(s) of instruction. Community partners can be included
in arts events held in the school, and can help facilitate educational visits. School boards
can collaborate with leaders of existing community-based arts programs for youth,
including programs offered in public libraries and community centres. Art galleries,
theatres, museums, and concert venues (where available) provide rich environments
for field trips and for exploration of the local community and its resources.
INTRODUCTION
In choosing community partners, schools should build on existing links with their
local communities and create new partnerships in conjunction with ministry and
school board policies. These links are especially beneficial when they have direct
connections to the curriculum. Teachers may find opportunities for their students to
participate in community arts projects or events. At the elementary level, participation
in inclusive exhibitions, concerts, and performances is encouraged. Teachers may have
their students participate in festivals that focus on the curriculum, support the units
or sequence of instruction, have clear criteria, are designed for educational purposes,
and provide descriptive feedback. Teachers may provide ongoing exhibitions and
performance opportunities within classrooms, schools, school districts, colleges,
universities, and other community venues.
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ATTITUDES IN THE ARTS
The attitudes of everyone involved with students have a significant effect on how students
approach the arts. Parents can demonstrate a positive attitude towards the arts at home
and in the community, and teachers should ensure that they project a positive attitude
towards the arts in their instruction. Teachers should encourage students to use their
imagination and their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills in planning, producing,
and assessing works of art. They should also help students understand that even the most
accomplished artists continue to put a great deal of time and effort into their work.
Teachers can also encourage a positive attitude towards the arts by helping students
learn about careers in various areas of the arts industry. By studying art in a variety of
forms, learning about artists within and outside the community, and participating in a
variety of artistic activities, students will become better informed about the possibilities
for active participation in the arts later in life.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Students’ attitudes towards the arts can have a significant effect on their achievement
of the curriculum expectations. Teaching methods and learning activities that encourage
students to recognize the value and relevance of what they are learning will go a long
way towards motivating students to work and to learn effectively.
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THE PROGRAM
IN THE ARTS
CURRICULUM EXPECTATIONS
The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1–8: The Arts, 2009 identifies the expectations for each
grade and describes the knowledge and skills that students are expected to acquire,
demonstrate, and apply in their class work and investigations, on tests, and in various
other activities on which their achievement is assessed and evaluated.
Two sets of expectations are listed for each grade in each strand, or broad area of the
curriculum, in the arts for Grades 1 to 8 – overall expectations and specific expectations.
The overall expectations describe in general terms the knowledge and skills that students
are expected to demonstrate by the end of each grade. There are three overall expectations
for each strand in each grade in the arts.
The specific expectations describe the expected knowledge and skills in greater detail.
The specific expectations are organized under numbered headings, each of which indicates the overall expectation to which the group of specific expectations corresponds.
The organization of expectations into groups is not meant to imply that the expectations
in any one group are achieved independently of the expectations in the other groups.
The numbered headings are used merely to help teachers focus on particular aspects of
knowledge and skills as they develop various lessons and learning activities for their
students (see the illustration on page 12).
Taken together, the overall and specific expectations represent the mandated curriculum.
Most of the specific expectations are accompanied by examples, given in parentheses,
as well as “teacher prompts”. The examples and teacher prompts help to clarify the
requirements specified in the expectations, and suggest the intended depth and level of
complexity of the expectations. They have been developed to model appropriate practice
for the grade and are meant to serve as illustrations for teachers. Teachers can choose to
use the examples and teacher prompts that are appropriate for their classrooms, or they
may develop their own approaches that reflect a similar level of complexity. Whatever
the specific ways in which the requirements outlined in the expectations are implemented
in the classroom, they must, wherever possible, be inclusive and reflect the diversity of
the student population and the population of the province.
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Each grade is organized into four
strands, numbered A, B, C, and D.
A numbered subheading introduces
each overall expectation. The same
heading is used to identify the group
of specific expectations that relates to
the particular overall expectation
(e.g., within the specific expectations,
“A1. Creating and Presenting”
relates to overall expectation A1 for
the Dance strand).
The overall expectations describe in general
terms the knowledge and skills students are
expected to demonstrate by the end of each
grade. Three overall expectations are provided
for each strand in every grade. The numbering
of overall expectations indicates the strand to
which they belong (e.g., A1 through A3 are
the overall expectations for strand A).
A. DANCE
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 3
By the end of Grade 3, students will:
A1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to the composition of dance
phrases, using the elements of dance to communicate feelings and ideas;
A2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of dance pieces
and experiences;
A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of dance forms
and styles from the past and present, and their social and/or community contexts.
The fundamental
concepts embedded
in the expectations
for each strand are
outlined in this box
for each grade.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 3
Students in Grade 3 will develop or extend understanding of the following concepts through participation
in various dance experiences (e.g., exploring movement and pattern forms), with particular emphasis
on time and energy.
ELEMENTS OF DANCE
• body: body actions, body shapes, locomotor movements (e.g., running, galloping, crawling),
non-locomotor movements (e.g., lifting, pulling, marching, waving arms), body bases (e.g., seat as
base), use of body zones (e.g., body areas of front and back)
• space: levels, pathways, directions, size of movement
12
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
• time: freeze, tempo (e.g., slow, sustained, fast)
The specific expectations
describe the expected knowledge and skills in greater
detail. The expectation
number identifies the strand
to which the expectation
belongs and the overall
expectation to which it relates
(e.g., A1.1 and A1.2 relate to
the first overall expectation
in strand A).
86
• energy: force (e.g., lightness/strength), effort (e.g., pressing, gliding), quality (e.g., smoothly, cautiously,
erratically, percussively)
• relationship: (e.g., interconnected shapes)
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
A1. Creating and Presenting
By the end of Grade 3, students will:
A1.1 imitate movements found in their natural
environment in a variety of ways and incorporate
them into a dance phrase (e.g., modify the
movements of animals, snow falling to the ground,
ice melting, plants growing; connect a series of
insect-like movements together to make a phrase)
Teacher prompt: “How would the quality of your
movements change if you were first moving
like a bee and then moving like a butterfly
[erratic, gliding]? Would your movements
change to sharp and sudden, or smooth and
slow? Would your path be direct and gliding
or indirect and meandering?”
The examples help to clarify the
requirement specified in the expectation and to suggest its intended depth
and level of complexity. The examples
are illustrations only, not requirements.
They appear within parentheses and
are set in italics.
A1.2 use dance as a language to represent ideas
from diverse literature sources, with a focus
on time and energy (e.g., interpret stories, poems,
and texts from other subject areas through dance;
respond to a story about insects by depicting the
sustained lifting and pulling actions of ants versus
the sustained floating actions of butterflies)
Teacher prompts: “When creating a dance phrase
to represent the idea of this poem, consider the
poem’s punctuation. How would you express
the dance equivalent of an exclamation mark
for emphasis in the dance?” “Which combination
of elements will you choose from the time and
energy chart to portray the rest of the insect
characters in the story?”
Teacher prompts illustrate the kinds
of questions teachers might pose in
relation to the requirement specified in
the expectation. They are illustrations
only, not requirements. Teacher prompts
always follow the expectation and
examples.
In the expectations for each of the strands, some repetition has been necessary to reflect
the progressive nature of skill development in the arts. Expectations dealing with skills
that continue to be of major importance as students progress from grade to grade are
repeated for all relevant grades. Progression is indicated either by means of increasingly
complex examples or by changes to the expectations.
It should also be noted that all the skills specified in the early grades continue to be
developed and refined as students move on through the grades, whether or not the
skills continue to be explicitly mentioned.
STRANDS IN THE ARTS CURRICULUM
The expectations in the arts curriculum are organized into four strands – Dance, Drama,
Music, and Visual Arts. The knowledge and skills described in the expectations in these
four strands will enable students to create, understand, respond to, and appreciate a
range of works in the arts.
The program in all grades is designed to develop a range of essential skills in each of the
arts – dance, drama, music, and the visual arts. These skills will be built on a solid foundation of knowledge of arts concepts and will include creative, analytical, critical thinking,
and communication skills. Students learn best when they are encouraged to consciously
monitor their thinking as they learn (metacognition), and each strand includes expectations that call for such reflection.
The emphasis in each strand is on developing students’ ability to communicate through
creating and presenting/performing works in the arts and to communicate their
thoughts and feelings about works in the arts. Students’ demonstration of understanding
of the knowledge and skills specified in each strand must occur through active participation in the various arts. Learning in the arts cannot be viewed as merely the learning
of facts, but must focus on developing students’ knowledge and skills in hands-on,
age-appropriate ways.
The expectations for each strand are grouped under three subheadings, as follows:
Creating and Presenting/Performing focuses on the students’ creative use of the
various art forms to express and communicate feelings and ideas in those forms. Students
are required to be actively engaged in the stages of the creative process (described on
pages 19–22). When engaged in the creative process, students should be given opportunities
to be inventive and imaginative in their thinking, rather than merely to find a prescribed
answer. Reflection and feedback, both ongoing and summative, are essential parts of the
creative process, allowing students to evaluate their own achievement and to grow in
their creative endeavours.
THE PROGRAM IN THE ARTS
Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing focuses on the students’ awareness and communication of emotional and intellectual responses to works in the various art forms.
Students are required to use the critical analysis process (described on pages 23–28) to
analyse, discuss, and interpret their own works and those of others, and to assess their
strengths and areas for growth as both creators and audience members. Students learn
that all ideas can be expanded upon and revised and can be considered from a variety
13
of perspectives. Practice in using the critical analysis process is intended to help students
move beyond quick judgements to develop informed personal points of view and to
learn how to articulate their creative and artistic choices.
Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts focuses on the students’ awareness and understanding of how the various arts and art forms have developed in various times and
places; of the role of the different arts in students’ own lives and in the local, national,
and global communities; and of the social and economic factors that influence how the
arts are perceived and valued. This component also encompasses the study of contemporary media and art forms. It is intended to help students understand that the arts are an
important means of recording and expressing cultural history and identity and are also
an essential aspect of living for all people. The focus should not be on the learning of
facts, but rather on a meaningful extension of creating and learning in the arts.
The three groups of expectations are closely interrelated, and the knowledge and skills
described in the expectations in each group are interdependent and complementary.
Teachers should plan activities that blend expectations from these three groups in order
to provide students with the kinds of experiences that promote meaningful learning and
that help them understand the interrelationships between creative and practical work,
critical analysis, and learning about the sociocultural and historical context of the arts.
Teachers should be aware that dance, drama, music, and the visual arts are separate
disciplines, each with its own body of knowledge, artistic “language” or symbols, and
modes of investigation. They each have a history and heritage, and they have structures
in which ideas and experiences may be developed. Each discipline therefore provides
unique opportunities through which students can develop their ability to communicate
and to interpret meaning – for example, through visual, auditory, or kinesthetic forms or
symbols. The arts can have a powerful influence on the way we think and communicate,
and students can benefit from opportunities to interpret meaning and develop their
communication skills in a variety of expressive forms in the arts.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Dance
14
The dance curriculum is intended to help students to develop an understanding and
appreciation of dance, as well as the ability to create works using the elements and the
choreographic forms of the discipline. Through exploring dance and movement, students
will develop an understanding of the art form, themselves, and others, and will learn about
the lives of people in different times, places, and cultures. They will develop practical
artistic skills, critical analysis skills, and a variety of communication skills.
Dance is expressive movement with purpose and form. All dance communication is
transmitted through movement – that is, through the body movements and gestures
of the dancer. A dancer is, therefore, both the performer and the instrument through
which dance is expressed. It is not recommended that students at the elementary level
be given instruction in formal dance techniques (e.g., ballet, Graham, Límon techniques).
Instead, students will develop their own movement vocabularies that they will use
to create dance pieces that communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings.
This approach to dance, as outlined in this curriculum, is based on dance pedagogies
(e.g., Laban), and focuses on the use of movement and the elements of dance instead
of rote repetition of dance steps.
In all grades, students will draw upon a variety of sources – such as literature, media texts,
images, historical and current events, and topics and themes from across the curriculum,
particularly the other arts – in order to create dance pieces in which they communicate
their interpretation of personal ideas and feelings, social justice issues, themes, situations,
and the motives of various characters. Dance is a physical and non-verbal medium for
learning about the self and the world; it offers the opportunity to participate in learning
in kinesthetic, cognitive, and imaginative ways. It is important that movement skills be
developed within students’ ongoing dance explorations and creations, rather than be
focused on isolated, repetitive exercises.
As students engage in creating and responding to dance works, they will develop their
awareness of aesthetic issues and explore various ways a dance piece can be interpreted.
The meaning each person derives from a work of art is different and is based on the connections the observer makes between the dance and personal experience, the dance and
other works of art, or the dance and the world. Students should also reflect on the meaning
they communicate through their own dance. They will also learn to use technology both
for observing performances by accomplished artists (e.g., DVDs, videos) and in creating
their own presentations (e.g., lighting, musical recordings, projected images). The dance
program should provide opportunities for students to view and be exposed to a variety
of dance performances and works by local, multicultural, and professional Canadian artists
both within and outside the school. Emphasis should be placed on understanding that
dance is continually evolving and that innovations develop alongside or out of traditional
forms or practices.
The Dance strand has three overall expectations, one for each of Creating and Presenting;
Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing; and Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts.
Drama
Drama provides many opportunities for students to practise communicating with different
audiences for a variety of purposes, through moving, speaking and writing in role. Role
playing is a key component of the drama curriculum. Pretending to be someone else
THE PROGRAM IN THE ARTS
The drama curriculum is intended to help students to develop an understanding and
appreciation of drama, as well as the ability to create works using the forms, concepts,
elements, and conventions of the discipline. Through exploring drama, students will
develop an understanding of the art form, themselves, and others, and will learn about the
lives of people in different times, places, and cultures. As they work in role in a context,
they will come to understand particular situations, texts, ideas, and stories. In addition to
role playing, students will use their growing understanding of drama forms, conventions,
and elements to develop process drama with others, explore issues through improvisation,
or develop or interpret scenes. It is not recommended that students at the elementary level
be given instruction in formal drama or theatre techniques (e.g., memorizing scripts or
interpreting mannerisms of a specific character using the Stanislavski method). Instead,
students will expand their thinking, solve problems, and develop their ability to express
ideas and feelings through aspects of the art form such as contextual or process drama
and role play. Students should explore dramatic situations episodically and should assume
different roles using various drama conventions. They will also develop practical artistic
skills, critical analysis skills, and a variety of communication skills that will enable them
to clarify and articulate their own point of view.
15
involves an act of the imagination that is of central importance in the development of the
ability to understand others. As students “live through” experiences of others in imagined
situations, they learn to understand a variety of points of view and motives and to
empathize with others. This exploration of the “as if” in roles and worlds will help students
deepen their understanding of humanity and issues of equity and social justice. Students
will also learn to use language effectively to communicate a character’s emotional state
and point of view.
In all grades, students will draw upon a variety of sources – such as literature, personal
stories and experiences, historical and current events, and topics and themes from across
the curriculum – to create a meaningful context for their drama explorations. Students
can also draw on previous instruction and prior experience with other art forms –
including visual arts, writing, dance, and music – to enhance and extend their drama
work. As students engage in creating and critiquing works of drama, they will develop
their awareness of aesthetic issues, not only in drama but in the arts generally, and will
learn about ways in which the arts are interconnected. They will also learn to use a variety
of existing and emerging technologies both for observing performances by accomplished
artists (e.g., DVDs, videos) and in creating their own presentations (e.g., lighting, projections, musical recordings). In the higher grades, students will also use various technologies
for research. The drama program should provide opportunities for students to view and
be exposed to a variety of drama performances/media and works by local, multicultural,
and professional Canadian artists both within and outside the school.
The Drama strand has three overall expectations, one for each of Creating and Presenting;
Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing; and Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts.
Music
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
The music curriculum is intended to help students develop an understanding and
appreciation of music, as well as the ability to create and perform it, so that they will be
able to find in music a lifelong source of enjoyment and personal satisfaction. Emphasis
should be placed on encouraging students to become active participants in composing
music, exploring ideas through music, responding to music, and performing.
16
An interesting and challenging program in music not only develops practical artistic skills
but also enables students to sharpen their ability to reason, to think critically, and to
explore their emotional responses to the music. Students develop musical literacy through
singing, playing, moving, performing, creating, and listening actively. It is therefore
essential that a balanced music program be offered – one that includes listening and
responding, performing, interpreting, and creating and that may appeal to a wide variety
of students. Children learn to love music when they have opportunities to experience
it in the context of a rich and varied curriculum.
As students engage in creating and performing music, they will learn to generate and
focus their thoughts in a musical form; explore and experiment with instruments, found
or environmental sounds, and compositional forms and techniques that are appropriate
for their developmental stage; revise and refine their work; and present and share their
composition or performance with others. Through creating and performing, students will
experience the joy of making music, create compositions that express and communicate
their ideas and feelings, learn to identify and solve problems, and apply their knowledge
of the elements of music both independently and in cooperation with others.
Students will learn to use the critical analysis process to respond to, analyse, and interpret
music they experience or hear. As they express their initial thoughts, feelings, and ideas
about music, analyse the musical choices that are made, and explore the context in which
music was created, they will build the knowledge and language they need to communicate about music as well as through music.
Students will further their understanding of the music of various cultures by studying a
wide range of music and musicians from different time periods and cultures, including
Aboriginal, local, national, and global societies.
The Music strand has three overall expectations, one for each of Creating and Performing;
Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing; and Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts.
Visual Arts
The visual arts include a broad range of forms, genres, and styles that include the traditional arts of drawing, painting, sculpting, printmaking, architecture, and photography,
as well as commercial art, traditional and fine crafts, industrial design, performance art,
and electronic and media arts. The visual arts curriculum is intended to help students
develop their creativity, as well as the ability to communicate their understanding of the
world around them through visual arts. In learning to express themselves in visual ways,
students will sharpen their powers of observation, imagination, and invention. In developing the ability to respond to, analyse, and describe works of art, they will learn to
interpret art works and to communicate their understanding of the meaning and intentions
they see in the works. The development of visual literacy skills and knowledge will
therefore prepare students to investigate and understand images, media, and art works,
and will equip them to interpret the complex contemporary visual world.
The visual arts curriculum is rooted in the experience of art making. Visual arts provide
ways of describing, exploring, and responding, and can be used to express ideas, experiences, and feelings. In order to make visual art works, students need to acquire a range of
skills and some specific knowledge. It is essential for students to be engaged in meaningful,
open-ended art-making activities that enable them to express personal feelings, experiences,
and ideas and develop the skills to use art tools, materials, and techniques that are
appropriate for the grade. When students become familiar with the possibilities and
limitations of a variety of tools, materials, and techniques and can demonstrate control
of these resources, they will be expected to apply their knowledge and skills in making
artistic choices in their own work.
THE PROGRAM IN THE ARTS
The works of art to which students are exposed should represent various topics, themes,
and styles (e.g., representational or realistic, stylized, Impressionist, abstract works) and
different historical periods, including contemporary art by living artists, and should also
include conceptual and fine art, traditional art, and artefacts. Teachers are expected to use
a range of high-quality art reproductions so that students have high-quality materials to
observe and learn from. It should be noted that the art works cited in the curriculum are
only examples and are not meant to limit teachers’ choices. The works selected for study
should include the works of both men and women and should reflect the cultural diversity of Canada and the world, including the contributions of Aboriginal, Métis, and Inuit
artists. Through experiencing a wide variety of art works, students will also learn to
understand and appreciate the range and significance of artistic expression. Wherever
appropriate, the study of the visual arts should be linked to the other arts disciplines
and other subject areas.
17
The Visual Arts strand has three overall expectations, one for each of Creating and
Presenting; Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing; and Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts.
Media Arts and Multimedia Technology
Although media arts does not represent a separate strand, the arts curriculum must take
it into account. There has been a global transformation of culture, as new and emerging
media forms have blurred the boundaries between the arts, leading to the creation of
new art forms and new ways of looking at the arts.
A new aesthetic sensibility has arisen from the technological revolution, allowing young
people to view the world through multiple modalities. Multisensory and cross-disciplinary
approaches are challenging fixed forms and categories as means for interpreting human
experience. Traditional definitions of the arts do not sufficiently take these forces into
account.
New technologies are increasingly being used in teaching, learning, and creating in the
arts. These technologies are contributing to the emergence of new art forms. Moreover,
the use of multimedia technology also gives students opportunities to develop collaborative skills, since creating a multimedia project in the arts often involves a number of
learners. Such collaborative and interactive activities foster holistic learning, the integration
of skills and knowledge, and the development of transferable skills. Students also need
to develop the ability to think critically when creating and viewing print and electronic
media so that they are aware of the effect of media on their perceptions and experience
of the world.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS IN THE ARTS
In this document, fundamental concepts are listed separately for each of the arts – dance,
drama, music, and visual arts. These concepts represent essential aspects of each of the
arts. They consist of elements in the Dance, Drama, and Music strands and elements and
principles in the Visual Arts strand. The elements and principles used in this document
are listed in the table below.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Fundamental Concepts
18
Dance
Elements: body, space, time, energy, and relationship
Drama
Elements: role/character, relationship, time and place, tension, and focus and emphasis
Music
Elements: duration, pitch, dynamics and other expressive controls, timbre, texture/harmony,
and form
Visual Arts
Elements: line, shape and form, space, colour, texture, and value
Principles: contrast, repetition and rhythm, variety, emphasis, proportion, balance, unity and
harmony, and movement
In the Fundamental Concepts tables for each grade and strand, the requirements emphasized in the expectations for that grade and strand are listed under the appropriate element
or principle. As students progress through the curriculum from grade to grade, they extend
and deepen their understanding of these fundamental concepts and learn to apply their
understanding with increasing sophistication. They also continue to build on the skills
related to these concepts that they have learned in earlier grades.
It should be noted that students should not learn about the concepts of the various arts in
isolation but through meaningful, creative activities. Teachers must also determine the extent
to which the students have prior knowledge of the concepts in each strand and grade; they
may need to provide differentiated instruction to ensure that students are given support,
for example, in reviewing and applying the concepts and skills introduced in previous
grades. For this reason, teachers should be familiar with the curriculum expectations for
at least the grades that immediately precede and follow the grade that they are teaching.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
Students are expected to learn and use the creative process to help them acquire and
apply knowledge and skills in the arts. Use of the creative process is to be integrated
with use of the critical analysis process (described on pages 23–28) in all facets of the
arts curriculum as students work to achieve the expectations in the four strands.
All children have the ability to be creative. Education in the arts builds upon this ability
and deepens children’s capacity for artistic expression and representation. Awareness of
one’s inner feelings and thoughts is a prerequisite to making art. Inspiration and innovative thinking spring from this awareness and provide us with new answers and solutions,
and new questions to pursue. Through the creation and presentation of art works, students
express and communicate their creative insights in a range of forms and with varying
degrees of concreteness and abstraction.
Creativity involves the invention and the assimilation of new thinking and its integration with existing knowledge. Sometimes the creative process is more about asking the
right questions than it is about finding the right answer. It is paradoxical in that it
involves both spontaneity and deliberate, focused effort. Creativity does not occur in a
vacuum. Art making is a process requiring both creativity and skill, and it can be cultivated by establishing conditions that encourage and promote its development. Teachers
need to be aware that the atmosphere they create for learning affects the nature of the
learning itself. A setting that is conducive to creativity is one in which students are not
afraid to suggest alternative ideas and take risks.
The creative process comprises several stages:
• challenging and inspiring
• planning and focusing
• exploring and experimenting
• producing preliminary work
• revising and refining
• presenting, performing, and sharing
• reflecting and evaluating
THE PROGRAM IN THE ARTS
• imagining and generating
19
The creative process is intended to be followed in a flexible, fluid, and cyclical manner.
As students and teachers become increasingly familiar with the creative process, they are
able to move deliberately and consciously between the stages and to vary their order as
appropriate. For example, students may benefit from exploring and experimenting before
planning and focusing; or in some instances, the process may begin with reflecting.
Feedback and reflection can happen throughout the process.
The Creative Process
Challenging
and
Inspiring
Imagining
and
Generating
Reflecting
and
Evaluating
Presenting,
Performing,
and Sharing
Feedback
(from Peers and Teacher)
and Reflection
Revising
and
Refining
Planning
and
Focusing
Exploring
and
Experimenting
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Producing
Preliminary
Work
20
The creative process will sometimes take students through the complete cycle, beginning
with a contextualized challenge or inspiration and resulting in a final product to be
evaluated and/or reflected upon. At other times, the process may only be followed
through to the exploration and experimentation phase. Research clearly shows that
the exploration and experimentation phase is a critical phase in the creative process.
Students should be encouraged to experiment with a wide range of materials, tools,
techniques, and conventions and should be given numerous opportunities to explore
and manipulate the elements within each art form.
Ongoing feedback and structured opportunities for students to engage in reflection and
metacognition – for example, reflecting on strengths, areas for improvement, and alternative possibilities, and setting goals and identifying strategies for achieving their goals –
are woven into each stage of the creative process. In this way, assessment by both teacher
and student is used to inspire students’ creativity and support their development and
achievement in the arts. The communication and reflection that occur during and after the
process of problem solving help students not only to articulate and refine their thinking
but also to see the problem they are solving from different perspectives. Descriptive
feedback to the students on their work can occur throughout the stages of the creative
process. Drafts and other first attempts at creation or production may be works in progress
assessed by the student, his or her peers, or the teacher. These sketches and drafts or
preliminary recordings and videos may be housed in each student’s working portfolio.
Students might periodically select items or exhibits from their working or process portfolios to place in a presentation portfolio. Both types of portfolios are to be included in
the assessment process.
The stages of the creative process are outlined in the chart that follows. Various activities
that are characteristic of each stage are listed, and the role of the teacher at each stage is
described.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
Stage of the Process
The Teacher
Challenging/Inspiring
– uses creative ideas inspired by the
stimulus for creation
– uses research, takes inventory,
makes choices
– participates in the development
of a plan or description of criteria
for evaluating success
– introduces the initial idea,
challenge, stimulus, inspiration,
experience
– provides models, examples, and/or
learning goals
– establishes expectations, defines
parameters, and helps develop
criteria for evaluating success
Imagining/Generating
– uses ideas inspired by the stimulus:
brainstorms, “bodystorms”, lists,
sketches, discusses, poses questions,
draws on prior knowledge and
experience
– defines the problem in a unique
way
– observes, listens, prompts with
questions, and provides choices
Planning/Focusing
– gathers information, storyboards
ideas, discusses, determines a
focus for exploration, uses a
variety of tools for recording
plans (e.g., inquiry, research)
– states what he or she is trying
to do, or articulates the idea to
be developed
– makes choices about the art forms,
tools, strategies, and formal concepts
(e.g., elements)
– provides a rich variety of materials
and resources
– strategically asks questions and/or
models planning strategies
– shares a variety of samples of plans
– structures planning and provides
choices (e.g., assigns group
management roles to students)
THE PROGRAM IN THE ARTS
The Student
21
THE CREATIVE PROCESS (continued)
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Stage of the Process
22
The Student
The Teacher
Exploring/Experimenting
– uses a range of arts elements,
techniques, conventions, and/or
principles (as appropriate for each
strand) in response to the challenge,
stimulus, or inspiration introduced
by the teacher or teaching artist or
set by the student
– continues to provide a rich variety
of materials and resources for
open-ended activities
– continues to ask questions and provide direct instruction strategically
– provides reference charts of the
elements, techniques, conventions,
and/or principles (as appropriate
for each strand)
– provides positive reinforcement
for risk taking; expects focus;
encourages incubation
– provides time to practise
Producing Preliminary Work
– commits to artistic choices and
works to make his or her meaning
clear for an intended audience
– creates the work (i.e., the embodiment of the idea)
– asks questions about meaning and
intended audience
– observes aspects of the work and
provides descriptive feedback
(e.g., verbal, written)
– encourages students to reason, communicate ideas, make connections,
and apply knowledge and skills
Revising/Refining
– shares preliminary work with peers;
invites outside opinions; develops
and refines the formal concepts
(elements, techniques, conventions,
principles, as appropriate for each
strand)
– reworks the piece, building on
strengths and incorporating
feedback
– develops and modifies initial idea;
makes choices, adapts, and shapes
– continues to ask questions about
meaning and intended audience
– continues to provide numerous
learning opportunities that are varied,
and supports the learning needs
and experiences of the students
– observes and provides descriptive
feedback; encourages students
to look for alternatives and give
reasons for decisions
– provides time and opportunities
for reflection and revision
Presenting/Performing/Sharing
– identifies an audience (e.g., teacher,
parents, peers, community) and prepares a space for sharing the work;
finalizes his or her production
– promotes student talk about the arts
– makes necessary arrangements to
ensure that performers/exhibitors are
sharing with an appropriate audience
– promotes the collaborative sharing of
ideas and strategies; helps structure
the sharing for students
– is supportive
Reflecting/Evaluating
– reflects on the process and the
degree of success, and identifies
further learning goals and
opportunities and next steps
– encourages reflection
– links evaluation to criteria and the
lessons taught
– provides a variety of methods of
evaluation to accommodate the learning styles of a variety of students
– provides descriptive feedback
– evaluates on the basis of a body
of evidence collected over time
THE CRITICAL ANALYSIS PROCESS
The critical analysis process is a central part of the arts curriculum. Students need to be
guided through the stages of this process. As they learn the steps of the process they will
become increasingly independent in their ability to develop and express an informed
response to a work of dance, drama, music, visual art, or media/multimedia art. They
will also become more sophisticated in their ability to critically analyse the works they
are studying or responding to. Students learn to approach works in the arts thoughtfully by withholding judgement until they have enough information to respond in an
informed manner.
It should be emphasized that the critical analysis process is not used in isolation,
since aspects of the critical analysis process are often also used during the creative
process (e.g., during the revising/refining and reflecting/evaluating stages). The critical
analysis process and the creative process are therefore inextricably linked. Although
students need to continually develop their critical abilities, creative work is at the
heart of the arts program, and most of the students’ time will be spent in creating and
presenting/performing.
Using the critical analysis process will enable students to:
• respond knowledgeably and sensitively to their own and others’ dance, drama,
music, and visual art works;
• make connections between their own experiences and works in the arts, between
different art forms, and between art works and the lives of people and communities
around the world
• perceive and interpret how the elements of each art form contribute to meaning
in dance, drama, music, and visual art works;
• develop, share, and justify an informed personal point of view about works in
the arts;
• demonstrate awareness of and appreciation for the importance of dance, drama,
music, and visual arts in society;
• demonstrate appreciation appropriately as audience members in formal and
informal settings (e.g., peer performances in the classroom; excursions to arts
institutions, galleries, concert halls, theatres).
THE PROGRAM IN THE ARTS
Teachers can set the stage for critical response and analysis by creating a reassuring
learning environment in which students feel free to experiment with new or alternative
approaches and ideas. This is a good opportunity to remind students that different people
may respond to the same work in different ways. Each person brings a particular cultural
perspective and a unique personal history to experiences in the arts. Responding to the
arts is, in part, a discovery process. While students may lack specific background information about the artists, the history of the arts, or contemporary artistic practices, their
own life experience, intuition, ideas, and critical and creative thinking abilities are
important and relevant aspects of their interaction with works of all types in the arts.
23
The critical analysis process includes the following aspects:
• initial reaction
• description
• analysis and interpretation
• expression of an informed point of view
• consideration of cultural context
The process is intended to be used in a flexible manner, taking into account students’
prior experiences and the context in which the various art forms and works are experienced. The cultural context of the work should be taken into consideration throughout
the critical analysis process.
The Critical Analysis Process
Initial Reaction
Expression of
an Informed
Point of View
Consideration
of Cultural
Context
Description
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Analysis and
Interpretation
24
Initial Reaction
Students are encouraged to express their first reaction to a work. This first impression is
the starting point for further investigation and discovery. First impressions may provide
a useful benchmark for later evaluations of how students have grown through the process
of critiquing a work. This initial reaction may be expressed through a variety of approaches,
including active approaches (e.g., a drama response to visual art works). Teachers can
elicit students’ first impressions by asking questions such as those listed below. If students
cannot easily explain why they are making a judgement, these questions can help them
move beyond overly simple value judgements such as “good” or “bad”. Students should
be reminded that there are no wrong answers if their responses are sincere.
Sample guiding questions might include:
• What is your first impression?
• What does this work bring to mind?
• What does this work remind you of?
• What do you feel? What emotions does this work evoke?
• What puzzles you? What are your questions?
• What connections can you make between this work and your own experience or
other art forms?
Description
Students are asked to brainstorm and list everything they see or hear in the work. They
can describe the ideas, images, elements, or effects they observe in the work (e.g., blue;
organic shape; a low, outstretched starting position; high, fast notes or high voice).
Students should keep the list of descriptions simple at this stage.
It is not necessary in this stage for students to try to figure out how the dancer, musician,
dramatist, or visual artist organized the elements or achieved the effects they observe.
Students are simply describing their observations. It is premature at this stage to assign
meaning to what is seen or heard. If a student seems to be focusing on one idea, image,
or element, he or she should be encouraged to make a note of it for later.
The description stage should not be lengthy. Its purpose is limited; it is simply a way to
get students to note as much as they can before moving on to analysis and interpretation.
Sample guiding questions might include:
• What do you see when you examine the work closely?
• What grabs your attention in the work?
• What do you sense (e.g., see, hear, smell, feel, taste) when you examine the work?
• What stands out for you? What do you notice (e.g., elements)?
• What “qualities” do you hear or see in this work (e.g., strong, repeated rhythm;
rapid and slow movements of the upper body; vibrant paint colours; bold brushstrokes or lines; a performer speaking in role with clarity and conviction)?
• What do you think the artist worked particularly hard at while he or she created
this work?
Analysis and Interpretation
As students move towards personal interpretation (e.g., “This dance is about feeling
lonely”), they connect their own perspectives, associations, and experiences with the
THE PROGRAM IN THE ARTS
Students try to figure out what the artist has done to achieve certain effects. Students can
discuss the artist’s use of the elements, materials, and concepts specific to the art form.
Students might want to refer back to their first impressions (e.g., analyse how the various
elements in the work contributed to a first impression of liveliness). Initially, students
should be encouraged to identify how the individual elements have been used and how
they relate to each other. They can also analyse the overall characteristics and compositional features of the work (e.g., how the artist uses and manipulates various elements,
sounds, movements, words, images, or ideas).
25
characteristics found in the work. As in the “initial reaction” stage of the formal criticism
approach, there are no wrong answers. However, students should be able to provide
evidence for their interpretations. This stage requires some use of higher-order thinking
skills; students should begin to go beyond free association to combine associations based
on evidence found in the work.
Students may also address cultural studies information in this stage. Culturally specific
information about the designs, the dances, the people, the music, the themes, and the
symbolism enhances students’ understanding of the work and of its cultural context.
Students can discuss and share their understanding of cultural perspectives.
Activities such as discussing interpretations in a small group, writing an artist’s statement,
reflective journal writing, working independently on a written analysis, or preparing
notes for an oral presentation may all be part of this stage.
Sample guiding questions might include:
• What elements and conventions of the art form are used in this work?
• How are the elements organized, combined, or arranged?
• How does the work evoke ideas, feelings, and images?
• What do you think is the theme or subject of the work? (i.e., What is the artist trying
to communicate, and why? or, in reflecting on their own work: What did you intend
to communicate, and why?)
• Why do you think the choreographer, composer, playwright, or visual artist created
this work?
• What message or meaning do you think the work conveys?
• In your opinion, what is the artist’s view of the world?
• How does this view match or contrast with your own view of the world?
The types of questions asked will vary with the type of art works being discussed.
Expression of an Informed Point of View
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Students compare their point of view after reflection and analysis to their initial reaction
and make connections to other works of art they have seen or heard. They also reflect on
whether they have learned anything that they can apply to their own work.
26
Sample guiding questions might include:
• How effectively does the artist select and combine elements to achieve an intended
effect in this work? (i.e., What works?)
• What doesn’t work and why?
• Has your point of view shifted from your initial reaction? If so, how has it changed?
• Have your thoughts or feelings about the work changed since your first impressions?
If so, how have they changed?
• What made you change your mind?
• If you have not changed your mind, can you now explain your first reaction more
fully or precisely?
• Is this an important work? Why?
Sample guiding questions to help students in reflecting on their own work might include:
• In what ways do you feel the work is successful?
• How did it affect the audience? Was it the way you intended?
• How would you alter this work for a different audience, or to send a different
message?
Consideration of Cultural Context
Everyone views the world through various lenses, and our views of the world and our
life experiences inform our understanding of works in the arts. Students need to be taught
that the arts are not created in a vacuum; they reflect the personal, social, and historical
context of the artists. This is true for works created by professional artists and by the
students in the classroom.
Teachers may find that while formal critical analysis and interpretation are highly effective
and appropriate for some works, other works are best approached through examination
of their social, cultural, historical, or contemporary context. In the latter case, the critical
analysis process can help students understand how personal, sociocultural, historical, and
political frames of reference have a bearing on the creation and interpretation of particular
works in the arts. Knowing something about the context in which a work was created
can shed valuable light on the meaning of signs and symbols used in the work. The arts
not only reflect social reality but contribute to its creation; people shape and are shaped
by cultural interactions and works.
There are many ways to build contextual understanding with students. Teachers can discuss
with students the importance of understanding cultural and historical context when viewing
or listening to a work of art. They can ask students to consider why artists in different
historical periods and in different cultural environments created the works they did.
For example, does the work have a specific purpose, convey a message, represent a
school of thought, or evoke particular feelings?
The contextual approach can provide opportunities for teachers to incorporate authentic
cultural information and inquiry-based research that can add depth and meaning to
students’ creating and learning. Students might begin by finding out about a work’s
historical, social, or artistic environment, or by examining how an artist’s background or
personal history influenced his or her work, or by creating a web or concept map listing
multiple connections suggested by the work. This type of investigation can help students
understand an artist’s intentions and may also lead them to engage in further exploration
and discovery. In such investigations, it is also important to avoid stereotypical expressions
or judgements. Teachers are reminded that learning to analyse works in the arts is not
intended to be a substitute for making works in the arts; it is a complementary component
to hands-on work.
• events in the artist’s life;
• the social, political, and cultural climate at the time in which a work was created;
• the similarities and differences between specific works in the past and present;
THE PROGRAM IN THE ARTS
Students may conduct their own inquiry-based research, or teachers can support them
in discussions of and investigations into:
27
• the way in which a work in the arts represents the perspective of individuals within
a specific group (e.g., social, cultural);
• examples of other works created in the same period or a comparison of works on
a similar topic or theme created by a variety of artists in different times and places;
• the expectations and artistic preferences of audiences at the time the work was created;
• the initial critical reception of the work;
• the responsibilities of an audience, including basic points of audience etiquette
and the individual’s responsibility to acknowledge any personal biases that may
influence his or her response to a work (e.g., cultural biases or past experiences
with the arts).
In order to guide students, teachers might ask questions such as:
• What interesting things did you learn about the artist’s life and work? Is there
something important that we need to know in order to understand the meaning of
his or her work?
• Were working conditions for people in the arts more or less favourable at the time
this artist lived than they are today? Why, and in what way? Are there viewpoints
or voices that are left out or never heard in the works?
• In what ways do you agree or disagree with what the artist or critics said about
the work? Also, were there competing beliefs and practices at the time?
• Why might different audiences view a work in a way that is different from the artist’s
intention (e.g., parents and a teenage audience might understand something different
from seeing or hearing the same work)?
• How might the work be understood differently by different people in the same
time period or by people in the past and in the present?
• Were you surprised by anything you discovered? If so, what?
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Teachers and students need to be aware that the context of a work is constantly shifting,
and that the nature of the audience and the time period in which a work is seen or heard
have a significant impact on the way in which a work is perceived and understood.
Because of these factors, there is no single meaning or truth in a work in the arts and no
single way of responding to a work.
28
Studies of the context in which an artist lived and worked do not always need to be carried
out in the form of written assignments. Teachers could also suggest that one student, who
is acting in role as a reporter, interview another student, who is acting in role as a painter,
composer, playwright, or choreographer, about cultural, social, economic, and political
conditions at the time the artist lived. The goal of the analytical and contextual work is
to develop students’ literacy in the arts, to show them possibilities for their own creative
work and creative goals, and to expand their repertoire of artistic strategies. Teachers need
to ensure that students are engaged in meaningful activities in the arts, and should not
ask students merely to memorize facts such as artists’ names or titles and dates of works.
Where students are investigating a traditional work of art, use of cross-cultural studies
may be appropriate. It is important for teachers and students to carefully and critically
assess the cultural information sources to determine their merit and to consult a range
of reputable authorities where possible.
ASSESSMENT AND
EVALUATION OF
STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
BASIC CONSIDERATIONS
The primary purpose of assessment and evaluation is to improve student learning.
Information gathered through assessment helps teachers to determine students’ strengths
and weaknesses in their achievement of the curriculum expectations in each subject in
each grade. This information also serves to guide teachers in adapting curriculum and
instructional approaches to students’ needs and in assessing the overall effectiveness of
programs and classroom practices.
Assessment is the process of gathering information from a variety of sources (including
assignments, day-to-day observations, conversations or conferences, demonstrations,
projects, performances, and tests) that accurately reflects how well a student is achieving
the curriculum expectations in a subject. As part of assessment, teachers provide students
with descriptive feedback that guides their efforts towards improvement. Evaluation
refers to the process of judging the quality of student work on the basis of established
criteria, and assigning a value to represent that quality. In Ontario elementary schools,
the value assigned will be in the form of a letter grade for Grades 1 to 6 and a percentage
grade for Grades 7 and 8.
Assessment and evaluation will be based on the provincial curriculum expectations and
the achievement levels outlined in this document.
In order to ensure that assessment and evaluation are valid and reliable, and that they lead
to the improvement of student learning, teachers must use assessment and evaluation
strategies that:
• address both what students learn and how well they learn;
• are based both on the categories of knowledge and skills and on the achievement
level descriptions given in the achievement chart on pages 34–35;
• are varied in nature, administered over a period of time, and designed to provide
opportunities for students to demonstrate the full range of their learning;
• are appropriate for the learning activities used, the purposes of instruction, and the
needs and experiences of the students;
• are fair to all students;
29
• accommodate students with special education needs, consistent with the strategies
outlined in their Individual Education Plan;
• accommodate the needs of students who are learning the language of instruction;
• ensure that each student is given clear directions for improvement;
• promote students’ ability to assess their own learning and to set specific goals;
• include the use of samples of students’ work that provide evidence of their
achievement;
• are communicated clearly to students and parents at the beginning of the school
year and at other appropriate points throughout the school year.
Evaluation of Achievement of Overall Expectations
All curriculum expectations must be accounted for in instruction, but evaluation focuses
on students’ achievement of the overall expectations. A student’s achievement of the
overall expectations is evaluated on the basis of his or her achievement of related specific
expectations. The overall expectations are broad in nature, and the specific expectations
define the particular content or scope of the knowledge and skills referred to in the overall
expectations. Teachers will use their professional judgement to determine which specific
expectations should be used to evaluate achievement of the overall expectations, and
which ones will be covered in instruction and assessment (e.g., through direct observation)
but not necessarily evaluated.
Levels of Achievement
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
The characteristics given in the achievement chart (pages 34–35) for level 3 represent
the “provincial standard” for achievement of the expectations. A complete picture of
achievement at level 3 in the arts can be constructed by reading from top to bottom
in the shaded column of the achievement chart, headed “Level 3”. Parents of students
achieving at level 3 can be confident that their children will be prepared for work in
the next grade.
30
Level 1 identifies achievement that falls much below the provincial standard, while still
reflecting a passing grade. Level 2 identifies achievement that approaches the standard.
Level 4 identifies achievement that surpasses the standard. It should be noted that
achievement at level 4 does not mean that the student has achieved expectations beyond
those specified for a particular grade. It indicates that the student has achieved all or
almost all of the expectations for that grade, and that he or she demonstrates the ability
to use the knowledge and skills specified for that grade in more sophisticated ways than
a student achieving at level 3.
The Ministry of Education has provided teachers with materials that will assist them
in improving their assessment methods and strategies and, hence, their assessment of
student achievement. These materials include samples of student work (exemplars)
that illustrate achievement at each of the four levels. (Adaptations can be made in the
exemplar documents to align them with the revised curriculum.)
THE ACHIEVEMENT CHART FOR THE ARTS
The achievement chart that follows on pages 34–35 identifies four categories of knowledge and skills in the arts. The achievement chart is a standard province-wide guide to
be used by teachers. It enables teachers to make judgements about student work that are
based on clear performance standards and on a body of evidence collected over time.
The achievement chart is designed to:
• provide a framework that encompasses all curriculum expectations for all grades
and subjects represented in this document;
• guide the development of assessment tasks and tools (including rubrics);
• help teachers to plan instruction for learning;
• assist teachers in providing meaningful feedback to students;
• provide various categories and criteria with which to assess and evaluate student
learning.
Categories of Knowledge and Skills
The categories, defined by clear criteria, represent four broad areas of knowledge and
skills within which the subject expectations for any given grade are organized. The four
categories should be considered as interrelated, reflecting the wholeness and interconnectedness of learning.
The categories of knowledge and skills are described as follows:
Knowledge and Understanding. Subject-specific content acquired in each grade (knowledge), and the comprehension of its meaning and significance (understanding).
Thinking. The use of critical and creative thinking skills and/or processes.
Communication. The conveying of meaning through various forms.
Application. The use of knowledge and skills to make connections within and between
various contexts.
Teachers will ensure that student work is assessed and/or evaluated in a balanced manner
with respect to the four categories, and that achievement of particular expectations is
considered within the appropriate categories.
Within each category in the achievement chart, criteria are provided, which are subsets
of the knowledge and skills that define each category. The criteria for each category are
listed below:
Knowledge and Understanding
• knowledge of content (e.g., facts, genres, terms, definitions, techniques, elements,
principles, forms, structures, conventions)
• understanding of content (e.g., concepts, ideas, procedures, processes, themes,
relationships among elements, informed opinions)
ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
Criteria
31
Thinking
• use of planning skills (e.g., formulating questions, generating ideas, gathering
information, focusing research, outlining, organizing an arts presentation or project,
brainstorming/bodystorming, blocking, sketching, using visual organizers, listing
goals in a rehearsal log, inventing notation)
• use of processing skills (e.g., analysing, evaluating, inferring, interpreting, editing,
revising, refining, forming conclusions, detecting bias, synthesizing)
• use of critical/creative thinking processes (e.g., creative and analytical processes,
design process, exploration of the elements, problem solving, reflection, elaboration,
oral discourse, evaluation, critical literacy, metacognition, invention, critiquing,
reviewing)
Communication
• expression and organization of ideas and understandings in art forms (dance,
drama, music, and the visual arts), including media/multimedia forms (e.g.,
expression of ideas and feelings using visuals, movements, the voice, gestures,
phrasing, techniques), and in oral and written forms (e.g., clear expression and
logical organization in critical responses to art works and informed opinion pieces)
• communication for different audiences (e.g., peers, adults, younger children) and
purposes through the arts (e.g., drama presentations, visual arts exhibitions, dance
and music performances) and in oral and written forms (e.g., debates, analyses)
• use of conventions in art forms (e.g., allegory, narrative or symbolic representation,
style, articulation, drama conventions, choreographic forms, movement vocabulary)
and arts vocabulary and terminology in oral and written forms
Application
• application of knowledge and skills (e.g., performance skills, composition, choreography, elements, principles, processes, technologies, techniques, strategies, conventions)
in familiar contexts (e.g., guided improvisation, performance of a familiar work,
use of familiar forms)
• transfer of knowledge and skills (e.g., concepts, strategies, processes, techniques)
to new contexts (e.g., a work requiring stylistic variation, an original composition,
student-led choreography, an interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary project)
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
• making connections within and between various contexts (e.g., between the arts;
32
between the arts and personal experiences and the world outside the school; between
cultural and historical, global, social, and/or environmental contexts; between the
arts and other subjects)
Descriptors
A “descriptor” indicates the characteristic of the student’s performance, with respect to a
particular criterion, on which assessment or evaluation is focused. In the achievement chart,
effectiveness is the descriptor used for each criterion in the Thinking, Communication,
and Application categories. What constitutes effectiveness in any given performance task
will vary with the particular criterion being considered. Assessment of effectiveness may
therefore focus on a quality such as appropriateness, clarity, accuracy, precision, logic,
relevance, significance, fluency, flexibility, depth, or breadth, as appropriate for the particular criterion. For example, in the Thinking category, assessment of effectiveness might
focus on the degree of relevance or depth apparent in an analysis; in the Communication
category, on clarity of expression or logical organization of information and ideas; or in
the Application category, on appropriateness or breadth in the making of connections.
Similarly, in the Knowledge and Understanding category, assessment of knowledge might
focus on accuracy, and assessment of understanding might focus on the depth of an
explanation. Descriptors help teachers to focus their assessment and evaluation on specific
knowledge and skills for each category and criterion, and help students to better understand exactly what is being assessed and evaluated.
Qualifiers
A specific “qualifier” is used to define each of the four levels of achievement – that is,
limited for level 1, some for level 2, considerable for level 3, and a high degree or thorough for
level 4. A qualifier is used along with a descriptor to produce a description of performance
at a particular level. For example, the description of a student’s performance at level 3
with respect to the first criterion in the Thinking category would be: “The student uses
planning skills with considerable effectiveness”.
The descriptions of the levels of achievement given in the chart should be used to identify
the level at which the student has achieved the expectations. Students should be provided
with numerous and varied opportunities to demonstrate the full extent of their achievement of the curriculum expectations, across all four categories of knowledge and skills.
ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
33
THE ACHIEVEMENT CHART FOR THE ARTS: GRADES 1–8
Categories
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Knowledge and Understanding – Subject-specific content acquired in each grade (knowledge), and the
comprehension of its meaning and significance (understanding)
The student:
Knowledge of content (e.g., facts,
genres, terms, definitions, techniques,
elements, principles, forms, structures,
conventions)
demonstrates
limited knowledge of content
demonstrates
some knowledge
of content
demonstrates
considerable
knowledge of
content
demonstrates
thorough knowledge of content
Understanding of content
(e.g., concepts, ideas, procedures,
processes, themes, relationships
among elements, informed opinions)
demonstrates
limited understanding of
content
demonstrates
some understanding of content
demonstrates
considerable
understanding
of content
demonstrates
thorough understanding of
content
Thinking – The use of critical and creative thinking skills and/or processes
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
The student:
34
Use of planning skills (e.g., formulating questions, generating ideas,
gathering information, focusing
research, outlining, organizing an
arts presentation or project, brainstorming/bodystorming, blocking,
sketching, using visual organizers,
listing goals in a rehearsal log,
inventing notation)
uses planning
skills with limited
effectiveness
uses planning
skills with some
effectiveness
uses planning skills
with considerable
effectiveness
uses planning
skills with a
high degree of
effectiveness
Use of processing skills (e.g.,
analysing, evaluating, inferring,
interpreting, editing, revising, refining,
forming conclusions, detecting bias,
synthesizing)
uses processing
skills with limited
effectiveness
uses processing
skills with some
effectiveness
uses processing
skills with
considerable
effectiveness
uses processing
skills with a
high degree of
effectiveness
Use of critical/creative thinking
processes (e.g., creative and analytical
processes, design process, exploration
of the elements, problem solving,
reflection, elaboration, oral discourse,
evaluation, critical literacy, metacognition, invention, critiquing, reviewing)
uses critical/
creative thinking
processes with
limited
effectiveness
uses critical/
creative thinking
processes with
some effectiveness
uses critical/
creative thinking
processes with
considerable
effectiveness
uses critical/
creative thinking
processes with
a high degree
of effectiveness
Categories
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Communication – The conveying of meaning through various forms
The student:
Expression and organization of ideas
and understandings in art forms
(dance, drama, music, and the visual
arts), including media/multimedia
forms (e.g., expression of ideas and
feelings using visuals, movements, the
voice, gestures, phrasing, techniques),
and in oral and written forms (e.g.,
clear expression and logical organization in critical responses to art works
and informed opinion pieces)
expresses and
organizes ideas
and understandings with limited
effectiveness
expresses and
organizes ideas
and understandings with some
effectiveness
expresses and
organizes ideas
and understandings with
considerable
effectiveness
expresses and
organizes ideas
and understandings with a high
degree of effectiveness
Communication for different audiences (e.g., peers, adults, younger children) and purposes through the arts
(e.g., drama presentations, visual arts
exhibitions, dance and music performances) and in oral and written forms
(e.g., debates, analyses)
communicates
for different
audiences
and purposes
with limited
effectiveness
communicates
for different
audiences
and purposes
with some
effectiveness
communicates
for different
audiences and
purposes with
considerable
effectiveness
communicates
for different
audiences and
purposes with
a high degree
of effectiveness
Use of conventions in dance, drama,
music, and the visual arts (e.g., allegory,
narrative or symbolic representation,
style, articulation, drama conventions,
choreographic forms, movement vocabulary) and arts vocabulary and terminology in oral and written forms
uses conventions,
vocabulary, and
terminology of
the arts with limited effectiveness
uses conventions,
vocabulary, and
terminology of
the arts with some
effectiveness
uses conventions,
vocabulary, and
terminology of
the arts with
considerable
effectiveness
uses conventions,
vocabulary, and
terminology of
the arts with a
high degree of
effectiveness
Application – The use of knowledge and skills to make connections within and between various contexts
The student:
applies knowledge
and skills in
familiar contexts
with limited
effectiveness
applies knowledge
and skills in
familiar contexts
with some
effectiveness
applies knowledge
and skills in
familiar contexts
with considerable
effectiveness
applies knowledge
and skills in
familiar contexts
with a high degree
of effectiveness
Transfer of knowledge and skills
(e.g., concepts, strategies, processes,
techniques) to new contexts (e.g., a
work requiring stylistic variation, an
original composition, student-led
choreography, an interdisciplinary
or multidisciplinary project)
transfers knowledge and skills
to new contexts
with limited
effectiveness
transfers knowledge and skills
to new contexts
with some
effectiveness
transfers knowledge and skills
to new contexts
with considerable
effectiveness
transfers knowledge and skills
to new contexts
with a high degree
of effectiveness
Making connections within and
between various contexts (e.g.,
between the arts; between the arts and
personal experiences and the world
outside the school; between cultural
and historical, global, social, and/or
environmental contexts; between the
arts and other subjects)
makes connections
within and
between various
contexts with limited effectiveness
makes connections
within and
between various
contexts with
some effectiveness
makes connections
within and
between various
contexts with
considerable
effectiveness
makes connections
within and
between various
contexts with a
high degree of
effectiveness
ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT
Application of knowledge and skills
(e.g., performance skills, composition,
choreography, elements, principles,
processes, technologies, techniques,
strategies, conventions) in familiar
contexts (e.g., guided improvisation,
performance of a familiar work, use of
familiar forms)
35
SOME CONSIDERATIONS
FOR PROGRAM
PLANNING IN THE ARTS
When planning a program in the arts, teachers must take into account considerations
in a number of important areas, including those discussed below.
INSTRUCTIONAL APPROACHES AND TEACHING STRATEGIES
The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.
Plutarch, 45–125 A.D.
One of the primary objectives of elementary arts curricula is to encourage children’s
natural inclination to express their ideas through the arts. Students come to school with
a natural desire for a wide variety of outlets for their creativity. Students also bring with
them individual interests and abilities, as well as diverse personal and cultural experiences,
all of which have an impact on their prior knowledge about arts and about the world in
which they live. The arts curriculum, particularly for students in the primary grades,
should be enjoyable for students, and should be designed to encourage them to take a
lifelong interest in the arts.
High-quality instruction is a key to student success in arts education. It is based on the
belief that all students can be successful in arts learning. Teachers who provide high-quality
instruction respect students’ strengths, capture their interest, identify their learning
needs, and use ongoing feedback and assessment to plan instruction. They clarify the
purpose for learning, help students activate prior knowledge, scaffold instruction, and
differentiate instruction for individual students and small groups according to need.
High-quality instruction motivates students and instils positive habits of mind, such as
a willingness and determination to explore and persist, to develop their thinking skills,
to represent and communicate their ideas with clarity, to take responsible risks, and to
observe, listen, ask questions, and pose problems.
Students learn best by doing. Teachers can stimulate and encourage all students by
establishing environments where students have plenty of time and opportunities to explore
the arts in ways that are meaningful to them. Teachers should provide as many hands-on
activities as possible, since many of the skills emphasized in this curriculum are best taught
and learned through participatory, creative experiences with concrete materials. Time,
space, and a wide variety of tools and materials are necessary for supporting effective
36
learning in the arts. In such an environment, students are free to explore abstract ideas in
rich, varied, and concrete ways. Students need to have frequent opportunities to explore
and to practise and apply new learning. Through regular and varied assessments, teachers
can give them the specific feedback they need to further develop and refine their skills.
Students should be given a wide range of activities and assignments that foster mastery
of the basic fundamental concepts and development of inquiry and research skills as well
as opportunities for self-expression. In effective arts programs, teachers provide a variety
of activities based on assessment of students’ individual needs, proven learning theory, and
best practices. Effective activities integrate expectations and enable both direct teaching
and modelling of knowledge, skills, and learning strategies that encourage students to
express their thinking and learning processes. Teachers should also be models for lifelong learning in the arts, showing a willingness to participate in the arts, to appreciate
unfamiliar art forms, to attempt new approaches, and to engage in new experiences.
Effective teaching approaches promote the development of higher-order thinking skills.
In this way, teachers enable students to become thoughtful and effective communicators.
In addition, teachers encourage students to think out loud about their own artistic choices
and processes, and support them in developing the language and techniques they need to
assess their own learning. As well, teachers encourage students to relate the knowledge
and skills gained to issues and themes that are relevant to them.
Teachers also need to provide options to accommodate different learning styles and
intelligences. The arts contribute to student engagement in school by addressing multiple
intelligences, which can be used to differentiate instruction.
Teachers need to provide direct instruction in the arts. It is particularly important for
young children to have a balanced program that provides for direct instruction in content,
and to have opportunities to use their knowledge and skills in structured, as well as
unstructured, activities. Teachers should also plan ways to engage students through
shared and guided practice so that they can gradually move towards a greater level
of independence and a greater level of comfort with risk-taking in the arts.
When exploring the cultural contexts of the arts, teachers need to avoid marginalizing
groups or following stereotypes when planning lessons. For example, teachers should
SOME CONSIDERATIONS FOR PROGRAM PLANNING IN THE ARTS
Teaching approaches should be informed by the findings of current research related to
creativity and arts education. These include approaches based on constructivist learning
theory, which argues that humans construct knowledge and meaning from their experiences. For example, teachers should be both co-learners and facilitators, and should always
aim to provide students with learning experiences that interest them. Such experiences
include learning through inquiry, through initiating their own projects, and through
engaging in arts projects with other students to develop a sense of community through
teamwork. A well-planned curriculum should be at the students’ level, but should also
push them a little further than their comfort level, still keeping within their “zone of
proximal development” (that is, within the range of things they can do on their own and
with guidance). Teachers should also create a classroom environment for the arts that is
focused not only on activities but on creative activities that involve exploration of ideas.
It is instructive to note that creativity is now within the highest levels of thinking skills
in the revised edition of Bloom’s taxonomy.
37
avoid focusing on art forms from only one place or that reflect only one style; avoid
judging some art forms as “better” than others; avoid teaching by artistic movement or
period; and avoid choosing only male artists’ work or only European works for study.
To put this in positive terms, teachers should include consideration of arts from around
the world and from a variety of times, including contemporary works by living artists;
comparisons of a variety of art works by theme, topic, and purpose; and study of both
male and female artists. In short, teachers should plan to develop and extend students’
awareness by using a wide variety of sources as a springboard and by helping them ask
meaningful questions about the artists and their work.
When planning the use of classroom space, teachers should organize the learning environment in a way that facilitates activity and stimulates creativity – for example, ensuring
that there is sufficient open space for dance activities, drama circles, or musical activities,
or for groups to work at tables on visual arts projects. Likewise, it is important to plan
routines for students to move from one arts activity to another, including use of materials,
tools, and instruments, and to support routines with the use of visuals. Teachers should
create a classroom environment that is comfortable, colourful, and stimulating; that
allows for flexible groupings; that displays student work in meaningful and engaging
ways; and that highlights the learning and creative process by displaying such items as
sketches, as well as finished works, and students’ reflective statements. Much of the
work at the elementary level should encourage students to use the arts to explore and
understand the process of learning, and to express ideas and feelings through the arts
for a small audience of their peers in the classroom.
Teachers should keep in mind that the intention of the arts curriculum is to give all students
the opportunity to discover and develop their ability in different artistic forms and media
and to learn to appreciate works of art. In other words, the classroom needs to be inclusive
of all students. The arts curriculum is not intended to provide the intensive instruction
that students with special abilities need. The abilities of such students can be developed
through other means (e.g., private lessons), which support the development of talents to
a high level.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Teachers should also keep in mind that instruction in the arts needs to take place on a
regular basis and in a variety of large and small blocks of time in order to allow skills to
develop. Students should not be given isolated experiences – for example, engaging in a
one-time craft activity on a Friday afternoon.
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Descriptions of some strategies that are effective in teaching the arts can be found below.
Analysis of Bias and Stereotype. Teachers can use this critical thinking strategy to
help students examine inequities based on race, ethnicity, gender, class, point of view
or perception, and any number of physical or mental attributes of individuals. Students
can examine their own prejudices, as well as systemic discrimination, and learn to understand how social, political, economic, organizational, and cultural structures contribute
to these perceptions. Students learn the skills to make critical assessments with respect to
their reading, listening, and viewing in order to be aware of biases and stereotypes reflected
therein. Students consider how the variety of motivations, controls, and constraints related
to media directly influence our perceptions and views.
Brainstorming. Teachers can use brainstorming as a thinking strategy to help students
generate questions, ideas, and examples and to explore a central idea or topic. During
brainstorming, students share ideas that come to mind and record these ideas without
making judgements about them. When introducing a topic, teachers can use brainstorming
sessions to determine what students already know or wish to learn, and to provide
direction for learning and reflection. Brainstorming stimulates fluent and flexible thinking
and can also be used to extend problem-solving skills.
Conference. During a student–teacher conference, students can report on their progress,
consider problems and solutions, and note strengths and areas for improvement. Teachers
can discuss students’ work with pairs or small groups of students in order to facilitate
learning. Conferences therefore require an inviting and supportive atmosphere to
encourage open discussion, as well as a high level of trust between participants. Conferences
provide teachers with an opportunity to guide and support learners and a forum for
students to demonstrate their learning through discussion, sketchbooks, or portfolios.
Cooperative Learning. Cooperative-learning techniques allow students to work as a
team to accomplish a common learning goal. For example, a group of students may work
together to prepare a drama, dance, or music performance, to create an art work, or to
complete a research project.
In addition to the final product produced by the group, an important aspect of the
cooperative-learning process is having each group member examine how the group
functioned in its task and evaluate his or her own contribution to the group process.
Discussions, journal entries, and self-evaluation checklists are some ways in which
students can reflect on the group work process and their part in it.
Discussion. Discussion is a cooperative strategy through which students explore their
thinking, respond to ideas, process information, and articulate their thoughts in exchanges
with peers and the teacher. Discussion can be used to clarify understanding of concepts,
ideas, and information. Emphasis is placed on talking and listening to each other.
Through discussion, students can make connections between ideas and experience,
and reflect on a variety of meanings and interpretations of texts and experiences.
Focused Exploration. This is a method of instruction in which students use the materials
and equipment available in the classroom in ways of their choosing. The teacher observes
and listens while students are exploring, and provides guidance as needed, using information gathered from assessment. For example, the teacher may pose a question, prompt
deeper thinking, or introduce new vocabulary.
SOME CONSIDERATIONS FOR PROGRAM PLANNING IN THE ARTS
Experimenting. Experimenting is central to the arts, and is frequently used in making
connections between the concrete and the abstract. Experimenting requires that students
investigate, test, explore, manipulate, solve problems, make decisions, and organize
information in hands-on ways. Experimenting also encourages students to use cooperative
skills effectively in interpreting and communicating findings. Experimenting enhances
student motivation, understanding, and active involvement and can be initiated by the
teacher or the student.
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Free Exploration. This is a key instructional activity that is initiated by students, using
the materials available in the classroom in ways of their choosing. Teachers observe and
listen as part of ongoing assessment while students are exploring freely, but do not guide
the exploration as they do during focused exploration.
Graphic or Visual Organizers. The use of visual supports is an especially powerful
teaching strategy. Graphic organizers, often also referred to as key visuals, allow students
to understand and represent relationships visually rather than just with language, providing helpful redundancy in making meaning from a text. Graphic organizers can be used
to record, organize, compare, analyse, and synthesize information and ideas. They can
assist students in accessing prior knowledge and connecting it to new concepts learned
as well as consolidating their understanding. Examples of common graphic organizers
include the following: timeline, cycle diagram, T-chart, Venn diagram, story map, flow
chart, grid, web, and problem-solution outline.
The use of a graphic organizer is extremely helpful when carried out initially as a class
or group brainstorming activity. The graphic organizer provides a way of collecting and
visually presenting information about a topic that will make it more comprehensible for
students.
When using different graphic organizers, teachers should point out and model for students the usefulness of particular graphic organizers. For example, the T-chart provides
an ideal framework for visually representing comparison and contrast, while the flow
chart is well suited to illustrating cause-and-effect relationships.
Guided Activity. This is a key instructional activity that is initiated by the teacher. On
the basis of assessment information, the teacher may pose a series of questions, provide
prompts to extend thinking, ask students to demonstrate a familiar concept in a new
way, encourage students to try a new activity, and so on.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Guided Exploration. The teacher models a concept or skill that is part of a larger set of
skills or knowledge, and guides the students as they practise this first step. The process
is repeated until the students master the expected knowledge and skills of the lesson.
This strategy is particularly useful for introducing new skills that are developed
sequentially.
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Jigsaw. Jigsaw is a cooperative group activity in which a different segment of a learning
task is assigned to each member of a small group (the “home” group). All home group
members then work to become an “expert” in their aspect of the task in order to teach
the other group members. Jigsaw activities push all students to take equal responsibility
for the group’s learning goals. In the arts, jigsaw activities can be done in creating/performing, listening, and reading formats.
In a jigsaw activity in creating/performing, each student becomes a member of an
“expert” group, which learns a particular arts skill. Experts then return to their home
groups to share information and demonstrate the skill. Each expert must ensure that all
members of the home group understand the information and the method of performing
the skill. A similar procedure can be followed for a jigsaw listening activity or a jigsaw
reading activity.
Lateral Thinking. This is a thinking process first described by Edward di Bono, who
recognized that the mind can perceive issues from many angles and is thus able to
generate many creative solutions, even unorthodox ones. Lateral thinking involves
reviewing a problem or challenge from multiple perspectives, often breaking up
the elements and recombining them in different ways, even randomly. Use of lateral
thinking methods develops skills in bringing positive and negative aspects of a problem
to the fore and evaluating the whole picture.
Media Analysis. Media analysis is a critical literacy strategy in which commercial media
works are examined for the purpose of “decoding” the work – that is, determining the
purpose, intended audience, mood, and message of the work, and the techniques used
to create it. Through media analysis, students evaluate everyday media, maintaining a
critical distance and resisting manipulation by media producers, and they learn about
media techniques that they can then use to create or enhance their own works. Key concepts
of media analysis include recognition that media construct reality, have commercial
implications, contain ideological and value messages, and have social and political
implications.
Modelling. Teachers can demonstration a task or strategy to students, and may “think
aloud” while doing it to make the process clearer. By imitating the model, students
become aware of the procedures needed to perform the task or use the strategy.
Multiple Points of View. Teachers can encourage students to adopt another point of
view in order to develop their ability to think critically and to look at issues from more
than one perspective. In this activity, students identify which person’s point of view is
being considered and the needs and concerns of the person. They also locate and analyse
information about the person and summarize the person’s position. They learn to examine
issues and characters and to form conclusions without letting personal bias interfere.
This strategy can be used in both creating and viewing activities in the arts.
Oral Explanation. Students may use oral explanation to clarify thinking, to justify
reasoning, and to communicate their understanding in any of the arts.
Role Play. Role play allows students to simulate a variety of situations, using language
for different purposes and audiences. Through role plays, students can practise and
explore alternative solutions to situations outside the classroom. The role-play strategy
also allows students to take different perspectives on a situation, helping them to develop
sensitivity and understanding by putting themselves in the shoes of others. An important
phase in any role-playing activity is the follow-up. Debriefing after a role play allows
students to analyse the role-play experience and the learning in the activity.
SOME CONSIDERATIONS FOR PROGRAM PLANNING IN THE ARTS
Panel Discussion. A panel discussion provides opportunities for students to examine
controversial issues from different perspectives. A moderator introduces the topic, and
the panel members then each present to an audience a prepared statement of three to
five minutes that elucidates a particular viewpoint. The moderator facilitates audience
participation and allows panel members to clarify previous statements or provide new
information. After the discussion period, the moderator asks each panel member for
some general conclusions or summary statements. Topics chosen for a panel discussion
should engage students intellectually and emotionally, allowing them to use higher-order
thinking skills as they make reasoned and logical arguments.
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Simulation. Through simulation, students can participate in a replication of real or
hypothetical conditions and respond and act as though the situation were real. Simulation
is useful when students are learning about complex processes, events, ideas, or issues, or
when they are trying to understand the emotions and feelings of others. Simulation requires
the manipulation of a variety of factors and variables, allowing students to explore alternatives and solve problems and to take values and attitudes into consideration when
making decisions and experiencing the results. Simulation can take a number of forms,
including role playing, dramatizations, and enactments of historical events.
Sketching to Learn. Through making quick sketches, students can represent ideas and
their responses to them during or immediately following a presentation or lesson. They
can also take notes in pictorial or graphic form while reading a story for a dance or drama
project. Sketching to learn is often used during a listening or viewing experience in order
to help students understand new or complex concepts or techniques.
Think-Aloud. In the think-aloud strategy, the teacher models out loud a thinking or
learning process while using it. It is particularly useful when students are learning a
difficult concept or reinforcing learning. Think-alouds can also be done by students on
their own as they learn a skill, with a peer, or with the teacher for assessment purposes.
Think-Pair-Share. During a think-pair-share activity, students individually consider an
issue or problem and then discuss their ideas in pairs or in a small group. A few students
are then called on by the teacher to share their thoughts and ideas with the whole class.
Visualization. Visualization is a process of making an object, an event, or a situation
visible in one’s imagination by mentally constructing or recalling an image. Teachers
can use visualization with students as an exercise in image creation prior to creating
an art work. Visualization allows students to draw on their own prior experience and
extend their thinking creatively. Teachers can also make use of a variety of visual stimuli
(e.g., illustrations, photographs, reproductions, videos, real objects, graphics) to assist
students in generating ideas for various kinds of works in all the arts.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
CROSS-CURRICULAR AND INTEGRATED LEARNING
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In cross-curricular learning, students are provided with opportunities to learn and use
related content and/or skills in two or more subjects. For example, all subjects, including
the arts, can be related to the language curriculum. In the arts, students use a range of
language skills: they build subject-specific vocabulary, read stories for inspiration for their
art works, and respond to and analyse art works using language. Teachers can also use
reading material about the arts in their language lessons, and can incorporate instruction
in critical literacy in their arts lessons by, for instance, having students develop alternative illustrations for advertisements or fiction texts that use colour or angle of view to
modify the message (e.g., a spoof advertisement criticizing commercial propaganda) or
to show a different point of view (e.g., that of a child in the situation). Students can also
use drama conventions to bring to life the motivations of minor characters who have
other perspectives on the story.
In integrated learning, students are provided with opportunities to work towards meeting
expectations from two or more subjects within a single unit, lesson, or activity. By linking
expectations from different subject areas, teachers can provide students with multiple
opportunities to reinforce and demonstrate their knowledge and skills in a range of
settings. The arts can be used to provide other ways of learning and making connections.
Through integrated learning, exploration of topics, issues, experiences, or themes can
provide students with a stimulus both for engaging in artistic creation and for developing
understanding in another subject area. For example, teachers can create a unit linking
expectations from the arts curriculum and the social studies curriculum. Connections
can be made between these curricula in a number of areas, including the relationship
between art forms and their social and cultural context at various times and places
around the world, the importance of the arts in Canada, and the impact of changes in
technology on the arts (e.g., improvements to musical instruments, use of multimedia
technology). In such a unit, students can gain insights into the importance of the arts for
a range of people. They can also, for instance, work with drama or dance movement to
express their understanding of a historical character or a visual art work, and through
that activity develop imagery that reflects their own ideas, time, and place.
In integrated learning, teachers need to ensure that the specific knowledge and skills
for each subject are taught. For example, if they ask students to draw an illustration for
their story, they need to give not only language instruction, but instruction in creating
the images; the teacher could instruct the students in using compositional concepts,
such as creating sight lines that make use of lines, shapes, and colours to lead the eye to
a particular point for emphasis. Likewise, in dance, the teacher could instruct the students
in using elements of dance (e.g., body, level, tempo, space) and not simply assign a set
dance routine to use to accompany the story. In drama, the teacher could instruct the
students in using dramatic conventions to explore the possible motivations of a character
in the story and not simply ask them to recreate the scene. In music, the teacher could
instruct the students in elements of music and musical forms so that they could create
a mood piece to accompany the story, not merely select an existing piece.
Integrated learning can also be a solution to fragmentation and isolated skill instruction –
that is, in integrated learning, students can learn and apply skills in a meaningful context,
not merely learn how to mix colours or play technical musical exercises. In such contexts,
students can also develop their ability to think and reason and to transfer knowledge
and skills from one subject area to another.
Classroom teachers are the key educators of students who have special education needs.
They have a responsibility to help all students learn, and they work collaboratively with
special education resource teachers, where appropriate, to achieve this goal. They commit
to assisting every student to prepare for living with the highest degree of independence
possible.
Education for All: The Report of the Expert Panel on Literacy and Numeracy Instruction for
Students With Special Education Needs, Kindergarten to Grade 6, 2005 describes a set of beliefs,
based in research, that should guide all program planning for students with special education needs. Teachers planning arts programs need to pay particular attention to these
beliefs, which are as follows:
• All students can succeed.
• Universal design and differentiated instruction are effective and interconnected
means of meeting the learning or productivity needs of any group of students.
SOME CONSIDERATIONS FOR PROGRAM PLANNING IN THE ARTS
PLANNING ARTS PROGRAMS FOR STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS
43
• Successful instructional practices are founded on evidence-based research,
tempered by experience.
• Classroom teachers are key educators for a student’s literacy and numeracy
development.
• Each student has his or her own unique patterns of learning.
• Classroom teachers need the support of the larger community to create a learning
environment that supports students with special education needs.
• Fairness is not sameness.
In any given classroom, students may demonstrate a wide range of strengths and needs.
Teachers plan programs that recognize this diversity and give students performance tasks
that respect their particular abilities so that all students can derive the greatest possible
benefit from the teaching and learning process. The use of flexible groupings for instruction and the provision of ongoing assessment are important elements of programs that
accommodate a diversity of learning needs.
In planning arts programs for students with special education needs, teachers should
begin by examining both the curriculum expectations for the appropriate grade level of
the individual student and his or her strengths and learning needs to determine which
of the following options is appropriate for the student:
• no accommodations2 or modifications; or
• accommodations only; or
• modified expectations, with the possibility of accommodations; or
• alternative expectations, which are not derived from the curriculum expectations
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
for a grade and which constitute alternative programs.
If the student requires either accommodations or modified expectations, or both, the relevant information, as described in the following paragraphs, must be recorded in his or
her Individual Education Plan (IEP). More detailed information about planning programs
for students with special education needs, including students who require alternative
programs,3 can be found in The Individual Education Plan (IEP): A Resource Guide, 2004
(referred to hereafter as the IEP Resource Guide, 2004). For a detailed discussion of the
ministry’s requirements for IEPs, see Individual Education Plans: Standards for Development,
Program Planning, and Implementation, 2000 (referred to hereafter as IEP Standards, 2000).
(Both documents are available at www.edu.gov.on.ca.)
Students Requiring Accommodations Only
Some students with special education needs are able, with certain accommodations,
to participate in the regular curriculum and to demonstrate learning independently.
(Accommodations do not alter the provincial curriculum expectations for the grade level.)
The accommodations required to facilitate the student’s learning must be identified in
his or her IEP (see IEP Standards, 2000, page 11). A student’s IEP is likely to reflect the
same accommodations for many, or all, subject areas.
Providing accommodations to students with special education needs should be the
first option considered in program planning. Instruction based on principles of universal
2. Accommodations refers to individualized teaching and assessment strategies, human supports, and/or individualized
equipment.
3. Alternative programs are identified on the IEP form by the term “alternative (ALT)”.
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design4 and differentiated instruction5 focuses on the provision of accommodations to
meet the diverse needs of learners.
There are three types of accommodations:
• Instructional accommodations are changes in teaching strategies, including styles
of presentation, methods of organization, or use of technology and multimedia.
• Environmental accommodations are changes that the student may require in the class-
room and/or school environment, such as preferential seating or special lighting.
• Assessment accommodations are changes in assessment procedures that enable the
student to demonstrate his or her learning, such as allowing additional time to
complete tests or assignments or permitting oral responses to test questions
(see page 29 of the IEP Resource Guide, 2004 for more examples).
If a student requires “accommodations only” in the arts, assessment and evaluation of
his or her achievement will be based on the appropriate grade-level curriculum expectations and the achievement levels outlined in this document. The IEP box on the student’s
Provincial Report Card will not be checked, and no information on the provision of
accommodations will be included.
Students Requiring Modified Expectations
In the arts, for most students with special education needs, modified expectations will
be based on the regular grade-level curriculum, with changes in the number and/or
complexity of the expectations. Modified expectations must represent specific, realistic,
observable, and measurable achievements, and must describe specific knowledge and/or
skills that the student can demonstrate independently, given the appropriate assessment
accommodations.
If a student requires modified expectations in the arts, assessment and evaluation of his
or her achievement will be based on the learning expectations identified in the IEP and on
the achievement levels outlined in this document. On the Provincial Report Card, the IEP
box must be checked for any subject in which the student requires modified expectations,
and the appropriate statement from the Guide to the Provincial Report Card, Grades 1–8, 1998
(page 8) must be inserted. The teacher’s comments should include relevant information on
the student’s demonstrated learning of the modified expectations, as well as next steps
for the student’s learning in the subject.
4. The goal of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is to create a learning environment that is open and accessible to
all students, regardless of age, skills, or situation. Instruction based on principles of universal design is flexible and
supportive, can be adjusted to meet different student needs, and enables all students to access the curriculum as
fully as possible.
SOME CONSIDERATIONS FOR PROGRAM PLANNING IN THE ARTS
Modified expectations must indicate the knowledge and/or skills the student is expected
to demonstrate and have assessed in each reporting period (IEP Standards, 2000, pages 10
and 11). Modified expectations should be expressed in such a way that the student and
parents can understand exactly what the student is expected to know or be able to do,
on the basis of which his or her performance will be evaluated and a grade or mark
recorded on the Provincial Report Card. The student’s learning expectations must be
reviewed in relation to the student’s progress at least once every reporting period, and
must be updated as necessary (IEP Standards, 2000, page 11).
5. Differentiated instruction is effective instruction that shapes each student’s learning experience in response to his or
her particular learning preferences, interests, and readiness to learn.
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PROGRAM CONSIDERATIONS FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS
[English language learners] each have a language, a culture, and background experiences.
Effective teachers draw on these resources and build new concepts on this strong
experiential base.
Y. S. Freeman and D. E. Freeman, Closing the Achievement Gap: How to
Reach Limited-Formal-Schooling and Long-Term English Learners (2002), p. 16
Ontario schools have some of the most multilingual student populations in the world. The
first language of approximately 20 per cent of the children in Ontario’s English-language
schools is a language other than English. Ontario’s linguistic heritage includes several
Aboriginal languages and many African, Asian, and European languages. It also includes
some varieties of English – also referred to as dialects – that differ significantly from the
English required for success in Ontario schools. Many English language learners were
born in Canada and have been raised in families and communities in which languages
other than English, or varieties of English that differ from the language used in the classroom, are spoken. Other English language learners arrive in Ontario as newcomers from
other countries; they may have experience of highly sophisticated educational systems,
or they may have come from regions where access to formal schooling was limited.
When they start school in Ontario, many of these children are entering a new linguistic
and cultural environment. All teachers share in the responsibility for these students’
English-language development.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
English language learners (students who are learning English as a second or additional
language in English-language schools) bring a rich diversity of background knowledge
and experience to the classroom. These students’ linguistic and cultural backgrounds not
only support their learning in their new environment but also become a cultural asset in
the classroom community. Teachers will find positive ways to incorporate this diversity
into their instructional programs and into the classroom environment.
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Most English language learners in Ontario schools have an age-appropriate proficiency
in their first language. Although they need frequent opportunities to use English at
school, there are important educational and social benefits associated with continued
development of their first language while they are learning English. Teachers need to
encourage parents to continue to use their own language at home in rich and varied ways
as a foundation for language and literacy development in English. It is also important
for teachers to find opportunities to bring students’ languages into the classroom, using
parents and community members as a resource.
During their first few years in Ontario schools, English language learners may receive
support through one of two distinct programs from teachers who specialize in meeting
their language-learning needs:
English as a Second Language (ESL) programs are for students born in Canada or newcomers whose first language is a language other than English, or is a variety of English
significantly different from that used for instruction in Ontario schools.
English Literacy Development (ELD) programs are primarily for newcomers whose first
language is a language other than English, or is a variety of English significantly different
from that used for instruction in Ontario schools, and who arrive with significant gaps in
their education. These children generally come from countries where access to education
is limited or where there are limited opportunities to develop language and literacy
skills in any language. Some Aboriginal students from remote communities in Ontario
may also have had limited opportunities for formal schooling, and they also may benefit
from ELD instruction.
In planning programs for children with linguistic backgrounds other than English, teachers
need to recognize the importance of the orientation process, understanding that every
learner needs to adjust to the new social environment and language in a unique way and
at an individual pace. For example, children who are in an early stage of English-language
acquisition may go through a “silent period” during which they closely observe the
interactions and physical surroundings of their new learning environment. They may use
body language rather than speech or they may use their first language until they have
gained enough proficiency in English to feel confident of their interpretations and responses.
Students thrive in a safe, supportive, and welcoming environment that nurtures their
self-confidence while they are receiving focused literacy instruction. When they are ready
to participate, in paired, small-group, or whole-class activities, some students will begin
by using a single word or phrase to communicate a thought, while others will speak
quite fluently.
With exposure to the English language in a supportive learning environment, most young
children will develop oral fluency quite quickly, making connections between concepts
and skills acquired in their first language and similar concepts and skills presented in
English. However, oral fluency is not a good indicator of a student’s knowledge of
vocabulary or sentence structure, reading comprehension, or other aspects of language
proficiency that play an important role in literacy development and academic success.
Research has shown that it takes five to seven years for most English language learners
to catch up to their English-speaking peers in their ability to use English for academic
purposes. Moreover, the older the children are when they arrive, the more language
knowledge and skills they have to catch up on, and the more direct support they require
from their teachers.
• modification of some or all of the subject expectations so that they are challenging
but attainable for the learner at his or her present level of English proficiency, given
the necessary support from the teacher;
• use of a variety of instructional strategies (e.g., extensive use of visual cues, images,
diagrams, visual representations of key ideas, graphic organizers, scaffolding;
manipulation of images to find solutions to a design problem; pre-teaching of key
vocabulary; peer tutoring; use of music, movement, and gestures; strategic use of
students’ first languages);
• use of a variety of learning resources (e.g., simplified text, graphic novels, arts-specific
word walls, songs that teach language, bilingual dictionaries; visual material,
displays, art work, diagrams that show how to use materials, graphical information
from textbooks, manipulatives, modelling clay; music, plays, dances, materials to
be used in open-ended activities, and materials that reflect cultural diversity);
SOME CONSIDERATIONS FOR PROGRAM PLANNING IN THE ARTS
Responsibility for students’ English-language development is shared by the classroom
teacher, the ESL/ELD teacher (where available), and other school staff. Volunteers and
peers may also be helpful in supporting English language learners in the arts classroom.
Teachers must adapt the instructional program in order to facilitate the success of these
students in their classrooms. Appropriate adaptations for the arts program include:
47
• use of assessment accommodations (e.g., granting of extra time; use of oral inter-
views and presentations; participation in dance or physical drama; participation in
songs or chants; use of portfolios, demonstrations, visual representations or models
(e.g., sketches, drawings, paintings, sculptures), or tasks requiring completion of
graphic organizers instead of essay questions and other assessment tasks that
depend heavily on proficiency in English).
In general, the arts provide English language learners with multiple modes of expression
beyond written and oral texts, and support achievement for these learners across the
curriculum.
Although the degree of program adaptation required will decrease over time, students
who are no longer receiving ESL or ELD support may still need some program adaptations to be successful. If a student’s program has been modified, a checkmark must be
placed in the ESL/ELD box on the student’s report card. If the student requires modified
expectations, the appropriate statement from the Guide to the Provincial Report Card,
Grades 1–8, 1998 (page 8) must be inserted.
For further information on supporting English language learners, refer to the following
documents:
• Supporting English Language Learners in Grades 1 to 8: A Practical Guide for Ontario
Educators, 2008
• Supporting English Language Learners with Limited Prior Schooling: A Practical Guide
for Ontario Educators, Grades 3 to 12, 2008
• English Language Learners – ESL and ELD Programs and Services: Policies and Procedures
for Ontario Elementary and Secondary Schools, Kindergarten to Grade 12, 2007
• Supporting English Language Learners in Kindergarten: A Practical Guide for Ontario
Educators, 2007
• Many Roots, Many Voices: Supporting English Language Learners in Every Classroom –
A Practical Guide for Ontario Educators, 2005
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION AND THE ARTS
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Environmental education is education about the environment, for the environment,
and in the environment that promotes an understanding of, rich and active experience
in, and an appreciation for the dynamic interactions of:
• The Earth’s physical and biological systems
• The dependency of our social and economic systems on these natural systems
• The scientific and human dimensions of environmental issues
• The positive and negative consequences, both intended and unintended, of the
interactions between human-created and natural systems.
Shaping Our Schools, Shaping Our Future: Environmental
Education in Ontario Schools (June 2007), p. 6
As noted in Shaping Our Schools, Shaping Our Future: Environmental Education in Ontario
Schools, environmental education “is the responsibility of the entire education community.
It is a content area and can be taught. It is an approach to critical thinking, citizenship,
and personal responsibility, and can be modelled. It is a context that can enrich and
enliven education in all subject areas, and offer students the opportunity to develop a
deeper connection with themselves, their role in society, and their interdependence on
one another and the Earth’s natural systems” (page 10).
There are many opportunities to integrate environmental education into the teaching
of the arts. Nature often provides an inspirational starting point for creativity in both
representational and more abstract art forms. Indeed, a sense of connection to the
immediate environment and the natural world is frequently reflected in the arts – for
example, Paleolithic cave paintings of animals, traditional dances and performances
that evoke aspects of nature, landscape painting, and Impressionist music. To facilitate
these connections, arts teachers are encouraged to take students out of the classroom
and into the world beyond the school to help students observe, explore, and investigate
nature, and to design activities that allow students to integrate natural materials into
their creative works.
The arts can also be used as powerful forms of expression for students to use to explore
and articulate the social and political impact of issues related to the environment. They
can also serve as effective media to advocate protection of and respect for the environment.
As well, the actual use of arts materials can be related to environmental education. Many
safety guidelines are followed to reduce harmful effects arising from the interaction of
potentially hazardous substances with the environment. The safe handling and disposal
of substances used in the arts provides opportunities for students to explore how
everyday human interactions with the environment can have significant consequences.
ANTIDISCRIMINATION EDUCATION IN THE ARTS PROGRAM
Schools also have the opportunity to ensure that school–community interaction reflects
the diversity in the local community and wider society. Consideration should be given
to a variety of strategies for communicating and working with parents and community
members from diverse groups, in order to ensure their participation in such school
activities as plays, concerts, and teacher interviews. Families new to Canada, who may
be unfamiliar with the Ontario school system, or parents of Aboriginal students may need
special outreach and encouragement in order to feel comfortable in their interactions with
the school.
SOME CONSIDERATIONS FOR PROGRAM PLANNING IN THE ARTS
The implementation of antidiscrimination principles in education influences all aspects
of school life. It promotes a school climate that encourages all students to work to high
standards, affirms the worth of all students, and helps students strengthen their sense
of identity and develop a positive self-image. It encourages staff and students alike to
value and show respect for diversity in the school and the wider society. It requires schools
to adopt measures to provide a safe environment for learning, free from harassment,
violence, and expressions of hate. Antidiscrimination education encourages students
to think critically about themselves and others in the world around them in order to
promote fairness, healthy relationships, and active, responsible citizenship.
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In an inclusive arts program, learning resources and art work presented for analysis reflect
the broad range of both female and male students’ interests, backgrounds, cultures, and
experiences. Teachers routinely use materials that reflect the diversity of Canadian and
world cultures, including those of contemporary First Nation, Métis, and Inuit peoples,
and ensure that students have access to such material. At the same time, the creation of
various forms of art, inspired by styles from diverse cultures, provides opportunities for
students to explore issues relating to their self-identity.
Students should be made aware of the historical, cultural, and political contexts of both
the traditional and non-traditional gender and social roles represented in the material
they are studying. Attention should be drawn to the ways in which minority groups are
represented. In visual arts, for instance, examples can be taken from traditional art forms
and crafts, which in the past were largely the purview of women, as well as from fine
arts. In music, male and female students should be encouraged to play instruments of
their choice without facing gender bias. In dance, same-sex partnering and grouping
should be supported, and opportunities to explore non-stereotypical social roles in
dance forms should be provided. The dramatic arts provide opportunities for teachers
and students to examine the work of Aboriginal storytellers and playwrights and those
from other minority groups.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Outside the classroom, the work of women and many minority groups is underrepresented
in public galleries, theatres, dance and music concert halls, and the world of popular
culture. As a result, women’s and minority perspectives and viewpoints in drama, film,
dance, music, and the visual arts are limited. Changes are occurring, however. For example,
many instrumental music groups hold auditions for new members behind a screen so
that the evaluators cannot tell whether they are assessing female or male instrumentalists.
Nevertheless, there are few female conductors of major orchestras in the world, and in
the dance world, the works of male choreographers predominate. Teachers should make
students aware of these equity issues and ensure that the work of a socio-culturally and
historically diverse range of both women and men is valued and explored. As well,
teachers should provide positive role models for both male and female students in the
areas they are exploring, both to engage the students and to help students consider the
possibility of careers in those areas.
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The arts give both students and teachers a unique way to explore positive ways of dealing
with the social and emotional impact of various forms of discrimination, such as racism,
sexism, homophobia, and religious intolerance, as well as the effects of bullying, harassment, and other expressions of violence and hatred. Teachers can help students link the
understanding they gain in this regard to messages conveyed through the school’s
antibullying and violence-prevention programming.
Participation in the arts can also benefit students who have not had educational or
economic advantages. By being actively engaged in arts activities, students become
motivated and can develop the ability to be persistent in tasks; through their successes,
they develop self-confidence. In addition, participation in the arts gives them opportunities
to develop social skills, such as skills in conflict resolution, self-control, and collaboration,
as well as social tolerance and empathy. They can also learn to take creative risks in a
safe environment.
LITERACY, NUMERACY, AND INQUIRY IN THE ARTS
Literacy, numeracy, and inquiry and research skills are critical to students’ success in all
subjects of the curriculum and in all areas of their lives.
Literacy is defined as the ability to use language and images in rich and varied forms
to read, write, listen, view, represent, and think critically about ideas. It involves the
capacity to access, manage, and evaluate information; to think imaginatively and
analytically; and to communicate thoughts and ideas effectively. Literacy includes
critical thinking and reasoning to solve problems and make decisions related to issues
of fairness, equity, and social justice. Literacy connects individuals and communities
and is an essential tool for personal growth and active participation in a cohesive,
democratic society.
Reach Every Student: Energizing Ontario Education (2008), p. 6
“Literacy instruction must be embedded across the curriculum. All teachers of all subjects...
are teachers of literacy” (Think Literacy Success, Grades 7–12: The Report of the Expert Panel
on Students at Risk in Ontario, 2003, p. 10). This instruction takes different forms of emphasis
in different subjects and needs to be explicitly taught.
In the arts, literacy includes writing artistic statements and storyboards, connecting illustrations and text, role playing to make meaning from stories, learning songs, researching,
discussing, listening, viewing media, and – especially important for kinesthetic learners –
participating in action and physical activity. Students use language to record their observations, to describe their critical analyses in both informal and formal contexts, and to present
their findings in presentations and reports in oral, written, graphic, and multimedia forms.
Understanding in the arts requires the use and understanding of specialized terminology.
In all arts programs, students are required to use appropriate and correct terminology,
and are encouraged to use language with care and precision in order to communicate
effectively.
Oral communication skills are fundamental to the development of arts literacy and are
essential for thinking and learning. Through purposeful talk, students not only learn to
communicate information but also explore and come to understand ideas and concepts,
identify and solve problems, organize their experience and knowledge, and express and
clarify their thoughts, feelings, and opinions.
To develop their oral communication skills, students need numerous opportunities to
listen to information and talk about a range of subjects in the arts. The arts program
provides opportunities for students to engage in various oral activities in connection with
expectations in all the strands, such as brainstorming to identify what they know about
a new topic they are studying, discussing strategies for solving a problem, presenting
and defending ideas or debating issues, and offering critiques or feedback on an art work
and expressed opinions of their peers.
SOME CONSIDERATIONS FOR PROGRAM PLANNING IN THE ARTS
Fostering students’ communication skills is an important part of the teacher’s role in the
arts classroom. Students need to be able to use aural, oral, physical, and visual communication as well as reading, writing, and media literacy skills to gain new learning in the
arts and to communicate their understanding of what they have learned.
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Students’ understanding is revealed through both oral and written communication, but
it is not necessary for all critical analysis in arts learning to involve a written communication component. Students need opportunities to focus on their oral communication
without adding the additional responsibility of writing.
Whether students are talking or writing about their arts learning, teachers can prompt
them to explain their thinking and reasoning behind a particular solution, design, or
strategy, or to reflect on what they have done, by asking questions. Because a rich, openended question provides the starting point for an effective inquiry or for addressing a
problem, it is important that teachers model such questions for their students and allow
students multiple opportunities to ask, and find answers to, their own questions.
When reading texts related to the arts, students use a different set of skills than they do
when reading fiction. They need to understand vocabulary and terminology that are unique
to the various arts disciplines, and must be able to interpret symbols, charts, and diagrams.
To help students construct meaning, it is essential that teachers of the arts model and
teach the strategies that support learning to read while students are reading to learn in
this subject area.
The Ministry of Education has facilitated the development of materials to support literacy
instruction across the curriculum. Helpful advice for integrating literacy instruction in
the arts may be found in the following resource materials:
• A Guide to Effective Literacy Instruction, Grades 4 to 6, Volume Seven: Media Literacy, 2008
• Me Read? No Way! A Practical Guide to Improving Boys’ Literacy Skills, 2004
• Think Literacy: Cross-Curricular Approaches, Grades 7–12, 2003
• Think Literacy: Cross-Curricular Approaches, Grades 7–12 – Subject-Specific Examples:
Drama and Dance, Grades 7–10, 2005
• Think Literacy: Cross-Curricular Approaches, Grades 7–12 – Subject-Specific Examples:
Music, Grades 7–9, 2004
• Think Literacy: Cross-Curricular Approaches, Subject-Specific Examples: Music,
Grades 1–6, 2008
• Think Literacy: Cross-Curricular Approaches, Grades 7–12 – Subject-Specific Examples:
Visual Arts, Grades 7–12, 2005
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
• Webcasts for Educators: Critical Literacy, November 29, 2007 (available through
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http://www.edu.gov.on.ca or on DVD)
In addition to providing opportunities for literacy development, the arts program also
builds on, reinforces, and enhances mathematical literacy. For example, clear, concise
communication often involves the use of diagrams, charts, tables, and graphs, and
many components of the arts curriculum emphasize students’ ability to interpret and
use symbols and graphic texts.
Inquiry is at the heart of learning in all subject areas. In the arts program, students are
encouraged to develop their ability to ask questions and to explore a variety of possible
answers to those questions. As they advance through the grades, they acquire the skills
to locate relevant information from a variety of sources, such as books, periodicals,
dictionaries, encyclopedias, interviews, videos, and the Internet. The questioning they
practised in the early grades becomes more sophisticated as they learn that all sources
of information have a particular point of view and that the recipient of the information
has a responsibility to evaluate it, determine its validity and relevance, and use it in
appropriate ways. The ability to locate, question, and validate information allows a
student to become an independent, lifelong learner.
CRITICAL THINKING AND CRITICAL LITERACY IN THE ARTS
Critical thinking is the process of thinking about ideas or situations in order to understand
them fully, identify their implications, make a judgement, and/or guide decision making.
Critical thinking includes skills such as questioning, predicting, hypothesizing, analysing,
synthesizing, examining opinions, identifying values and issues, detecting bias, and
distinguishing between alternatives. It involves an inquiry process of exploring questions
about and solutions for issues that are not clearly defined and for which there are no
clear-cut answers. Students who are taught these skills become critical thinkers who
do not merely accept the obvious as a given.
Students use critical thinking skills in the arts when they assess, analyse, and/or evaluate
the impact of something and when they form an opinion about something and support
that opinion with a rationale. In order to do these things, students need to examine the
opinions and values of others, detect bias, look for implied meaning, and use the information gathered to form a personal opinion or stance, or a personal plan of action with
regard to making a difference.
As they work to achieve the arts expectations, students frequently need to identify the
possible implications of choices. As they gather information from a variety of sources,
they need to be able to interpret what they are listening to, reading, or viewing; to look
for instances of bias; and to determine why that source might express that particular bias.
In developing critical thinking skills in the arts, students must ask good questions to
interpret information, detect bias, and consider the values and perspectives of a variety
of groups and individuals.
In the arts, students who are critically literate are able, for example, to actively analyse
art works and texts to identify possible meanings. They are able to determine what biases
might be contained in an art work and why that might be, how the content of the art
work was determined and by whom, and whose perspectives might have been left out
and why. These students would then be equipped to produce their own interpretation of
the issue. Opportunities should be provided for students to engage in a critical discussion
SOME CONSIDERATIONS FOR PROGRAM PLANNING IN THE ARTS
Critical literacy is the capacity for a particular type of critical thinking that involves looking
beyond the literal meaning of a text to determine what is present and what is missing,
in order to analyse and evaluate the text’s complete meaning and the author’s intent.
Critical literacy goes beyond conventional critical thinking by focusing on issues related
to fairness, equity, and social justice. Critically literate students adopt a critical stance,
asking what view of the world the text advances and whether they find this view acceptable, who benefits from the text, and how the reader is influenced.
53
of “texts”, which can include television programs, movies, web pages, advertising, music,
gestures, oral texts, visual art works, and other means of expression. This discussion
empowers students to understand how the authors of texts are trying to affect and change
them as members of society. Language and communication are never neutral: they are
used to inform, entertain, persuade, and manipulate.
Critically literate students understand that meaning is not found in texts in isolation.
People make sense of a text, or determine what a text means, in a variety of ways.
Students therefore need to be aware of points of view (e.g., those of parents and students),
the context (e.g., the beliefs and practices of the time and place in which a text is read),
the background of the person interacting with the text (e.g., upbringing, friends, school
and other communities, education, experiences), intertextuality (e.g., information that a
viewer brings to a film from other films viewed previously), gaps in the text (e.g., information that is left out and that the reader must fill in), and silences in the text (e.g., voices
of a person or group not heard).
MULTIPLE LITERACIES IN THE ARTS
The arts disciplines … are basic: as means of communication, as historical components of civilization, and as providers of unique forms of knowledge. As such, they
need no other justification as essential components of education. While study in the
arts disciplines may enhance other skills, encourage personal development, or lead
to a stronger economic base for professional presentation of the arts, these are not
and should not be the primary reasons for their study.
The goal of all education in the arts should be the development of basic literacy in
dance, music, theater, and the visual arts. Such literacy is grounded in the study of
the language and grammar of each art form as they are related directly to creation,
performance, or exhibition. Studies in the history, literature, and analysis of the arts
at the appropriate time are equally important in the development of artistic literacy.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Thomas A. Hatfield, “The Future of Art Education: Student Learning
in the Visual Arts”, NASSP Bulletin 82/597 (1998), pp. 11–12
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In developing their understanding of the world, young children respond to gesture and
movement before they react to the spoken word. They understand and explore the use of
sound before they learn to speak. They draw pictures before they form letters. They dance
and role-play stories before they learn to read. Gestures, movement, sound, and images are
symbol systems for forms of thinking and communication that allow children, as students,
to formulate ideas and express observations and understandings.
Literacies in the arts are developed as students learn in, through, and about different
art forms within the arts disciplines and as they learn to use the “languages” of these
disciplines to communicate and to interpret meaning. There are many ways of knowing
and of communicating what we know and understand, and the arts provide multiple
avenues for expression. These include the visual (e.g., still and animated images, layout,
design, hypermedia, three-dimensional forms), oral (e.g., timbre and tone of voice),
gestural (e.g., body language, kinesthetic movement), and aural (e.g., music, sound
effects) – in fact, anything that can be “read”, whether it uses print or other symbol
systems to communicate. Visual, auditory, or kinesthetic signs and symbols are used
by artists, choreographers, composers, dancers, dramatists, and musicians as part of
the language of their discipline.
Because the arts offer various ways of knowing and different forms of communication,
they provide students with relevant options for developing and representing their
understanding. Education in arts programs is relevant to learning in all subjects because
it offers students different means of expression while strengthening linguistic literacy,
and it offers teachers various ways of differentiating instruction and engaging students
in learning. In addition, since art forms, genres, styles, and techniques are rooted in a
cultural context, students have an opportunity to develop an understanding of the meaning
of the artistic languages used in art forms from various cultures by studying art forms
in their cultural context.
The various arts disciplines are therefore a vital component of literacy education. The arts
disciplines promote literacies that contribute to students’ ability to explore, negotiate,
communicate, interpret, and make sense of the changing realities of contemporary culture,
technology, and society. Since technological advances continue to develop at an unprecedented rate, educators should promote the learning of multiple literacies as crucial to living
successfully in an age in which communication and change have so much importance.
Education in the arts prepares students not only to adapt to change but also to be active
participants in bringing about change.
THE ROLE OF THE SCHOOL LIBRARY IN ARTS PROGRAMS
The school library program can help to build and transform students’ knowledge to support
a lifetime of learning in an information- and knowledge-based society. The school library
program supports student success across the arts curriculum by encouraging students to
read widely, teaching them to read many forms of text for understanding and enjoyment,
and helping them to improve their research skills and to use information gathered through
research effectively. The school library program enables students to:
• develop a love of reading for learning and for pleasure;
• develop a critical appreciation of works of art;
• acquire an understanding of the richness and diversity of artistic and informational
texts produced in Canada and around the world;
• obtain access to programs, resources, and integrated technologies that support all
• understand and value the role of public library systems as a resource for lifelong
learning.
The school library program plays a key role in the development of information literacy
and research skills. In collaboration with classroom or content-area teachers, teacherlibrarians design, teach, and provide students with authentic information and research
tasks that foster learning, including the ability to:
• access, select, gather, process, critically evaluate, create, and communicate information;
• use the information obtained to explore and investigate issues, solve problems,
make decisions, build knowledge, create personal meaning, and enrich their lives;
• communicate their findings for different audiences, using a variety of formats and
technologies;
• use information and research with understanding, responsibility, and imagination.
SOME CONSIDERATIONS FOR PROGRAM PLANNING IN THE ARTS
curriculum areas;
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In addition, teacher-librarians can work with teachers of the arts to help students to:
• develop literacy in using non-print forms, such as the Internet, CDs, DVDs, and
videos, in order to access images of art works, critical reviews, and a variety of
performances;
• design inquiry questions for research for arts projects;
• create and produce art works in dance, drama, music, and the visual arts, including
media/multimedia works, that communicate their experiences.
Teachers of the arts are also encouraged to collaborate with both local librarians and
teacher-librarians on collecting digital, print, and visual resources for arts projects
(e.g., storybooks on a theme or topic to inspire role play, picture books for artistic inspiration,
culture-specific and large-format image collections, informational and performance videos).
Librarians may also be able to assist in accessing a variety of online resources and collections (e.g., professional articles, image galleries, videos).
In addition to resource materials in the school library, teachers may be able to access
specialized libraries of plays, musical scores, and copyright-free music collections for
use in video editing. Teachers need to discuss with students the concept of ownership
of work and the importance of artists’ copyright in all forms of art.
THE ROLE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY
IN ARTS EDUCATION
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Information and communications technologies (ICT) provide a range of tools that can
significantly extend and enrich teachers’ instructional strategies and support students’
learning in the arts. ICT tools include multimedia resources; databases; Internet websites;
digital cameras; notation, sequencing, and accompaniment software; and software for
animation, image/video editing, and graphic design. Computer programs can help students
to collect, organize, and sort the data they gather, and to write, edit, and present reports
on their findings. ICT can also be used to connect students to other schools, at home and
abroad, and to bring the global community into the local classroom.
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The integration of technology into the arts curriculum represents a natural extension
of the learning expectations associated with each art form. An education in the arts
will engage students in the use of a wide range of technologies through which artistic
expression can be achieved. The most obvious example is the use of multimedia technologies, which primarily involves the process of solving artistic problems through
the application of various technologies, such as still and video photography, sound
recording, and digital technologies. In the dance curriculum, students are expected to
use computer technology as a compositional tool. In drama, students can gain facility
in the use of lighting, sound, and other production technologies. Music education
includes the use of analog and digital technology. Many visual arts activities engage
students in the use of current technologies both as research tools and as creative media.
Of particular interest in all of the arts is an analysis of the impact of various technologies on contemporary society.
Whenever appropriate, therefore, students should be encouraged to use ICT to support
and communicate their learning. For example, students working individually or in groups
can use computer technology and/or Internet websites to gain access to museums and
archives in Canada and around the world. Students can also use digital cameras and
projectors to design and present multimedia works, as well as to record the process of
creating their arts projects.
Although the Internet is a powerful learning tool, all students must be made aware of
issues of privacy, safety, and responsible use, as well as of the ways in which the Internet
can be used to promote hatred.
ICT tools are also useful for teachers in their teaching practice, both for class instruction
and for the design of curriculum units that contain varied approaches to learning to
meet diverse student needs. A number of educational software programs to support the
arts are licensed through the ministry and are listed on www.osapac.org under the software link.
GUIDANCE IN ARTS EDUCATION
The guidance and career education program should be aligned with the arts curriculum.
Teachers need to ensure that classroom learning across all grades and subjects provides
ample opportunity for students to learn how to work independently (e.g., complete
homework independently), cooperate with others, resolve conflicts, participate in class,
solve problems, and set goals to improve their work.
The arts and cultural industries are among the largest sectors of the Canadian economy.
In fact, the work force in the culture sector has increased over a recent twenty-year period
at a much faster rate than the total work force in Canada.6 Educational and career opportunities related to the arts are consequently many and varied. The arts program can offer
opportunities for a variety of career exploration activities, including career mentorships
and visits from a wide variety of guest speakers in the arts – for example, actors, animators,
architects, artists, audio and video technicians, choreographers, comedians, composers,
critics, dancers, designers, directors, educators, gallery or museum curators, graphic artists,
illustrators, music arrangers, musicians, photographers, recording engineers, sculptors,
video and recording editors, web designers, and individuals working in film, television,
special effects, and interactive media (such as game designers and programmers).
6. Paul Sereda, “Culture Employment in a North American Context: 1981 to 2001” (Ottawa: Statistics Canada, 2007), p. 18.
SOME CONSIDERATIONS FOR PROGRAM PLANNING IN THE ARTS
The arts help students learn and apply skills that will be useful throughout their lives –
for example, the ability to use a range of modes of communication and representation;
to make qualitative judgements; to act on the awareness that problems can have more
than one solution and that there are many ways to see and interpret the world; and to
take circumstances into account when solving problems. Research shows that learning
about and participating in the arts improves self-esteem, empathy, confidence, and selfmotivation. As well, learning through participation in the arts can benefit students across
the spectrum of ability, achievement, and interests. Research also shows that, when the
arts are an integral part of the school environment, students have better attendance, are
more motivated to learn, have improved multicultural understanding, and are more likely
to stay in school and graduate.
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HEALTH AND SAFETY IN ARTS EDUCATION
Teachers must model safe practices at all times and communicate safety expectations to
students in accordance with school board and Ministry of Education policies.
To carry out their responsibilities with regard to safety, it is important that teachers have
concern for their own and their students’ safety, and that they ensure that safe practices
are followed at all times when using tools, materials, and equipment and when participating in performance tasks. The following are some ways of ensuring that classes in the
arts are safe:
• Ensure that all tools are used safely – for example, scissors, linoleum cutters, and
other sharp tools, and hot glue guns. Note: Teachers supervising students who
are using power tools, such as drills, sanders, and saws, need to have specialized
training in handling such tools.
• Choose non-toxic materials for students to use, such as non-toxic glues, glazes, and
paints. Avoid toxic materials, such as solvent-based markers or painting materials,
and avoid choosing substances that are hazardous if inhaled, such as aerosol
paints or fixatives. Also ensure that students follow safe practices when using
any materials – for example, washing their hands after handling art materials
and not putting materials or tools in their mouths.
• Ensure that students take precautions when using materials that are in a powdered
state and that therefore can be inadvertently inhaled. For example, instruct students
not to sand plaster or clay when it is in a dry state; not to use paint pigments or
wallpaper paste in a powdered state; and not to “blow” chalk pastel off an art
work but rather tap the work onto damp newsprint. They should also wet-mop
and wipe surfaces after using clay or any other art media that create dust.
• Ensure that all equipment is safe and that it is also handled safely. Props need to
be safe – for example, costumes should be short enough so that students will not
trip when wearing them, and masks should permit clear vision. Secure sound and
lighting equipment. Ensure that kilns are properly ventilated. Instruct students not
to play musical instruments close to others’ ears. Make sure that musical instruments
are sterilized after use (e.g., brass and woodwind mouthpieces).
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
• Ensure that safe practices are followed in all performance tasks. For example,
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have students do warm-up exercises before dance activities, drama activities, and
singing. Have them wear appropriate footwear for movement activities (or have
them do the activities in bare feet, if appropriate). Choose songs that fall within
an appropriate range for the students, and ensure that primary students use their
voices in a way that is appropriate for their high, light voices. Ensure that students
use proper playing techniques. Also, ensure that ladders are used safely when
setting up stages; manage the pace of activities; and manage the use of space
(e.g., move obstacles to allow for creative movement or performance).
• Ensure that students feel comfortable emotionally and psychologically. For example,
discuss emotional roles in drama; encourage sensitivity to others’ cultural values;
and encourage students to be aware of the personal space of others, emphasizing
that touching required for a dance or drama activity needs to be respectful.
It is also important that parents ensure that appropriate school staff members are informed
of any allergies their children may have, especially in the case of younger children – for
example, an allergy to latex. Teachers should take those allergies into consideration when
preparing arts lessons – for example, having them use non-latex gloves and masks and
other forms of glue and make-up.
Students demonstrate that they have the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind required
for safe participation in arts activities when they:
• maintain a well-organized and uncluttered work space;
• follow established safety procedures;
• identify possible safety concerns;
• suggest and implement appropriate safety procedures;
• carefully follow the instructions and example of the teacher;
• consistently show care and concern for their safety and that of others.
It is recommended that teachers not use donated art materials unless the ingredients are
clearly labelled and known to meet current safety standards. New materials should also
be clearly labelled or have a written product description to accompany them (e.g., information on the box or a material safety data sheet describing the contents of a paint tube).
SOME CONSIDERATIONS FOR PROGRAM PLANNING IN THE ARTS
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OVERVIEW OF
GRADES 1 TO 3
Children’s early learning experiences have a profound effect on their development. The
arts program for Grades 1 to 3 focuses on the foundational knowledge and skills students
need in order to learn through and about the arts. The expectations build on students’ prior
knowledge and experience to strengthen their oral language, understanding of concepts
about movement, capacity for imagining and pretending, vocabulary knowledge, visual
and musical tonal awareness, higher-order thinking skills, and capacity for reflection.
The emphasis in the primary grades should be on exploration of the student’s self, family,
personal experiences, and world. Through guided practice students begin to develop
the ability to use the creative process (see pages 19–22) and the critical thinking process
(see pages 23–28) in their explorations. Young children are naturally curious and ask many
questions about things that catch their attention, and arts programs should capitalize
on this natural desire to learn and absorb information. Since young children learn
best by doing, it is especially important to provide opportunities for them to engage in
open-ended, hands-on activities. Teachers should plan learning experiences that promote
integrated learning and that allow children to handle, explore, and experiment with
familiar materials in a learning environment that is safe, secure, and inviting. A developmentally appropriate arts program for young children provides opportunities for childinitiated individual expression. It allows children freedom to make choices and to use
their observations, experiences, and background knowledge to engage in a wide range
of arts activities. It recognizes that there is no one way to create, and that every child’s
interpretation is to be valued. It promotes risk taking. It provides blocks of time to allow
students’ skills to develop, and it encourages them to revisit projects rather than focusing
only on one-time art experiences.
Most of what primary students know about the arts comes from listening and speaking
with adults; experiences in the home, school, and community; and interacting with
media such as advertisements, television programs, video games, songs, photographs,
two- and three-dimensional art works, and films. The expectations for the arts build upon
the prior knowledge and experience that students from diverse cultural and linguistic
backgrounds bring to Ontario classrooms. Because this base of knowledge, experience,
and skills varies from student to student, and because students will have varying levels
of prior exposure to the elements, skills, forms, genres, and traditions of the arts, it is
important for instruction to be differentiated to meet the needs of individuals and small
groups of students. Exposure to a broad range of stimuli that reflect diversity is also crucial:
efforts should be made to honour the cultural traditions of students from all groups in
the community.
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Students create, view, and experience the arts for a variety of purposes, both formal and
informal. They develop an understanding of appropriate listening, speaking, viewing,
and collaborative behaviours and identify strategies they can use to understand what
they hear, view, and experience and to communicate what they want to say. In all four
strands, teachers should explicitly teach and model the use of the knowledge, skills, and
strategies most relevant to the particular strand. Initially, students engage in learning
through shared and guided practice; eventually, they demonstrate independently their
achievement of the learning expectations through multiple, diverse learning opportunities
and activities.
Primary students should have access to and opportunities to create works of dance,
drama, music, and visual art on familiar topics. Teachers need to use a variety of means
to motivate and engage students, including songs, poems, teacher read-alouds or simple
readers’ theatre, large- and small-group discussions, storytelling activities, one-on-one
conversations, role play, self-directed pretend play, stories in children’s first language,
soundtracks, posters or signs, photographs, collages, digital and print images, recorded
music, sculptures, cartoons, movies, and television shows. Through participating in
classroom arts experiences, students learn to identify the arts as part of everyday life
and recognize that they serve a variety of purposes. By attending exhibitions and performances, students begin to learn that representational art forms can communicate
meaning symbolically. Students investigate the purposes of the arts in past and present
cultures and the contexts in which they were or are made, viewed, and valued. They
also experience what it is to be both an audience member, viewing the work of others,
and a presenter, sharing their own work in an informal classroom setting.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Dance
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In the primary grades, students should be moving creatively every day. Students begin
to use personal experience, imagination, and familiar movements to develop a movement
vocabulary, to respond to prompts and express ideas, and to communicate their thoughts
and feelings in various situations. Through a balance of free exploration and guided
exploration, students develop awareness of their bodies and of the many different ways
they can move. Through modelling and guided movement explorations, they expand their
movement vocabulary to include some of the elements of dance. In particular, students
begin to travel through pathways, use gesture to communicate feelings, and explore a
range of levels, shapes, and locomotor and non-locomotor movements. Students also
develop their ability to move and control their bodies in space and time and begin to
create short dance pieces using the elements of dance.
Drama
Dramatic play and whole-group role play are foundational components of learning in
drama in the primary grades. By assuming different roles in dramatic play with a partner,
or in a small group or whole group in a process drama, students begin to differentiate
between the real world and the imagined or fictional contexts of drama. They learn to
step into role in order to live through the imagined context of the drama, and to step out
of role to reflect upon and make personal connections to the drama experience. Some
opportunities for independent and self-directed pretend play should be provided as a
bridge to more structured learning experiences. As well, students should be introduced
to some of the elements, conventions, and forms of drama that allow them to shape and
communicate their thoughts, feelings, and ideas. In Grades 1 to 3, pretend play, personal
stories and experiences, nursery rhymes, poetry, and folk tales and stories from around
the world should be used to stimulate the imagination and encourage social interaction.
Primary students should be encouraged to explore a variety of texts and to represent
their understandings in multiple ways. As well, because drama is a highly social art
form, teachers should explicitly teach and model effective group skills to help primary
students learn to work well with others.
Music
In the primary grades, students experience and explore the elements of music through
singing, listening to, and moving to a variety of songs, rhymes, and chants. Their experiences should include a wide variety of recorded and live music. In Grade 1, they make
connections with the role of music in their lives, sing and play in unison, create simple
accompaniments, and experiment with found sounds and instruments. In Grade 2, they
continue to sing in unison, and learn to use patterns of sound found in speech to create
simple accompaniments and explore simple and invented notation. In Grade 3, they
perform simple rounds, create and perform soundscapes and melodies based upon the
pentatonic scale, and begin to identify and appreciate the role of music in their lives.
During the primary grades, students also learn how to use and care for musical instruments properly, become familiar with acceptable audience behaviour, and develop the
ability to work with others.
Visual Arts
OVERVIEW OF GRADES 1 TO 3
The study of visual arts begins with the introduction of skills and concepts that may be
new for many of the children. Because of the children’s different developmental levels
when entering Grade 1, it is expected that this year will emphasize joyful exploration
and discovery. The program should expose children to many manipulative materials and
encourage exploration with them in a wide variety of open-ended ways. Mass-produced
stereotypical images (e.g., identical jack-o’-lanterns pre-cut by adults) have no place in
the program. Such materials provide no or limited opportunities for self-expression and
the development of a sense of creative empowerment. Similarly, colouring-in activities and
photocopied patterns to cut out limit creativity and are developmentally inappropriate.
Primary students work with colour emotionally or randomly. They should have opportunities to look at, feel, and interact with stimuli and to create an individualized response
based on their own observations. In Grades 1, 2, and 3, students begin to explore art in
the world around them, to understand that people all over the world create and enjoy
art, and to develop the ability to communicate about their immediate environment and
interests through visual images. They engage in a variety of drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpting activities and are introduced to and learn to use a variety of art
tools, materials, and techniques. They learn about some of the elements and principles
of design and begin to describe how the elements are used by artists. They generate and
develop visual ideas, using imagination, observation, and experiments with materials.
And they apply their knowledge of design elements and principles to create works of
art that tell stories and express thoughts, feelings, and insights.
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GRADE 1
A. DANCE
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 1
By the end of Grade 1, students will:
A1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to the composition of simple
dance phrases, using the elements of dance to communicate feelings and ideas;
A2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of dance pieces
and experiences;
A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of dance forms
and styles from the past and present, and their social and/or community contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 1
Students in Grade 1 will develop understanding of the following concepts through participation in
various dance experiences (e.g., connecting and altering familiar movements), with particular emphasis
on body and space.
ELEMENTS OF DANCE
• body: body awareness (e.g., awareness of where one is in space in relation to objects in class, awareness
of position), use of body zones (e.g., whole body [versus various body parts], upper body only, lower
body only), use of body parts (e.g., arms, legs, head), body shapes (e.g., big, small, angular, twisted,
curved, straight, closed), locomotor movements (e.g., galloping, skipping, rolling), non-locomotor movements (e.g., arm movements such as swimming/waving, hopping on one foot, jumping on two feet,
kicking, bending knees, melting to the ground, stretching, growing, spinning, folding, bowing), body
bases (e.g., feet as body base, hands and knees as body base)
• space: levels (e.g., low to high by reaching; high to low by falling, crouching), directions (e.g., forwards,
backwards, sideways), general and personal
• time: tempo (e.g., fast/slow, movement versus freeze), rhythm (e.g., even, uneven)
• energy: quality (e.g., melting, twitching, slumping, percussive, sustained [as in a held stretch])
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
• relationship: with a partner (e.g., slow-motion mirroring)
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SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
A1. Creating and Presenting
By the end of Grade 1, students will:
A1.1 use movements that are part of their daily
experience in a variety of ways in dance phrases
(e.g., alter and exaggerate movements based on even
rhythms such as walking, galloping, and swimming,
and on uneven rhythms such as skipping and
jumping; amplify and modify percussive movements
such as the movement of a clock ticking or the
sustained hold of a cat stretching)
Teacher prompts: “What everyday movements
do you do throughout the day?” “When you
wave hello to a friend who is close by, is your
wave bigger or smaller than when the friend is
far away? How might you change the action of
waving by making the movement bigger/smaller
or faster/slower? Will the speed or rhythm of
the movement change when you make it bigger
or smaller?”
A1.2 use dance as a language to express feelings
and ideas suggested by songs, stories, and
poems, with a focus on the element of body,
particularly body shapes (e.g., use the entire body
[crouch, slump] and body parts [folded arms, bowed
head] to express an idea such as deep thought)
Teacher prompts: “Show me with your body how
the ogres felt when they encountered the dragon
(e.g., depict courage).” “How can you position
your body, head, arms, and legs so we can better
understand the ideas you want to express?”
Teacher prompts: “If you are at a low level and
you want to go to a high level (or if you want
to go from a high level to a low level), how are
you going to get there? Are you going to spin,
grow, reach up, melt, rise, or wiggle?” “If you
were a seed in the ground, how would you
grow into a tree? Would you grow with fast
movements or slow?” “In your performance,
how can you connect a skip, a fall, and a spin
to create a movement sentence (or phrase)?”
A1.4 use varied and/or contrasting body shapes
to communicate different types of messages
(e.g., a high level and open, expansive shape to
show dominance; a closed huddled shape to show
that you are holding a treasured or secret object)
Teacher prompt: “What body shapes can you
use to show you like something? Dislike
something? Are there other body shapes
to express the same ideas?”
A2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 1, students will:
A2.1 describe differences they observe when
various movements from daily life are used
as the basis or stimulus for movements in a
dance phrase (e.g., describe ways in which everyday actions and movements such as skipping on
the playground, walking to school, brushing their
teeth, or getting dressed are changed when they
are used in a dance phrase)
Teacher prompt: “How are actions and gestures
used to communicate in daily life different
from movements that are used to communicate
in dance? What would dances be like if the
movements were always the same as movements
you see in daily life?”
Teacher prompts: “How do you come up with
ideas for movement?” “How do you incorporate
everyone’s ideas when working together?”
“What makes a good audience member? When
you watch your classmates dancing, do you try
to behave as you would like others to behave
when they are watching your dance work?”
“What differences are there between the way
you behave when watching dancing in a theatre
versus at an outdoor stadium or a cultural
event with your family?”
A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 1, students will:
A3.1 describe, with teacher guidance, a variety
of dances from different communities around
the world that they have seen in the media, at
live performances and social gatherings, or in
the classroom (e.g., describe traditional dances
they have seen to a partner [Chinese ribbon dance,
Highland fling, powwow dance styles])
Teacher prompts: “When we were watching
the Highland dancing, were the dancers
using mostly locomotor or non-locomotor
movements?” “What body shapes did you
see in the video of the Chinese ribbon dance?”
A3.2 identify and describe dance experiences in
their own lives and communities (e.g., At home:
dancing or moving to a favourite song/story; seeing
dance on television or in a movie DVD; At school:
playing at recess; In the community: dancing or
observing dances at weddings, parties, cultural
celebrations)
Teacher prompt: “What dances do you and
your family participate in at special occasions
in your life?”
DANCE
A2.2 identify and describe how the element of
body is used in contrasting ways to communicate
ideas in their own and others’ dance phrases,
with teacher support (e.g., standing versus
kneeling body bases can communicate differences
in power; curved versus straight shapes can
communicate contrasting emotions)
A2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths
and areas for growth as dance creators and
audience members (e.g., using connecting
movements; working collaboratively in groups
to create dance phrases incorporating everyone’s
ideas; watching peer performances attentively
and asking relevant questions)
GRADE 1
A1.3 create dance phrases using a variety of ways
to connect movements (e.g., connect a melt and a
spin using a non-locomotor movement; connect a
walk and a skip [locomotor movements] with
a circle [pathway])
Teacher prompts: “What contrasting levels did
Sandeep use to show the difference between
happy and sad?” “What was Carmen’s body
base when she was kneeling? What was she
saying with that shape?”
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B. DRAMA
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 1
By the end of Grade 1, students will:
B1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to dramatic play and process
drama, using the elements and conventions of drama to communicate feelings, ideas, and stories;
B2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of drama works and
experiences;
B3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of drama and
theatre forms and styles from the past and present, and their social and/or community contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 1
Students in Grade 1 will develop an understanding of the following concepts through participation in
various drama experiences.
ELEMENTS OF DRAMA
• role/character: adopting the attitude, voice, or emotional state of a fictional character
• relationship: listening and responding in role to other characters in role
• time and place: pretending to be in the established setting of the drama
• tension: being aware of a sense of mystery or of a problem to be solved
• focus and emphasis: being aware of the main idea or issue in the drama
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
B1. Creating and Presenting
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
By the end of Grade 1, students will:
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B1.1 engage in dramatic play and role play, with
a focus on exploring a variety of sources from
diverse communities, times, and places (e.g.,
retell and enact nursery and other childhood
rhymes, stories, or narratives from picture books;
use movement and voice to explore the thoughts of a
familiar folk tale character in a variety of situations;
use guided imagery and descriptive language to
explore what a character might feel and experience
in a story setting or picture; use group role play to
explore alternative endings to stories, fairy tales,
and personal experiences; use role play or a
tableau at key moments in a story to help the
protagonist solve a problem; interview a teacher
in the role of a character from a story)
Teacher prompts: “How can you and your
friends retell the story using puppets?” “How
can you and a partner act out how you think the
story will end – but without using any words?”
B1.2 demonstrate an understanding of the element
of character by adopting thoughts, feelings,
and gestures relevant to the role being played
(e.g., use facial expressions, body movement, and
words to respond in role to scenarios and questions;
express different points of view after reading a
picture book about issues of belonging and discrimination; work with a partner to create a short
scene that shows the importance of acceptance,
understanding, and inclusion)
Teacher prompts: “When I ask you a question
as Grandma, how might you answer me as
the wolf?” “How can you show (e.g., using
gestures) what you are thinking and feeling
when you are in role? Try to imagine why the
wolf acts the way it does.”
B1.3 plan and shape dramatic play by building
on the ideas of others, both in and out of role
(e.g., In role: add ideas to the dramatic play that
reflect the knowledge and experience of the role
that is being played [such as a scientist mentioning
an experiment or a journalist mentioning an
interview]; create and share scenes from their own
experiences; Out of role: work in a group to plan
and prepare a scene and ask follow-up questions
such as “How could we make this clearer? What
changes can we make to help our story be understood?”; describe the sort of person who might own
a particular found object such as a bag or a coat)
B1.4 communicate feelings and ideas to a familiar
audience (e.g., classmates) using a few simple
visual or technological aids to support and
enhance their drama work (e.g., use a sheer cloth
moved quickly to represent water; use a rainstick
or shaker to create a sense of mystery or magic;
use a variety of classroom objects to create a play
area for specific dramatic play experiences)
Teacher prompts: “How was the character
feeling at the end of the story?” “What colours
could we use to represent feeling happy?
Feeling sad?” “If your character was the
weather, what body shapes and props could
you use to get into character?”
B2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 1, students will:
B2.1 express feelings and ideas about a drama
experience or performance in a variety of ways,
making personal connections to the characters
and themes in the story (e.g., in oral discussion,
relate themes about family relationships or friendships to their own lives; after viewing a play or
clip of a movie dealing with family issues [such as
Cinderella or Princess Mononoke], contribute to
a class journal entry or draw a picture to show
the feelings of one or more of the characters –
a stepsister, Cinderella, the mice)
Teacher prompts: “Can you explain how you
are different from and similar to your favourite
character in today’s drama/read-aloud?”
“Does our drama experience make you think
about stories we have read? How did the
drama make you feel?” “If you could give
advice to this character, what would you like
to say to him/her?”
B2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths,
interests, and areas for improvement as drama
participants and audience members (e.g., using
personal experience and imagination to extend
ideas in the drama; building on their own or
others’ ideas)
Teacher prompts: “What part of the drama did
you enjoy the most and why?” “How did you
use your body and volume and tone of voice
to tell us how your character was feeling?”
“If we were going to do the drama again,
what is something that you could do better?”
B3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 1, students will:
B3.1 identify and describe drama and theatre
forms, events, and activities that they experience in their home, school, and community
(e.g., favourite television or computer programs
and characters, imaginative play with action
figures, dramatic play, attending plays and
celebrations, interacting with picture books,
storytelling)
Teacher prompts: “Tell me about a time when
you pretended to be someone or something
else.” “At what celebrations or events in our
communities do we see people dressing up
or pretending to be someone else?”
B3.2 demonstrate an awareness of a variety of
roles, themes, and subjects in dramas and
stories from different communities around the
world (e.g., contribute to a class scrapbook about
characters such as trolls/fairies, trickster themes
in Nanabush stories [from Native folklore] and
Anansi stories [from West African folklore])
Teacher prompts: “Let’s list the different
characters from the play.” “Why do you
think people will dress up as or pretend to be
someone else when they are part of a parade
or a play?” “How does this lesson or fable
apply to real-life situations?”
DRAMA
B2.2 demonstrate an understanding of how the
element of character/role is used in shared
classroom drama experiences and theatre to
Teacher prompts: “What would the story be like
if the wise woman didn’t appear to give advice?
Should we assume that she is a hero/villain?”
“How was the character in the play we saw
like a real person?” “How would the story
change, if it was told by a different character?
Who might be interesting to hear from?”
GRADE 1
Teacher prompts: In role: “What do I need to
know about the situation we find ourselves in?”
“How might we convince (the main character)
to listen to us?” Out of role: “How can you
work with your friends to act out a story?
What do you think the characters should do?”
“Can you introduce a new role in response
to ideas emerging in the drama?”
communicate meaning (e.g., to provide important
information in a situation; to represent a particular
perspective/point of view; to change the direction of
the plot; to symbolize an idea such as friendship)
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C. MUSIC
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 1
By the end of Grade 1, students will:
C1. Creating and Performing: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to create and perform music
for a variety of purposes, using the elements and techniques of music;
C2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of music and musical
experiences;
C3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of musical genres
and styles from the past and present, and their social and/or community contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 1
Students will be introduced to the elements of music and related musical concepts that are appropriate
for Grade 1. They will develop understanding of these concepts through participation in various musical
experiences (e.g., listening, singing, moving, playing musical instruments). These experiences will include
reading simple rhythmic or stick notation while listening to the sounds it represents, interpreting simple
visual prompts (e.g., solfège hand signs*), and representing elements with manipulatives (e.g., Popsicle
sticks, math cubes).
ELEMENTS OF MUSIC
• duration: fast and slow tempi; rhythm versus beat; two and four beats per bar ( 24 and 44 metres);
quarter note (oral prompt: “ta”), eighth note(s) (oral prompt: “ti-ti”), quarter rest; simple rhythmic
ostinato (e.g., “ta, ta, ti-ti, ta”)
• pitch: high and low sounds; unison; melodic contour; simple melodic patterns using the notes “mi”,
“so”, and “la” (e.g., the “so–mi–la–so–mi” pitch pattern in some children’s songs)
• dynamics and other expressive controls: loud, soft; a strong sound for a note or beat (accent); smooth
and detached articulation
• timbre: vocal quality (e.g., speaking voice, singing voice), body percussion, sound quality of instruments
(e.g., non-pitched and pitched percussion), environmental and found sounds
• texture/harmony: single melodic line in unison (monophony)
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
• form: phrase, call and response
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SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
C1. Creating and Performing
By the end of Grade 1, students will:
C1.1 sing songs in unison and play simple
accompaniments for music from a wide variety
of diverse cultures, styles, and historical periods
(e.g., play a simple rhythmic ostinato on a drum or
tambourine to accompany singing; match pitches
in echo singing)
Teacher prompt: “To reflect the mood of this
song, should the ostinato that’s played on the
drum be soft or loud? Why?”
C1.2 apply the elements of music when singing,
playing, and moving (e.g., duration: while
singing a familiar song, clap the rhythm while
others pat the beat, and on a signal switch roles)
* See the Glossary for an illustration of the hand signs. Note that there are different ways of spelling the seven syllables in
the tonic sol-fa, or solfège, system. The spelling (with a pronunciation guide) that is used in this document is as follows:
“do[doe]–re[ray]–mi[me]–fa[fah]–so[so]–la[lah]–ti[tea]–do”.
Teacher prompts: “As we sing, show the beat
in this song. Now show the rhythm. How are
they different?” “Show how this music makes
you want to move.”
Teacher prompts: “When I play this rhythmic
question, create your own rhythmic answer.”
“What kind of music can you create to show
how the main character in our story feels?”
“How can we use our rhythm instruments and
found sounds to show the mood of this story?”
C1.4 use the tools and techniques of musicianship
in musical performances (e.g., sing with relaxed
but straight posture and controlled breathing;
rehearse music to perform with others)
Teacher prompts: “Why do we stand in a
certain way when we are singing as a group?”
“Which way of standing helps us to get more
air when we breathe?”
C1.5 demonstrate understanding that sounds can
be represented by symbols (e.g., show rhythm
and beat with manipulatives such as math cubes
or Popsicle sticks; use devised, or invented, forms
of musical notation, or simple forms of standard
musical notation)
Teacher prompt: “Show the rhythm of this
song with Popsicle (or rhythm) sticks by
drawing shapes or using your hands.”
C2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 1, students will:
C2.1 express initial reactions and personal
responses to musical performances in a variety
of ways (e.g., move like an animal of which the
music reminds them)
Teacher prompts: “Describe the colours you
see or pictures you imagine as the music is
playing.” “How does this music make you
want to move?”
Teacher prompts: “What is it about this music
that would help a baby go to sleep?” “Why is
this piece of music good for marching?”
C2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths
and areas for growth as musical performers,
creators, interpreters, and audience members
(e.g., singing in unison, providing constructive
feedback and suggestions for a classmate’s or
guest performer’s performance)
GRADE 1
C1.3 create compositions for a specific purpose
and a familiar audience (e.g., use the notes “mi”,
“so”, and “la” to create a melodic phrase that
answers a sung question; use rhythm instruments,
body percussion, or everyday objects to create
an accompaniment to a story or song; use short
rhythmic phrases in improvised answers to
clapped questions)
C2.2 describe ways in which the elements of
music are used for different purposes in the
music they perform, listen to, and create
(e.g., the tempo and dynamics of a lullaby, the
beat and rhythm of a march, the sound quality
of a trumpet in a fanfare)
Teacher prompts: “What could we do to
improve our next performance?” “How can
we demonstrate good audience behaviour
during our school concert?”
C3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 1, students will:
C3.1 identify and describe musical experiences
in their own lives (e.g., list the places and times
within a day when they hear or perform music;
describe various times when they sing, play, and
move to music in school, at home, and in the
community)
Teacher prompts: “What songs can you sing
from the movies you’ve watched?” “How
would our lives be different if there was no
music or sound for a day?” “What is your
favourite movie or television show? How
might it be different if there were no music
or soundtrack?”
C3.2 identify a variety of musical pieces from
different cultures through performing and/or
listening to them (e.g., folk songs, songs for
celebrations, ceremonial music from Canadian
and world sources)
Teacher prompts: “What songs do you sing
for Diwali? Kwanzaa? Hanukkah?” “Earth Day
is coming in April. What songs could we use
to help to celebrate the earth?”
MUSIC
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D. VISUAL ARTS
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 1
By the end of Grade 1, students will:
D1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to produce a variety of two- and
three-dimensional art works, using elements, principles, and techniques of visual arts to communicate
feelings, ideas, and understandings;
D2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of art works and art
experiences;
D3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of art forms,
styles, and techniques from the past and present, and their social and/or community contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 1
Students in Grade 1 will develop understanding of the following concepts through participation in a
variety of hands-on, open-ended visual arts experiences.
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN
Students will develop understanding of all elements of design.
• line: jagged, curved, broken, dashed, spiral, straight, wavy, zigzag lines; lines in art and everyday
objects (natural and human-made)
• shape and form: geometric and organic shapes and forms of familiar objects (e.g., geometric: circles,
blocks; organic: clouds, flowers)
• space: depiction of objects in the distance as smaller and closer to the top of the art paper; shapes
and lines closer together or farther apart; horizon line; spaces through, inside, and around shapes
or objects
• colour: mixing of primary colours (red, yellow, blue); identification of warm (e.g., red, orange) and
cool (e.g., blue, green) colours
• texture: textures of familiar objects (e.g., fuzzy, prickly, bumpy, smooth); changes in texture; a pattern
of lines to show texture (e.g., the texture of a snake’s skin); transfer of texture (e.g., placing a piece of
paper over a textured surface and then rubbing the paper with wax crayon)
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
• value: light, dark
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PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN
Students will develop understanding of all principles of design (that is, contrast, repetition and rhythm,
variety, emphasis, proportion, balance, unity and harmony, and movement), but the focus in Grade 1 will
be on contrast.
• contrast: light/dark; large/small; pure/mixed colour
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
D1. Creating and Presenting
By the end of Grade 1, students will:
Teacher prompts: “How does your art work
reflect your feelings? Which colours could
you use to show happiness or excitement?”
“Why did you choose to paint this part of
the schoolyard?”
D1.2 demonstrate an understanding of composition, using principles of design to create
narrative art works or art works on a theme
or topic (e.g., a drawing of an approaching storm
that uses a variety of lines to create contrast
[dashed, jagged, curved, spiral]; a cardboard or
papier mâché sculpture of a mythical animal in
a dynamic pose that uses surface materials to
show a contrast in texture [fuzzy yarn; coarse,
prickly sawdust])
Teacher prompts: “How can you vary your
lines to create contrast between the area of the
image that is the storm and the area of calm?”
“How can you use levels and positioning of
your sculpture’s limbs and body to compose
a sculpture that is visually interesting on all
sides and that shows a variety of forms?”
D1.3 use elements of design in art works to
communicate ideas, messages, and personal
understandings (e.g., a pattern of broken, wavy,
and zigzag lines to make the bark of a tree look
rough in a drawing; size and arrangement of
organic shapes in a painting of flowers to create
the impression that the various flowers are at
different distances from the viewer)
Teacher prompts: “What kinds of lines would
you use to show this texture?” “Look carefully
at the arrangement of these flowers. How do
you have to place them and change their shapes
in a painting to show that some of them are
closer and some farther away?”
• drawing: use wax crayon or oil pastel lines
on coloured paper to express their responses
to different kinds of music or rhythm
• mixed media: use torn paper and textured
materials to create a landscape collage of a
playground that includes a horizon line
• painting: create paint resists that are made
with wax crayon on paper, using rubbing plates
that have a variety of textures [e.g., bumpy,
wavy] to create imaginary creatures inspired
by the artistic style of Eric Carle
GRADE 1
D1.1 create two- and three-dimensional works of
art that express feelings and ideas inspired by
personal experiences (e.g., a tempera painting
that communicates their feelings about a special
occasion or event such as a fair or a parade; a
sculpture of a favourite musical instrument made
with found objects; a watercolour painting of a
favourite part of the schoolyard; an assemblage in
which images and objects from home and school
are used to represent special memories)
D1.4 use a variety of materials, tools, and techniques to respond to design challenges (e.g.,
• printmaking: use cut sponge or cardboard and
paint stamping to make a pattern of geometric
and organic shapes
• sculpture: use glued or taped scrap wood to
build a wood block sculpture of an imaginary
geometric machine)
Teacher prompts: “When you hear the drumbeat in the music, think about how you could
show the beat with different kinds of lines.”
“What techniques or tools can you use to make
the texture (e.g., wood bark) look real on your
paper?” “How can you move the pieces in
your sculpture to make different openings or
spaces in it?”
D2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 1, students will:
D2.1 express their feelings and ideas about art
works and art experiences (e.g., describe feelings
evoked by the use of colours in the painting Inside
the Sugar Shack by Miyuki Tanobe or The Starry
Night by Vincent van Gogh; use drama to respond
to a community art work viewed during a neighbourhood walk; describe the ways in which an
artist’s representation of an event relates to their
own experiences)
Teacher prompts: “Why might someone want
to visit this place? If you could take a walk in
this picture, where would you go?” “Where
would you place yourself if you were in this
picture? Who might live or work here?”
“What story does this art work tell?”
VISUAL ARTS
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GRADE 1
D2.2 explain how elements and principles of
design are used to communicate meaning or
understanding in their own and others’ art
work (e.g., explain how repeated lines and shapes
are used to depict the texture of snake, lizard,
leopard, or dinosaur skin; classify images on
a topic, and, focusing on a dominant element,
use the images to explain that there are many
different ways of approaching the same subject)
Teacher prompts: “What did you do in your
drawing to help people understand what you
mean or what you are thinking here?” “What
kinds of shapes do you see? How can you
use some of these shapes to make a collage
that depicts the music, a musical instrument,
and the mood of the music?”
D2.3 demonstrate an awareness of signs and
symbols encountered in their daily lives and in
works of art (e.g., green is associated with nature
and sometimes with envy or illness in the West;
red is associated with stopping [traffic lights]
in the West, luck in China, success in Cherokee
culture, mourning in South Africa)
Teacher prompts: “What are some examples
of special colours used for different festivals?”
“Does our school have its own colours or a
symbol? Why do you think the school chose
those colours or that symbol?”
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
D2.4 identify and document their strengths,
their interests, and areas for improvement as
creators of art (e.g., discuss what they think is
good about works in their art folder during conferences with their teacher; do a think-pair-share on
their favourite part of one of their art works)
74
Teacher prompts: “Tell me something you like
about your art work. What did you want to
express in it?” “Close your eyes. When you
open them, tell me the first place your eye
goes. What did you put in that part of the
image so your eye will go there? What part
would you change if you could?” “What other
details can you add to your sculpture to make
it look as if it is moving? What did you learn
from your work?”
D3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 1, students will:
D3.1 identify and describe visual art forms that
they see in their home, at school, in their
community, and in visual arts experiences
(e.g., illustrations in picture books, designs of
various toys, patterns on clothing or other textiles,
classroom visits by artists, student displays at
their school, visits to galleries)
Teacher prompts: “What do you think about
having art on display in the classroom?” “Why
do people have art in their homes?” “What
reaction do you get from others when you
display your art works?” “Who is an artist?
What do artists do? What everyday objects
do they make or design?”
D3.2 demonstrate an awareness of a variety of
works of art from diverse communities, times,
and places (e.g., iconic architecture they have
seen either in pictures or in real life, such as the
CN Tower, the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal; comics
from different countries; decorations or patterns on
crafts or old artefacts; contemporary and ancient
clay sculptures; paintings of family or community
events from different cultures or from previous eras)
Teacher prompts: “How does the artist show
that people in the past played games, had
families, and made things that had personal
meaning to them?” “What kinds of art have
you made to remember a special time, person,
or place?” “How can you use some of the ideas
that have been used in these objects and images
in your own art work?” “How do these art
works relate to your own experience and to
other works you have studied?”
GRADE 2
A. DANCE
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 2
By the end of Grade 2, students will:
A1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to the composition of simple
dance phrases, using the elements of dance to communicate feelings and ideas;
A2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of dance pieces
and experiences;
A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of dance forms
and styles from the past and present, and their social and/or community contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 2
Students in Grade 2 will develop or extend understanding of the following concepts through participation
in various dance experiences (e.g., exploring pathways, directions, and shapes to alter familiar activities),
with particular emphasis on body and space.
ELEMENTS OF DANCE
• body: body awareness (e.g., awareness of where one is in space in relation to objects in class), use of
body zones (e.g., the right side of the body only versus the left side only), use of body parts (e.g., arms,
legs, fingertips, torso), shapes, locomotor movements (e.g., running, galloping, crawling, creeping),
non-locomotor movements (e.g., jumping, turning), body bases (e.g., knees as base, back as base)
• space: levels (e.g., middle level, expanding movements), pathways (e.g., straight, curvy, zigzag),
directions (e.g., diagonal), size of movement
• time: freeze, tempo (e.g., stop/start, sudden, quick, sustained), rhythm (e.g., even, uneven)
• energy: force, quality (e.g., exploding, bouncing, shaking, smooth, delicate)
• relationship: (e.g., shadowing with a partner)
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
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A1. Creating and Presenting
By the end of Grade 2, students will:
A1.1 develop short movement phrases inspired
by a variety of activities in their community
(e.g., riding a bike; movements from sports, yoga,
or playground games/activities) and incorporating
different pathways (e.g., straight, curvy), directions
(e.g., forward, back, sideways, diagonal), and
shapes (e.g., big/small shapes, shapes created
individually and with partners)
Teacher prompts: “What body movements do
you make when you are sweeping a floor? Can
we make the sweeping action smaller? Can two
people come together and use both bodies to
create the sweeping motion?” “Can you make
the action of washing a window bigger?
Can you do it while travelling (locomotor
movement)? Can you do the action on a
different level?” “How can we do this action
travelling in a different direction?”
A1.2 use dance as a language to represent the
main ideas in poems and stories, with a focus
on body and space (e.g., use arm movements to
suggest a cheering crowd; use a circle pathway to
suggest the relationship among several characters;
use a smooth and delicate sequence of expanding
movements to suggest a butterfly emerging from
a cocoon)
Teacher prompt: “Using what we know about
movement, stillness, levels, and pathways,
how could we use dance to represent the main
idea in the story we just read?”
A1.3 create distinct beginnings and endings for
dance phrases in a variety of ways (e.g., having
a moment of silence at the beginning and end of
a dance phrase; freezing at the end of a dance
phrase; starting and ending in similar or contrasting
shapes; dimming the lights to signal the end of
a dance phrase)
A1.4 use a variety of locomotor and non-locomotor
movements to depict creatures and objects
in the world around them (e.g., depict a large
animal with torso, arms, and legs that creeps along
at a low level; change movements to interpret the
motions of various animals represented by the
different musical sections of Camille Saint-Saëns’s
Carnival of the Animals)
Teacher prompts: “Can you demonstrate what
kind of movements a tree makes in the wind?”
“What kind of non-locomotor movements
can we use to create a picture of a forest
environment? What levels would we use?
What shapes should our bodies take to create
a picture of the trees and the sun and the wind
and the animals?”
A2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 2, students will:
A2.1 describe the similarities between their
own dance phrases and those of others (e.g.,
similarities in the shapes, pathways, levels, and
locomotor or non-locomotor movements used in
one another’s dance phrases)
Teacher prompt: “Was there anything in the
dance phrase we just saw that reminds you
of movements you’ve done in your own
dance phrase?”
A2.2 identify, using dance vocabulary, the elements
of dance in their own dance phrases and those
of others, and describe how each element is
used to communicate meaning (e.g., describe
how various aspects of body [shapes, body parts,
locomotor and non-locomotor movements] and
space [levels, direction] are used to depict
crashing waves)
A2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths
and areas for growth as dance creators and
audience members (e.g., describe to a partner
what they do well; identify specific movements,
stops, and turns that were effective in their dance)
Teacher prompts: “What dance movements do
you like to do most? Why? Show me.” “What
dance element do you need to practise more?”
“Do you think viewing dances makes you a
better dancer? Why?”
GRADE 2
Teacher prompt: “What could you do to
signal to the audience that your dance work
is finished?”
arms make? Straight? Wavy? Zigzag? Were we
moving our arms quickly or slowly? Why did
we use that particular pathway and that speed?
How would the rain be different if we used
other pathways and a very different speed?”
A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 2, students will:
A3.1 describe, with teacher guidance, a variety
of dances from communities around the world
that they have seen in the media, at live
performances and social gatherings, or in the
classroom (e.g., folk dances, ceremonial dances,
dances of worship, theatrical dances, social dances)
Teacher prompt: “When we watched the video
of Irish dancing, a few students mentioned that
the dancers don’t use their arms when they
dance. Did anyone notice anything else? Are
arms used in some of the other dance forms
that we saw?”
A3.2 identify various reasons why people dance
in daily life and various contexts in which
they do so (e.g., to socialize [Bangra], to dance
for the earth [at powwows], to celebrate [Jewish
wedding ritual], for exercise [hip hop], to tell stories
[ballet], to relate history [West African dance])
Teacher prompt: “In the DVD we viewed of
dances from Bali, why do you think the
dancers were moving so slowly and smoothly?
For whom were the dancers performing?”
Teacher prompt: “When we were pretending
that our fingertips were the rain in the story
we just read, what type of pathway did our
DANCE
77
B. DRAMA
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 2
By the end of Grade 2, students will:
B1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to dramatic play and process
drama, using the elements and conventions of drama to communicate feelings, ideas, and stories;
B2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of drama works and
experiences;
B3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of drama and
theatre forms and styles from the past and present, and their social and/or community contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 2
Students in Grade 2 will develop or extend understanding of the following concepts through participation
in various drama experiences.
ELEMENTS OF DRAMA
• role/character: adopting the attitude/point of view of a fictional character (e.g., in dialogue and
writing in role); using body language (e.g., posture, gestures, facial expression), costumes, and props
appropriate to a character; varying vocal levels, tones, and ranges to support the depiction of a character
• relationship: listening and responding in role to other characters in role
• time and place: establishing a fictional setting and relating to it in role
• tension: being aware of a sense of mystery or a problem to be solved
• focus and emphasis: identifying the main idea or central theme of the drama
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
B1. Creating and Presenting
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
By the end of Grade 2, students will:
78
B1.1 engage in dramatic play and role play, with
a focus on exploring main ideas and central
characters in stories from diverse communities,
times, and places (e.g., retell and enact a story
from different points of view; stop at a dramatic
point in a story and adopt roles of the characters
in the story; enact a scene between characters in
a fairy-tale kingdom, animals in the tundra, or
neighbours in a back alley)
Teacher prompts: “How might this story
change if we told it from a different character’s
point of view?” “What is a key moment in this
story that you can dramatize? How will you
use a freeze, bring it to life for one minute
through mime, and then another freeze to
communicate the main idea to your audience?”
B1.2 demonstrate an understanding of the element
of role by communicating thoughts, feelings,
and perspectives appropriate to the role being
played (e.g., devise and share a group mime
showing how characters respond to the tension in
a situation of conflict, departure, or anticipation;
use voice expressively to convey an interpretation
of a character’s attitude)
Teacher prompts: “In what ways can you use
your body and face (i.e., in a mime) to express
how a character feels without using words?”
“How would you change your gestures and
movement if you were portraying wind or water
as a character from the story?” “What words
and tone can you use in role that will clearly
communicate this character’s point of view?”
B1.3 plan and shape the direction of a dramatic
play or role play, building on their own and
others’ ideas both in and out of role, with
support (e.g., In role: respond to a scientist [roleplayed by the teacher] who says the class must
give up their pet dinosaur because it poses a
safety hazard; Out of role: use conventions such
as discussion and/or guided imagery to establish
the setting, context, and characters for a drama
activity)
B1.4 communicate feelings and ideas to a familiar
audience (e.g., classmates), using several simple
visual or technological aids to support and
enhance their drama work (e.g., act out a familiar
story using props instead of words; dim lights to
create a spooky mood; use simple objects or props
such as fur or feathers to indicate animal or bird
characters in an Aboriginal story)
Teacher prompts: “How can you use light and
found objects to create different effects? For
example, how could you use a soundscape
and a flashlight to create a spooky mood?”
“How can we use costumes or props to make
the meaning of our play clearer?” “What
objects can you use to help the audience
understand that the main character is going
on a journey?”
B2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 2, students will:
B2.1 express thoughts, feelings, and ideas about
drama experiences and performances in a
variety of ways (e.g., use a journal response,
a think-pair-share activity, visual art work, or
a drama convention such as role on the wall to
explore both the inner thoughts and feelings of
the character and the perspectives of others who
know the character)
Teacher prompt: “What part of the play stood
out for you and why? What did the events or
characters in the play remind you of?”
B2.3 identify and give examples of their
strengths, interests, and areas for improvement
as drama participants and audience members
(e.g., identify the goals they had in presenting a
drama work and communicate how they achieved
those goals; generate multiple ideas for improvement in a mapping activity or experiential play
experience)
Teacher prompts: “Using two stars and a wish,
state two drama skills you are proud of and
one thing you want to get better at.” “What
specific aspects (e.g., voice, gestures) of your
work were effective in the drama?”
B3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 2, students will:
B3.1 identify and describe a variety of drama and
theatre forms they experience in their home,
school, and community, and in the media
(e.g., favourite television, film, computer programs;
favourite play roles; playing with puppets to enact
real-life scenarios; attending plays; listening to
stories about family and community traditions)
Teacher prompts: “Why do you think people
go to movies and see plays?” “What is your
favourite TV program?” “How is TV similar
to and different from plays?”
B3.2 demonstrate an awareness of some drama
and theatre traditions of communities around
the world (e.g., describe experiences with festivals,
pageants, circuses; explain the use of special objects
in ceremonies or celebrations; give examples of the
use of a narrator in plays or street theatre)
Teacher prompts: “What are some drama
activities that happen in our school? In our
community?” “What are some elements of
drama that are used in special ceremonies
and celebrations in other parts of the world
(e.g., Caribbean Carnival, Chinese New Year)?”
DRAMA
B2.2 identify, using drama terminology, the elements and conventions of drama used in shared
drama experiences and theatre and describe how
they help communicate ideas and feelings and
create interest (e.g., as a class create a checklist
of the elements in a drama and what each element
Teacher prompts: “How were the elements of
drama used in this presentation?” “How could
you tell where the play was taking place?”
“Who was the main character? How could you
tell?” “In what ways did your role and other
roles in the drama work together to help make
the message clearer?”
GRADE 2
Teacher prompts: In role: “Because you are all
experts, I need you to help me solve this problem. Who can make a suggestion?” Out of role:
“How shall we use the new information that was
introduced when we were in role to determine
what should happen next in the drama?”
contributes and helps communicate; use a tableau
to share a moment of importance in the story)
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C. MUSIC
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 2
By the end of Grade 2, students will:
C1. Creating and Performing: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to create and perform music
for a variety of purposes, using the elements and techniques of music;
C2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of music and musical
experiences;
C3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of musical genres
and styles from the past and present, and their social and/or community contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 2
In Grade 2, students will build on their knowledge of the elements of music and related musical concepts
that were introduced in Grade 1. Students will develop understanding of musical concepts through
participation in various musical experiences (e.g., listening, singing, moving, playing with musical
instruments and manipulatives). These experiences will include reading simple rhythmic notation and
interpreting simple visual representations (e.g., long and short lines, contour patterns on a one-line staff
or a two-line staff, various icon symbols such as pictures or invented symbols).
ELEMENTS OF MUSIC
• duration: half note (oral prompt: “ta-ah”), half rest, whole note (oral prompt: “ta-ah-ah-ah”), whole rest
• pitch: high “do”, simple melodic ostinato, melodic patterns, melodic patterns using notes of a pentatonic
scale (e.g., “do–re–mi–so–la”, “do–re–fa–so–la”)
• dynamics and other expressive controls: gradations in volume encountered in music listened to,
sung, and played (e.g., getting louder [crescendo], getting softer [decrescendo/diminuendo]); articulation
(e.g., smooth [legato], detached [staccato])
• timbre: classification of instruments by listening to their sound (e.g., wind [woodwind, brass], stringed,
electronic, membrane, pitched percussion instruments)
• texture/harmony: single melodic line in unison song with simple accompaniment (homophony), bordun
patterns on “do” and “so”
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
• form: phrase, binary (AB) form, simple verse and chorus
80
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
C1. Creating and Performing
By the end of Grade 2, students will:
C1.1 sing unison songs in tune and/or play
simple melodies and accompaniments for
music from a wide variety of cultures, styles,
and historical periods (e.g., perform a simple
three-note melodic ostinato to support a melody)
Teacher prompt: “Which instruments or found
sounds could we use to accompany this song?”
C1.2 apply the elements of music when singing,
playing an instrument, and moving (e.g., pitch:
move the body to show how individual pitches
go up, go down, or stay the same, and how they
connect to form a melody)
Teacher prompts: “What instrument would
you use to accompany this song and why?”
“How can you move your body while you sing
to show the different phrases of this song?”
C1.3 create simple compositions for a specific
purpose and a familiar audience (e.g., create
accompaniments for songs, stories, or poems;
create a simple song using the notes “mi”, “so”,
and “la”, or the notes of a pentatonic scale)
Teacher prompt: “What words in our shared
reading poem could we use to create a rhythmic
ostinato to accompany us as we do our choral
reading?”
Teacher prompt: “What are the things we can
all do to help us sing in tune and all together?”
C1.5 use symbols to represent sounds and sounds
to represent musical symbols (e.g., match short
melody maps with the corresponding phrases in
a song; use rhythm syllables such as “ta ti-ti” to
represent note values orally)
Teacher prompt: “Perform the melodic pattern
we just sang with hand signs. What other ways
can we represent the melody?”
C2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 2, students will:
C2.1 express personal responses to musical
performances in a variety of ways (e.g., use
a teacher-directed listening log to record their
thoughts, feelings, ideas; write or draw their
response)
Teacher prompts: “Draw a facial expression
(happy, sad, surprised) on the chart to represent
how the music makes you feel.” “Which animal
would you choose to represent music that is
loud – a lion or a kitten? Why?” “How can the
lyrics help you understand the meaning of this
song? Describe in your own words the meaning
of the song.”
Teacher prompts: “Raise your hand when you
hear the music get faster. How does it make
you feel?” “How do different versions of
’O Canada’ make you feel? Why?” “Why do
you think ’Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’ should
be sung softly?”
C2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths
and areas for growth as musical performers,
creators, interpreters, and audience members
(e.g., share with a partner what they did well
during the last performance, using musical
vocabulary)
GRADE 2
C1.4 use the tools and techniques of musicianship
in musical performances (e.g., use controlled
breathing and relaxed but straight posture when
singing; show awareness of proper playing technique when playing instruments; match pitches
within an accessible vocal range; clap back
rhythms accurately while keeping a steady beat)
create a feeling of relaxation in the music; timbre:
the sound quality of a particular instrument to
create a particular mood)
Teacher prompts: “If you were to have a chance
to perform this song again, what would you
change and why?” “What parts of the song
do you find challenging or interesting to sing?
Why?”
C3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 2, students will:
C3.1 identify reasons why people make music
in their daily lives (e.g., people sing songs that
have special meaning in their family; children can
use music to promote environmental awareness
at school), and describe contexts in which they
make music (e.g., family gatherings, seasonal
celebrations)
Teacher prompt: “What songs do you and your
family sing at special occasions in your life?”
C3.2 identify, through performing and/or listening, a variety of musical forms or pieces from
different communities, times, and places
(e.g., “O Canada”, an Iroquoian lullaby, Indian
classical music, Obwisana from Ghana)
Teacher prompts: “Which children’s film uses
this traditional/classical music theme?” “What
songs have we learned that originally came
from France?”
C2.2 describe ways in which the elements of
music are used for different purposes in the
music they perform, listen to, and create
(e.g., duration: an increase in tempo to indicate
excitement; dynamics: a decrease in volume to
MUSIC
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D. VISUAL ARTS
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 2
By the end of Grade 2, students will:
D1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to produce a variety of two- and
three-dimensional art works, using elements, principles, and techniques of visual arts to communicate
feelings, ideas, and understandings;
D2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of art works and art
experiences;
D3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of art forms,
styles, and techniques from the past and present, and their social and/or community contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 2
In addition to the concepts introduced in Grade 1, students will develop understanding of the following
concepts through participation in a variety of hands-on, open-ended visual arts experiences.
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN
Students will develop understanding of all elements of design.
• line: horizontal, vertical, diagonal lines; lines that show motion (e.g., pointy, curvy); lines inside shapes
• shape and form: symmetrical shapes and forms (e.g., shapes and forms in buildings)
• space: overlapping of objects to show depth
• colour: secondary colours (various colours made by mixing equal amounts of primary colours, such as
violet, orange, green); mixing of colours with a limited palette
• texture: textures of familiar objects (e.g., rough tree bark, smooth plastic plate, ridged corduroy fabric);
illusion of texture (e.g., a rough texture created by patterns of lines); impasto (thick, textured paint)
• value: mixing of a tint; identification of light and dark
PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Students will develop understanding of all principles of design (that is, contrast, repetition and rhythm,
variety, emphasis, proportion, balance, unity and harmony, and movement), but the focus in Grade 2 will
be on repetition and rhythm.
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• repetition and rhythm: repetition of colour and shape in patterns; random, alternating, and regular
patterns in everyday objects (e.g., textiles, ceramics) and in art (e.g., works by M. C. Escher)
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
D1. Creating and Presenting
By the end of Grade 2, students will:
Teacher prompts: “Let’s look at how collage is
used to show aspects of community in Snowballs
by Lois Ehlert, The Snowy Day by Ezra Keats,
or The Block by Romare Bearden. What kinds
of details can you see? What materials in these
images might you like to use in your neighbourhood collage?” “How can you use a
variety of diagonal, vertical, and horizontal
lines to show the patterns and body parts
on the insect?”
D1.2 demonstrate an understanding of composition, using principles of design to create narrative
art works or art works on a theme or topic
(e.g., use repetition of colour throughout an image
that communicates a story; create a painting or
series of stamp prints, showing depth, perspective,
and contrast of pattern by overlapping fish and
vegetation of different sizes and shapes)
Teacher prompt: “When you overlap these
shapes, which one looks farthest away? How
can you arrange and place shapes of different
sizes throughout your pattern to make a more
varied image?”
D1.3 use elements of design in art works to communicate ideas, messages, and understandings
(e.g., use tints of a colour to create light areas for
emphasis in a collaborative mural of favourite
places in the neighbourhood; use a simple action
pose to modify form in a sculpture of a pet or
other animal made with modelling clay)
• mixed media: use acrylic paint over textured
materials [e.g., burlap, cardboard] to make
expressive organic shapes, using a combination
of traditional techniques [blending, glazing,
sgraffito, scumbling, impasto] and experimental
techniques [use of sponges, fingers, sticks, twigs,
feathers, masking tape]
• painting: make a tempera painting depicting
friends playing playground games, using a
limited palette of colours
• printmaking: make a print of a motif for a
storybook about dinosaurs, using polystyrene
plate stamps or modelling-clay imprints of
dinosaurs and plants
• sculpture: make insect shapes and habitat
features, using wood, twigs, raffia, corn husks,
and other natural materials, to explore science
concepts)
Teacher prompts: “What materials could you
use for building your bugs? How could you
hold the parts together?” “How will the mood
of the print change if you print it on different
kinds of paper (bond, construction, giftwrap)
or colours of paper (warm, cool)?”
D2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 2, students will:
D2.1 express their feelings and ideas about works
of art (e.g., explain why they prefer a work by
one artist over another; explain to a partner how
well an art work reflects their personal knowledge
and prior experience)
Teacher prompts: “When you look at the
painting by Lawren Harris, what personal
experiences does it remind you of?” “If the
people in the painting could talk, what would
they say?” “How is this artist’s representation
of winter different from (or the same as) your
own experience of winter?”
VISUAL ARTS
Teacher prompts: “How can you use colour
and arrangement in the images and pictures in
the mural to emphasize the most important
personal landmarks along the way to school?”
“If you want to make this painting ’feel’ like a
hot summer day, what kinds of colours would
you need to repeat?” “How could you use
squeezing, pinching, and pulling techniques
to make the legs and head of the sculpture of
the pet look as if they were moving?”
• drawing: make marker or coloured-pencil
drawings of trees that are close and far away,
using contrasts in size and placement on the
paper to show depth of space, and basing the
drawings on observations of real trees and trees
in a variety of art works [e.g., works by Emily
Carr or Tom Thomson]
GRADE 2
D1.1 create two- and three-dimensional works of
art that express feelings and ideas inspired by
activities in their community or observations
of nature (e.g., a streetscape collage with children
playing, made with paint, pastel, and various
kinds of paper [newspaper, magazines]; small
glue-line prints in which a variety of curvy and
pointy lines show illusory texture or represent a
pattern they have seen on insects in the schoolyard
or garden)
D1.4 use a variety of materials, tools, and techniques to respond to design challenges (e.g.,
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GRADE 2
D2.2 explain how elements and principles of
design are used to communicate meaning or
understanding in their own and others’ art work
(e.g., use of different colours for achieving different
effects, such as warm, sunny colours for a beach or
cool colours for a wet forest; depiction of various
textures, such as rough tree bark, smooth plastics,
and ridged corduroy; elaboration and variation to
create variety in otherwise symmetrical buildings)
Teacher prompts: “How has the artist used
elements of design to express anger, happiness,
sadness, or excitement?” “What catches your
attention in this painting?” “What do you think
is the most important thing in this work? How
did the artist use the elements to make you see
what is most important to him or her?” “How
can you tell if what’s in this picture is close
or far away?” “How do you feel about this
painting? What has the artist done to make
you feel this way?”
D2.3 demonstrate an awareness of signs and
symbols encountered in their daily lives and in
works of art (e.g., symbols and shapes related to
school, travel, and the arts; sports or institutional
logos; symbols from art works or heritage crafts
of family or community significance)
Teacher prompts: “What symbols have you seen
that are connected to dance, drama, music, or
visual arts?” “Let’s look at these sports posters.
What familiar symbols did the designers use?
Why would these particular symbols have
attracted your attention or gotten their ideas
across?”
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
D2.4 identify and document their strengths,
their interests, and areas for improvement as
creators of art (e.g., identify what is interesting
about a work they have produced; identify what
they feel they have done well and what they
would do differently next time to improve)
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Teacher prompts: “Look at your art work and
consider it using a ’one star/one wish’ approach:
write down one thing you did well as an artist
and draw a star beside it and one thing you
could have improved on and put the word
’wish’ beside it.” “Why do some of your art
works appeal to you more than others?” “How
do you plan an art work? What do you need to
think about before you start working on it?”
D3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 2, students will:
D3.1 identify and describe a variety of visual art
forms they see in their home, at school, in their
community, and in visual arts experiences
(e.g., design of everyday items; picture books;
artists-in-education; community art works, such
as public sculpture, architecture, and murals;
Aboriginal designs in dancing regalia; art works
in student art exhibitions and community art
festivals)
Teacher prompts: “What has the designer done
to plan a playground that children will enjoy?
Why might someone want to play here?”
“Where in our community have you seen
works of art? What do they look like? What
are they made of? What do they add to our
community?” “If you could make a public art
work, what would you make and where would
you place it?”
D3.2 demonstrate an awareness of a variety of
works of art and artistic traditions from diverse
communities, times, and places (e.g., depictions
of nature, of people doing things together, or of
people at work; miniature paintings from India;
Aboriginal textiles, ceramics, and petroglyphs;
contemporary Inuit drawings of life in the North
by Annie Pootoogook)
Teacher prompts: “How can you tell if a picture
shows a celebration or a quiet moment?”
“Which painting reminds you of your life?”
“Why do artists paint pictures of people at work
or at play?” “What are some special traditions
in your family, community, or school? How is
art part of these traditions?”
GRADE 3
A. DANCE
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 3
By the end of Grade 3, students will:
A1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to the composition of dance
phrases, using the elements of dance to communicate feelings and ideas;
A2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of dance pieces
and experiences;
A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of dance forms
and styles from the past and present, and their social and/or community contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 3
Students in Grade 3 will develop or extend understanding of the following concepts through participation
in various dance experiences (e.g., exploring movement and pattern forms), with particular emphasis
on time and energy.
ELEMENTS OF DANCE
• body: body actions, body shapes, locomotor movements (e.g., running, galloping, crawling),
non-locomotor movements (e.g., lifting, pulling, marching, waving arms), body bases (e.g., seat as
base), use of body zones (e.g., body areas of front and back)
• space: levels, pathways, directions, size of movement
• time: freeze, tempo (e.g., slow, sustained, fast)
• energy: force (e.g., lightness/strength), effort (e.g., pressing, gliding), quality (e.g., smoothly, cautiously,
erratically, percussively)
• relationship: (e.g., interconnected shapes)
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
A1. Creating and Presenting
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By the end of Grade 3, students will:
A1.1 imitate movements found in their natural
environment in a variety of ways and incorporate
them into a dance phrase (e.g., modify the
movements of animals, snow falling to the ground,
ice melting, plants growing; connect a series of
insect-like movements together to make a phrase)
Teacher prompt: “How would the quality of your
movements change if you were first moving
like a bee and then moving like a butterfly
[erratic, gliding]? Would your movements
change to sharp and sudden, or smooth and
slow? Would your path be direct and gliding
or indirect and meandering?”
A1.2 use dance as a language to represent ideas
from diverse literature sources, with a focus
on time and energy (e.g., interpret stories, poems,
and texts from other subject areas through dance;
respond to a story about insects by depicting the
sustained lifting and pulling actions of ants versus
the sustained floating actions of butterflies)
Teacher prompts: “When creating a dance phrase
to represent the idea of this poem, consider the
poem’s punctuation. How would you express
the dance equivalent of an exclamation mark
for emphasis in the dance?” “Which combination
of elements will you choose from the time and
energy chart to portray the rest of the insect
characters in the story?”
A1.3 create dance phrases using a variety of
pattern forms (e.g., create dances with distinct,
self-contained sections that share movement
qualities using AB form, ABA form, or ABBA form;
demonstrate a pattern physically by making “A”
a soft and fluid section and “B” a fast and
percussive section)
A1.4 demonstrate how dance elements can be
used to create and expand the movement
vocabulary within different sections of a larger
pattern (e.g., A: varying the use of space while
marching quickly; B: changing levels while
waving arms slowly; A: varying locomotor and
non-locomotor percussive movements while
marching quickly)
Teacher prompt: “In an ABA form, how can you
vary your gestures and movements to make the
A section distinctly different from the B section?”
A2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 3, students will:
A2.1 demonstrate an understanding of how the
elements of dance can be used in their own
and others’ dance phrases to illustrate or
explore learning in other subject areas (e.g.,
show and explain how the elements of body and
relationship can be used to depict the science
concept of magnetic attraction)
Teacher prompts: “Kofie’s choice to start his
dance in a small shape was meant to show he
was a seed. How did that information help us
predict his ending shape?” “What similarities/
differences can you see between the patterns
we used in our dance and the patterns we
used in math?”
A2.2 identify, using dance vocabulary, the elements
of dance used in their own and others’ dance
phrases and explain their purpose (e.g., the use
of body, space, time, and energy to create variety
and interest; the use of levels, relationship, pathways, and shape to emphasize a mood; the use of
canon, direction, grouping contrast, and repetition
to explore pattern)
Teacher prompt: “What did you do well, or
what would you change next time about your
dance (or your use of the creative process)?”
A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 3, students will:
A3.1 describe, with teacher guidance, a variety
of dances from communities in Canada and
around the world that they have seen in the
media, at live performances and social gatherings, or in the classroom (e.g., dance numbers
in animated movie musicals such as Happy Feet
and Ice Age; First Nation dances at a powwow;
folk dances of the early settlers; the farandole
of France)
GRADE 3
Teacher prompt: “How would you show the
water cycle using a pattern in dance? Which
pattern form can you use to convey your idea?”
A2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths
and areas for growth as dance creators and
audience members (e.g., share with a partner
what they did well; write in a journal about what
they need to improve)
Teacher prompts: “When you viewed the
sailor’s hornpipe, did you see interesting dance
movements or patterns that you would like
to include in your own dance pieces? Can
you describe or demonstrate some of them?”
“Can you describe some of the ways in which
STOMP uses garbage can lids, brooms, basketballs, and ladders as dance props?” “Can you
describe how the dance you experienced with
the visiting artist is similar to dance work we
have done in class?”
A3.2 identify and describe the role of dance in the
community (e.g., performances as entertainment;
community dances as a way of socializing; traditional dances as a way of maintaining cultural
connectedness; dance classes for learning and
communicating)
Teacher prompt: “Why do people in the
community dance, even though they are
not professionals?”
Teacher prompts: “Which two patterns did
we use? Why did we use different patterns?”
“How did Antonio’s actions help us know
how he was feeling?”
DANCE
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B. DRAMA
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 3
By the end of Grade 3, students will:
B1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to dramatic play and process
drama, using the elements and conventions of drama to communicate feelings, ideas, and stories;
B2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of drama works and
experiences;
B3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of drama and
theatre forms and styles from the past and present, and their social and/or community contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 3
Students in Grade 3 will develop or extend understanding of the following concepts through participation
in various drama experiences.
ELEMENTS OF DRAMA
• role/character: adopting the attitude/point of view of a number of different fictional characters,
dialogue
• relationship: listening and responding in role to other characters in role
• time and place: establishing a clear setting
• tension: identifying factors that contribute to mystery or tension in a drama
• focus and emphasis: identifying the central theme and/or problem in a drama
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
B1. Creating and Presenting
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
By the end of Grade 3, students will:
88
B1.1 engage in dramatic play and role play, with
a focus on exploring themes, ideas, characters,
and issues from imagination or in stories from
diverse communities, times, and places (e.g., act
out moments from “a day in the life” of a main
character from a story; improvise a short dialogue
between two characters who are seeking a solution
to a problem [as in Aboriginal teacher/trickster
stories])
Teacher prompts: “What if you are the cook?
What will you do?” “Which characters should
try to solve the problem in this drama?” “What
role will you adopt and what will you do to
solve the problem in this drama?” “How will
you make the audience believe you are the
character in the story while in role?”
B1.2 demonstrate an understanding of how the
element of time and place can support the
development of role (e.g., present tableaux, with
transitions and thought tracking, that show differences between urban and rural settings and/or
lifestyles to convey information about the characters)
Teacher prompt: “Make a clear picture of the
setting I’ve described in your imagination.
As we explore this imaginary place, using all
of our senses and some simple actions, how
can you show me what you are seeing, smelling,
hearing, feeling, or doing?”
B1.3 plan and shape the direction of a dramatic
play or role play by building on their own and
others’ ideas, both in and out of role (e.g., In
role: respond in role to extend the developing
storyline in the drama [as townsfolk, plead
with the mayor to save their town]; Out of role:
in partners or small groups, combine their ideas
to create a plan for how the characters will solve
the problem in the drama)
B2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths,
interests, and areas for growth as drama participants and audience members (e.g., describe how
their understanding of role play is developing;
identify a role they would like to play, and
explain why)
B1.4 communicate feelings and ideas to a familiar
audience (e.g., classmates) using audio, visual,
and/or technological aids to support or
enhance their drama work (e.g., use items found
in the classroom to create a feeling or a mood
suggested by the teacher; use sound effects or
music to create an element of surprise or tension)
Teacher prompt: “Complete the following
sentences: ’Two suggestions I made in role that
helped build the drama were . . .’; ’Two suggestions I made out of role that helped build the
drama were . . .’; ’One way I was being a
supportive audience member was . . .’”
Teacher prompt: “What music can help to
create an energetic mood for this drama?
At what point in the drama will you change
the music to create a different mood?”
B2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 3, students will:
B2.1 express thoughts, feelings, and ideas about a
variety of drama experiences and performances
(e.g., in a journal response, in a think-pair-share
activity, in class discussion, by writing in role, in a
four corners activity, in a small group improvisation
or drawing)
Teacher prompts: “Compared to all of the drama
experiences we have had, in what ways was
this experience unique?” “Describe a moment
in the drama where you learned something new
about the story or your role.” “Which character’s
situation did you empathize with?”
B2.2 describe, using drama terminology, how
elements and conventions of drama are used to
shape their own and others’ work (e.g., describe
how different characters’ actions help create
suspense or tension; identify effective elements
in a drama presentation; explain how setting
highlights theme)
Teacher prompts: “Describe a moment that
stood out for you. What drama elements were
involved?” “How did the setting help to tell
the story of this scene?” “How did the actors
communicate to the audience that they were
friends (or not friends)?” “Were there any parts
that were confusing? How could the meaning
have been made clearer?”
B3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
GRADE 3
Teacher prompts: In role: “How will we proceed?
What are some possible courses of action?”
Out of role: “What key questions should we
ask (e.g., where? when? how?) to gain more
information for when we go back into role?”
By the end of Grade 3, students will:
B3.1 identify some distinct stylistic features of a
few drama and theatre forms they experience
in their home, school, and community, and in
the media (e.g., puppet shows and mask plays use
easily recognizable character types to tell a story;
actors in live theatre productions use exaggerated
gestures and reactions designed to project beyond
the footlights; street festivals use amplified live
and/or recorded music, costumes, emcees, and
amplified announcements to celebrate special
events; clown acts use mime featuring clumsy
gestures and comical accidents)
Teacher prompts: “In what ways are puppet
shows and plays with actors similar and in
what ways are they different?” “What does a
clown do to be funny? Why are there different
kinds of clowns?”
B3.2 demonstrate an awareness of ideas and
emotions expressed in drama works from
communities around the world (e.g., ideas about
friendship or loyalty or power or perseverance
in dramas based on fairy tales or myths from
different countries; ethics and values found in
Aboriginal plays)
Teacher prompts: “Can you remember a character
from another play who had the same problem
or felt the same way as this character? How
would you compare these two characters?” “Can
you think of other plays, stories, TV shows, or
movies with the same theme?”
DRAMA
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C. MUSIC
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 3
By the end of Grade 3, students will:
C1. Creating and Performing: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to create and perform music
for a variety of purposes, using the elements and techniques of music;
C2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of music and musical
experiences;
C3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of musical genres
and styles from the past and present, and their social and/or community contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 3
In Grade 3, students will build on their knowledge of the elements of music and related musical concepts
that were introduced in Grades 1 and 2. Students will develop understanding of musical concepts through
participation in various musical experiences (e.g., listening, singing, moving, simple instrumental playing,
playing with musical manipulatives). They will also continue to use non-traditional forms of notation
(e.g., simple rhythmic notation symbols, simple visual prompts).
ELEMENTS OF MUSIC
• duration: three beats per bar ( 34 metre), dotted half note, sixteenth-note patterns, sixteenth rest; very
fast (presto), very slow (largo)
• pitch: low “so”, low “la”, higher and lower pitch, pitch contour
• dynamics and other expressive controls: standard symbols for soft (e.g., piano – p) and loud (e.g., forte – f);
invented symbols for soft and loud; articulation and expression marks encountered in music listened
to, sung, and played (e.g., staccato, legato, signs for crescendo and decrescendo)
• timbre: classification of instruments by means of sound production (e.g., sounds produced by strumming,
striking, shaking, blowing)
• texture/harmony: simple two-part rounds, partner songs, canons
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
• form: section, ternary (ABA) form
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SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
C1. Creating and Performing
By the end of Grade 3, students will:
C1.1 sing, in tune, unison songs, partner songs,
and rounds, and/or play accompaniments from
a wide variety of cultures, styles, and historical
periods (e.g., sing or play an instrument accompanied by body percussion or found sounds; sing
or play a rhythmic or melodic ostinato)
Teacher prompts: “Which pitched or nonpitched percussion instrument could you use
to accompany this song?” “This song is a round.
At what point would the second group begin?”
C1.2 apply the elements of music when singing,
playing an instrument, and moving (e.g., timbre:
sort sound sources by the way their sound is produced and make choices about which instruments
will play in specific sections; form: change direction
in a circle to show A and B sections of a song in
ABA form; duration: sing a song first very quickly
then very slowly, and explain how the different
tempi change their experience of the music)
Teacher prompts: “How many different ways can
you sort these instruments on the basis of how
they are played or what sounds they make?”
“Which instrument can you use to try to play
this melody?”
C1.3 create compositions for a specific purpose
and a familiar audience (e.g., create musical
accompaniments for poems, stories, or dances
they have created; create rhythmic ostinati based
on significant words in a poem or words from a
classroom topic or theme, then play them using
instruments, body percussion, or found sounds;
make changes to the rhythm and/or melody in
a simple song that they know)
C1.4 use the tools and techniques of musicianship
in musical performances (e.g., determine where
breaths should be taken in a song; given the shape
of a melody, suggest where a change in dynamics
would be effective; use available technology such as
software, electronic instruments, or recording devices)
Teacher prompts: “What could we do to help
the audience hear our words more clearly?”
“How can we sing softly and stay in tune?”
C1.5 demonstrate an understanding of standard
and non-traditional musical notation (e.g., design
melody maps based on the direction of the melody;
demonstrate various ways of representing sounds
using devised symbols; perform melodic patterns
based on the notes “do”, “re”, “mi”, “so”, and “la”
by using solfège hand signs; create soundscapes
illustrating dynamics and timbre)
Teacher prompts: “Using your hand, how could
you map the melody of this song in the air?”
“How could we show others from another
class how to sing ’Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’
without singing it to them?”
C2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 3, students will:
C2.1 express personal responses to musical
performances in a variety of ways (e.g., create
a graphic or text response to a musical selection
featuring a Latin American dance style)
Teacher prompts: “What does this song remind
you of?” “How can you use stick notation to
write down the rhythm that I clap?”
Teacher prompt: “How do these two songs
use dynamics differently to create uniquely
expressive pieces? In what other ways do
these two songs differ?”
C2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths
and areas for growth as musical performers,
creators, interpreters, and audience members
(e.g., singing in tune, breathing at the end of
phrases, watching the conductor or teacher while
rehearsing and performing)
GRADE 3
Teacher prompt: “What kind of music should
we create to introduce each character in our
story?”
C2.2 describe ways in which the elements of
music are used in the music they perform,
listen to, and create (e.g., use a Venn diagram
to compare how the elements of two contrasting
pieces create mood)
Teacher prompts: “How has your interpretation
of this song changed since we first heard it in
class?” “What are some skills that are important
for your musical development?”
C3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 3, students will:
C3.1 identify and describe ways in which music
can be used in the community (e.g., to celebrate
events, to bring people together, to dance to, to
communicate, to entertain, to help people remember
product names or telephone numbers in advertising,
to help people remember concepts)
Teacher prompts: “When you see a parade,
what types of music do you hear? Why is music
part of every parade?” “How have songs or
chants helped you remember things?” “Are
there songs you like to sing only at home with
your family?”
C3.2 identify, through performing and/or listening, a variety of musical forms or pieces from
different communities, times, and places
(e.g., songs, instrumental pieces, and dances in
social activities or celebrations of early settlers
and First Nation communities in Upper Canada)
Teacher prompts: “For what purposes were
fiddles used in early settlers’ social occasions?”
“For what purposes were drums used by First
Nation peoples? What is the cultural meaning
of the sound of the rattle?”
MUSIC
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D. VISUAL ARTS
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 3
By the end of Grade 3, students will:
D1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to produce a variety of two- and
three-dimensional art works, using elements, principles, and techniques of visual arts to communicate
feelings, ideas, and understandings;
D2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of art works and art
experiences;
D3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of art forms,
styles, and techniques from the past and present, and their social and/or community contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 3
In addition to the concepts introduced in Grades 1 and 2, students will develop understanding of the
following concepts through participation in a variety of hands-on, open-ended visual arts experiences.
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN
Students will develop understanding of all elements of design.
• line: variety of line (e.g., thick, thin, dotted)
• shape and form: composite shapes; symmetrical and asymmetrical shapes and forms in both the
human-made environment and the natural world (e.g., symmetrical: insects, flowers, skyscrapers;
asymmetrical: windblown trees, some contemporary additions to buildings [asymmetrical façade in
Daniel Libeskind’s design for the Royal Ontario Museum])
• space: foreground, middle ground, and background to give illusion of depth
• colour: colour for expression (e.g., warm and cool colours); colour to indicate emotion; mixing of
colours with white to make a range of warm and cool tints
• texture: real versus visual or illusory texture (e.g., smooth surface of a ceramic work versus drawing
of rough tree bark); etching by scratching through surfaces (e.g., crayon etching on a scratchboard)
• value: mixing a range of light colours and dark colours
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN
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Students will develop understanding of all principles of design (that is, contrast, repetition and rhythm,
variety, emphasis, proportion, balance, unity and harmony, and movement), but the focus in Grade 3 will
be on variety.
• variety: slight variations on a major theme; strong contrasts (e.g., use of different lines, shapes, values,
and colours to create interest [bright or light colour values, dark colour values])
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
D1. Creating and Presenting
By the end of Grade 3, students will:
Teacher prompt: “Let’s look at how artist Andy
Goldsworthy uses natural materials in his art.
How can you use the textures and shapes of
sticks, leaves, or stones to express your ideas
about the natural environment?”
D1.2 demonstrate an understanding of composition, using principles of design to create
narrative art works or art works on a theme
or topic (e.g., use shapes of various sizes, in the
foreground, middle ground, and background, to
create an illusion of depth [perspective] in a
painting about a make-believe world; create
a mural to express a response to a community
celebration, using a variety of lines and shapes;
using a scratchboard that has a layer of various
colours covered by india ink, make a high-contrast
line drawing about a story by scratching the black
surface to reveal the colours beneath the surface)
Teacher prompts: “How can you vary the thickness of lines to make your characters stand out
from the background?” “How can you use
colours to show your feelings about the places
in your mural?”
• drawing: use a variety of lines and shapes,
drawn with pencil and marker, to show movement in a flipbook about weather
• mixed media: use wax crayons, oil pastels,
paint resist, and materials of various textures
[e.g. yarn, found objects] to depict a tree or
plant above ground, and use the technique of
elaboration to depict what is hidden below
ground
• painting: create a watercolour or tempera
painting of animals, using colour in a
non-representational and expressive way
GRADE 3
D1.1 create two- and three-dimensional works
of art that express personal feelings and ideas
inspired by the environment or that have the
community as their subject (e.g., make a symmetrical sculpture of an insect or a flower, using
natural materials such as wood, pebbles, dry seed
pods, feathers; draw a picture depicting a solution
to the problem of litter in their community; make
a painting of nature, focusing on a feature of
personal interest or meaning to themselves)
D1.4 use a variety of materials, tools, and techniques to respond to design challenges (e.g.,
• printmaking: paint stencil prints in warm
and cool colours, creating a simplified pattern
inspired by a favourite fruit
• sculpture: use modelling clay to create organic
forms that are inspired by nature, such as
shells, seed pods, and water-worn stones, and
that show some kind of metamorphosis or
transformation into another form or figure)
Teacher prompts: “How can you make the
shapes move more smoothly in your flipbook?
Would small or big changes in movement
between one page and the next work better to
create smoothness?” “What do the roots of a
tree or plant look like below the ground? How
could you draw a plant and show its roots?”
“How does the emotional impact or mood of
your print change when it is printed in warm
instead of cool colours?”
D2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 3, students will:
D1.3 use elements of design in art works to communicate ideas, messages, and understandings
(e.g., use asymmetrical cut-paper composite shapes
to depict a Canadian landscape, with a clear
foreground, middle ground, and background; use
colour values and shapes in a “What’s inside me?”
painting in the X-ray style of Norval Morrisseau
to create contrast between the inside and the outside
of the figure)
Teacher prompts: “What words will you choose
to express your feelings about the exhibition in
your poster?” “Using what you know about
the artist, and looking carefully at the art work,
what might the artist have said about his or her
artistic choices?”
VISUAL ARTS
Teacher prompts: “When creating a sense of
space in your landscape, should you create
the foreground, middle ground, or background
first? Why?” “What colour choices did you
make to create more or less contrast?” “Why
do you think Tom Thomson chose to paint a
windswept tree in The Jack Pine instead of a
symmetrical tree? How can you use asymmetry
in your own art work?”
D2.1 express personal feelings and ideas about
art experiences and images (e.g., create a poster
for an exhibition, using words of different sizes
and colours to show their excitement about the
event; express thoughts and ideas about an art
work while in role as the artist in a peer artist
interview)
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GRADE 3
D2.2 explain how elements and principles of
design are used to communicate meaning or
understanding in their own and others’ art
work (e.g., colour value in Emily Carr’s Indian
Church; organic shapes to make the monsters look
less frightening and more like stuffed animals in
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak)
Teacher prompts: “What do you think this
painting is about? What elements has the artist
used to make the painting’s message clear?”
“What design elements has Sendak used on
this book’s cover? How have images, shapes,
colours, and the letters of words been arranged
on the cover to send a clear message?”
D2.3 demonstrate an awareness of the meaning
of signs and symbols encountered in their daily
lives and in works of art (e.g., fonts or logos
that remind them of specific companies, messages,
or moods; the meaning of animals such as the orca
in Aboriginal clan symbols or the Inukshuk in
Aboriginal art)
Teacher prompts: “Where have you seen this
symbol before? What makes it eye-catching?”
“Why do companies create logos?” “How many
examples can you think of where the same
animal represents different ideas or emotions?”
“How can you draw letters that suggest the
mood or content of a story or movie?”
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
D2.4 identify and document their strengths,
their interests, and areas for improvement
as creators of art (e.g., keep an art journal to
record what they think they have done well
in their art works, or learned about in their art
works, as they complete them; use the strategy of
matching word and image to share their feelings
about an art work or its creation)
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Teacher prompts: “What did you most enjoy
doing when making your mask?” “What do
you think is the most important thing in your
painting?” “How can you explain to a partner
why you chose to place that descriptive word
or expressive emoticon on the art work?”
D3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 3, students will:
D3.1 identify and describe a variety of visual art
forms they see in their home, at school, in the
community, and in visual arts experiences
(e.g., original paintings at a community gallery,
sculptures in a local park, art reproductions in
offices, murals or sculptural monuments in
the community, mixed media art works at arts
festivals)
Teacher prompts: “Where do you see art in our
community? Where could you imagine there to
be more? What are some of the different roles
that the visual arts play in the community?”
“What is the difference between original art
works and reproductions?” “Where have you
seen art exhibitions in our community? What
did you find there? Why do people go to
museums and art galleries?”
D3.2 demonstrate an awareness of a variety of
works of art and artistic traditions from diverse
communities, times, and places (e.g., a picture
book that tells a story about people and the time
and place in which they work, play, and build
their community; George Littlechild’s book This
Land Is My Land; Daphne Odjig’s historical
mural The Indian in Transition; Jacob Lawrence’s
paintings of African-Americans working, playing,
and interacting; classical Greek sculptures of
sports figures, and contemporary sports sculptures,
such as the fans in Michael Snow’s The Audience)
Teacher prompts: “Why do you think people
create art work about their communities?”
“What is the difference between telling a story
in a painting and telling a story with words?”
“What stands out for you in this art work?”
“Which image do you relate to most? Why?”
“What other art works are you reminded of?”
“How would the image and message change
if they were shown from a different point of
view or in another style?”
OVERVIEW OF
GRADES 4 TO 6
The expectations for Grades 4 to 6 focus on the development of students’ knowledge and
skills in the arts and their ability to use the arts to understand, explore, and communicate feelings and ideas from and about their multicultural, multimedia environment.
Junior students’ knowledge in the arts comes from their life experiences and prior
knowledge and from the foundational arts knowledge and skills acquired in the primary
school years. The expectations in the junior years build upon this foundation. Because
the base of arts knowledge, experience, and skills varies from student to student, it is
important for instruction to be differentiated to meet the needs of individuals and small
groups of students.
Arts instruction in the junior years is designed to engage students in meaningful interactions with a wide variety of forms and disciplines in the arts. Junior students learn to
identify and explore multiple perspectives, question the messages in works of dance,
drama, music, and visual art, and consider the issues raised in them, including issues
related to fairness, equity, and social justice. They analyse the structure and elements of a
variety of art forms, explore a range of interpretations, and communicate their own ideas
and opinions for a variety of purposes and audiences. Junior students develop their ability
to monitor their own learning and select appropriate strategies to help them make sense
of and create increasingly complex and/or challenging works for personally and socially
relevant purposes. They reflect on and talk about the strategies that have helped them
construct and communicate meaning and identify steps they can take to improve.
In all four disciplines, teachers should explicitly teach and model the use of the knowledge, skills, and strategies most relevant to the particular strand. Explicit teaching and
modelling help students to identify the skills and strategies they need in order to become
proficient creators and interpreters of dance, drama, music, and visual art works and
move towards achievement of the expectations. Modelled, shared, and guided learning
experiences provide the instructional support junior students need to communicate
increasingly complex ideas and information using a greater variety of forms.
Appropriate instructional media are central to students’ development of the knowledge,
skills, and strategies embedded in the expectations across the arts strands. Subject matter
that is designed to support and challenge students at their individual level of development
in the arts will enhance the benefits of appropriately scaffolded instruction. It is important
to ensure that students are able to choose from a wide range of topics and activities that
are engaging and relevant to their personal experiences and interests. As well, all imagery,
95
music, texts, and themes chosen for instruction should invite inquiry and promote
antidiscrimination education. Junior students should have access to culturally diverse
examples that allow them to explore more complex topics or issues and more subtle or
abstract themes related to fairness, equity, and social justice. Oral forms such as dramatic
presentations, oral reports, think-alouds, commentaries, speeches, monologues, and song
lyrics; concrete forms such as artefacts, garments, and props; print forms such as posters,
images, digital and print photographs, stories, biographies, graphic novels, poetry, myths,
and legends; and media forms as movie trailers, graphic designs for various products,
newspaper or magazine articles, video games, comic books, flyers, websites, and e-mails
provide a variety of sources to motivate and engage diverse groups of students.
Dance
In Grades 4 to 6, students further develop their movement vocabulary in response to
a variety of stimuli, select appropriate forms, and manipulate dance elements such as
relationship, time, and energy. They also experiment with various techniques to create
different effects for different audiences and begin to use choreographic forms to guide
and shape their choreography. Teacher- and student-led movement exercises such as
body storming, mirroring, flocking, and verb chains may be used to build and shape
movement vocabulary. In Grade 4, students begin to explore narrative form. In Grade 5,
they focus on the use of the call-and-response form, while students in Grade 6 begin to
use guided improvisation as a starting point for choreography. Junior students should be
able to identify and analyse the effect of combining various elements of dance in their
own and others’ dance pieces.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Drama
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Students in Grades 4 to 6 continue to focus on role play as the foundational component
of learning in drama. Process drama, small-group improvisations, partner role play,
independent writing in role, and interpretation of simple scripts allow students to develop
their ability to maintain focus and sustain belief while they are in role. Students also
learn to enhance their roles and build belief in the fictional context of the drama by using
the elements of relationship, time and place, tension, focus, and emphasis in their work.
Opportunities to explore personally relevant themes, curricular topics, and current issues
help to build interest for the junior learner. Students are encouraged to use the creative
and critical analysis processes to make personal connections to the drama material they
encounter, the performances they attend, and the drama experiences they share in the
classroom setting. Teaching, modelling, and reinforcement of effective group skills continue to be important, as the students are expected to work collaboratively, both in and
out of role. In groups, the students generate questions, pose and solve problems, inquire
into meaning, and represent their understandings using a range of forms, techniques,
and conventions.
Students continue to use the drama forms and conventions of the primary grades with
growing understanding and greater competence. They also expand the range of forms
and conventions to include more movement/dance connections, storytelling, prepared
improvisation and short scenes, day in the life, inner/outer circle, and corridor of voices.
In Grades 4 and 5, students select appropriate symbols, manipulate story elements, and
experiment with various techniques to create different effects for different audiences.
In Grade 6, they use research skills to expand their understanding of different kinds of
problems and to help them find solutions. Their sense of audience continues to develop
through their viewing of professional theatre productions, and through sharing their
own work in classroom and/or more formal settings.
Music
Students in Grades 4 to 6 focus on developing the ability to read music notation and on
applying their knowledge of the elements of music through performing (singing, moving,
playing instruments), creating, and listening. In Grade 4, students begin to read standard
notation in the treble clef and sing or play music in two parts. They continue to create
simple rhythms and melodies as accompaniments and to discover how music is organized.
In Grade 5, students sing and/or play from standard music notation and other forms of
notation, learn to use key signatures, and create compositions in a variety of forms using
notational software. They explore the key influences affecting music in our past and
present cultures. In Grade 6, students explore further aspects of standard notation, create
and perform a variety of compositions, and continue to think critically about the music
that they hear and perform. Students in Grades 4 to 6 are also expected to develop individual goals and to work in both large and small groups to solve musical problems.
By the end of Grade 6 they should be able to provide constructive feedback regarding
their own and others’ efforts.
Visual Arts
In Grades 4 to 6, students apply the elements of design to communicate for a variety
of purposes and on a variety of themes. The focus of visual arts in these grades is to
help students extend their exploration of relationships and personal experience in their
own world. Students use a broader range of subject matter and media (tools, materials,
processes, and techniques) to produce works of art. They grow more sophisticated in
depicting movement, spatial relationships, and emotions. Students at this age display
increased manual dexterity; however, their skills may not keep pace with their desire for
increasingly elaborate work. This may lead to self-consciousness and insecurity about
their artistic ability. The teacher’s role at this stage is to provide a positive working
environment, facilitate the growth of technical skills and observational skills, and help
students recognize that mistakes can be turned into creative opportunities.
Students use their knowledge of the elements and principles of design to solve artistic
problems and analyse works of art. They generate and develop visual ideas in response
to a variety of motivations, using imagination, observation, and a study of artists’ works,
and incorporate into their art ideas gained from sources such as independent reading.
OVERVIEW OF GRADES 4 TO 6
Students explore and describe how different media influence the communication and
interpretation of ideas in their own and others’ work. They look beyond the surface
meaning of art works and observe not only what is present but what is missing, in order
to analyse and evaluate an artist’s intent. They also analyse and describe how art-making
processes and procedures clarify meaning and intentions in their own and others’ work
and observe how artists tell stories and create mood in their work. Students use their
growing analytical and evaluative skills to investigate the purpose(s) and significance of
objects, images, and art works in past and present cultures and to examine the contexts
in which they were or are made, viewed, and valued.
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GRADE 4
A. DANCE
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 4
By the end of Grade 4, students will:
A1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to the composition of movement
sequences and short dance pieces, using the elements of dance to communicate feelings and ideas;
A2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of dance pieces
and experiences;
A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of dance forms,
traditions, and styles from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 4
Students in Grade 4 will develop or extend understanding of the following concepts through participation
in various dance experiences (e.g., exploring movement sequences and narrative forms), with particular
emphasis on time and energy.
ELEMENTS OF DANCE
• body: symmetry versus asymmetry, organic versus geometric shape, angular versus curved shape,
gesture, body zones (e.g., cross-lateral [left arm and right leg])
• space: positive versus negative space, pathways (e.g., in air, on floor)
• time: tempo (e.g., increasing and decreasing speeds), rhythm (e.g., steady, irregular, erratic), pause,
stillness, with music, without music, duration
• energy: effort, force, quality (e.g., punch, thrust, float, collapse, wiggle, explode, vibrate)
• relationship: meet/part, follow/lead, groupings
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
A1. Creating and Presenting
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
By the end of Grade 4, students will:
100
A1.1 translate into dance a variety of movement
sequences observed in nature (e.g., wind
developing into a tornado; water freezing and
melting on a landscape; rain transforming into
a storm; a caterpillar evolving into a butterfly)
Teacher prompt: “How could your sequence of
movements demonstrate the transformation of
rain into a flood or a hurricane?”
A1.2 use dance as a language to explore and
communicate ideas derived from a variety of
literature sources (e.g., develop dance movements
based on actions or emotions depicted in myths,
short stories, legends from different cultures,
picture books, or poetry)
Teacher prompts: “What action words from
the legend give us clues about the kinds of
movements that would help tell the story
through dance?” “How could you and your
partner use dance to communicate the dilemma
in a book such as The Great Kapok Tree?” “How
would your dance change if you recreated it to
reflect the perspective of a different character
from the story?”
A1.3 use narrative form to create short dance
pieces on a variety of themes (e.g., a dance based
on the theme of a quest or other type of journey;
movements arranged [choreographed] to create
a relationship [linking, parting] between some
of the dancers)
A1.4 use the elements of energy (e.g., collapse,
explode, float) and time (e.g., duration, suddenness)
in a dance piece to communicate an idea (e.g.,
show the journey of a balloon as it floats, explodes
suddenly, and then collapses back to the floor)
Teacher prompt: “How would repeating the same
dance phrase but changing its quality (e.g., firm,
light, vibratory), tempo (e.g., decreasing speed),
or rhythm (e.g., erratic) affect the message you
are trying to communicate to the audience?”
A2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 4, students will:
A2.1 demonstrate an understanding of how the
language of dance can clarify and highlight
ideas, images, and characters from familiar
stories (e.g., explain how gestures and actions
reveal and express the mood or personality or
social position of a character)
Teacher prompts: “What kinds of movements
did the jester use in the dance piece we just
saw (quality, level, speed)? What did they tell
you about his or her point of view?” “How did
interpreting the story through dance help you
understand the story better?”
A2.2 identify, using dance vocabulary, the elements
of dance used in their own and others’ dance
pieces and explain how each helps communicate
ideas and feelings (e.g., symmetry/asymmetry
[body] can reflect themes of unity and separation;
Teacher prompt: “One example of relationship
I noticed in this dance was that the dancers
danced the first movement really close together,
and then they repeated it but moved far apart.
What did this variation communicate about
the theme of togetherness?”
A2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths
and areas for growth as dance creators and
audience members (e.g., share with a small
group what they did well, using dance terminology;
explain what they need to practise to improve
their ability to communicate through gesture
and action)
GRADE 4
Teacher prompts: “How could your group
create a dance piece inspired by one of the
adventures of the Knights of the Round Table?”
“How can you use choreography to give your
dance an introduction, rising action, a climax,
and resolution?”
sudden and sustained movements used sequentially
can communicate the idea of a thunderstorm)
Teacher prompt: “What movement or phrase
did you use in your dance that was effective
in creating meaning, and why do you think it
was effective?”
A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 4, students will:
A3.1 describe, with teacher guidance, how forms
and styles of dance reflect people’s different
social and political roles in various communities,
times, and places (e.g., court dances in different
countries in the 1500s and 1600s reflect the customs
of the upper class [kings, queens, and people of the
court] while country dances reflect the customs of
the common people; carnival dances in Toronto,
Brazil, New Orleans, and Cuba reflect various
cultural traditions; martial arts disguised as
capoeira dance reflects a response to oppression)
A3.2 identify and describe the different roles of
dance in their lives and in communities around
the world (e.g., to socialize; for entertainment; to
communicate and tell stories; to enrich the school
experience [through a dance club]; to celebrate a
good harvest year; as part of religious ceremonies)
Teacher prompts: “Based on the video we just
saw, tell me one reason why dance is important
to Aboriginal communities. Is this similar to
why dance is important to you?” “Is it good
for our school to have a lunchtime dance club?
Why? How does it help us?”
DANCE
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B. DRAMA
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 4
By the end of Grade 4, students will:
B1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to dramatic play and process
drama, using the elements and conventions of drama to communicate feelings, ideas, and stories;
B2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of drama works and
experiences;
B3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of drama
and theatre forms, traditions, and styles from the past and present, and their sociocultural and
historical contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 4
Students in Grade 4 will develop or extend understanding of the following concepts through participation
in various drama experiences.
ELEMENTS OF DRAMA
• role/character: adopting a role and maintaining focus in role; communicating character traits and
character choices through body language/movement and gestures; sustaining belief in character
(e.g., using the first-person point of view while speaking); varying voice (e.g., diction, pace, volume,
projection, enunciation)
• relationship: developing and analysing relationships between and among characters in a drama
• time and place: establishing a clear setting; sustaining belief in the setting
• tension: identifying factors that contribute to tension or mystery in a drama
• focus and emphasis: identifying the central theme and/or problem in a drama; drawing audience
attention to specific aspects of the drama
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
B1. Creating and Presenting
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By the end of Grade 4, students will:
B1.1 engage actively in drama exploration and
role play, with a focus on exploring drama
structures, key ideas, and pivotal moments
in their own stories and stories from diverse
communities, times, and places (e.g., use role
play to explore the hierarchical structure of
medieval society; use “inner and outer circle” to
examine moments of conflict and power imbalance
in group improvisations on a common theme)
Teacher prompts: “What do you know and
what do you imagine about how people in
medieval society behaved?” “How will you
adjust your gestures and voice while in role
to portray the status of a peasant in relation
to a baron?”
B1.2 demonstrate an understanding of the element
of role by selectively using a few other elements
of drama (e.g., time and place; relationship; focus
and emphasis) to build belief in a role and
establish its dramatic context
Teacher prompts: “Show me, in role, (1) what
is most important to the character you are
playing; or (2) your favourite place to be; or
(3) a person you rely upon; or (4) something that
you feel you must do.” “What objects or props
could you use to adapt the setting to emphasize
your character’s occupation as a scientist?”
B1.3 plan and shape the direction of the drama
or role play by posing questions and working
with others to find solutions, both in and out
of role (e.g., In role: improvise possible solutions
to a problem; Out of role: help select a drama
form to represent the group’s idea)
Teacher prompts: “What words or phrases can
we contribute to role on the wall to deepen
understanding of and belief in this character?”
“What action will your character take to solve
the problems he/she is facing?”
Teacher prompts: “How can you show the
different meanings objects have in different
contexts in everyday life (e.g., candles in
ceremonies, birthdays, and festivals)?”
“What objects could you use to symbolize
who and what your character will miss on
his/her journey?”
B2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 4, students will:
B2.1 express personal responses and make
connections to characters, themes, and issues
presented in their own and others’ drama
works (e.g., make a mural or map to explore the
setting of the drama; interview a partner in and
out of role to discover physical and personality
traits of a character; write a diary entry describing
the relationship between two fictitious characters)
Teacher prompts: “What stands out for you in
this drama/play?” “Which character do you
most relate to? Why?” “What other stories or
plays are you reminded of?”
B2.2 explain, using drama terminology, how
elements and drama conventions are used
to produce specific effects and/or audience
responses in their own and others’ drama works
(e.g., characters’ differing points of view can be
used to create tension; comic characters and scenes
can help relieve tension; thought tracking can give
insight into a character)
Teacher prompts: “With what conventions
(e.g., tableaux, role playing) did you feel you
did your best work?” “If you were to go back
and redo any of your work in this drama, what
do you feel you could do better, and why?”
“Did you explore a variety of possible solutions
to the problem?”
B3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
GRADE 4
B1.4 communicate thoughts, feelings, and ideas
to a specific audience, using audio, visual,
and/or technological aids to enhance their
drama work (e.g., use dimmed lights, black lights,
and music to suggest a mood; project images with
an overhead/data projector; use a microphone
to enhance or create sound effects or amplify
narration [such as a spirit communication in
an Aboriginal story])
B2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths,
interests, and areas for growth as drama participants and audience members (e.g., strength:
using expressive gestures to communicate; interest:
creative use of props and costumes; area for
growth: maintaining focus in role)
By the end of Grade 4, students will:
B3.1 identify and describe some similarities in the
purposes of process drama and more formal,
traditional theatre productions (e.g., both forms
use the elements of drama to tell stories, to allow
the audience to imagine the possible outcomes
and implications of human actions, and to engage
the emotions of actors and audience)
Teacher prompt: “When we are role-playing
together, how is this similar to and different
from being in a play?”
B3.2 demonstrate an awareness of different kinds
of drama and theatre from different times and
places and of how they reflect their contexts
(e.g., popular contemporary forms such as films
or television shows and public processions and
spectacles; historical forms such as medieval
tournaments; oral storytelling by troubadours
in earlier times and in contemporary contexts;
travelling plays or pageants)
Teacher prompts: “How can drama help us to
understand people, times, and places that we
have never actually experienced in our own
lives?” “What did you learn about medieval
society by role-playing peasants, barons, and
other community members?”
Teacher prompts: “Who is the intended audience
for this drama? What drama elements were
adapted specifically to interest that audience?”
“Why do you think the audience responded
with laughter at that moment in the drama?”
DRAMA
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C. MUSIC
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 4
By the end of Grade 4, students will:
C1. Creating and Performing: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to create and perform music
for a variety of purposes, using the elements and techniques of music;
C2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of music and musical
experiences;
C3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of musical genres
and styles from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 4
In Grade 4, students will build on their knowledge of the elements of music and related musical concepts
that were introduced in Grades 1 to 3. Students will develop understanding of musical concepts through
participation in musical experiences that involve listening, creating, and performing (e.g., singing, moving,
playing instruments).
ELEMENTS OF MUSIC
• duration: syncopation using an eighth note followed by a quarter note and an eighth note (oral prompts:
“ti-ta-ti” or “syn-co-pa”); sustaining a note or rest for longer than its value (pause or fermata)
• pitch: melody maps, five-line staff, absolute pitch names in treble clef (A, B, C, D, E, F, G), major and minor
tonality, major scale (written with notes or numbers), intervals (unison, step, skip, leap), key signatures
in the music they perform (e.g., no sharps or flats, one sharp, one flat), accidentals (sharp, flat, natural)
• dynamics and other expressive controls: changes in volume encountered in music listened to, sung,
and played (e.g., sforzando [sfz]); articulation (e.g., phrase markings)
• timbre: homogeneous sound of ensemble instruments (e.g., individual instruments of the orchestra
or other performing ensemble)
• texture/harmony: canon, simple two-part piece (simple polyphony)
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
• form: verse and chorus; piece with an introduction and/or a coda; simple repeats
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SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
C1. Creating and Performing
By the end of Grade 4, students will:
C1.1 sing and/or play, in tune, from musical
notation, unison and two-part music with
simple accompaniments from a wide variety
of cultures, styles, and historical periods
(e.g., perform folk songs with syncopation and
traditional songs with a simple harmony part)
Teacher prompts: “What process can you use to
sing or play an unfamiliar song from notation?”
“What are the differences between the two
parts?” “What is the rhythmic relationship
between the melody and the accompaniment?”
C1.2 apply the elements of music when singing
and/or playing, composing, and arranging
music to create a specific effect (e.g., compose
pieces using different expressive controls, such as
staccato/legato or crescendo/decrescendo, to create
contrasts and changes in mood; compose a pentatonic melody for recorder or voice with a bordun
for an accompaniment)
Teacher prompts: “What element could you
change to further alter the effect?” “What
family of instruments could you use for your
arrangement? How would changing the instruments change the effect?” “What can you do to
create a musical texture that is like the texture
in a song from the Renaissance period?”
C1.3 create musical compositions for specific
purposes and audiences (e.g., write a composition
for recorder using musical notation on the five-line
staff; compose a piece using non-traditional notation, such as a melody map or icons; compose a
soundscape to represent the physical landscape
of Canada; create a composition to accompany
a dance piece)
C1.4 use the tools and techniques of musicianship
in musical performances (e.g., sing “O Canada”
using controlled breathing technique and relaxed
and straight posture while producing a clear and
open head tone in their vocal range; play the
xylophone using proper mallet technique)
Teacher prompts: “How do you produce a
sound that is clear and in tune when singing?”
“How can you convey the meaning of the song
to the listener?” “How can you use wrist action
in playing a metallophone?”
C1.5 demonstrate an understanding of musical
signs and standard notation on the five-line
staff, and use devised notation to record the
sequence of sounds in a composition of their
own (e.g., create a soundscape with other students
or a melody map using their own symbols; include
fermata and sudden changes in dynamics in their
compositions; use a system of syllables, numbers,
or letters to represent simple pitch notation in a
composition)
Teacher prompts: “What is an easy way to help
us remember the names of the notes on the
five-line staff in the treble clef?” “How do note
values relate to each other?” “Can you find a
website to help us practise note names?”
C2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 4, students will:
C2.1 express detailed personal responses to
musical performances in a variety of ways
(e.g., respond by drawing, moving, using visual
organizers, telling a story, making a collage;
compare recordings of singers they think have
a “good voice”, and defend their preference)
C2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths
and areas for growth as musical performers,
creators, interpreters, and audience members
(e.g., identify two musical qualities that were
effective in their group’s performance and one
area for improvement)
Teacher prompt: “Which of the multiple
intelligences did you use when learning to
perform a piece of music on the recorder?”
C3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 4, students will:
C3.1 identify the role of music in a community
today and compare it to its role in a community
of the past (e.g., music for gatherings now and
in the Middle Ages; songs sung now and by the
voyageurs)
Teacher prompts: “What are the types of
gatherings where music would be performed
in the Middle Ages? And now?” “What kinds of
music would be played or sung then and now?”
C3.2 demonstrate an awareness, through listening,
of the characteristics of musical forms and
traditions of diverse times, places, and communities (e.g., medieval musical genres performed by
troubadours or minstrels, Indian classical music,
music in Islamic cultures, music performed by
female musical artists in North American culture,
Aboriginal powwow music)
Teacher prompt: “What kinds of songs did
medieval troubadours perform? Where did
they sing these songs?”
MUSIC
Teacher prompts: “How does this performance
make you feel?” “What do you think is the
purpose of this song?” “Why do you think
the composer wrote this piece?”
Teacher prompts: “Which elements do you think
the composer was focusing on when writing
this piece? Why?” “What mood do you think
is created? How is it created?” “What different
musical choices could you make to alter the
mood of this piece?” “How did Benjamin Britten
use the elements of music in the recording of
Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra? How do
you know?”
GRADE 4
Teacher prompt: “Using your voice or an
instrument, create a melodic contour that represents the contour of the boundary between
Canada and the United States. How could you
use your voice or an instrument to re-create
this contour line?”
C2.2 identify the elements used in the music they
perform, listen to, and create, and describe
how they are used (e.g., identify the mood of a
piece and describe how the elements of music are
used to create the mood)
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D. VISUAL ARTS
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 4
By the end of Grade 4, students will:
D1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to produce a variety of two- and
three-dimensional art works, using elements, principles, and techniques of visual arts to communicate
feelings, ideas, and understandings;
D2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of art works and art
experiences;
D3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of art forms,
styles, and techniques from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 4
In addition to the concepts introduced in Grades 1 to 3, students will develop understanding of the
following concepts through participation in a variety of hands-on, open-ended visual arts experiences.
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN
Students will develop understanding of all elements of design.
• line: lines to indicate emotion (e.g., smooth, horizontal lines can give a feeling of peace and harmony);
contour lines (e.g., edges of objects); lines of various weights; repetition of lines to create visual
rhythm
• shape and form: free-standing forms “in the round” (e.g., Henry Moore’s figurative work) and “bas
relief sculpture” (e.g., masks); shapes organized in a pattern showing radial symmetry and/or in a
mosaic; changes in shapes, depending on the angle or point of view (e.g., view from the top, side,
bottom); positive and negative shapes (e.g., closed curve with shape inside and outside); grouping
of shapes; abstract shapes and forms
• space: positive and negative space in art work; diminishing perspective in various contexts (e.g., in
vertical placement, in diminishing size, and/or in overlapping shapes); variation in size to create the
illusion of depth
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
• colour: monochromatic colour scheme; colour emphasis through variations in intensity (e.g., subdued
colours next to bright, intense colours); advancing colour
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• texture: texture elaboration (e.g., embossing, piercing, pinching, pressing, scoring, scraping); texture
quality (e.g., matte, sheen); low relief in collographs
• value: mixing of shades; variations in value to create emphasis (contrast in value)
PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN
Students will develop understanding of all principles of design (that is, contrast, repetition and rhythm,
variety, emphasis, proportion, balance, unity and harmony, and movement), but the focus in Grade 4 will
be on emphasis.
• emphasis: use of colour intensity, contrast in value, placement and size of shapes, and/or weight of
line to create a particular focal point
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
D1. Creating and Presenting
By the end of Grade 4, students will:
Teacher prompts: “How can you make your
classmates look as if they are participating in
a sport? Can you ’freeze’ them in a dynamic
sports pose? How can you position them to
show them in action, as in Ken Danby’s goalie
in At the Crease?” “How can you arrange and
cluster the objects to create a focal point with
the emphasis on the most important ones?”
D1.2 demonstrate an understanding of composition, using selected principles of design to
create narrative art works or art works on
a theme or topic (e.g., a collaborative mural
depicting a historical or an imaginary landscape
in which objects and figures placed in the foreground create areas of emphasis, and objects
placed in the background show diminishing size;
a relief print of a seascape in which shapes that
are similar, but are different in size or colour,
give the work both unity and variety)
Teacher prompts: “How can you create emphasis
in your art work by varying the value, width,
and weight of your lines? In what other ways
could you show emphasis?” “How can you
repeat values of a colour in several places in
your image to create unity?”
D1.3 use elements of design in art works to communicate ideas, messages, and understandings
(e.g., create a poster using colour and cropping
of space to propose a solution to climate change;
use contour lines of various weights in a charcoal
gesture drawing of a person to capture the impression of movement; create a paper sculpture portrait
of a favourite comic character that explores positive
and negative space, using techniques of folding,
scoring, fringing, and crimping)
Teacher prompts: “How can you use contrast,
emphasis, or variety to capture students’
attention and communicate your message?”
“How would using recognizable symbols make
your communication clearer or stronger?”
• drawing: make contour drawings of overlapping objects that are easily recognizable [e.g., a
piece of fruit, a shoe, a glove, a pitcher], using
soft graphite drawing pencils [e.g., primary
printers] and depicting the objects from different points of view [e.g., from the front, the back,
the side]
• mixed media: make a collage to depict a
dream, using cut and torn paper, tissue paper,
and found objects in contrasting shapes with
a focus on positive and negative space
GRADE 4
D1.1 create two- and three-dimensional works
of art that express feelings and ideas inspired
by their interests and experiences (e.g., a comic
strip or a storyboard featuring a space voyage;
an oil pastel drawing of peers in sports or dance
poses; a painted still life of objects related to a
hobby)
D1.4 use a variety of materials, tools, and
techniques to determine solutions to design
challenges (e.g.,
• painting: use tempera paint and a range of
monochromatic colour values to represent the
emotional state of a character at a critical
moment in a story that they have written or read
• printmaking: use low-relief found objects
[e.g., lace, textured leaves, and tin foil] to make
a collograph in which texture and shape are
used to create the composition, and embellish
the final inked print with oil-pastel drawing
• sculpture: make a clay or papier mâché mask
featuring exaggeration for dramatic effect and
textures made by embossing, piercing, pinching,
pressing, and/or scraping)
Teacher prompts: “From which point of view
was it most challenging to draw that object?
Why?” “How have you used monochromatic
colour to create a mood in your painting?”
“How can you increase the number of different
textures that you can apply to the mask to give
the surface more variety?”
D2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 4, students will:
D2.1 interpret a variety of art works, and identify
the feelings, issues, themes, and social concerns
that they convey (e.g., express their response to
student drawings on a classroom gallery walk;
identify artistic techniques that are used to influence the viewer; in role as a famous artist, write
a journal entry or letter identifying the artist’s
compositional choices and intentions)
VISUAL ARTS
Teacher prompts: “If an artist such as David
Blackwood changed the contrast and value in
his prints, how might they suggest a different
mood or feeling?” “How might different people
experience and interpret the same object or
image?”
107
GRADE 4
D2.2 analyse the use of elements and principles
of design in a variety of art works, and explain
how they are used to communicate meaning
or understanding (e.g., the use of texture and
negative space in Henry Moore’s abstract forms
to suggest natural objects or figures; the use of
tints and shades to explore vivid colour in Alma
Thomas’s aerial view paintings; the use of bright
colours and rounded shapes in children’s advertising to get their attention and convey a friendly
feeling)
Teacher prompts: “How important are negative
shapes in an art work? Why?” “What message
is the artist conveying by distorting and
abstracting the subject?” “Who is the poster
directed towards? How has the artist used
different elements to appeal to his or her
audience?”
D2.3 demonstrate awareness of the meaning
of signs, symbols, and styles in works of art
(e.g., symbols representing luck; fonts typically
used in marketing; heraldic symbols; aboriginal
totems around the world; Egyptian hieroglyphics)
Teacher prompts: “How many good luck symbols can we list?” “What symbols are used in
’Good Luck’ greeting cards?” “Why do some
fonts attract your attention to products and
messages more than other fonts?” “What does
this Old English font make you think of?”
“Why did knights put symbols on their shields?”
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
D2.4 identify and document their strengths, their
interests, and areas for improvement as creators
and viewers of art (e.g., review notes and sketches
they have made during a visit to a public gallery,
and summarize what tends to interest them when
they look at art; after a classroom gallery walk,
identify what they think are the most useful of the
comments and suggestions that their classmates
had written on sticky notes and placed on their
art work)
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Teacher prompts: “Reflecting on what you have
learned, what would you do differently if you
were to use a similar medium, process, or
theme?” “What do you notice first when you
look at works of art? What do you consider
when you give yourself time to think before
deciding whether you like an art work?”
D3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 4, students will:
D3.1 describe how visual art forms and styles
represent various messages and contexts in
the past and present (e.g., images that promote
businesses, events, or festivals; paintings in art
galleries that enrich, challenge, and engage viewers;
picture books and graphic novels that inform and
entertain; traditional and contemporary purposes
of Aboriginal sculpture)
Teacher prompts: “What is the role of visual
arts in our community? How can this role be
expanded?” “What is the difference between
the role of the artist and the role of the viewer?”
“Where in our community do people see works
of art?”
D3.2 demonstrate an awareness of a variety of art
forms, styles, and traditions, and describe how
they reflect the diverse cultures, times, and
places in which they were made (e.g., wax-resist
batik as a national art form in Indonesia; masks
used in the celebrations of various cultures; symbols,
motifs, and designs on totem poles; radial symmetry in patterns in Islamic art; contemporary and
historical oil paintings in an art gallery)
Teacher prompts: “Where do they hold arts and
crafts festivals in our community? What new
art forms and art ideas did you see there that
you’d never seen before?” “Why do people
make masks? How were they used in the past
and how are they used today?”
GRADE 5
A. DANCE
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 5
By the end of Grade 5, students will
A1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to the composition of movement
sequences and short dance pieces, using the elements of dance to communicate feelings and ideas;
A2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of dance pieces
and experiences;
A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of dance forms,
traditions, and styles from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 5
Students in Grade 5 will develop or extend understanding of the following concepts through participation
in various dance experiences (e.g., communicating images and ideas through movement), with particular
emphasis on relationship.
ELEMENTS OF DANCE
• body: body awareness, use of body parts, body shapes, locomotor and non-locomotor movements,
body bases, symmetry versus asymmetry, geometric versus organic shape, angular versus curved shape
• space: levels, pathways, directions, pattern, positive versus negative space, various group formations,
proximity of dancers to one another
• time: tempo, rhythm (e.g., regular, irregular), pause, stillness, with music, without music, duration
• energy: effort, force, quality (e.g., slash, press, shrink, open)
• relationship: meet/part, follow/lead, emotional connections between dancers, groupings
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
A1. Creating and Presenting
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
By the end of Grade 5, students will:
110
A1.1 translate into movement sequences a variety
of images and ideas from other classroom
subjects, including the arts (e.g., portray the
character of a young, boisterous child from a drama
by using a variety of levels, quick movements, and
indirect pathways in dance; develop movement
phrases based on an image from a history textbook,
a newspaper article, an Aboriginal story, or a
painting in visual arts class)
Teacher prompt: “With a partner or in a group,
represent this piece of Henry Moore sculpture,
first using only your body, then using a piece
of cloth as a prop.”
A1.2 use dance as a language to explore, interpret,
and communicate ideas derived from a variety
of literature sources (e.g., newspaper articles
about sports, entertainment, or current events;
stories, poems, picture books)
Teacher prompt: “What movements, actions,
or gestures can you use to clearly communicate
the storyline?”
A1.3 use movement in the choreographic form
call and response in a variety of ways when
creating dance pieces (e.g., the teacher performs
or calls a movement and the whole class responds;
one student calls and the rest of the group
responds; in partners, one student leads the
movement and the other mirrors it)
Teacher prompts: “How would you use call and
response to suggest a friendly competition?”
“How can you use your body to give instructions
to your partner (who is responding)?”
A1.4 use the element of relationship in short
dance pieces to communicate an idea (e.g., two
dancers coming face to face to show either shared
understanding or disagreement; a group of dancers
holding hands to show unity)
A2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 5, students will:
A2.1 relate stories and characters in their own and
others’ dance pieces to personal knowledge
and experience (e.g., explain and demonstrate
how dancers’ postures and mannerisms reflect
things they have observed in everyday life;
describe how the dance informed, moved, or
changed their own perspective on an issue)
Teacher prompts: “Do the movements in this
dance remind you of an experience in your
own life?” “Are there similarities between the
characters’ perspectives in the dance and those
of people you know in real life? What are some
of them?” “Explain how the dance affected
your thinking about the topic.”
A2.2 identify the elements of dance used in their
own and others’ dance pieces and explain how
they help communicate a message (e.g., describe
their use of a high level, direct path, and strong
movements to portray authority)
Teacher prompt: “How did the change in speed
affect the mood in the dance piece?”
Teacher prompt: “When working with a group
to generate a dance piece do you feel more
comfortable generating ideas or implementing
the plan of the group? How can you become
better at a variety of group roles?”
A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
GRADE 5
Teacher prompt: “How will you position yourself
in relation to your partner? What movements
and rhythms (e.g., regular, irregular) could you
and your partner use to illustrate the benefits
of teamwork?”
A2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths
and areas for growth as dance creators and
audience members (e.g., identify two dance
phrases that they believe were effective in
their performance and explain their reasons for
thinking so; assess whether they responded well
to peer feedback about a performance and whether
they implemented it)
By the end of Grade 5, students will:
A3.1 describe, with teacher guidance, dance forms
and styles that reflect the beliefs and traditions
of diverse communities, times, and places
(e.g., choral dance was used to honour the god
Dionysus, who was revered in ancient Greece;
ballet developed to entertain the aristocracy in
European courts; group and partner dances – such
as the swing and the salsa – reflect various types of
social interaction; dance has a symbolic celebratory
role in African-American wedding rituals)
Teacher prompt: “What are some examples of
dance that are associated with special events
in your family? Do you know if they are
connected to beliefs and traditions in your
family or community? How could you find out?”
A3.2 identify and describe some of the ways
in which dance influences popular culture
(e.g., the influence of hip hop dance on people’s
mannerisms and behaviour, or on fashion,
magazines, and music videos)
Teacher prompt: “How has dance influenced
the music in your favourite videos?”
DANCE
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B. DRAMA
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 5
By the end of Grade 5, students will:
B1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to process drama and the
development of drama works, using the elements and conventions of drama to communicate feelings,
ideas, and stories;
B2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of drama works and
experiences;
B3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of drama and
theatre forms, traditions, and styles from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical
contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 5
Students in Grade 5 will develop or extend understanding of the following concepts through participation
in various drama experiences.
ELEMENTS OF DRAMA
• role/character: adopting a variety of roles; considering both the inner and outer life in developing a
character; sustaining familiar and unfamiliar roles; varying position (e.g., full front, quarter, profile,
full back)
• relationship: developing and analysing a character in terms of his/her relationships with other characters
• time and place: establishing a clear setting (e.g., using simple objects and props to represent time and
place)
• tension: using audio, visual, and/or technological aids and stage effects to heighten suspense and
engage the audience
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
• focus and emphasis: using drama conventions to reveal/communicate key emotions and motivations
to the audience and/or to draw audience attention to specific aspects of the drama
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SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
B1. Creating and Presenting
By the end of Grade 5, students will:
B1.1 engage actively in drama exploration and
role play, with a focus on examining issues and
themes in fiction and non-fiction sources from
diverse communities, times, and places (e.g.,
interview story characters who represent opposing
views on an issue; use role play to explore social
issues related to topics such as the environment,
immigration, bullying, treaties, the rights and
responsibilities of the child)
Teacher prompts: “What strategies can you use
in role to give a fair hearing to different sides on
this issue?” “What drama strategy or convention
can your group use to present solutions to the
audience for your environmental issue?”
B1.2 demonstrate an understanding of the element
of role by selectively using some other elements
of drama (e.g., time and place, relationship), to
build belief in a role and establish its dramatic
context (e.g., select and use supporting artefacts
or simple props; arrange furniture to establish
setting; work with others to select or create objects
to build a convincing setting, such as a character’s
room or the inside of a cave; use the drama convention of thought tracking to establish a relationship
between two characters)
Teacher prompts: “What conventions or
strategies could you use to show your
character’s motivation to the audience?
How can you show the audience the reasons
for the character’s problem?” “How can you
focus the audience on the relationship between
these two characters instead of emphasizing
one character’s dilemma?”
Teacher prompts: In role: “What do you think
I can do, as a representative of the municipal
government, to address your concerns?” Out
of role: “What needs to be considered when you
are getting ready to play the role of a government representative? What should be said?
What feelings should be expressed?” “How can
you plan the movements and placement of the
characters in your performance to express their
feelings in relation to the government official?”
B1.4 communicate thoughts, feelings, and ideas
to a specific audience, using audio, visual,
and/or technological aids to achieve specific
dramatic effects (e.g., shine a spotlight on a
performer who is making a key point; use a
clash of cymbals to highlight a pivotal moment)
Teacher prompt: “What can we do to create
or enhance the intended mood?”
B2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 5, students will:
B2.1 express personal responses and make
connections to characters, themes, and issues
presented in their own and others’ drama works
(e.g., draw a picture or write poetry to show how
they see a character at the beginning and end of
the drama; use journal writing to convey a feeling
of connection to a character in a drama)
Teacher prompts: “How did this drama/play
make you feel? What does it make you wonder
about? If you could speak to the playwright or
another character in the drama, what would
you like to ask her or him?” “What character
do you relate to and why?”
B2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths,
interests, and areas for improvement as drama
creators, performers, and audience members
(e.g., use journals, charts, rubrics, and peer- and
self-assessment charts to keep track of successful
contributions, unproductive ideas or efforts, and
evolving preferences in drama; describe how they
used established criteria to evaluate their own and
others’ work; describe how they incorporated constructive feedback into their drama work; assess
how well they differentiated between stereotypes
and authentic characters when developing roles)
Teacher prompt: “Complete the following
sentences: ’One way I contributed to the drama
was . . .’; ’One way to improve my work next
time is . . .’; ’The part I enjoyed most was . . .’”
B3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 5, students will:
B3.1 describe forms of process drama, theatre,
storytelling, and visual representation from
diverse communities around the world, and
explain how they may reflect some beliefs and
traditions of their communities (e.g., identify
contexts in which the spoken word is a form of
drama; describe historical and/or contemporary
examples of forms from African, Asian, and/or
Central or South American societies; identify
examples of forms that reflect alternative
viewpoints within communities)
Teacher prompts: “What does this story (play,
festival, visual representation) tell us about the
family and community structures of its society
of origin?” “What does our response to this
drama tell us about ourselves?” “How does
studying drama from around the world help
us understand ourselves and others?” “How
are life lessons communicated through these
drama traditions?”
B3.2 demonstrate an understanding of the broader
world of drama and theatre by identifying and
describing the roles and responsibilities of key
theatre personnel (e.g., describe what a producer,
director, actor, stage manager, set or costume
designer, and/or lighting or sound technician does
in a typical day and what each needs in order to
complete his or her work)
DRAMA
B2.2 explain, using drama terminology, how
different elements are used to communicate
and reinforce the intended message in their
own and others’ drama works (e.g., explain how
Teacher prompts: “What actions of the characters
or performers helped them gain the empathy
of the audience?” “What stage effects were used
to help communicate a sense of danger?”
GRADE 5
B1.3 plan and shape the direction of the drama or
role play by collaborating with others to develop
ideas, both in and out of role (e.g., In role:
improvise possible solutions to a dramatic conflict
based on ideas from discussion and personal
experience; Out of role: brainstorm in a group
to generate ideas and make artistic choices)
specific scenes and/or relationships create tension
and build up to the climax of the drama)
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C. MUSIC
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 5
By the end of Grade 5, students will:
C1. Creating and Performing: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to create and perform music
for a variety of purposes, using the elements and techniques of music;
C2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of music and musical
experiences;
C3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of musical genres
and styles from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 5
In Grade 5, students will build on their knowledge of the elements of music and related musical concepts
that were introduced in Grades 1 to 4. Students will develop understanding of musical concepts through
participation in musical experiences that involve listening, creating, and performing (e.g., singing, moving,
playing instruments).
ELEMENTS OF MUSIC
• duration: dotted quarter note followed by an eighth note (oral prompt: “tam-ti”); dotted eighth note
and sixteenth note (oral prompt: “tim-ka”); rhythms, including those with eighth notes (“ti-ti”) and
sixteenth notes (“tika-tika”), in various combinations (e.g., “tika-ti, ti-tika, ti-ti, ta”); 68 metre (oral
count, with primary emphasis on “one” and secondary emphasis on “two”: “one-and-a-two-and-a”)
• pitch: key signatures in the music they perform (e.g., D major, G minor), clefs used for any instruments
they play
• dynamics and other expressive controls: dynamics and articulation encountered in music listened to,
sung, and played, and their signs
• timbre: tone colour for particular purposes (e.g., use of trumpets for a fanfare, flutes for depicting
birds, various instruments for creating specific moods)
• texture/harmony: part singing (homophonic or polyphonic), chord progressions using I and V
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
• form: compositions in four or more sections (e.g., AABA, ABAC [alternation between a chorus, A,
and improvisations, B and C], rondo [e.g., ABACADA])
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SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
C1. Creating and Performing
By the end of Grade 5, students will:
C1.1 sing and/or play, in tune, from musical
notation, unison and two-part music with
accompaniments, from a wide variety of cultures, styles, and historical periods (e.g., perform
a recorder duet that has a variety of rhythmic and
melodic patterns)
Teacher prompts: “What are some of the challenges when playing in two parts? Brainstorm
some strategies to meet these challenges.”
“What similarities and differences are there
between the melodies and rhythms of the
two parts you are going to perform?”
C1.2 apply the elements of music when singing
and/or playing, composing, and arranging
music to create a specific effect (e.g., form, timbre:
create a rondo [ABACADA form] using a familiar
song as the repeating A section, and compose short
rhythmic or melodic materials for the B, C, and D
sections using pitched or non-pitched percussion
instruments, found sounds, recorders, or body
percussion)
C1.3 create musical compositions for specific
purposes and audiences (e.g., compose an
accompaniment for a story, poem, or drama
presentation to address an environmental issue
such as water conservation, recycling, or planting
trees; create a piece that uses a rhythmic ostinato
in 44 time and that includes both eighth and sixteenth notes; use body percussion, found sounds,
voice, and non-pitched percussion instruments to
vary the timbres in their work)
Teacher prompts: “What dynamic level and
tempo would support the mood of this piece?”
“How does your accompaniment reflect the
story or poem?”
C1.4 use the tools and techniques of musicianship
in musical performances (e.g., play recorder
using proper hand position and posture; sing
and/or play pitches and rhythms accurately;
observe markings for dynamics and articulation;
interpret accidentals and key signatures through
playing and/or singing; sing and/or play songs
in major and minor keys)
Teacher prompts: “What strategies can you use
to match your pitch to that of others in your
class?” “How might you describe music sung
or played without changes in dynamics?”
“What happens when we perform some
pitches without taking the key signature into
consideration?”
C1.5 demonstrate an understanding of standard
and other types of musical notation through
performance and composition (e.g., notation of
rhythms of skipping songs in 68 metre; dynamic
markings, clefs, key signatures; notational software for scoring their own compositions; guitar
tablature)
Teacher prompts: “How does standard notation
compare with guitar tablature?” “Why do we
use musical signs and symbols to communicate
in the ’language’ of music? What other symbol
systems do we use to communicate with?
[e.g., maps with legends, sign language, road
signs, math symbols, computer language]”
By the end of Grade 5, students will:
C2.1 express detailed personal responses to
musical performances in a variety of ways
(e.g., describe the sounds of a steel band, using
musical terminology; analyse a movement from
Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in a think-pair-share
listening activity, and describe their feelings
and personal impressions; compare the mood of
a piece from today and a piece from the baroque
period, using Venn diagrams)
Teacher prompts: “How do you feel when you
hear the music of a steel band?” “What in the
’Spring’ movement of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
makes you think of spring?”
GRADE 5
Teacher prompts: pitch: “While singing the
French-Canadian song ’Bonhomme, Bonhomme,’
what patterns do you notice in the melody?
[repetition, sequences]”; timbre, form: “What
sounds will you use in the C section of your
rondo and how long will this section be?”;
“How will you give special attention to the
elements of music that you focused on?”
C2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
C2.2 identify the elements of music in the music
they perform, listen to, and create, and describe
how they are used (e.g., timbre: describe how
brass instruments are used in a marching band;
duration: clap dotted rhythm patterns in a fanfare,
describe how a slow tempo contributes to the mood
of a funeral march, describe the use of syncopation
in rhythms in Latin American music; form and
texture: graphically portray the layering of
melodies in a round; dynamics: relate the soft or
loud sounds in a ballad to the meaning of the text)
Teacher prompts: “Why do you think the
composer chose specific instruments for this
work?” “Are short or long notes being used
primarily? How does the rhythm affect the
overall energy of the piece?” “What is the
range of dynamics being used?” “How might
we describe the mood of this piece? Why?”
C2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths
and areas for growth as musical performers,
creators, interpreters, and audience members
(e.g., balancing the volume of their own singing
part in relation to the volume of another singing
part; using expressive controls while playing
recorder; providing peer feedback in preparation
for a musical performance; writing a reflection
on a live or recorded musical performance)
Teacher prompts: “If you are singing a round,
what do you need to do when the second
group comes in?” “How do you know if you
are blending with the other singers/players in
your performing group?” “How are the ways
we respond to a performance at a symphony
concert different from the ways we respond
to a rock concert or sporting event?”
MUSIC
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C3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
GRADE 5
By the end of Grade 5, students will:
116
C3.1 identify and describe some of the key
influences of music within contemporary culture (e.g., describe the use of music in film and
advertising; identify effects of musical trends on
young people’s musical tastes; describe examples
of fusion in different musical styles and genres)
Teacher prompt: “I’m going to play a musical
excerpt from a movie or television show. While
it is playing, imagine what kind of action
would take place, what the setting is, who the
characters are, and what dialogue would occur
while this music is played in the background.”
C3.2 demonstrate an awareness of the use of music
and musical instruments in various traditions,
from early times to today (e.g., describe the use
of the drum in various cultures, including Aboriginal cultures, and at various times around the
world in ceremonial and celebratory music)
Teacher prompts: “How was the drum used
in early civilizations? Was its use similar to
or different from its usage now?” “Why is the
drum used in so many cultures?” “How is the
drum used now in various African countries?”
D. VISUAL ARTS
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
By the end of Grade 5, students will:
D2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of art works and art
experiences;
GRADE 5
D1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to produce a variety of two- and
three-dimensional art works, using elements, principles, and techniques of visual arts to communicate
feelings, ideas, and understandings;
D3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of art forms,
styles, and techniques from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 5
In addition to the concepts introduced in Grades 1 to 4, students in Grade 5 will develop understanding
of the following concepts through participation in a variety of hands-on, open-ended visual arts
experiences.
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN
Students will develop understanding of all elements of design.
• line: linear and curved hatching and cross-hatching that add a sense of depth to shape and form;
gesture drawings; chenile stick sculptures of figures in action; implied lines for movement and depth
• shape and form: symmetrical and asymmetrical shapes and forms in font and image; positive and
negative shapes that occur in the environment; convex, concave, non-objective shapes
• space: shading and cast shadows that create the illusion of depth; atmospheric perspective; microscopic
and telescopic views
• colour: complementary colours, hue, intensity (e.g., dulling, or neutralizing, colour intensity by mixing
the colour with a small amount of its complementary hue)
• texture: textures created with a variety of tools, materials, and techniques; patterning
• value: gradations of value to create illusion of depth, shading
PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN
Students will develop understanding of all principles of design (that is, contrast, repetition and rhythm,
variety, emphasis, proportion, balance, unity and harmony, and movement), but the focus in Grade 5 will
be on proportion.
• proportion: the relationship of the size and shape of the parts of a figure to the whole figure; the scale
of one object compared to its surroundings, with indications of how close and how large the object is
(e.g., figures with childlike proportions that are approximately “five heads high” and adult figures
that are approximately “seven or eight heads high”; caricature; use of improbable scale for imaginary
settings and creatures)
VISUAL ARTS
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SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
D1. Creating and Presenting
GRADE 5
By the end of Grade 5, students will:
D1.1 create two- and three-dimensional art works
that express feelings and ideas inspired by
their own and others’ points of view (e.g., a
painting based on a photo montage about children’s
rights and responsibilities; a coloured line drawing
of an underwater setting or the view from an
airplane that addresses environmental awareness
by showing the interconnectedness of ecosystems;
a painting of someone in a particular situation in
which empathy for him or her is created through
characterization)
Teacher prompts: “How can you use size and
shape in your painting to express your feelings
or point of view about the importance of the
different images in your montage?” “How does
our impression of the world change when we
look at it from a bird’s-eye view rather than a
worm’s-eye view? How can you use a particular
point of view in your painting (not necessarily
these) to create a particular impression?”
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
D1.2 demonstrate an understanding of composition, using selected principles of design to
create narrative art works or art works on a
theme or topic (e.g., create an abstract painting
using different proportions of complementary
colours; create a simple sculpture of a human
form that depicts an emotional response and
shows awareness of proportion and negative
space [in the style of Barbara Hepworth]; create
an impression of depth and space by neutralizing
colour intensity and brightness in a landscape
painting [atmospheric perspective])
118
Teacher prompts: “How have you used colour
to create a point of emphasis and a sense of
space?” “How will you use your in-class
sketches of student poses to help you decide
on the emotion to express with the position
of the figure?” “How did you dull the colours
to show things that are in the distance?”
D1.3 use elements of design in art works to communicate ideas, messages, and understandings
(e.g., a series of three relief prints that use a glueline relief print process to illustrate the beginning,
middle, and end of a story; a poster that presents
solutions to stereotyping, bias, or bullying, using
angle of view; a graffiti-style mural that addresses
a community issue, using convex shapes that lead
the eye with implied lines)
Teacher prompts: “How did you use asymmetrical geometric shapes to simplify the text and
image? How did the use of proportion and
scale change your message when your poster
had faces that were larger than life?” “Which
elements and principles of design did you use
to focus and simplify the text and image in the
mural? How did you use gradations of value to
create the illusion of depth in your designs?”
D1.4 use a variety of materials, tools, and
techniques to determine solutions to design
challenges (e.g.,
• drawing: coloured pencils to create a caricature
of a celebrity that exaggerates facial features
and uses linear shading and cast shadows
• mixed media: a composite image that uses
photographs, photocopies, transfers, images,
and selected opaque and transparent materials
to reflect their self-identity
• painting: tempera paint or watercolour pencils
using unusual colours or perspectives to suggest
a fantasy world
• printmaking: a relief print transferred from a
textured surface, made with glue lines, craft
foam, cardboard, paper, or string glued to board,
using shapes to create a graphic design that
explores pattern in a non-objective op art style
• sculpture: a human figure or an imaginary
creature made from clay, using basic handbuilding methods such as making the piece with
coils or slabs of clay or by pinching and pulling
the clay)
Teacher prompts: “How could you make the
lines in your caricature more fluid and the
shapes more expressive?” “How are the images
you used in your art work and their placement
and composition symbolic of how you see
yourself?”
D2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 5, students will:
D2.1 interpret a variety of art works and identify
the feelings, issues, themes, and social concerns
that they convey (e.g., use an image round-table
technique to compare interpretations of emotions
suggested by abstract forms or figures in art work;
sort and classify a variety of art images, such as
Nigerian, Egyptian, Mayan, and Chinese sculptures, to determine common subjects or themes)
Teacher prompts: “When you look at how
Constantin Brancusi makes the human form
abstract in his sculptures, what do the shapes
remind you of?” “What different emotions
does the pose of this art work suggest to you?
If the figure in the art work could come to life,
what would it say to you?” “How is proportion
used to convey importance?”
Teacher prompts: “How does the use of colour
engage the viewer and help sell the product?
Which colour scheme do you think is most
effective in persuading the buyer, and why?”
“How does Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie
Woogie use colour, line, and shape to create an
impression of movement?” “How have artists
arranged shapes, lines, patterns, and colours
to create a sense of order and rhythm?” “How
do the details on the characters help the viewer
focus on and understand the story?”
D2.3 demonstrate an understanding of how to
read and interpret signs, symbols, and style in
art works (e.g., Carl Ray’s paintings use symbols
in the Woodland style of Aboriginal art to tell a
story; Picasso’s cubist portraits use stylistic features
from African masks; a tiger is used in Asian art to
signify bravery)
Teacher prompts: “Why are creatures such as
the thunderbird or eagle associated with the
idea of power and privilege in some art works?”
“In what ways are some of Picasso’s art works
inspired by African masks?” “How do Group
of Seven paintings show the influence of a
variety of modernist styles (Impressionism,
post-Impressionism, and art nouveau)?”
D2.4 identify and explain their strengths, their
interests, and areas for improvement as creators,
interpreters, and viewers of art (e.g., use of
appropriate terminology in talking about their
own art work; discussion of others’ ideas with
sensitivity and respect; provision of reasons for
their artistic choices in a diary entry in their art
journal or sketchbook)
By the end of Grade 5, students will:
D3.1 describe how forms and styles of visual and
media arts represent various messages and
contexts in the past and present (e.g., sculptural
monuments to honour people in the past such as
war veterans; promotion of ideas or products on
film, television, and the Internet in everyday life)
Teacher prompts: “What is the relationship
between form and purpose in this sculpture?”
“How do you know that an advertisement is
intended for you and your friends? What
elements of design are being used to attract
your attention to a product and make that
product desirable?”
D3.2 demonstrate an awareness of ways in which
visual arts reflect the beliefs and traditions of
a variety of peoples and of people in different
times and places (e.g., the use of contemporary
Aboriginal art to support cultural revitalization;
the use of images on ancient Greek vases to reflect
narratives of daily life, legends, and war; the
relationship between public art and its location;
exhibitions of the art of local artists in local
festivals; displays and exhibitions of art works
in galleries and museums)
Teacher prompts: “How does the work of
Baffin Island printmakers reflect ways in which
Inuit life has changed over time and how they
preserve stories?” “How is art a reflection of
personal, local, or cultural identity?” “Whose
voices or beliefs are not represented in this
exhibition?” “How can community groups
advocate for the arts?”
VISUAL ARTS
Teacher prompts: “Why is the medium you
have picked the best choice for your narrative
line drawing?” “How does the choice of media
D3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
GRADE 5
D2.2 explain how the elements and principles of
design are used in their own and others’ art
work to communicate meaning or understanding (e.g., packaging designs [cereal boxes, drink
packaging] that use complementary colours create
an impression different from that created by packages that use other colour schemes; Alexander
Calder’s mobiles and Piet Mondrian’s paintings
use colour, line, and geometric shape to create an
impression of movement; colour, line, and pattern
are used to convey a story in the illuminated
manuscript of the Ramayana)
and tools change how the same subject matter
is perceived?” “Do you think good art needs
to take a long time to make? Why or why not?”
“What did you find when you compared your
work with the ways in which different artists
have expressed ideas about themselves in
self-portraits (e.g., self-portraits by Vincent
Van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol)?”
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GRADE 6
A. DANCE
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 6
By the end of Grade 6, students will:
A1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to the composition of short
dance pieces, using the elements of dance to communicate feelings and ideas;
A2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of dance pieces
and experiences;
A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of dance forms,
traditions, and styles from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 6
Students in Grade 6 will develop or extend understanding of the following concepts through participation
in various dance experiences (e.g., communicating a variety of ideas through combined elements), with
particular emphasis on body, space, time, energy, and relationship.
ELEMENTS OF DANCE
• body: body awareness, use of body parts, body shapes, locomotor and non-locomotor movements, body
bases, symmetry versus asymmetry, geometric versus organic shape, curved versus angular shape
• space: pathways, directions, positive versus negative space, proximity of dancers to one another,
various group formations
• time: tempo, rhythm, pause, stillness, with music, without music, duration (e.g., short, long),
acceleration/deceleration
• energy: effort, force, quality (e.g., flick, fold, stab, poke, flow freely)
• relationship: dancers to props/objects (e.g., in front of, inside, over, around), meet/part, follow/lead,
emotional connections between dancers, groupings
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
122
A1. Creating and Presenting
By the end of Grade 6, students will:
A1.1 incorporate the use of props and materials
(e.g., fabric, chairs, hats, hula hoops, balls, sticks)
into dance pieces they create (e.g., use fabric as
a shawl or an extension of an arm gesture or the
movement of a ship’s sail; use a stretchy fabric
body bag to create abstract shapes; use an artefact
like a garbage can to explore rhythm and body
movement)
Teacher prompts: “When creating a dance, how
could you use chairs to explore relationship
(e.g., over, in front of, behind), shape, and
levels?” “How can you use the prop (e.g.,
streamer, fabric) as an extension of your
body to make shapes, pathways, and lines
to emphasize or extend movement?”
A1.2 use dance as a language to interpret and
depict central themes in literature (e.g., develop
a movement vocabulary that reinterprets themes
such as good versus evil or humans versus nature;
construct a dance that explores bravery in a legend
or peace in a poem)
Teacher prompts: “What types of shapes or
pathways would you use to communicate
frustration?” “How could you use level to
depict feelings of freedom or authority?”
A1.3 use guided improvisation in a variety of
ways as a starting point for choreography
(e.g., use exercises such as mirroring, flocking,
and body storming to create movement material
for choreography)
Teacher prompt: “How can a guided improvisation like flocking expand your movement
vocabulary?”
A1.4 combine the elements of dance in different
ways to communicate a variety of ideas
(e.g., combine a low level and a wavy pathway to
show evasion; use the sudden, quick, and indirect
movements of a dynamic orchestra conductor and
translate them into a whole body expression of
the music)
A2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 6, students will:
A2.1 construct personal interpretations of dance
pieces that depict stories, issues, and themes,
and explain their interpretations, using dance
terminology (e.g., write an opinion paragraph on
a recorded or live community dance performance
[Red Sky]; write a response journal entry on a
dance piece performed by peers about a social
issue [emotional or physical bullying, friendship,
safety, fairness, family, inclusion, equity])
Teacher prompts: “How do we know this dance
is about bullying? What elements helped make
the theme clear?” “What did this dance mean
to you? What themes or stories did you see
in it?”
A2.2 analyse, using dance vocabulary, how the
elements of dance are used in their own and
others’ dance pieces and explain how they help
communicate messages and ideas (e.g., pairing
free-flowing movements with slow music suggests
a dreamy mood; using low levels and quick, short
movements suggests busyness; using symmetry
and asymmetry conveys the idea of change or
transformation)
Teacher prompt: “What elements did the dancers
use to communicate joy/surprise? Were the
ideas clearly communicated through movement?
What does the dancing suggest that couldn’t
have been expressed in another way?”
Teacher prompts: “What skills do you need to
be a choreographer? How can you hone these
skills?” “How could you use a movement web
to generate more ideas for your next dance?”
A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 6, students will:
GRADE 6
Teacher prompts: “What elements could you
combine to show that you are on a dangerous
mission?” “What elements could you combine
to show that you are excited? Or bored?”
A2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths
and areas for growth as choreographers and
audience members (e.g., determine how their
preparations for a performance improved the
performance and what they might do differently
to strengthen future performances)
A3.1 describe, with teacher guidance, types of
dances used among Aboriginal peoples in the
past and the present that express aspects of
their cultural identity (e.g., war dances to express
prayers for victory and/or gratitude for success;
initiation dances to mark rites of passage; shamans’
dances to assist in physical or spiritual healing;
contemporary powwow dances for cultural
affirmation and/or revitalization)
Teacher prompt: “How would you describe the
regalia and dance styles of powwow dances?
How do these features help express the cultural
identity and heritage of the dancers?”
A3.2 identify and describe ways in which pop
culture and the media influence our awareness,
understanding, and appreciation of dance (e.g.,
by making us aware of different kinds of dance
and diverse uses of dance in society; by providing
male role models in dance and helping us view
dance as a way to have a healthy, active lifestyle)
Teacher prompts: “Do you watch popular TV
shows about dance? What influence do these
dance shows have on you?” “What are some
of the barriers and issues around popular
competitive dance shows?”
DANCE
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B. DRAMA
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 6
By the end of Grade 6, students will:
B1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to process drama and the
development of drama works, using the elements and conventions of drama to communicate feelings,
ideas, and multiple perspectives;
B2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of drama works and
experiences;
B3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of drama and
theatre forms, traditions, and styles from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical
contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 6
Students in Grade 6 will develop or extend understanding of the following concepts through participation
in various drama experiences.
ELEMENTS OF DRAMA
• role/character: considering in depth the inner and outer life in developing a character; differentiating
between authentic characters and stereotypes; using gestures and movement to convey character
• relationship: analysing and portraying how relationships influence character development/change
• time and place: establishing a clear setting; sustaining belief in the fictional setting
• tension: using sound, light, technology, and stage effects to heighten tension/suspense
• focus and emphasis: using drama conventions to reveal or communicate key emotions, motivations,
perspectives, and ideas to the audience
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
B1. Creating and Presenting
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By the end of Grade 6, students will:
B1.1 engage actively in drama exploration and
role play, with a focus on identifying and
examining a range of issues, themes, and ideas
from a variety of fiction and non-fiction sources
and diverse communities, times, and places
(e.g., adapt roles and develop improvised scenes
based on human rights issues and/or environmental issues such as species extinction; dramatize
opinions about cultural appropriation; role-play
historical characters; prepare a presentation
about peace for Remembrance Day; use choral
speaking and role playing to interpret poetry)
Teacher prompts: “What do you hope to learn
about this character through role playing?”
“What is the theme of our drama?” “How could
you use the drama conventions of hot seating
or voices in the head or thought tracking to
develop a deeper understanding of a character’s
intentions and motivations?”
B1.2 demonstrate an understanding of the element
of role by selectively using other elements
(e.g., time and place; relationship; tension) to
build belief in a role and establish its dramatic
context (e.g., develop a character in the context of
a courtroom drama: judge, lawyer, witness, juror,
the accused)
Teacher prompts: “What elements are critically
important to build belief in the drama?” “What
will the jury be doing when the accused person
enters?” “How will we know where and when
the action is taking place?” “How can tension
be created in this scene?” “What different
points of view will be represented by the
different roles?”
B1.3 plan and shape the direction of the drama or
role play by introducing new perspectives and
ideas, both in and out of role (e.g., In role: conduct
a “hot seat” interview with the protagonist or
antagonist; Out of role: make suggestions and
introduce new ideas when planning a drama
presentation)
B1.4 communicate feelings, thoughts, and ideas to
a specific audience, using audio, visual, and/or
technological aids to strengthen the impact on
the viewer (e.g., use a data projector to project
evocative imagery; use filters and gels to create
unusual effects with lighting; use music to suggest
a mood; use masks to highlight specific character
traits)
Teacher prompts: “What features of your mask
have you exaggerated to allow the audience to
see the character from a distance (e.g., heavy
brows, large nose, large eyes, jutting chin)?”
“How can you use a photograph or everyday
object from another historical period to communicate an aspect of that person/time/place?”
“What visual effect would emphasize what
this character is feeling on the inside?”
B2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths,
interests, and areas for improvement as drama
creators, performers, and audience members
(e.g., write a journal entry about a new strategy
they have learned; write a letter to a new student
about how to cope with stage fright; respond to
interview questions about their growth and
development; explain to the teacher how they
collaborated and contributed to the group work
of developing, planning, and designing a drama)
GRADE 6
Teacher prompts: Out of role: “What questions
might you ask when you go back into role to
help us understand the emotions and motivations the character has at this key moment?”
In role: “Why do you feel this way? What do
you really want to see happen?”
Teacher prompts: “How was symbolism used in
this scene? How effectively did it help create a
particular mood?” “Why was it important for the
actor to stop in mid-sentence while speaking?”
Teacher prompts: “What advice about (topic X)
would you give a student who is new to drama?”
“What are some important skills people need to
work in drama?” “Describe your own strengths
in drama.” “How did you give/receive constructive feedback on ways in which space,
gesture, and voice are used to communicate
within a drama work? Was the feedback used
to refine the drama work?” “What ideas did you
submit to individual and collective decisions to
develop the drama?” “How did you show a
commitment to maintaining your role?”
B3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 6, students will:
B2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 6, students will:
B2.1 express personal responses and preferences
and make connections to themes and issues
presented in their own and others’ drama works
(e.g., describe their response to the attitudes and
beliefs of specific characters in a drama)
Teacher prompts: “How did this drama/play
make you feel? Of what does it remind you?”
“What did you like/dislike about this play?
Why?” “Select one moment that you would like
to revisit to change. How would you change it?”
“Identify a moment in your drama when you
felt fully in role.”
Teacher prompt: “Different communities have
different versions of this shared story. What
elements are the same in many versions? What
elements are different? How might we explain
some of the similarities and differences?”
B3.2 identify and describe key contributions
drama and theatre make to the community
(e.g., provide opportunities for self-expression
and creativity to both amateurs and professionals;
provide employment for a wide variety of workers;
encourage tourism; promote strengthening and
healing in Aboriginal communities)
Teacher prompts: “What careers related to
theatre do not involve acting?” “In what ways
can drama and theatre help build community?”
DRAMA
B2.2 identify a favourite scene and give reasons
for their preference, using correct drama
terminology to describe how the elements of
drama contribute to its effectiveness (e.g., explain
what elements made the final confrontation
between the hero and the villain exciting to
perform or watch)
B3.1 demonstrate an understanding of some
drama and theatre themes and traditions from
a variety of times, communities, and places
(e.g., Aboriginal communities: storytelling
forms – the Seven Grandfather teachings, Haida
tales, Medicine Wheel stories; theatre forms –
Red Sky Performance Theatre, De-ba-jeh-mu-jig
Theatre)
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C. MUSIC
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 6
By the end of Grade 6, students will:
C1. Creating and Performing: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to create and perform music
for a variety of purposes, using the elements and techniques of music;
C2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of music and musical
experiences;
C3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of musical genres
and styles from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 6
In Grade 6, students will build on their knowledge of the elements of music and related musical concepts
that were introduced in Grades 1 to 5. Students will develop understanding of musical concepts through
participation in musical experiences that involve listening, moving, creating, and performing (vocal and/or
instrumental music).
ELEMENTS OF MUSIC
• duration: 98 metre (oral count, with primary emphasis on “one” and secondary emphasis on “two”
and “three”: “one-and-a-two-and-a-three-and-a”) and other compound metres (e.g., 64 ); 54 metre;
pick-up note(s) (anacrusis); triplets; common Italian tempo marks (e.g., allegro, adagio) and others
encountered in the repertoire performed
• pitch: ledger lines above or below the staff; major, minor, and perfect intervals (e.g. major third,
perfect fifth)
• dynamics and other expressive controls: those encountered in repertoire (e.g., very soft [pianissimo – pp],
very loud [fortissimo – ff ], slurs)
• timbre: electronic sounds; Orff ensemble (xylophone, recorder, pitched and non-pitched percussion);
other ensemble sonorities (drum line, choir, guitar, marching band)
• texture/harmony: layering of electronic sounds, chord progressions using I, IV, and V
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
• form: theme and variations; repeats (e.g., first and second endings)
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SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
C1. Creating and Performing
By the end of Grade 6, students will:
C1.1 sing and/or play, in tune, from musical
notation, unison music and music in two or
more parts from a wide variety of cultures,
styles, and historical periods (e.g., perform
three- and four-part rounds by Canadian choral
composers; perform pieces for Orff ensemble using
recorder and pitched and non-pitched percussion;
perform pieces, using technology to provide the
accompaniment)
Teacher prompts: “What are some ways we
can use body percussion to create a four-part
round?” “What would be an effective ostinato
to support your melody?”
C1.2 apply the elements of music when singing
and/or playing, composing, and arranging
music to create a specific effect (e.g., compose
a piece in the theme and variations form, using
a well-known song for the theme to engage the
listener; change the metre of a familiar eight-bar
melody and describe the effect of the change; remove
tone bars on a xylophone to create a pentatonic
tonality, and then improvise a pentatonic response
on the xylophone to a call played on a recorder)
Teacher prompts: “How will you change your
theme to create a set of variations?” “What
effect will changing the metre of ’Frère Jacques’
have on the music?” “Explain why your composition should (or should not) include an
introduction or coda.”
Teacher prompts: “What do the lines in the
painting tell you about the direction the pitches
should move in?” “How could the rhythm of the
syllables in your name be used as the rhythmic
base for your composition?” “What is the
purpose of selecting specific timbres in your
accompaniment of a First Nation legend?”
C1.4 use the tools and techniques of musicianship
in musical performances (e.g., conduct pieces in
duple and triple metres, listen for balance and blend
when singing and/or playing, interpret musical
markings and Italian terms during performance)
Teacher prompt: “What are the musical characteristics that you intend to demonstrate in your
performance? How will you demonstrate them?”
C1.5 demonstrate an understanding of standard
and other types of musical notation through
performance and composition (e.g., perform
music that includes ledger lines, triplets, simple
and compound metres; use original graphic or
symbolic systems to represent vocal and instrumental sounds and musical ideas)
Teacher prompts: “What are the steps you
need to follow in order to read and interpret
this music?” “What are the similarities and
differences between this devised notation
system and standard notation?”
C2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 6, students will:
Teacher prompts: “What do you think is the
mood of this piece and how is it created?”
Teacher prompts: “How would you describe the
rhythm?” “What are the primary instruments
used by the composer?” “How is the music
organized?”
C2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths
and areas for improvement as composers,
musical performers, interpreters, and audience
members (e.g., reflect on their first draft of an
original composition and incorporate suggestions
from their peers into their final piece)
Teacher prompts: “What type of behaviour
would you expect from your audience if you
were playing a solo for the class?” “How can
you improve your performance next time?”
C3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 6, students will:
C3.1 identify and describe ways in which awareness or appreciation of music is affected by
culture and the media (e.g., people attend
concerts of music that they know and like or have
found out about through the media; people can
be influenced to buy products that are advertised
with music that they relate to)
Teacher prompts: “What style of music – for
example orchestral, jazz, pop, rock, funk, rap,
or hip hop – would you use to advertise a new
video game? Why?” “Explain the appeal of
using rap music to address issues of oppression
and identity among Aboriginal youth.”
C3.2 compare some aspects of the music of one
culture and/or historical period with aspects of
the music of another culture and/or historical
period (e.g., compare selected characteristics of
music from the baroque and classical periods, using
a Venn diagram; write a review of music from
another society, comparing the music of that society
with the music with which they are familiar)
Teacher prompts: “In what ways is popular
music from other cultures different from or
similar to North American popular music?”
“Which elements of music seem to be common
in all cultures?”
MUSIC
C2.1 express detailed personal responses to
musical performances in a variety of ways
(e.g., write a critical review of a live or recorded
performance; write analyses of works they have
listened to in a log or journal; create a drawing
or graphic representation of their initial reaction
to a song)
C2.2 identify the elements of music in the repertoire they perform, listen to, and create, and
describe how they are used (e.g., describe the way
in which dotted rhythms, the sound quality of
brass instruments, higher pitches, loud dynamics,
and accented articulation combine to suggest
music that introduces royalty)
GRADE 6
C1.3 create musical compositions for specific
purposes and audiences (e.g., write a melodic
composition reflecting a piece of art of their own
or by another, such as Norval Morrisseau or Emily
Carr; create a rhythmic composition using nonpitched percussion to accompany a First Nation
legend, story, or poem; with a partner, compose a
song to promote Canada to the rest of the world)
“Using musical terms, how would you describe
the overall form and effect of the music?”
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D. VISUAL ARTS
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 6
By the end of Grade 6, students will:
D1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to produce art works in a
variety of traditional two- and three-dimensional forms, as well as multimedia art works, that
communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings, using elements, principles, and techniques
of visual arts as well as current media technologies;
D2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of art works and art
experiences;
D3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of art forms,
styles, and techniques from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 6
In addition to the concepts introduced in Grades 1 to 5, students in Grade 6 will develop understanding of
the following concepts through participation in a variety of hands-on, open-ended visual arts experiences.
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN
Students will develop understanding of all elements of design.
• line: lines that direct the viewer’s attention; lines that create the illusion of force or movement
(e.g., wavy and wiggly lines used in op art); contour drawings of objects that are not easily recognizable
(e.g., crumpled paper)
• shape and form: exaggerated proportions, motifs, fonts; geometric (e.g., conical, pyramidal) shapes
and forms
• space: centre of interest (focal point) and one-point perspective; basic facial proportions; horizontal
and vertical symmetry
• colour: the colour wheel; tertiary colours; colour for expressive purposes; colour for creating naturalistic
images
• texture: textures created with a variety of tools, materials, and techniques (e.g., gouged marks in a
softoleum print)
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
• value: shading that suggests volume; gradation
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PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN
Students will develop understanding of all principles of design (that is, contrast, repetition and rhythm,
variety, emphasis, proportion, balance, unity and harmony, and movement), but the focus in Grade 6 will
be on balance.
• balance: arrangement of the elements of design to create the impression of equality in weight or
importance (e.g., a formal or symmetrical arrangement produced through distribution of shapes; an
informal or asymmetrical arrangement produced through use of colour); colour concepts to be used in
creating balance (e.g., light or neutral colours appear lighter in “weight” than dark or brilliant colours;
warm colours seem to expand, cool colours seem to contract; transparent areas seem to “weigh” less
than opaque areas)
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
D1. Creating and Presenting
By the end of Grade 6, students will:
Teacher prompts: “How does the music make
you feel? Now, close your eyes and try to see
the music. How does what you hear, feel, and
see (e.g., an abstract painting by Wassily
Kandinsky) influence what you create?” “How
will you convey the movement of the dancer
in your sculpture?” “How will you edit the
text and images in your art work to capture
the viewer’s attention and convey your ideas?”
“How can you compose your image to represent a particular point of view?”
D1.2 demonstrate an understanding of composition, using selected principles of design to create
narrative art works or art works on a theme or
topic (e.g., use a larger area of a lighter tint and
a smaller area of a darker tone of one colour in an
asymmetrically balanced painting; use repetition,
simplification, and exaggeration of proportion and
shape to create a sense of rhythm in a graphiteand-pastel drawing of musical instruments and
their shadows)
Teacher prompts: “How have you used line
and the repetition of shape and colour to create
a sense of rhythm and the illusion of movement?
What else could you repeat to create rhythm?”
“How can you use small areas of brilliant, warm
colour to visually balance large areas of either
neutral or cool colours?”
D1.3 use elements of design in art works to communicate ideas, messages, and understandings
(e.g., a design of a letter of the alphabet using
shapes, symbols, colour, and font style to represent
a selected animal and its habitat; a DVD cover
design or movie poster that uses line, shape, space,
colour, and value to communicate information
about the content)
• drawing: use charcoal to create a shaded drawing of the exaggerated details of a face, a figure,
or natural objects [e.g., shells, pods] on earthtoned papers [e.g., tan construction paper]
• mixed media: create a collage that uses a limited
colour palette by cutting, pasting, and layering
to combine images, symbols, textured papers,
and text about consumerism or cultural pride
• painting: use a variety of paint techniques
[e.g., blending, scumbling, glazing] in a mural
of a landscape or cityscape incorporating stylistic elements from contemporary pop culture
• printmaking: cut and gouge a variety of lines
and marks to enhance the background and
negative spaces in a softoleum, linoleum, or block
print that depicts an endangered animal species
• sculpture: create an assemblage on a topic or
theme, using found objects that are painted or
otherwise unified through colour, in the style
of a sculpture by Louise Nevelson
• technology: create a digital photo montage that
represents aspects of environmentalism)
Teacher prompts: “How can you arrange
photographs to create balance and harmony
in your collage or montage?” “How can you
manipulate the relationship of shape or form
in your collage by gluing some paper flat and
some in relief?”
D2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 6, students will:
D2.1 interpret a variety of art works and identify
the feelings, issues, themes, and social concerns
that they convey (e.g., describe Ted Harrison’s use
of line, colour, brushstrokes, and rhythm to create
a feeling of movement and excitement; compare
the themes and the emotions conveyed in selected
Western animations and in Japanese animations
such as those by Hayao Miyazaki)
Teacher prompts: “How does the artist convey
a particular emotion through this art work?”
“How does each comic style use facial expression, body language, and colour to express
VISUAL ARTS
Teacher prompts: “How can colour be used in
your letter design to separate your letter shape
from the background?” “What images will you
select and will they symbolize something in
your design?” “How would you change the
D1.4 use a variety of materials, tools, techniques,
and technologies to determine solutions to
design challenges (e.g.,
GRADE 6
D1.1 create two-dimensional, three-dimensional,
and multimedia art works that explore feelings,
ideas, and issues from a variety of points of
view (e.g., art work inspired by the motifs in other
art forms [dance, music] or by hopes and dreams;
a mixed-media piece or one-minute video “short”
about adaptation and survival; a still-life painting
that offers a social commentary on fast-food
packaging)
images and colours in your poster to appeal to
younger students?” “What is the message of
your work, and how has it been conveyed to
the audience?”
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GRADE 6
emotion? How have current media technologies
influenced the expression of ideas in animations
and comics?”
D2.2 explain how the elements and principles of
design are used in their own and others’ art work
to communicate meaning or understanding
(e.g., identify the point of view or gaze of the main
subject, and explain how it is used to influence an
intended audience of an art work or a media work;
explain how Kenojuak Ashevak’s use of formal
balance (symmetry) in The World Around Me
conveys a sense of harmony in nature; explain
how a rough texture can be used to represent
strength, anger, or something unpleasant)
Teacher prompts: “How could you show the
same message in another art form, such as a
sculpture, a digital medium, or a painting?”
“How does Bill Reid’s The Raven and the
First Men depict the relationship of form to
its surroundings through the use of positive
and negative space?”
D2.3 demonstrate an understanding of how to
read and interpret signs, symbols, and style in
art works (e.g., symbolism for sending messages
and telling stories in Egyptian hieroglyphs, Agawa
rock paintings, or graffiti art; symbols on currency
or in advertisements that have specific national
or other connotations; meanings associated with
colour in different cultures [white dresses symbolize purity in Western culture but mourning and
death in some Asian cultures])
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Teacher prompts: “What are some of the
feelings and ideas associated with Canadian
symbols (e.g., maple leaf, beaver), and what
are some of the things that they say about us
as a nation?” “What assumptions do you make
about a product when its advertisement shows
a man and woman holding hands? How can
designers change the image to manipulate
those assumptions?”
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D2.4 identify and explain their strengths, their
interests, and areas for improvement as creators,
interpreters, and viewers of art (e.g., reflect on
challenges and successes in the form of an artist’s
statement; maintain a sketchbook or collection of
ideas and images for art works; do peer reviews of
each other’s art works, using a checklist of criteria
created by the class to help them identify areas
that need revision, and provide suggestions)
Teacher prompts: “How did you adapt these
new ideas, situations, media, materials,
processes, or technologies to help you convey
your ideas?” “How did you use imagination,
observation, and the study of other art works
to help you develop your ideas?” “How did
you negotiate designs with other members of
the group and agree on the techniques, ideas,
and composition you used?” “How did you
approach the challenges you faced in making
sure your sculpture was interesting to look at
from more than one side? What would you do
differently next time?”
D3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 6, students will:
D3.1 identify and describe some of the ways in
which art forms and styles reflect the beliefs
and traditions of a variety of communities,
times, and places (e.g., art can represent ways
in which people view their personal identity;
contemporary Aboriginal artists use their artistic
traditions to comment on identity, society, and the
world; art can be a record of human experience;
differences in style among different artists can
be associated with a specific reason, intent, or
motivation)
Teacher prompts: “How do contemporary
artists use the influences of various global
and/or historical art forms to explore ideas
and themes that have personal relevance?”
“How does Jane Ash Poitras’ combining of
autobiographical elements, traditional Cree
iconography, text, photographs, newspaper
clippings, and painted elements address ideas
about identity and acculturation?” “Describe
some of the differences and similarities between
the depictions of men and the depictions of
women in historical and contemporary art
works.”
D3.2 demonstrate an understanding of key
contributions and functions of visual and
media arts in various contexts at both the
local and the national levels (e.g., community
art schools or programs provide opportunities
for creative expression and instruction by and for
both amateurs and professionals; a wide variety
of workers are employed by arts industries such as
advertising, design, movie making, and broadcast
media; artists contribute to Canada’s economy by
providing both goods and services)
Teacher prompts: “In what ways do the visual
arts contribute to the economies of urban and
rural communities?” “In what ways are the
visual arts involved in international trade?”
“What are the various professions or careers
that have a basis in visual arts, and what
education is required? How can we find out
more about these careers?”
OVERVIEW OF
GRADES 7 AND 8
The expectations for Grades 7 and 8 focus on the consolidation of students’ knowledge,
skills, and strategies in the arts and their ability to use the arts independently and
effectively to enhance their learning in school and to communicate feelings and ideas
about their multicultural, multimedia world. It continues to be important at this level
to differentiate instruction to address students’ individual needs.
During the primary and junior years, students have acquired essential knowledge about
forms and conventions in the various arts. They have also developed the ability to reflect
on, monitor, and take steps to improve their arts knowledge and skills in all strands.
The expectations for Grades 7 and 8 build upon this foundation. Intermediate students
consolidate and apply their arts knowledge, skills, and strategies across the curriculum
in order to learn in all subject areas as the content becomes increasingly challenging.
Teachers in the intermediate division should explicitly teach and model the use of arts
knowledge, skills, and strategies across all subject areas. Explicit teaching and modelling
help students to identify the skills and strategies they need in order to become proficient
creators, viewers, and interpreters of art works in a variety of contexts and to move
towards achievement of the expectations. Students require multiple, diverse opportunities
to practise independently and demonstrate their achievement of the learning expectations.
The expectations encourage students to explore issues related to personal identity and
community concerns as they interact with increasingly complex and/or challenging
media; to critically analyse and evaluate perspectives in works of dance, drama, music,
and visual art; to use inquiry and research skills to extend their interpretive and creative
abilities; and to use the arts to explore and comment on topics of relevance that matter in
their daily lives. Issues of social justice are often highly engaging for students at this age.
Exploration and communication of multiple perspectives and points of view should be
emphasized.
The arts curriculum for Grades 7 and 8 is designed to engage students in tasks that they
see as meaningful and motivate them to learn about and create art works out of interest
as well as to meet curriculum expectations. In addition to the materials provided for
instruction, students should have access to a wide range of themes, materials, and
activities that are relevant to their personal experiences and interests as creators, artists,
and critically literate viewers. All topics and activities chosen for instruction should
invite interaction, inquiry, creative exploration, and critical analysis, and should promote
antidiscrimination education. All students, especially young adolescents, need to see
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themselves in the material they encounter. They need to be able to choose independently
to interact with content that has personal relevance in their day-to-day lives, including
material that deals with issues related to fairness, equity, and social justice.
Dance
In Grades 7 and 8, students refine their kinesthetic awareness and use all of the elements
of dance (body, space, time, energy, relationship) to create dance works that express a point
of view about a variety of issues, concepts, and themes. Students at the intermediate level
should be able to select a form of choreography appropriate to their theme and combine
all the elements of dance effectively to communicate meaning. They should also be able
to use technology and/or props to enhance the message of their dance pieces. Students
apply their knowledge of dance; reflect on their strengths and next steps as dancers,
choreographers, and audience members; and think critically about the role of dance in
the media and in their lives. Students also demonstrate an increased understanding of
the role of dance in various cultures, societies, and historical periods and refine their
ability to evaluate the quality of performances by writing critiques of their own and
others’ work and reviewing dance performances.
Drama
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Students in Grades 7 and 8 continue to focus on role play and the development of
believable characters as foundational components of both process drama and theatre
performance. In addition to role/character, they incorporate the elements of relationship,
time and place, tension, focus, and emphasis in drama works they create, and apply
their knowledge of the elements in analysing drama works. At this level, an issues-based
focus encourages students to deepen their capacity for empathy and for critical analysis
of issues. Because drama is a highly social art form, teaching, modelling, and guidance
in the development of effective group skills are essential.
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In partners, small groups, and whole-class formats, students create drama using a variety
of forms, techniques, and conventions. Students continue to use the drama forms and
conventions learned in the primary and junior grades to explore more complex material,
while also broadening their knowledge of forms and conventions to include improvisation, devised scenes, collaborative play building, interpreting and performing scripts,
reader’s theatre, and docudrama. Students should also have opportunities to create,
reflect, and analyse independently in a variety of ways (e.g., through writing in role,
monologue writing and performance, journal reflections, visual representation). Through
frequent, well-structured opportunities to discuss, speculate about, reflect on, critique,
and comment on their own and others’ drama work, they broaden and deepen their
understanding and appreciation of drama as an art form. They strengthen their understanding of the function of drama in society and the roles and responsibilities of different
theatre professionals. They also refine their ability to evaluate the quality of performances
by writing critiques of their own and others’ work and reviewing theatrical performances.
Music
The acquisition of musical knowledge and skills is cumulative and sequential, based
on the learning from earlier grades. In Grades 7 and 8, students consolidate their prior
music learning through a variety of opportunities for listening, performing, and creating.
In Grade 7, students apply their knowledge of music, reflect on their strengths, and
determine next steps when creating and interpreting music. They analyse the role of
music in their lives and the ways in which music has changed in response to a variety
of historical, cultural, and other influences. In Grade 8, students perform in a variety
of ensembles and use musical knowledge, musicianship, and creative abilities to create
musical works for specific purposes. They develop their own learning profile and apply
this knowledge to their work in the music classroom. Students in both grades should
have opportunities to solve musical problems in groups and individually, and should
demonstrate the ability to use logical arguments to support analyses and judgements of
their own and others’ musical efforts, while showing respect for the opinions and efforts
of others.
Visual Arts
In Grades 7 and 8, students’ own art making becomes infused with a variety of images
and approaches. They are very aware of elements from popular culture and eager to
incorporate them into their art. Students continue to make compositional decisions and
to use a variety of materials and techniques to generate and produce two- and threedimensional works of art, as well as multimedia forms. Through creative activities,
students continue their process of exploration, discovery, and learning in the visual arts
and broaden their knowledge and appreciation of the field. The transition to Grade 8
brings an increased emphasis on students’ development of technical competence and a
distinctive personal style.
The study of art in its historical and cultural contexts gives students insight into the
visual arts both as a record of human achievement and as inspiration for their own
creation of art. It is important to encourage students to view and respond to works
from both the past and present and to support their growing understanding that artists
are concerned with issues that are relevant to their own lives and societies. Students in
both grades should have opportunities to investigate art works that represent a variety
of historical periods, cultures, and styles. As they consider a variety of art works in
historical perspective, students ask more refined and probing questions and gain a
clearer understanding of what they themselves value. Recognizing artistic practices
that resonate with their own personal and creative concerns can motivate students to
think more deeply about their own art-making process. As students examine, analyse,
and discuss art works, they become more confident and skilled in expressing informed
opinions about and preferences for specific works. They also become aware that others’
preferences may differ from their own and that multiple artistic solutions and interpretations are possible and acceptable.
OVERVIEW OF GRADES 7 AND 8
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GRADE 6
GRADE 7
A. DANCE
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 7
By the end of Grade 7, students will:
A1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to the composition of a variety
of dance pieces, using the elements of dance to communicate feelings and ideas;
A2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of dance pieces
and experiences;
A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of dance forms,
traditions, and styles from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 7
Students in Grade 7 will develop or extend understanding of the following concepts through participation
in various dance experiences (e.g., using elements and choreographic forms to communicate themes
and moods).
ELEMENTS OF DANCE
• body: body awareness, use of body parts, body shapes, locomotor and non-locomotor movements,
body bases, symmetry versus asymmetry, geometric versus organic shape, angular versus curved
shape, isolation of body parts (e.g., moving just the shoulder when the rest of the body is still),
weight transfer (e.g., lunge, leap, roll)
• space: levels, pathways, directions, positive versus negative space, proximity of dancers to one another,
various group formations, performance space (e.g., confined, large)
• time: pause, freeze, with music, without music, duration, rhythm, tempo, acceleration/deceleration
• energy: effort, force, quality, inaction versus action, percussion, fluidity (e.g., wring, dab, mould,
flow, bind)
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
• relationship: dancers to objects, opposition, groupings (e.g., large and small groups), meet/part,
follow/lead, emotional connections between dancers, groupings
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SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
A1. Creating and Presenting
By the end of Grade 7, students will:
A1.1 create dance pieces to represent or respond
to specific rhythms and pieces of music (e.g.,
use the body, body parts, and the floor [stamping,
stepping, body slapping] to replicate the rhythms
in the music; transform a music imaging exercise
into a dance interpretation)
Teacher prompt: “While listening to this piece
of music, record on paper words, pictures, and
shapes that come to mind and think of how
you can translate these abstract images into
movement.”
A1.2 use dance as a language to communicate
ideas from their own writing or media works
(e.g., create a dance piece inspired by a studentauthored poem about relationships with the natural
world or by a student media work about divorce
or loss)
Teacher prompts: “What are some images from
your poem that you could represent in dance?
How would you do so?” “What elements of
dance (e.g., movements, levels, pathways)
would best communicate the different
perspectives presented in your writing
or media presentation?”
A1.3 use theme and variations in a variety of
ways when creating dance pieces (e.g., create a
simple movement phrase [theme] and then repeat
it in modified form [variation] using choreographic
manipulations [retrograding the original phrase,
facing another dancer, adding more dancers])
A1.4 use the elements of dance and choreographic
forms (e.g., pattern forms, narrative forms) to
communicate a variety of themes or moods
(e.g., use entrances or exits to communicate
beginnings or endings; use a recurring sequence
of movements to signal a particular mood or
character; use canon form for emphasis)
Teacher prompt: “What message could be conveyed by a repeated pattern? What message
might be conveyed when you interrupt a
repeated pattern?”
A2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths
and areas for growth as dance creators, interpreters, and audience members (e.g., share with
a partner what they did well during a performance,
using dance vocabulary; use a concept map to
explain their choice of dance movements)
Teacher prompts: “When creating dance pieces,
do you prefer to translate literature into dance
or to use themes and ideas of your own? Why?”
“As an audience member, what do you look
for to help you understand what is being said?
The dancers’ body actions, perhaps? What other
elements? Do you think your interpretations
are usually accurate? Can you give an example
when you showed particularly good understanding of the dancers’ message?”
GRADE 7
Teacher prompts: “What new manipulation
that we haven’t explored yet could you use
to create another variation on the original
phrase (theme)?” “Can we use the same set
of movements to show bullying from the
perspective of a variety of people? How will
the movements have to change to show the
different perspectives? Show me.”
Teacher prompts: “How did the use of the
canon form emphasize the message of the
dance piece?” “How did the fact that the
dancers performed in theatre in the round
help reinforce their message of confinement?”
A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 7, students will:
A2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 7, students will:
A2.1 construct personal interpretations of the
messages in their own and others’ dance pieces,
including messages about issues relevant to
their community and/or the world (e.g., dance
pieces on topics such as urban sprawl, land
claims, poverty, homophobia, homelessness),
and communicate their responses in a variety
of ways (e.g., through writing, class discussion,
oral reports, song, drama, visual art)
Teacher prompt: “What statement did the
dance we just watched make about global
warming? Do you agree or disagree with the
message the dance conveyed? Why? Was the
message effectively conveyed?”
A2.2 analyse, using dance vocabulary, their own
and others’ dance pieces to identify the elements
of dance and the choreographic forms used in
them and explain how they help communicate
meaning (e.g., use of crouching shapes low to the
ground and bound energy communicates the idea
of confined space; use of site-specific locations
[outdoor playground] to structure a dance communicates the idea of connection to the environment)
A3.1 describe the evolution of dance and
performance as different groups of people
have responded to external factors such as
migration, a new environment, and/or contact
with other groups or cultures (e.g., the evolution
of Maritime Acadian folk dances into Louisiana
Cajun dances such as fais do do and the Mardi
Gras dance Krewes; the origins and development
of French and Scottish jigs; the evolution of the
Métis jig out of imitations of wildlife movements
[prairie wild birds] and the intricate footwork of
Native dancing and European jigs)
Teacher prompt: “How did the dances of
the Acadians evolve when they were forced
to immigrate to Louisiana? What factors
influenced this evolution?”
A3.2 identify ways in which dance and its
depictions in the media may influence a
person’s character development and sense of
identity (e.g., by influencing young people’s sense
of themselves and their bodies; by providing dance
role models who represent or promote particular
lifestyles, values, and attitudes)
DANCE
Teacher prompts: “How has the way the media
depict dance influenced the way you feel about
your own dancing?” “How has dance in the
media influenced your body image?” “Are the
traditional dances of your community shown
in the media? Do the media depictions give an
accurate idea of the dances of your community
as you experience them?”
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B. DRAMA
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 7
By the end of Grade 7, students will:
B1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to process drama and the
development of drama works, using the elements and conventions of drama to communicate
feelings, ideas, and multiple perspectives;
B2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of drama works and
experiences;
B3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of drama and
theatre forms, traditions, and styles from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical
contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 7
Students in Grade 7 will develop or extend understanding of the following concepts through participation
in various drama experiences.
ELEMENTS OF DRAMA
• role/character: considering motivations of historical and fictional characters; considering various facets
of multidimensional characters; revealing character through the use of props and movement/blocking;
maintaining commitment to role
• relationship: developing and analysing multidimensional relationships in the drama
• time and place: improvising with/adapting available materials to establish setting; using blocking
(e.g., when and where to move) and stage areas (e.g., upstage right, downstage centre) in planning
and performance
• tension: using sound, lighting, technology, and stage effects to heighten tension; using foreshadowing
to create suspense
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
• focus and emphasis: using a range of devices and effects to highlight specific aspects of the performance
for the audience
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SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
B1. Creating and Presenting
By the end of Grade 7, students will:
B1.1 engage actively in drama exploration and
role play, with a focus on examining multiple
perspectives related to current issues, themes,
and relationships from a wide variety of
sources and diverse communities (e.g., identify
significant perspectives related to an issue such as
peer pressure, treaty rights, or cultural identity,
and assume roles to express the different perspectives; use prepared improvisation to communicate
insights about life events and relationships; use
thought tracking and symbolic artefacts to present
a persona associated with a past historical event)
Teacher prompt: “What drama conventions
(e.g., mime, overheard conversation, a day in
the life) could you use to inform the audience
about the events leading up to the issue? What
roles should be adopted to represent the range
of perspectives related to the key themes of our
drama (e.g., differing world views of Europeans
and Aboriginal people at the time of contact)?”
B1.2 demonstrate an understanding of the
elements of drama by selecting and combining
several elements and conventions to create
dramatic effects (e.g., develop a drama presentation
incorporating a series of tableaux, a group soundscape, a movement piece, and a rap/song)
Teacher prompts: “Which convention will you
use to begin the piece? End the piece?” “What
roles could be introduced to explore the relationships in more detail?”
Teacher prompts: “How could you use the
conventions of flashback and flash forward to
examine turning points and major decisions in
your drama piece?” “How might you physically
represent the different emotions experienced
by different characters in the drama?”
B1.4 communicate feelings, thoughts, and abstract
ideas through drama works, using audio, visual,
and/or technological aids to heighten the
dramatic experience (e.g., use music to create
mood; use video and drums/noisemakers to signal
the climax; use a digital slide presentation to create
a backdrop of words or images; use costumes, props,
fabric to establish character and/or setting)
Teacher prompts: “What is different when we
develop a drama for a recording studio versus
the classroom, a street or mall performance, or
an arts night performance?” “How could you
use sound technology to help listeners visualize the action of a radio drama?” “How could
you use lighting and projection technology to
enhance the setting for your stage production?”
“What images could you project that would
provide a clarifying contrast to the action on
the stage?”
B2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 7, students will:
B2.1 construct personal interpretations of drama
works, connecting drama issues and themes
to their own and others’ ideas, feelings, and
experiences (e.g., use a series of tableaux or
freeze-frame images of key moments in a drama to
show which moments had the greatest impact on
them; write in role about an environmental issue,
Teacher prompt: “This drama presented one side
of an environmental issue. Whose perspective
is missing? Why do you think it has been left
out? How do you feel about that? What words
might you give to this voice?”
B2.2 analyse and describe, using drama terminology, how drama elements are used to communicate meaning in a variety of drama works and
shared drama experiences (e.g., compare and
contrast how the director of a play and the director
of a film might use body positioning and sound to
communicate a character’s feelings to the audience)
GRADE 7
B1.3 plan and shape the direction of the drama
by working with others, both in and out of role,
to generate ideas and explore multiple perspectives (e.g., In role: use thought tracking or writing
in role to explore the feelings and motivations of
a character; introduce a new perspective during
role play to foster a sense of empathy with the
character; Out of role: use a place mat activity
to select ideas that group members agree upon;
use invented notation to explain the movement
of the character)
first from the point of view of an audience member
and then from the point of view of an animal
whose habitat is threatened)
Teacher prompts: “How do the elements work
together to convey a message?” “Do you think
the central character’s intentions are clearly
communicated? What evidence can you give
to support your point of view?” “In what ways
did (drama convention X) help establish the
context of the drama?”
B2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths,
interests, and areas for improvement as drama
creators, performers, and audience members
(e.g., create a chart listing strengths and areas for
improvement; highlight an area to work on in
their next drama production; write a report on
their learning in drama for a school newsletter)
Teacher prompts: “What aspects of drama do
you enjoy most?” “What skills are you most
proud of?” “Can you identify one skill that
you feel you need to practise?” “In what ways
did you contribute to the group’s collaborative
drama?”
B3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 7, students will:
B3.1 compare and contrast how social values are
communicated in several different drama forms
and/or styles of live theatre from different
times and places (e.g., how views of colonistAboriginal relationships differ in plays from earlier
times versus contemporary plays; how themes of
loyalty to family and/or country are treated in
comic forms versus serious drama forms)
Teacher prompt: “How have some theatre
productions changed as they are reinterpreted
by performers in different times and places?
What do you think the changes tell us about
the societies that produced them?”
DRAMA
139
B3.2 identify and describe several ways in which
drama and theatre (e.g., street festivals, film
festivals, theatre festivals, local theatre groups)
contribute to contemporary social, economic,
and cultural life (e.g., attract tourists; provide jobs;
provide entertainment; promote cultural understanding; raise people’s awareness of social issues)
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
GRADE 7
Teacher prompts: “Why is it beneficial to have
local theatre groups in our community?” “What
140
theatre jobs require performance skills?” “If you
interviewed people involved in drama or theatre
in the community (e.g., actors, directors, theatre
group members, playwrights, designers), what
could you ask them about the value they place
on theatre as part of their own lives and the life
of the community?” “What value do you think
your work in drama has in your own life? In
the life of the community?”
C. MUSIC
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
By the end of Grade 7, students will:
C2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of music and musical
experiences;
GRADE 7
C1. Creating and Performing: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to create and perform music
for a variety of purposes, using the elements and techniques of music;
C3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of musical genres
and styles from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 7
In Grade 7, students will build on their knowledge of the elements of music and related musical concepts
that were introduced in Grades 1 to 6. Students will develop understanding of musical concepts through
participation in musical experiences that involve listening, moving, creating, and performing (vocal and/or
instrumental music).
ELEMENTS OF MUSIC
• duration: tempo markings (e.g., allegro, vivace, largo), rhythms in the repertoire they play and/or sing
• pitch: blues scale, grand staff, keys encountered in the repertoire they perform
• dynamics and other expressive controls: articulation and expression marks encountered in the repertoire
they perform (e.g., marcato, maestoso)
• timbre: tone colour of complex ensembles (e.g., jazz, gamelan, choral, orchestral)
• texture/harmony: major and minor triads
• form: 12-bar blues
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
C1. Creating and Performing
By the end of Grade 7, students will:
C1.1 sing and/or play, in tune, from musical
notation, unison music and music in two or
more parts from diverse cultures, styles, and
historical periods (e.g., perform selections from a
method book, student compositions, instrumental
scores, ensemble repertoire, African drum rhythms,
choral repertoire, jazz charts, spirituals, steel band
music)
Teacher prompt: “How long are the phrases
in this example? What will you need to do
to bring out the phrasing?”
C1.2 apply the elements of music when singing
and/or playing, composing, and arranging
music, using them for specific effects and clear
purposes (e.g., create a class chant or song to
build community spirit; manipulate the rhythm
or dynamics in a familiar piece to create an
accompaniment for a media presentation)
Teacher prompts: “In your chant, how did
you communicate your message through the
elements of music you focused on?” “How
will changing the tempo affect the mood of
the piece?”
MUSIC
141
GRADE 7
C1.3 create musical compositions in a variety
of forms for specific purposes and audiences
(e.g., use available instruments to create a composition in response to an object, a visual image, or
a silent film; add rhythmic, melodic, or chordal
accompaniment to a familiar song; improvise
rhythmic or melodic phrases over a variety of
ostinati; create compositions using found sounds
or recycled materials)
Teacher prompt: “Which instrumental sounds
might you use to represent the colours in the
painting? Why?”
Teacher prompt: “How does the addition of
rhythm and melody affect the nature of the
lyrics in popular music?”
C1.4 use the tools and techniques of musicianship
in musical performances (e.g., apply markings
for dynamics, tempo, phrasing, and articulation
when performing; use proper breath control
throughout their singing range)
C2.3 identify and give examples of their
strengths and areas for improvement as
composers, musical performers, interpreters,
and audience members (e.g., set a goal to
improve their performance skills, reflect on
how successful they were in attaining their goal,
keep a practice journal, record and analyse their
performances throughout the term)
Teacher prompt: “What do we know about the
conventions for performing a march that can
help us determine how best to play this piece?”
C1.5 demonstrate an understanding of standard
and other musical notation through performance and composition (e.g., read and respond to
accidentals, repeat signs, various tempo markings;
notate and perform a variety of scales, including
the blues scale; explain how some contemporary
music, children’s songs, or Aboriginal singing,
drumming, and dancing are transmitted through
oral tradition)
Teacher prompts: “Why is it important to
know how the major scale is constructed
when reading and writing music?” “How are
contemporary Canadian Aboriginal musicians
ensuring that their oral traditions are being
preserved?”
C2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
By the end of Grade 7, students will:
142
C2.2 analyse, using musical terminology, ways in
which the elements are used in the music that
they perform, listen to, and create (e.g., compare
the use of drums in different social and cultural
contexts, such as Asian, Aboriginal, and African
communities; listen to a Brazilian folk song or a
current popular song, and describe how the use
of the various elements affects their response to
the music)
C2.1 express analytical, personal responses to
musical performances in a variety of ways
(e.g., represent musical scenes in Pictures at an
Exhibition through art work or dramatization;
record detailed analyses of music they have listened
to in a log or reflection journal to explain why they
enjoy it and how the elements of music are used)
Teacher prompt: “Art works by visual artist
Viktor Hartmann inspired Modest Mussorgsky
to compose Pictures at an Exhibition. Having
listened to this piece, how would your musical
interpretation of the art works be different from
Mussorgsky’s? What inspires your creation
of music?”
Teacher prompt: “Write a résumé highlighting
your achievements as a musician. What careers
related to music would best suit your interests
and areas of strength?”
C3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 7, students will:
C3.1 analyse the influences of music and the media
on the development of personal and cultural
identity (e.g., describe how their personal musical
preferences have been formed from listening to
music readily available in the media; explain how
cultural identity, including a sense of Aboriginal
pride for Aboriginal students, can be reinforced
by listening to music of their own culture)
Teacher prompts: “What is the influence or role
of music in your family life, your school life,
and your social life?” “What do you admire
about the musical artists who are key influences
in your life?” “How does music connect us,
divide us, or call us to action?” “What is the
most important role of music in your life?”
C3.2 analyse some historical, cultural, and
technological influences on style, genre, and
innovation in music (e.g., the impact of the
invention of the piano or the electric guitar)
Teacher prompt: “How did the development of
the piano and other musical instruments affect
composers, performers, and audiences?”
D. VISUAL ARTS
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
By the end of Grade 7, students will:
D2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of art works and art
experiences;
GRADE 7
D1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to produce art works in a
variety of traditional two- and three-dimensional forms, as well as multimedia art works, that
communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings, using elements, principles, and techniques
of visual arts as well as current media technologies;
D3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of art forms,
styles, and techniques from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 7
In addition to the concepts introduced in Grades 1 to 6, students in Grade 7 will develop understanding
of the following concepts through participation in a variety of hands-on, open-ended visual arts
experiences.
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN
Students will develop understanding of all elements of design.
• line: lines for expressive purposes; diagonal and converging lines to create depth of space; repetition
of lines to create visual rhythm
• shape and form: various shapes and forms, symbols, icons, logos, radial balance
• space: use of blue or complementary colours in shadows and shading to create depth; one- and twopoint perspective; open-form sculpture versus closed-form sculpture; installations
• colour: analogous colours; transparent colour created with watercolour or tissue paper decoupage
Note: In creating multimedia art works, students may need some understanding of different colour
models, such as RGB and CMY(K), and websafe colours.
• texture: textures created with a variety of tools, materials, and techniques (e.g., use of texture in a
landscape work)
• value: shading (e.g., modulation, scumbling, stippling)
PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN
Students will develop understanding of all principles of design (that is, contrast, repetition and rhythm,
variety, emphasis, proportion, balance, unity and harmony, and movement), but the focus in Grade 7 will
be on unity and harmony.
• unity and harmony: radial balance (e.g., a mandala); similarity (e.g., consistency and completeness
through repetition of colours, shapes, values, textures, or lines); continuity (e.g., treatment of different
elements in a similar manner); alignment (e.g., arrangement of shapes to follow an implied axis);
proximity (e.g., grouping of related items together)
VISUAL ARTS
143
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
D1. Creating and Presenting
GRADE 7
By the end of Grade 7, students will:
D1.1 create art works, using a variety of traditional
forms and current media technologies, that
express feelings, ideas, and issues, including
opposing points of view (e.g., an acrylic painting
that uses symbols to represent conflict and resolution; performance art or an installation that portrays
both sides of the struggle between humankind and
nature; a mixed-media or digital composition of
a personal mandala that shows both unity and
opposing forces)
Teacher prompts: “How will your art work
convey opposing perspectives on an issue that
you have chosen to explore (e.g., consumerism
versus sustainability, land development versus
conservation, global warming, poverty)?”
“With the symbols you have chosen, how can
you show resolution as clearly as you have
shown conflict?” “How does your installation
communicate the benefits and challenges of
environmental stewardship?”
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
D1.2 demonstrate an understanding of composition, using multiple principles of design and
the “rule of thirds” to create narrative art
works or art works on a theme or topic (e.g.,
use colour [analogous, monochromatic] to unify a
montage of newspaper and magazine images and
text on a social issue; use smooth, horizontal lines
to give a feeling of harmony in a drawing; create
a landscape that shows unity, using repetition of
shapes, values, textures, and/or lines, a particular
area of focus, and the rule of thirds)
144
Teacher prompts: “How will you use colour to
unify your art work and convey your message?”
“How can you create unity and harmony in
your landscape painting by repeating shapes
and selected analogous colours?” “How can
you lead the eye through the painting using
implied directional lines along a diagonal axis?”
D1.3 use elements of design in art works to communicate ideas, messages, and understandings
for a specific audience and purpose (e.g., create
balance in positive and negative space in a personal logo design, using drawing or paper cut-outs
of black-and-white shapes on a grey background;
selectively manipulate the colour, values, and text
in a digital composition to change the message of
a print advertisement)
Teacher prompts: “How could you elaborate on
the visual metaphor in your logo? How could
you simplify the design of the logo and still
retain a balance between positive and negative
shapes?” “How could you change the colours,
values, and symbols used in a print advertisement for a popular soft drink to convey an
objection to consumerism?”
D1.4 use a variety of materials, tools, techniques,
and technologies to determine solutions to
increasingly complex design challenges (e.g.,
• drawing: make a cubist still life of objects with
reflective or textured surfaces, using both wet
[e.g., ink, watercolour pencils] and dry [e.g.,
conté, chalk] materials to simulate highlights
and transparency
• mixed media: make a hand-made or altered
book, using various materials and techniques
to represent ideas about selected elements in
dance, drama, music, and/or the visual arts
• painting: make a cityscape that will serve as a
background in an animated short movie, using
experimental watercolour techniques such as
wet on wet or salt resist
• printmaking: make a collograph or chine collé
that communicates a personal experience through
the use of shape and analogous colour
• sculpture: make clay or papier mâché gargoyles
or “crossed creatures” that have exaggerated
features, using open and closed forms
• technology: make a high-contrast self-portrait
or caricature with software, using techniques
such as blurring, cloning, cropping, distortion,
layering, rotation, and selection)
Teacher prompts: “What aspects of your subject’s
personality will you emphasize or exaggerate in
your gargoyle or portrait?” “How do different
printmaking techniques limit or change your
choices of design and subject matter?”
D2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 7, students will:
D2.1 interpret a variety of art works and identify
the feelings, issues, themes, and social concerns
that they convey (e.g., compare the mood of
two different works by two peers, such as Above
the Gravel Pit by Emily Carr and Reflections,
Bishop’s Pond by David Milne; categorize a
variety of art works on the basis of the themes
and issues that are explored by the artists)
Teacher prompts: “What mood do you think is
created by the artist in each painting?” “What
do you think is the relationship between artistic intent and the expressive work?” “How
might others understand this image differently
because of differences in age, life experience,
culture, or beliefs?” “Why is it important for
people to be able to evaluate visual images as
a part of daily life?” “How do individual and
societal values affect our response to art?”
Teacher prompts: “Notice how many different
colours Cézanne used to paint the pear. Which
colour relationship (complementary or analogous) has he used to show the shadow on the
pear as blue-green while the highlights are
bright yellow?” “How are artistic layout considerations of image and text used in this art
work to convey its message?”
D2.3 demonstrate an understanding of how to read
and interpret signs, symbols, and style in art
works (e.g., visual metaphors, such as a single
tree, used to evoke loneliness in paintings by
Group of Seven artists; objects used as symbols
in Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by
Eleanor Coerr; messages conveyed by the use of
traditional symbols in contemporary art; an artist’s
manipulation of the intended message of an
advertisement by modifying symbols and elements
of design in the imagery that is appropriated, or
“borrowed”, from the original ad)
Teacher prompts: “What symbols can you
identify in this art work?” “How can art be
seen as a visual metaphor?” “How can an
object represent an idea, a concept, or an
abstraction?” “What do you think are examples
of universal symbols?” “What images do the
media use to target youth?”
D2.4 identify and explain their strengths, their
interests, and areas for improvement as creators,
interpreters, and viewers of art (e.g., explain
their preferences for selected works of art, using
appropriate visual arts vocabulary; provide constructive feedback in a critique of their own work
and the work of others; identify the strategies they
used in planning, producing, and critiquing their
own and others’ works of art)
By the end of Grade 7, students will:
D3.1 identify and describe some of the ways in
which visual art forms and styles reflect the
beliefs and traditions of a variety of cultures
and civilizations (e.g., art works created within
a tradition for functional and aesthetic purposes;
beliefs reflected in art works by artists working
within an artistic movement in the past or present;
the purposes of architecture, objects, and images
in past and present cultures and the contexts in
which they were made, viewed, and valued; art
works that challenge, sustain, and reflect society’s
beliefs and traditions)
Teacher prompts: “How are the content and
medium chosen by an avant-garde artist affected
by the time, place, and society in which the
work is created?” “Compare the ways in which
Impressionist artists and contemporary Cree
artists depict nature. How are they different?”
“How are the designs of Frank Gehry (a contemporary architect) similar to and different
from those of Antoni Gaudí (an art nouveau
architect who worked in Spain)?” “How do
the arts allow a culture to define its identity and
communicate it to others? What cultural influences can you point to in your own art work?”
D3.2 demonstrate an understanding of the function
of visual and media arts in various contexts
today and in the past, and of their influence
on the development of personal and cultural
identity (e.g., the function of traditional and
contemporary styles of Aboriginal art in the development of cultural identity and revitalization; the
contributions of people in various arts careers to
community events, festivals, businesses, galleries,
and museums; the significance of the art work of
individuals and the arts of cultural groups in local
and global contexts)
Teacher prompts: “How does Carl Beam use
juxtaposition of traditional Aboriginal symbols
and pop culture images to connect personal
memory to larger world issues?” “Describe the
roles of visual arts in communities around the
world. What is our role in supporting visual
arts in our community?” “What role does art
have in lifelong learning?” “How do the visual
arts and media influence the individual and
society?”
VISUAL ARTS
Teacher prompts: “When you planned your
mixed media art work, what sources did you
use? What strategies did you use to plan your
design? What was the message of your art
work? What would you do differently next
time?” “How does your art work show originality and imagination in the way it expresses
D3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
GRADE 7
D2.2 explain how the elements and principles of
design are used in their own and others’ art work
to communicate meaning or understanding
(e.g., the use of complementary colours for shadow
detail in a still life by Cézanne; the use of contrast
to emphasize the features in a portrait; Brian
Jungen’s use of positive and negative space and the
colours in traditional First Nation art works to convey ideas about consumerism and culture in masks
that he created out of brand-name running shoes)
your thoughts, experiences, and feelings?”
“What feelings were you trying to convey
by using bold colours in your self-portrait?”
“Are there other possible solutions to the
design problem?”
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GRADE 8
A. DANCE
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 8
By the end of Grade 8, students will:
A1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to the composition of a variety
of dance pieces, using the elements of dance to communicate feelings and ideas;
A2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of dance pieces
and experiences;
A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of dance forms,
traditions, and styles from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 8
Students in Grade 8 will develop or extend understanding of the following concepts through participation in various dance experiences (e.g., using elements and choreographic forms to communicate ideas
and issues).
ELEMENTS OF DANCE
• body: body awareness, use of body parts (e.g., hips, shoulders), body shapes (e.g., angular, stretched,
twisted), locomotor movements (e.g., leap, dart), non-locomotor movements (e.g., twist, rock), body
bases, symmetry versus asymmetry, geometric versus organic shape, curved versus angular shape,
isolation of body parts, weight transfer
• space: levels, pathways, directions, positive versus negative space, proximity of dancers to one another,
various group formations, use of performance space
• time: stillness, rhythm, tempo, pause, freeze, with music, without music, duration, acceleration/
deceleration
• energy: quality, inaction versus action, percussion, fluidity (e.g., glide, sink, fall, shiver)
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
• relationship: dancers to objects, opposition, groupings (e.g., large and small groups), meet/part,
follow/lead, emotional connections between dancers
148
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
A1. Creating and Presenting
By the end of Grade 8, students will:
A1.1 create dance pieces to respond to issues that
are personally meaningful to them (e.g., young
people’s relationship to authority, global warming
[glacial melting, extreme weather events], recycling,
land claims, bike lanes)
Teacher prompts: “How would you structure
a dance to convey the impact of a tsunami
(the calm before the storm, storm escalating,
chaos) on the environment and humans?”
“What kinds of movements would help you
convey your ideas about peace?”
A1.2 use dance as a language to communicate
messages about themes of social justice and/or
environmental health (e.g., possible solutions to
bullying, poverty, racism, pollution, land claims,
homelessness, war, deforestation, oppression,
colonization)
Teacher prompt: “What formations could you
use to show racism (e.g., one dancer separates
from the group)? What type of movements
would help you communicate your message
clearly? How do you change the movements
to convey togetherness and acceptance?”
A1.3 determine the appropriate choreographic
form and create dance pieces for a specific
audience or venue (e.g., use a narrative dance
structure for a primary class; use features of a
site-specific outdoor space to structure a dance
on an environmental theme)
A1.4 use technology, including multimedia, to
enhance the message communicated by the
choreography in a dance piece (e.g., use lights
and costumes to create a mood; project images on
the dancers or a backdrop to illustrate a theme)
Teacher prompt: “How could you use light
and/or sound technology to enhance the
message of your dance piece about the
majesty of forests?”
A2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 8, students will:
A2.1 construct personal and/or group
interpretations of the themes in their own
and others’ dance pieces (e.g., the role of greed
in deforestation, war, global warming, poverty)
and communicate their responses in a variety
of ways (e.g., through writing, discussion, oral
report, song, drama, visual art, dance)
Teacher prompts: “How do the projected
images (e.g., of deforestation, war, global
warming, poverty) in this dance piece reinforce
the choreographer’s intent?” “What choices did
you make in your dance about how to convey
your opinion on homelessness?”
A2.2 analyse, using dance vocabulary, their own
and others’ dance pieces to identify the elements
of dance and the choreographic forms used in
them (e.g., body: geometric shapes, stretched shapes;
space: levels; time: duration; energy: percussion;
relationship: opposition; choreographic form:
theme and variation) and explain how they help
communicate meaning (e.g., percussion and
opposition are used to suggest conflict; theme
and variation are used to explore a relationship
between continuity and change)
Teacher prompts: “How did this group’s
manipulation of the element of energy change
the message of the main theme?” “What
A2.3 identify and give examples of their
strengths and areas for growth as dance
creators, interpreters, and audience members
(e.g., describe a suggestion they made to a peer
about how to improve the first draft of a dance
work, and evaluate their personal contribution
to the success of the final performance)
Teacher prompt: “How did you make
constructive suggestions without appearing
to comment negatively on someone else’s
work? What was good about your approach?
What might you change next time? How could
you use invented dance notation to visually
represent the suggestions for improvement?”
GRADE 8
Teacher prompt: “How can you use theme
and variation to convey a message of peace
at a Remembrance Day assembly? If you are
performing alone, what are some ways that
the movements can be varied using different
elements?”
feeling did the abrupt movements in the
dance create?”
A3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 8, students will:
A3.1 describe how social, political, and economic factors influenced the emergence and
development of a dance form or genre of
their choice (e.g., factors: funding to artists,
the commercialization of dance, support for
dance programs in schools; genres/forms:
modern dance in the early twentieth century,
the waltz in nineteenth-century Europe)
Teacher prompts: “What social factors led to
the emergence of this dance (e.g., hip hop,
Celtic dance, the waltz)?” “Why do you think
swing developed during the Depression in
the 1930s (e.g., escapism)?”
A3.2 identify a variety of types of dances and
relate them to their different roles in society
(e.g., contemporary Aboriginal dance/folk dance
contributes to ceremony/ritual; dance numbers in
stage plays and movies provide entertainment;
classical ballet offers scope for artistic expression
and provides elite entertainment; disco dancing
and solo performance allow creative self-expression;
dances at parties or social events contribute to
social bonding; jazz and hip hop make a social
and/or cultural statement)
Teacher prompt: “How did the street dance
’Cool’ in the musical West Side Story depict
the culture of American gangs in the 1950s?
What impressions do you have of the dance?
How do you think this dance might have
affected audiences when the film was
released in 1961?”
DANCE
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B. DRAMA
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 8
By the end of Grade 8, students will:
B1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to process drama and the
development of drama works, using the elements and conventions of drama to communicate feelings,
ideas, and multiple perspectives;
B2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of drama works and
experiences;
B3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of drama and
theatre forms, traditions and styles from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical
contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 8
Students in Grade 8 will develop or extend understanding of the following concepts through participation
in various drama experiences.
ELEMENTS OF DRAMA
• role/character: analysing the background, motivation, speech, and actions of characters to build
roles; using voice, stance, gesture, and facial expression to portray character
• relationship: analysing relationships to develop the interplay between characters
• time and place: using props, costumes, and furniture to establish setting; modifying production elements
to suit different audiences
• tension: using various stage effects to produce specific audience reactions
• focus and emphasis: using a wide range of devices to highlight the central theme for the audience;
making deliberate artistic choices to sharpen focus
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
B1. Creating and Presenting
150
By the end of Grade 8, students will:
B1.1 engage actively in drama exploration and
role play, with a focus on examining multiple
perspectives and possible outcomes related to
complex issues, themes, and relationships from
a wide variety of sources and diverse communities (e.g., identify significant perspectives related
to an issue and assume roles to give voice to the
different perspectives; use improvisation to communicate insights about life events and relationships;
develop and present anthology dramas, short scripts,
or multi-role plays for a single actor)
Teacher prompt: “How could you use drama
conventions such as conversations, mapping,
or role on the wall to dramatize two opposing
views on a community issue (e.g., consumerism,
landfills, bike lanes)?”
B1.2 demonstrate an understanding of the elements of drama by selecting and manipulating
multiple elements and conventions to create
and enhance a variety of drama works and
shared drama experiences (e.g., use “a day in
the life” to compare farming, fishing, or hunting
practices at the beginning of the twentieth century
to those of today; create sets to depict the physical
setting of a drama using available materials; use
knowledge of movement and blocking to achieve
well-paced action and create visual interest)
Teacher prompts: “How can corridor of voices
help you to understand your role more deeply
and also to experience other perspectives on
what the character might think and feel?”
“In your prepared improvisation, how can
your physical movements in relation to one
another be used to highlight the nature of
your emotional relationship?”
B1.3 plan and shape the direction of the drama
by negotiating ideas and perspectives with
others, both in and out of role (e.g., In role: use
group improvisation to work out a time line of
events in a drama story; Out of role: use the talking
stick in group discussion about the best way to
resolve the drama’s central conflict)
B1.4 communicate feelings, thoughts, and abstract
ideas through drama works, using audio, visual,
and/or technological aids for specific purposes
and audiences (e.g., music/soundtracks to intensify
audience reaction; video as counterpoint to action
or to add details; costumes, props, fabric to establish
character and setting; an audio recording of a
soundscape to accompany and reinforce ideas
and feelings in a mimed sequence)
Teacher prompts: “What are some ways you
can use objects or technology to represent the
moods of these different characters? Masks?
A ’signature tune’?” “How could you use
technology to signal to the audience when
an actor’s speech represents the character’s
private, inner thoughts? A spotlight? Another
kind of lighting change?”
B2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 8, students will:
B2.1 construct personal interpretations of drama
works, connecting drama issues and themes to
social concerns at both the local and global level
(e.g., create a web with the main idea of the drama in
the centre and words describing personal and global
connections leading out from the centre; explain in
discussion or a journal entry why they disagree or
empathize with the motivations of a character)
Teacher prompts: “What are the key messages of
this drama/play? How does its message relate
to your own life experiences and opinions?”
“Can you sum up what this play was about
for you in a paragraph? A sentence? A word?”
“Is this an important play for others to see?
Why?” “How does the play’s theme or point
of view connect to another drama experience
that we’ve shared?”
Teacher prompts: “About what area of drama
do you feel most confident? What areas do you
want to pursue in the future?” “What drama
conventions did you use most successfully to
express your thoughts, feelings, and ideas?”
B3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 8, students will:
B3.1 analyse the influence of the media on a wide
variety of drama forms and/or styles of live
theatre (e.g., introduction of digital storytelling,
multimedia presentations, and dance-drama into
drama forms; incorporation of technologies from
different media to enhance sets, backdrops, and
special effects; use of virtual role play to explore
options for avatar characters)
Teacher prompts: “What are some similarities
and differences in how drama expresses ideas
and emotions compared to other art forms
(e.g., dance, film, music, art)?” “In what ways
can the use of technology enhance or detract
from the message or meaning in a drama
presentation?”
B3.2 identify and describe a wide variety of ways
in which drama and theatre make or have made
contributions to social, cultural, and economic
life in a variety of times and places (e.g., by
providing opportunities for personal enjoyment,
celebration, and entertainment; by providing jobs; by
attracting tourists; by communicating and teaching
about a range of topics; by enhancing participants’
life skills of communication and collaboration; by
raising awareness of political, environmental,
medical, and other social/global issues)
Teacher prompts: “Why do we provide opportunities to participate in drama in school and
in the community?” “Why might theatrical
performances have been important in times
when very few people could read and write?”
“How do theatre performances help the
economy?”
DRAMA
B2.2 evaluate, using drama terminology, how
effectively drama works and shared drama
experiences use the elements of drama to engage
the audience and communicate a theme or
message (e.g., determine whether the use of contrasting comic and serious scenes strengthened
the impact of the theme or weakened it; determine
whether using a historical setting enhanced the
presentation of a contemporary theme)
B2.3 identify and give examples of their
strengths, interests, and areas for improvement
as drama creators, performers, and audience
members (e.g., write a journal entry outlining the
process they used to solve a given problem, what
worked, and what they would do differently next
time; develop and use rubrics and/or assessment
charts to evaluate their contribution to group work)
GRADE 8
Teacher prompt: “In your group, discuss one
aspect of your presentation that communicates
your meaning clearly. Identify one thing
that could be changed to strengthen your
presentation.”
Teacher prompts: “Imagine that you are a
theatre critic. How many stars (on a scale of
one to five) does this drama deserve? What
key elements were used in the drama? In your
opinion did they help make it stronger or
weaker? Why?” “How successful were the
actors in using movement, voice, and gesture
to create interest?”
151
C. MUSIC
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 8
By the end of Grade 8, students will:
C1. Creating and Performing: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to create and perform music
for a variety of purposes, using the elements and techniques of music;
C2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate their feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of music and musical
experiences;
C3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of musical genres
and styles from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 8
In Grade 8, students will build on their knowledge of the elements of music and related musical concepts
that were introduced in Grades 1 to 7. Students will develop understanding of musical concepts through
participation in musical experiences that involve listening, moving, creating, and performing (vocal and/or
instrumental music).
ELEMENTS OF MUSIC
• duration: tempo markings and rhythms encountered in the repertoire
• pitch: major and minor tonality; keys encountered in the repertoire
• dynamics and other expressive controls: all intensity levels; changes in levels
• timbre: tone colours of world music ensembles and instruments (e.g., gamelan, shakuhachi, doumbek,
sitar, djembe, ocarina)
• texture/harmony: monophonic, homophonic, and polyphonic music
• form: forms encountered in performance repertoire (e.g., minuet)
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
C1. Creating and Performing
152
By the end of Grade 8, students will:
C1.1 sing and/or play, in tune, music in unison and
in two or more parts from a variety of cultures,
styles, and historical periods (e.g., perform in
large and small ensembles, prepare a solo, improvise in a drum circle)
Teacher prompts: “How can you interpret
the expressive markings in music when you
perform?” “When composing, how can you
indicate with musical symbols how the performer is to perform your composition?”
C1.2 apply the elements of music through performing, composing, and arranging music for
a specific effect or clear purpose (e.g., create a
jingle to advertise a product; improvise a simple
melody over a 12-bar blues progression; arrange
a piece of their choice from their method book for
a quartet of mixed instruments)
Teacher prompts: “How did the elements that
you chose for your jingle help sell the product?”
“What did you need to take into consideration
when arranging the piece for your quartet?”
C1.3 create musical compositions in a variety
of forms for specific purposes and audiences
(e.g., write lyrics and a melody for a protest song
based upon a current social issue; compose a
melodic theme for a computer game)
Teacher prompts: “Explain how the rhythm
and melody of your song communicate your
intended message.” “What does a composer
have to consider when writing music for
computer games?”
C1.4 use the tools and techniques of musicianship
in musical performances (e.g., apply blend, articulation, phrasing, conducting patterns; maintain
straight and relaxed posture when singing or
playing; keep instrument, hand, arm, and/or
mouth in playing position; use proper breath,
bow, or stick control)
C1.5 demonstrate an understanding of standard
and other musical notation through performance
and composition (e.g., interpret repeat signs such
as D. C. al coda, d. s. al coda, d. s. al fine; interpret Italian terms and abbreviations for dynamics
and tempo; use the notes of the chromatic scale;
arrange a piece for a duet using notation software)
Teacher prompts: “How many bars of music
will you actually sing or play in this piece if
you follow the repeats indicated by the composer?” “What are all of the different dynamic
and tempo markings in this piece?” “What will
you need to do in your singing or playing to
effectively follow these markings?”
C2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
By the end of Grade 8, students will:
C2.1 express analytical, personal responses to
musical performances in a variety of ways
(e.g., use graphic organizers, journals, or reflection
logs to record their responses; conduct or respond
in an interview in which they describe a musical
experience; analyse a performance in the way that
a musical commentator on the radio might do it;
depict scenes from Love Songs for a Small Planet
by Alexina Louie or The Moldau by Smetana
using visual arts)
C2.2 analyse, using musical terminology, ways in
which the elements of music are used in various
styles and genres they perform, listen to, and
create (e.g., use of form and dynamics in absolute
music, such as the Symphony no. 40 in G minor
by Mozart, and in program music, such as The
Firebird by Stravinsky)
Teacher prompts: “Having followed your music
as you listen to your performance, what are
your strengths and next steps as a performer?”
“About what area of music do you feel most
confident? What area do you want to pursue
in the future?”
C3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 8, students will:
C3.1 analyse some of the social, political, and
economic factors that affect the creation of
music (e.g., historical events that inspired the
composition of nationalistic music; the development
of jazz, rap, and heavy metal, and their effect on
culture; the social and/or cultural origins of folk
songs, love songs, national anthems, and dance
music; the economic purposes for commercial
music played in stores; purposes and effects of
Aboriginal activism through song)
Teacher prompts: “What factors might influence
someone to compose this type of music?” “Do
composers have a target audience in mind when
composing music?” “How does nationalistic
music influence the listener?” “How might the
style of the music affect your interpretation of
the lyrics?”
C3.2 compare and contrast music from the past
and present (e.g., differences and similarities
between music from various cultures and contemporary fusion forms; similarities and differences
between traditional Aboriginal music and music
sung and played by contemporary Aboriginal
musicians; differences and similarities between
dance music from the seventeenth century, Chopin
waltzes, hip hop, and mariachi)
Teacher prompts: “What are the key characteristics that distinguish folk music from popular
commercial music? Are there any similarities?”
“How has the role of music in our lives
changed?”
MUSIC
Teacher prompts: “What are the differences
between absolute and program music? How
did the composer use such musical elements as
timbre, form, and dynamics to suggest certain
images?” “Which musical elements made the
images in The Firebird the clearest for you?
Why?” “How do the lyrics in a song affect
C2.3 identify and give examples of their strengths
and areas for improvement as composers,
musical performers, interpreters, and audience
members (e.g., set a goal to improve their performance skills, reflect on how successfully they
attained their goal, keep a practice journal, record
and analyse their own performances throughout
the term)
GRADE 8
Teacher prompts: “What are the functions of
your right and left hands when conducting?”
“How can you communicate dynamics,
articulation, phrasing, and tempo through
your conducting gestures?”
your interpretation of the music? What happens
when we change the lyrics? How is the song’s
overall effect different? Why?”
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D. VISUAL ARTS
OVERALL EXPECTATIONS
GRADE 8
By the end of Grade 8, students will:
D1. Creating and Presenting: apply the creative process (see pages 19–22) to produce art works in a
variety of traditional two- and three-dimensional forms, as well as multimedia art works, that
communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings, using elements, principles, and techniques
of visual arts as well as current media technologies;
D2. Reflecting, Responding, and Analysing: apply the critical analysis process (see pages 23–28) to
communicate feelings, ideas, and understandings in response to a variety of art works and art
experiences;
D3. Exploring Forms and Cultural Contexts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of art forms,
styles, and techniques from the past and present, and their sociocultural and historical contexts.
FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS FOR GRADE 8
In addition to the concepts introduced in Grades 1 to 7, students in Grade 8 will develop understanding
of the following concepts through participation in a variety of hands-on, open-ended visual arts
experiences.
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN
Students will develop understanding of all elements of design.
• line: directional lines; one- and two-point perspective to create depth; contour drawings of figures
• shape and form: various visual “weights” of forms (e.g., large, light-coloured forms can seem to have
less weight than smaller, dark forms); complex three-dimensional constructions and motifs; gradation
in size
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
• space: one- and two-point perspective or foreshortening to create illusory space; informal converging
lines in an image creating the illusion of space; adult human figures that are seven to eight heads in
height; alternative systems for representing space (e.g., layered images in medieval art; disproportionately small images of people within a vast landscape in Chinese art to show the smallness of humans
in relation to nature; images seen from several points of view simultaneously in Egyptian and cubist
paintings)
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• colour: tertiary colours; contrast of colour; absence of colour
Note: In creating multimedia art works, students may need some understanding of different colour
models, such as RGB and CMY(K), and websafe colours.
• texture: real and illusory textures that appear in the environment
• value: cross-hatching to suggest volume and shadows; variation and increased range of gradation
in value
PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN
Students will develop understanding of all principles of design (that is, contrast, repetition and rhythm,
variety, emphasis, proportion, balance, unity and harmony, and movement), but the focus in Grade 8 will
be on movement.
• movement: actual lines to lead the viewer’s eye (e.g., solid lines, dotted lines); subtle or implied “paths”
using shape, value, and/or colour (e.g., an invisible path created by leading the eye from large shapes
to small shapes, from shapes in dark colours to shapes in lighter colours, from familiar shapes to
unfamiliar shapes, from colour to no colour); actual action (e.g., kinetic sculpture, animation); implied
action (e.g., an invisible path created by an arrow, a gaze, or a pointing finger; the “freeze frame”
effect of an object in motion, such as a bouncing ball suspended in mid-air or a runner about to take
the next step)
SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
D1. Creating and Presenting
By the end of Grade 8, students will:
Teacher prompts: “How can you juxtapose text
and images to create a message that challenges
what the text is saying?” “In your monochromatic comic layout, how will you use angle of
view, images, and text to show two sides of the
story?” “How can stereotypes be reinforced or
challenged in art works?”
D1.2 demonstrate an understanding of composition, using multiple principles of design and
other layout considerations such as compositional triangles to create narrative art works
or art works on a theme or topic (e.g., a figure
drawing of a historically influential person that
makes use of the whole paper or space to create a
sense of unity and balance, with a single word or
motif in the background; an abstract painting in
which movement is created by using line, value,
colour, and/or shape; a stop-motion animation
that tells a simple story and that demonstrates the
principle of movement through sequential images
in which the character or object moves in relation
to the frame)
Teacher prompts: “How would your image be
different if your figure took up only one side
of the paper?” “How can you use colour and
variation in value, like Mary Pratt, to capture
light in a still-life composition that leads the
viewer’s eye throughout the art work?” “How
can you use implied action through a technique
such as automotion or through the gaze or
gestures of the figures?”
D1.4 use a variety of materials, tools, techniques,
and technologies to determine solutions to
increasingly complex design challenges (e.g.,
• drawing: create a pastel composition or flipbook
that combines or contrasts styles of two artists
or styles from two cultures
• mixed media: make a series of small artist
trading cards [ATCs] in a variety of media,
illustrating a contemporary issue or topic
• painting: make an acrylic painting of a magnified section of a sketch or an image that is seen
through a viewfinder or frame, then make
changes to the painted surface with oil pastels
to create a personal interpretation of the image
• printmaking: make a series of two-colour
softoleum, linoleum, or block prints that are
variations on a social theme and that are printed on papers of different colours and textures
[magazine paper, coloured bond paper, newsprint,
tissue paper, handmade paper]
• sculpture: make a sculptural portrait of a hero
or favourite person out of papier mâché or plaster
bandage that captures what the person means
to them
• technology: create a short movie from an animated image sequence or video, using editing
software to create suspense, a feeling of speed,
or a sense of the passage of time)
Teacher prompts: “How would the feeling and
message of the print change if you printed it
on a magazine advertisement rather than on
coloured paper? Which one serves your purpose better?” “How can you use storyboards
to plan a variety of shots and camera angles?”
VISUAL ARTS
D1.3 use elements of design in art works to communicate ideas, messages, and understandings
for a specific audience and purpose (e.g., an
illustration for a children’s book that uses colour
and rhythm to appeal to its audience; a short movie
Teacher prompts: “How would manipulating
the colour change the meaning of the image?
How would your illustration differ if you used
colours from the opposite side of the colour
wheel?” “How will you use a variety of camera
angles and shots (e.g., wide, medium, close-up)
to include different perspectives and enhance
your message?”
GRADE 8
D1.1 create art works, using a variety of traditional
forms and current media technologies, that
express feelings, ideas, and issues and that
demonstrate an awareness of multiple points
of view (e.g., create a collage that shows contrast
between two points of view or a cause-and-effect
relationship; create an art work on a current event
or issue, using the conventions of sequential art or
comics, or using found images and text to express
a point of view in the style of a contemporary
artist such as Martin Firrel, Jenny Holzer, or
Barbara Kruger)
or animation that uses space, time, and framing
to highlight a contemporary issue; a portrait of a
person made from junk-food or brand packaging to
communicate an opinion, in the style of Giuseppe
Arcimboldo’s series of allegorical portraits made
from fruit, vegetables, and other unlikely objects
such as pots and books)
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D2. Reflecting, Responding, and
Analysing
GRADE 8
By the end of Grade 8, students will:
D2.1 interpret a variety of art works and identify
the feelings, issues, themes, and social concerns
that they convey (e.g., hold a mock debate
between artists on a topic such as the emotional
impact of realist versus expressionist styles of art;
compare art works in different artistic media
that express a common theme, such as wartime
suffering in the art work of Käthe Kollwitz and
Francisco Goya; interpret images of social issues
that are explored in historical art works, contemporary art works, and media arts)
Teacher prompts: “How can a landscape image
express ideas or concepts, such as the power
of nature in works by printmaker Hokusai or
photographer Ansel Adams?” “How have you
been influenced by art work from other cultures or historical periods?” “What makes one
image a stereotyped illustration and another
image an authentic expression?”
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
D2.2 analyse ways in which elements and principles of design are used in a variety of art works
to communicate a theme or message, and evaluate the effectiveness of their use on the basis
of criteria generated by the class (e.g., the use
of colour and exaggeration in Balinese masks to
evoke feelings of fear; the use of line, colour, and
shape in the work of Daphne Odjig and Norval
Morrisseau to represent spiritual ideas; Molly Bang’s
use of colour, size, and asymmetrical balance in
Picture This to reinforce a mood or narrative;
substitution of fur for a ceramic textural surface
in Beyond the Teacup by Meret Oppenheim)
156
or audience; the purposes of logos, icons, and images
in advertisements; symbolic reuse and transformation of popular images or iconography as a form
of commentary [“culture jamming”]; use of traditional Aboriginal symbols in contemporary art)
Teacher prompts: “How are the symbol systems
in a variety of cultures similar or different?”
“How has the artist implied meanings in his
or her image? Explain why you think this art
work is or is not an allegory.”
D2.4 identify and explain their strengths, their
interests, and areas for improvement as creators,
interpreters, and viewers of art (e.g., organize
and participate in a non-competitive art show that
documents the stages of the artistic process from
artists’ statements, concept drawings, and photos
of works in progress to the final art works; select,
critique, and organize a display of personally
meaningful images from their own portfolios; use
feedback to evaluate the effectiveness of their own
art works)
Teacher prompts: “How does your art work
reflect a sense of personal or social responsibility?” “How have you taken the venue or
audience into consideration in your display or
portfolio of work?” “How did you demonstrate
imagination, flexibility, initiative, or judgement
as you explored ideas to make, interpret, or
present art works?” “What strategies did you
use to resolve problems when planning your
art work?”
D3. Exploring Forms and Cultural
Contexts
By the end of Grade 8, students will:
Teacher prompts: “What message do you think
Bang wants to convey in her image?” “How
effective are the elements of design as the
’words’ of a visual language?” “How do the
elements of design allow you to identify the
intended audience for a book after you’ve
looked at its cover?” “How does the representation of an image from two or three points of
view at once in Egyptian or cubist art show
you another way to represent perception?”
D3.1 identify and explain some of the ways in
which artistic traditions in a variety of times
and places have been maintained, adapted, or
appropriated (e.g., art works support or challenge
personal and societal beliefs or practices; migration
or contact with other cultures has an influence on
the forms and styles of art and architecture; art
styles of other times and places have sometimes
been appropriated by artists to create hybrid art
works that explore, represent, or challenge ideas)
D2.3 demonstrate an understanding of how to
read and interpret signs, symbols, and style in
art works (e.g., Horse and Train by Alex Colville
as an allegory of the impact of the industrial age;
the style of an artist or director of a film who is
using compositional framing, point of view, and
selective focus to guide the attention of the viewer
Teacher prompts: “What are some contemporary
clothing designs that show influences from other
cultures and designers from around the world?”
“How are Inuit artists using traditional elements
and forms to create art that is relevant today?”
“How can artists incorporate the work of other
artists or cultural traditions to make original
art work while also showing respect for others’
cultural or intellectual property?” “How do
exhibitions or research organized by theme or
topic, instead of time period or culture, change
the way art works are perceived?”
GRADE 8
D3.2 identify and analyse some of the social,
political, and economic factors that affect the
creation of visual and media arts and the visual
and media arts community (e.g., the influence
of love, loss, anger, or war on creative expression;
collaboration within production teams or artistic
communities; effects on artists of changes in government, changes in the amount of government
funding, the creation of arts festivals, and the
availability of exhibition opportunities; influence
of location, era, and changes in technology on art
and architecture)
ritual) are represented in art works?” “Which
lifestyles, values, or points of view are represented in this image? Which are omitted?”
“How are collaboration and group work used
to produce, edit, and promote a movie?” “What
external factors have led to the creation of a
new art movement?” “How is visual culture
shaped by the beliefs, technologies, arts funding, and values of society?”
Teacher prompts: “How does the social and
political context change the ways in which
universal themes or ideas (e.g., love, war, family,
VISUAL ARTS
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GLOSSARY
The following definitions of terms are intended to help teachers and parents use this document.
Terms that apply throughout the document are listed first, then terms connected with Dance, Drama,
Music, and Visual Arts.
Aboriginal person. A person who is a descendant
of the original inhabitants of North America.
The Canadian Constitution (1982) recognizes
three primary groups as Aboriginal peoples:
Indians, Inuit, and Métis.
achievement levels. Brief descriptions of four
different degrees of student achievement of
the provincial curriculum expectations for any
given grade. Level 3, which is the “provincial
standard”, identifies a high level of achievement
of the provincial expectations. Parents of
students achieving at level 3 in a particular
grade can be confident that their children will
be prepared for work at the next grade level.
Level 1 identifies achievement that falls much
below the provincial standard. Level 2 identifies
achievement that approaches the standard.
Level 4 identifies achievement that surpasses
the standard.
DANCE
AB. A two-part choreographic pattern form
with an A theme and a B theme. The form
consists of two distinct, self-contained dance
sequences or sections.
Dance Illustrations
ABA. A three-part choreographic pattern form
with an A theme and a B theme in which the
second section contrasts with the first section
and the third section restates the first section
in a condensed, abbreviated, or extended form.
accent. A strong movement or gesture used for
emphasis.
Dance Illustrations
expectations. The knowledge and skills that
students are expected to develop and to
demonstrate in their class work, on tests,
and in various other activities on which their
achievement is assessed. Overall expectations
describe in general terms the knowledge and
skills that students are expected to demonstrate
by the end of each grade. Specific expectations
describe the expected knowledge and skills
in greater detail.
strands. The four major areas of knowledge
and skills into which the curriculum for the
arts is organized. The strands for the arts are:
Dance, Drama, Music, and Visual Arts.
asymmetry. (1) A difference in size, shape, or
position between parts on opposite sides of a
dividing line (e.g., different arm and leg positions on the right and left sides of the body).
(2) A difference in the placement of dancers
in a space on opposite sides of a dividing line.
audience etiquette. Acceptable audience
behaviour for a dance performance.
Dance Illustrations
balance. Maintenance of a controlled position
of the body, whether the body is in movement
or still; also, a state of equilibrium in the spatial
arrangement of bodies (e.g., in performance
space).
canon. A choreographic form in which a dance
phrase is performed by more than one soloist or
group and begins at different times so that the
phrases overlap (analogous to a round in music).
choreographer. A person who plans and creates
dance pieces.
Balance in an
individual figure
Balance of figures
in choreography
body. See elements of dance.
body base. The part of the body that is
supporting the rest of the body. When someone
is kneeling, for example, the knees are the
body base.
Knee as base
Back as base
body zones. Regions of the body, including
front, back, left side, right side, upper half,
and lower half.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Dance Illustrations
choreography. The creation and composition
of dances by planning or inventing steps,
movements, and patterns of movements and
arranging them into a meaningful whole to
communicate a feeling, idea or theme. This
includes dance as a solo, in duets, trios and
small ensembles.
Side as base
body storming. A strategy, analogous to brainstorming, that uses the body as a means of trying
out movement possibilities linked to themes,
issues, and ideas that students may be exploring.
Students work together in a whole group, in
small groups, or individually to generate
movement ideas before shaping their work.
The teacher suggests different elements of
movement to encourage students to try out
a range of variations.
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choreographic form. A structure that organizes
movements. Compositional forms may be
defined as narrative or patterned (e.g., canon,
call and response, retrograde, ABA, rondo).
See also compositional form; dance form.
bound movement. A highly controlled movement
that can be stopped at any moment. It is often
associated with energy.
call and response. A choreographic form in
which one soloist or group performs, followed
by a second soloist or group whose performance
responds to the first.
collage. In dance, a choreographic form
consisting of a series of phrases that are often
unrelated but have been brought together to
create a single dance with a beginning, middle,
and end.
compositional form. A dance sequence that is
created with a specific intent to communicate
a feeling, idea, or theme using movement;
used in solo dance, as well as duets, trios, and
small ensembles. See also choreographic form;
dance form.
contact improvisation. Spontaneously created
movement in response to body contact with
another dancer. This is usually done in a duet.
The partners are often moving in and out of
physical contact while mutually supporting
and following each other’s movements. It is
often a starting point for choreography.
contrast. The pairing of unlike movements.
In dance, two contrasting movements might
differ in energy, space (e.g., size, direction,
level), shape (e.g., symmetrical/asymmetrical,
open/closed), or timing (fast/slow,
even/uneven). Contrast is often used to
emphasize differences.
Contrast in movement
duration. The length of time needed to complete
a movement. Dancers often think of duration
in conjunction with space.
elements of dance. Fundamental components
of dance, which include the following:
– body. The instrument of dance. The term
body may also refer to the body’s position or
shape (e.g., curved, straight, angular, twisted,
symmetrical, asymmetrical); also, how the
body is moving (e.g., using locomotor or
non-locomotor movements).
– energy. The force with which the body moves
(e.g., light, strong, sustained, sudden).
– relationship. The way in which two or more
things are connected to or associated with
one another (e.g., dancer to dancer, dancer
to object, right arm to left arm).
Contrast in level and shape
– space. The physical area in which the body
moves; also, the area surrounding the body.
dance form. The overall structural organization
of a dance piece (e.g., AB, ABA, call and
response, theme and variation, canon). See also
choreographic form; compositional form.
– time. An element of dance involving rhythm,
tempo, accent, and duration. Time can be
based on measured beats, as in music, or
on body rhythms, such as breath, emotions,
and heartbeat.
dance piece. A series of connected phrases.
energy. See elements of dance.
dance sequence. Part of a larger dance piece.
Dancers connect choreographed or personal
movements (movement vocabulary) to form
a sequence. A dance sequence is longer than
a phrase but shorter than a section. It may be
performed in isolation or be part of a larger
dance piece. It conveys a sense of rhythmic
completion and contains a beginning, middle,
and end.
ensemble. A group of performers.
dance style. A way of performing dance that
is characteristic of a particular period, setting,
choreographer, performer, group, culture, or
other category. See genre.
flocking. A type of improvisation in which
students move in groups, with no set pattern or
in a diamond formation, following a leader and
all doing the same movements simultaneously.
This is an extended version of mirroring for
three or more people. Participants do not
necessarily need to be able to watch each other,
as long as they can see the leader.
fluid movement. Movement that is easily
changing, smooth, or unconstrained.
force. The degree of muscular tension and use
of energy in movements. See elements of
dance: energy.
GLOSSARY
direct action. A movement that takes the
shortest path to its destination (e.g., walking
in a straight line or pointing out straight in
front of your body).
entrance and exit. The physical location of entry
and exit; also, the way in which a dancer enters
and exits the performance space.
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Dance Illustrations
free-flow movement. A movement that is
unrestrained. Often associated with energy.
improvisation. In dance, a movement or series
of movements created spontaneously by a
dancer, either independently or in a group.
indirect action. A locomotor or gestural
movement characterized by a detour en route
(e.g., walking in a zigzag line).
Dance Illustrations
freeze. A stop; an absence of movement.
general space. The larger space that encompasses
the overall dance area. The term is usually used
in contrast to personal space.
Dance Illustrations
initiation. In dance, the origin of movement
(e.g., the elbow may lead the arm motion; the
toes may lead the leg motion).
Dance Illustrations
level. The height of the dancer’s movements in
relation to the floor, usually measured as high,
medium, and low.
genre. A category or style of dance characterized
by particular movements or ways of moving
(e.g., ballet, jazz, belly dancing, hip hop,
Highland, African).
geometric. Resembling a shape or pattern from
geometry (e.g., triangle, straight line).
High
Medium
Low
locomotor movement. A movement that
involves travelling from one place to another
across a space (e.g., walking, galloping, rolling).
Illustrations
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
gesture. A movement of a body part or parts
used to communicate feelings and ideas, with
emphasis on the expressive aspects of the movement (e.g., tapping the foot to show boredom;
raising the shoulders in a shrug to show not
knowing or caring).
162
manipulations. Slight alterations made to a
performance or dance phrase. It is not always
performed.
mirroring. A type of improvisation. Two students
face each other. Student A initiates the movement, while student B follows, maintaining eye
contact as appropriate; students switch roles
after a set time.
guided improvisation. In dance, a movement
or series of movements created spontaneously
by a dancer, with teacher guidance. See improvisation.
Dance Illustrations
modes of expression/modes of communication.
Ways in which thoughts and ideas can be
expressed (e.g., through discussion, drawing,
writing in a journal – as well as through
movement and dance).
Dance Illustrations
notation (invented dance notation). A written
system of symbols, shapes, and lines that represent body position and movement. These are
invented visuals used to plan, map, or record
movement, as opposed to formal forms of dance
notation. The following are some examples.
Dance Illustrations
motif. A distinctive recurring gesture, movement,
sequence, or image that can be elaborated upon
in a variety of ways. A motif may be used to
provide a theme or unifying idea for a dance
piece.
Dance Illustrations
– movement notation:
Skip
Walk
ce Illustrations
movement vocabulary. A repertoire of steps,
movements, and sequences that might be used
in creating a dance piece. They can be particular
to a dance form (e.g., traditional dance) or
personal (e.g., creative dance).
narrative form. A choreographic form that
follows a storyline, often conveys a specific
message, and usually includes an introduction,
rising action, a climax, and a resolution (e.g.,
the ballet The Nutcracker).
negative space. The unoccupied space surrounding a body, in the opening created by body
shapes, or between bodies. See also positive
space.
non-locomotor movement. A non-travelling
movement, where the body is anchored in one
place; also called axial movement (e.g., moving
the arms and/or twisting the body while
staying in one spot).
Run
Dance Illustrations
– pathway notation:
– position notation:
Dance Illustrations
Stand with arms
bent and raised,
right leg outstretched
organic movement. Movement of the body,
often based on the motion of natural objects,
in a shape or form that is non-geometric or free
flowing (e.g., bodies moving like water flowing).
Organic movement can also be movement that
comes from a deeper place in the body, often
from an internal stimulus, possibly fuelled by
an emotion or memory that triggers a physical
manifestation, response, or movement impulse.
pathway. The route or movement taken from
point A to point B; or a pattern or design created
on the floor or in the air by movements of the
body (e.g., the arm moving in a circular motion
creates a circular air pathway; galloping across
the general space in a zigzag motion creates a
ground pathway). The following are some
examples.
– air pathway:
GLOSSARY
163
– ground pathways:
pattern. An arrangement or sequence of
elements in which one or more of the elements
is repeated in a planned way.
pattern form. A choreographic form used to
communicate an abstract idea or message
(as opposed to a narrative). Examples of pattern
forms include AB, ABA, call and response,
canon, collage, motif, pattern, retrograde,
rondo, theme and variation.
pedestrian movement. Movements that imitate
everyday gestures or actions (e.g., walking,
bouncing a basketball, sitting, opening a door).
In the context of choreography, pedestrian
movement can be exaggerated, shaped, or
stylized for theatrical, aesthetic, choreographic,
or conceptual purposes.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
percussive movement. Sharp, explosive movement (with or without sound) in which the
impetus is quickly checked.
164
personal space. The space around the body,
with the outer edges determined by how far
the body and body parts can reach. It includes
all levels, places, and directions extending out
from the body’s centre.
phrase. A small group of movements that stand
together as a unit (analogous to a phrase in
language arts).
positive space. The space that a body uses or
occupies. See also negative space.
posture. The way a person carries his or her
body.
prop. A portable object used in dance to support
or enhance a performance. A prop may be used
in dance as a creative stimulus or as an extension of the body and/or movement.
quality. The manner in which a movement is
performed (e.g., jerkily, smoothly, cautiously; in
a gliding, slashing, or dabbing manner), usually
in order to communicate information about the
physical and/or emotional state the performer
is attempting to portray.
relationship. See elements of dance.
repetition. The repeated use of movement
phrases or parts of phrases for emphasis or to
create some other effect. Repetition can help
relate sections of dance to each other.
retrograde. A choreographic form in which a
dance or movement sequence is performed in
reverse order (e.g., a dance phrase performed
from back to front).
rhythmic movement. Movement characterized
by the regular recurrence of heavy and light
accents.
rondo. A choreographic form which expands
on ABA form to ABACADA (lengthened
indefinitely), in which the A theme is repeated
or varied.
shape. The position the body takes in space
(e.g., angled, curved, straight). It can refer
to body zones, the whole body, body parts,
and levels.
technique. The physical skills of a dancer that
enable him or her to execute the steps and
movements of dance. Technique also refers to
a set of movements that are characteristic of a
particular form or genre of dance (e.g., ballet,
modern dance).
tempo. The speed at which a dance is performed
or music is played.
Dance Illustrations
site specific. Created for a specific location (e.g.,
a dance that can be danced only in a particular
location because the physical environment is
part of the dance).
space. See elements of dance.
static. Unmoving; used to describe a movement
that is paused.
stimulus. An inspiration for creating a dance
phrase or piece (e.g., a story, theme, idea,
or object).
style. The distinguishing way in which a dance is
created and performed; style is often associated
with a particular performer, performance group,
choreographer, or time period.
sustained movement. A movement that is
prolonged and controlled rather than sudden
or sharp.
theatre in the round. A performance in which
the audience surrounds the performers.
theme and variation. A choreographic form
that starts with an original movement idea
that is repeated with various modifications
(e.g., performed faster or slower, with lighter
or stronger movements, in a new place) while
still maintaining its structure and sequence,
resulting in an A-A1-A2-A3 pattern. The theme
may be repeated between the variations.
time. See elements of dance.
transitions. The links between dance movements
and phrases.
unison movement. A movement or action
performed in exactly the same way by two
or more people at the same time.
Dance Illustrations
symmetry. (1) An exact match in size, shape,
and position between the parts on opposite
sides of a dividing line (e.g., identical arm and
leg positions on the right and left sides of the
body). (2) An exact match in the positioning of
dancers in relation to other dancers on opposite
sides of a dividing line.
GLOSSARY
165
Drama Illustrations
DRAMA
a day in the life. A convention in which students
explore the experience of a person by working
backwards from a significant moment or turning
point in a character’s life to build the story that
accounts for the event. Students work in groups,
using tableau, improvisation, and/or role play
to depict key moments that may have occurred
in the last twenty-four hours of the character’s
life. The scenes are then run in chronological
sequence to depict the events leading up to
the dramatically significant moment.
Anansi stories/tales. Anansi stories originated
in West Africa, where the tradition of storytelling has thrived for generations. The Ashanti
people in Ghana in the west of Africa still tell
stories of Kweku Anansi, the spider, a trickster
figure in African folktales, who both entertains
and teaches life lessons. Many of the Anansi
tales, or adapted versions of them with different
heroes, now exist in North America, South
America, the West Indies, and the Caribbean.
blocking. A technique used in the staging of a
theatrical production to prescribe the positions
and patterns of movement of actors on the stage.
Drama Illustrations
body position. A general term used to refer to
an actor’s position in relation to the audience.
The range of positions includes:
– full front (i.e., the actor faces the audience
directly)
– profile right or left (i.e., the actor’s right or
left side is facing the audience)
– one-quarter right or left (i.e., the actor faces
about halfway between full front and profile)
– full back (i.e., the actor’s back is to the audience)
– three-quarters right or left (i.e., the actor faces
about halfway between full back and profile)
antagonist. The character who is the principal
opponent of the main character in a play.
artefacts. Props, posters, maps, letters, or media
materials that can be used to establish a character, enhance a setting, and/or advance a story.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
atmosphere. The mood established for a drama,
or for a scene within a drama. Music, lighting,
sets, and costumes may all be used to help
create a particular mood or atmosphere.
166
audience. (1) In a formal or traditional play,
the audience is typically seated in front of or
around the action of the play. (2) In a shared
drama experience or role play in the classroom,
the students typically are both actors and spectators in the experience. At times, the students
are all in role together; at other times, some are
out of role viewing a group presentation as
audience members. They may also be audience
members viewing a scene or presentation
while they are in role (e.g., in role as the
king’s assistant, viewing a presentation by
local villagers).
Full front
Full back
One-quarter
right or left
Profile right
or left
Three-quarters
right or left
caption making. A convention in which students
work in groups to devise slogans, titles, newspaper headlines, or chapter headings that convey
in words the intended message of tableaux or
pictures. The captions may be shared orally by
the groups, read out by a narrator, or written
on placards to be read by the class.
ceremony/ritual. A set of actions prescribed
by the beliefs or traditions of a community or
culture and thought to have symbolic value.
choral speaking, chanting. The reading or
reciting of a text by a group. Preparation for a
performance may involve interpretation of the
text; experimentation with language, rhythm,
volume, pace, and different numbers of voices;
and rehearsal.
strations
chorus. A convention in which individuals
or groups provide spoken explanation or
commentary on the main action of a drama.
collective conscience. A convention in which
students act together in a group to give the
main character advice.
collective creation. A widely used genre in
which students collaborate in a group to agree
on a shared vision that represents a place or
person in a drama. The idea can then be used as
a reference for discussing ideas about the place
or person. See also collective understanding.
collective drawing. A convention that focuses
on building a context. An image is created by
the class or small groups to represent a place or
people in the drama. The image can then be
used as a reference for discussing ideas about
the place or person.
collective understanding. An interpretation of
a character and what he or she is experiencing
that is agreed on by all members of a group.
See also collective creation.
conventions of drama. Practices and forms of
representation that are widely accepted for use
in drama instruction as ways to help students
explore meaning and deepen understanding.
Hot seating, voices in the head, and freeze-frame
images are a few examples, among many.
corridor of voices. A convention used to explore
the inner life of a character in drama. The character moves along the “corridor” between two
lines of students who voice feelings, thoughts,
or moral concerns the character might be likely
to have. The convention can also be used to
explore the thoughts of a character who is
facing a difficult task or decision. In this case,
the voices would give advice and warnings.
See also voices in the head.
Students standing
crossing-stage procedure. Customary practice
when two or more actors cross the stage. The
actor closest to the audience (the downstage
actor) slightly trails the other actor, so as not
to block that actor, as shown below.
culture. The customs, institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or group,
including the art works and other embodiments
of the intellectual achievements of the group.
docudrama. A fictionalized drama based on real
events and people.
drama anthology. A drama based on a collection
of related sources about a particular theme,
issue, or person. Both fiction and non-fiction
sources may be used (e.g., diary entries, songs,
poems, speeches, images, headlines).
dramatic exploration. The spontaneous,
imaginative use by students of materials and
equipment available in the classroom to create
drama. The teacher observes and listens while
children are exploring, and provides guidance
as needed. For example, the teacher may pose
a question to prompt deeper thinking, or may
introduce new vocabulary.
dramatic form. (1) The compositional structure
that shapes a drama, as opposed to its theme
or content. (2) A broad category of drama that
may include within it a number of styles
(e.g., puppetry is a form, and different styles of
puppetry are characterized by the use of glove
puppets or marionettes or shadow puppets;
dance drama is a form, and there are different
styles of dance drama around the world, such
GLOSSARY
Students standing
creating an environment. The use of available
materials and furniture to represent the setting
for a drama (e.g., a courtroom, a bedroom).
Sometimes a visual arts extension may be introduced to build belief in the drama (e.g., sheets
of fabric painted to look like the walls of a cave).
167
as Kathakali of India and wayang topeng of Bali
and Java).
dramatic play. Imaginative, pretend play, largely
self-directed, that is typical of primary students.
The children assume roles, often dressing up
and using everyday or found objects to represent objects in their pretend play (e.g., a ruler
may represent a magic wand; a structure built
of blocks may represent a fort). Students use
dramatic play to enact familiar stories, role play
real-life scenarios, and create and live through
imagined stories and scenarios.
dramatic works. In an educational setting, a
variety of drama works that are experienced,
created, and viewed by students (e.g., plays,
improvised drama, short scenes, tableaux, shared
drama experiences, reader’s theatre scripts).
elements of drama. Fundamental components
of drama, including the following:
– character/role. An actor’s portrayal of a
character in a drama, developed with
attention to background, motivation,
speech, and physical traits.
– focus or emphasis. The theme, character,
problem, event, moment in time, or centre
of visual interest (e.g., in a tableau or staging)
that gives purpose or impetus to a drama.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
– place and time. The setting, time period
(e.g., past, present, future), duration (e.g., one
day), and chronology of the action of a story
or drama.
168
– relationship(s). The connection(s) between
people, events, or circumstances.
– tension. A heightened mental or emotional state
resulting from uncertainty about how the
conflict or problem in a drama will be resolved.
empathy/empathize. The capacity to “step into
the shoes” of another and to understand and
appreciate that person’s experiences and circumstances. Empathy is developed through role
play, reflection, writing in role, and viewing and
discussing plays, stories, and films. The ability
to empathize with characters in drama is a
fundamental aspect of building role/character
and is essential to skill development.
farce. A comic drama that uses ridiculously
improbable situations and horseplay, rather
than wit, to create humour.
flashback and flash forward. Conventions used
to provide different perspectives on the action
in a drama by showing events from an earlier
or later time. A flashback might be used to
explain the causes of an action in the present,
a flash forward to show an action in the light
of its imagined or actual outcome.
flocking. A type of improvisation in which
students move in groups, with no set pattern or
in a diamond formation, following a leader and
all doing the same movements simultaneously.
This is an extended version of mirroring for
three or more people. Participants do not necessarily need to be able to watch each other, as
long as they can see the leader.
form. See dramatic form.
forum theatre. A convention in which students
collaboratively explore options or possible
outcomes in order to shape a dramatic scene.
A dramatic situation is improvised by a small
group while the rest of the class observes.
All students participate in creating the scene –
through discussion, by stopping the scene to
make suggestions, or by taking over a role.
The objective is to create an authentic scene
that fits the dramatic context and is satisfying
to the whole group.
four corners. An activity in which four signs
or posters labelled with the possible choices
are placed in the four corners of the classroom.
Students move to the corner of their choice.
Students find a partner in their corner and
describe to the partner the reasons for their
choice. Students are given three to four minutes
to explain the reason(s) for their decision. Each
pair then chooses the top two reasons for making
their choice. Finally, students write their reasons
on the group poster and sign their initials.
Students at each of the four corners form a
large group and choose a spokesperson. The
spokesperson is responsible for presenting a
brief summary of their choice and the rationale
behind the decisions to the whole class.
Drama Illustrations
freeze-frame image. A convention in which
students pose to make an image or tableau
that communicates an idea or a theme or that
depicts a moment in time. Also called a group
sculpture or tableau. See tableau.
furthering the action. A group activity in which
students build on one another’s ideas about
how to move the action of the drama forward.
games/warm-ups. Activities that help develop
a group’s readiness for intensive drama work.
Such activities can promote group cooperation,
trust, risk taking, and listening.
genres. The categories into which dramas
and other literary works can be grouped.
Examples include: thriller, comedy, action,
horror, docudrama, melodrama.
in role. Acting a part. See also role playing.
inner and outer circle. A convention used for
ensemble sharing of contrasting perspectives
related to a drama. Students gather in two circles: an inner circle representing one character
in the drama and an outer circle representing a
second character. (1) In role: Students as characters describe their reactions and state of mind at
a particular point in the drama. (2) Out of role:
Students share personal reflections with one
another as they are given prompts. Students
may speak spontaneously or read from a short
passage. Typically, the teacher orchestrates
the sharing (e.g., by tapping a student on
the shoulder when it is that student’s turn
to speak), so that the contrasting points of
view are highlighted for dramatic effect.
Teacher
gesture. A movement of the body or limbs
used to express or emphasize a thought,
emotion, or idea.
group role play. Role playing in which the
whole group, including the teacher, acts in
role in an imagined context. See also role
playing.
guided imagery. A convention used to help a
group visualize the setting for a drama. The
teacher or a student uses descriptive language
to create a word picture of the physical setting
and/or historical context in which the action
takes place.
hot seating. A convention in which students
allow themselves to be questioned by the rest
of the group. The questioners may speak as
themselves or in role (e.g., as reporters).
Inner Circle
faces in
interpretation. (1) The process of making
meaning from stories, images, and poetry and
the use of drama conventions to represent or
communicate that meaning to others. Students
can also interpret drama works that they view
at the theatre and on television.
interviewing. A convention in which a person
or group in the role of “interviewer” asks
questions of a student in the role of “expert”
to gain information about a particular dramatic
situation.
Drama Illustrations
invented notation. A form of “picture writing”
that students can use in a drama context to
explore movement and ideas for drama (e.g.,
diagrams of blocking to plan movement; symbols
to represent aspects of a myth, story, poem, or
natural occurrence).
GLOSSARY
improvisation. An unscripted, unrehearsed
drama spontaneously created by a student in
response to a prompt or an artefact. See also
prepared improvisation.
Outer Circle of
students face out
169
journal writing. A means for students to reflect
on drama experiences, out of role, by writing
and/or drawing in a journal. The teacher may
pose questions to guide students’ thinking.
movement. Students stand face to face and
move their bodies to follow their partner’s
movements. Variations include a group following a leader’s body and/or hand movements.
juxtaposition. The contrast of strikingly
different elements to create interest and tension
(e.g., differences between characters, settings,
moods, the use of space, or the pace of scenes).
level. A term used to refer to the position of an
Drama Illustrations
actor’s body in relation to the vertical. Standing
represents a high level, sitting or bending over
a medium level, and lying down or crawling a
low level.
monologue. A long speech by one character in
a drama, intended to provide insight into the
character.
mood. See atmosphere.
narration. A convention in which a speaker
describes the action that is occurring in a
drama.
High
Medium
Low
mantle of the expert. A convention in which
students act in role as “experts” to resolve a
problem or challenge. The teacher may also
participate, in the role of facilitator.
mapping. A convention in which students
make maps or diagrams in order to establish
the context, build belief in the fictional setting,
or reflect on the drama.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
meaning. (1) The intended message expressed
by an actor or by a drama work. (2) A viewer
or listener’s understanding of the message of
a drama work.
170
meetings. A convention in which students
and teacher come together in role to hear new
information, make decisions, and plan actions
or strategies to resolve problems that have
emerged in a drama.
mime. The use of gesture, movement, and
facial expression without words or sounds to
communicate actions, character, relationships,
or emotion.
mirroring. A spontaneous improvisational
drama structure used to help students explore
characters, themes, issues, or ideas through
out of role. Not acting a part. The term may be
used to refer to discussions that take place out
of character to further the drama or to plan or
discuss artistic choices.
overheard conversations. A convention in which
the students, role playing in small groups,
“listen in” on what is being said by different
characters in the drama. A signal is given to
freeze all the groups. Then each group in turn
is “brought to life” to continue its improvisation while the other groups watch and listen.
performance. The presentation of a drama work
to an audience.
picture making. An activity in which students
respond to the drama experience by creating
pictures about it, either independently or in
groups. The pictures could represent something
needed for the drama (e.g., the bridge that
connects the two communities on either side
of the river).
place mat. An activity used to generate ideas.
Students record ideas on a piece of paper
divided into sections, with a square or circle
at the centre representing “common ground”.
The students generate ideas individually and
group ideas they agree on in the “common
ground” at the centre.
play. A drama work to be read, performed on
stage, or broadcast.
plot. The sequence of events in a narrative or
drama. The sequence can be chronological or
presented in a series of flashbacks, flash forwards,
and vignettes.
prepared improvisation. Improvised enactments
of key moments that are central to a drama.
Like tableau work – and unlike ordinary
improvisations – prepared improvisations
require planning and collaboration. Advance
preparation includes identifying a suitably
significant moment and giving thought to the
type of dialogue that would be appropriate in
the scene. Limiting the scene to two minutes
helps students restrict their scenes to what is
essential.
presentation. The performance of a dramatic
work for an audience.
process drama. Unscripted and improvised
drama activities. Role play is a key component
of process drama, and the activities are intended
to promote learning, inquiry, or discovery
rather than to create drama for presentation to
an audience. The focus is on the exploration and
investigation of human dilemmas, challenges,
and relationships. See also shared drama
experience; role playing.
prop. A portable object used in a drama to
support the action or to give authenticity
to the setting.
protagonist. The main character in a play.
questioning. A strategy used to develop students’
awareness of universal themes and concepts in
the drama that go beyond the basic story line.
The teacher asks different types of questions,
both in and out of role, to help students broaden
their focus. Questions may be designed to elicit
information, shape understanding, or stimulate
reflection, and may be introduced at any time
during the lesson.
reader’s theatre. A theatre genre in which
students: (a) adopt the roles of different
characters and of a narrator to read a text;
or (b) develop scripts based on familiar texts,
practise their parts, and present their rehearsed
reading to others. Reader’s theatre does not
involve costumes, sets, props, or movement.
The readers generally stand while reading,
using their voices to bring the action of the
scene to life.
role on the wall. A convention in which
students represent an important role in picture
form “on the wall” (usually on a large sheet of
paper) so that information about the role can be
collectively referred to or added as the drama
progresses. Information may include: the character’s inner qualities and external appearance;
the community’s and/or the family’s opinions
about the character; the character’s view of him
or herself; the external and internal forces
working for and against the character; known
and possible hidden influences on the action
or character.
role playing/role play. An instructional technique
in which a student and/or the teacher acts the
part of a character in an imagined situation,
usually in order to explore the character’s
thoughts, feelings, and values. See also group
role play; writing in role.
scene. A unit of a play in which the setting is
fixed and the time is continuous.
Seven Grandfather Teachings. Traditional First
Nation teachings about values: honesty –
gwekwaadziwin; humility – dbaadendizwin;
truth – debwewin; wisdom – nbaakaawin;
love – zaagidwin; respect – mnaadendmowin;
bravery – aakdehewin.
GLOSSARY
shared drama experience. A collaborative
classroom exploration of a topic, theme, or
issue, using role play and a number of drama
conventions to examine multiple perspectives
and deepen understanding of the topic, theme,
or issue. See also process drama; role playing.
171
side coaching. A non-disruptive instructional
technique used by the teacher to help students
working on an exercise or improvisation. As an
onlooker, the teacher quietly makes suggestions
that the students can use as they develop and
shape their drama.
Drama Illustrations
simulation. A re-creation of a series of events
from real life. Students are assigned roles and
provided with background information to help
them re-enact the real-life situation. Students
work in role in groups to plan their contribution, then negotiate as a class to create a joint
product.
sound and gesture circle. A group activity in
which each student communicates his or her
interpretation of an image, concept, or word,
using sound accompanied by a gesture. The
other students respond as a group by repeating
the sound and gesture.
storytelling. A convention in which storytelling
is applied in a drama context. An account of
imagined or real people and events is presented
through action, dialogue, and/or narration by
a teacher or student narrator or by characters
within the drama. Storytelling may be done
in small groups, large groups, or with the
whole class.
stranger Illustrations
in role. A convention in which a
Drama
stranger is introduced into the drama at key
moments to refocus the action and/or give
it a new direction.
style. (1) A particular type of drama within
a broader dramatic category (e.g., commedia
dell’arte is a type or style of mask comedy).
(2) A distinct manner of presenting drama,
often associated with a particular historical
period, movement, writer, or performer.
sustaining belief. Accepting the fictional context
of the drama; believing in the imagined world
of the drama and thereby convincing the audience of the authenticity of the drama.
soundscape/sound collage. A combination
of sounds used to create an atmosphere or
to enhance important moments of a scene.
Students work as a group to agree on and
produce the desired sound effects, using voice
and/or instruments. This strategy requires
careful listening as well as group cooperation
and sensitivity.
ma Illustrations
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
source. A text, idea, or event that provides the
basis for a drama.
172
tableau. A group of silent, motionless figures
used to represent a scene, theme, or abstract
idea (e.g., peace, joy), or an important moment
in a narrative. Tableaux may be presented as
stand-alone images to communicate one
specific message or may be used to achieve
particular effects in a longer drama work.
Important features of a tableau include
character, space, gesture, facial expressions,
and levels.
stage areas. Nine identified sections of the
stage, used to help clarify the positions and
movements of the actors in stage directions
and during rehearsals and performances. The
divisions are shown in the diagram below:
Upstage
Right
Upstage
Centre
Upstage
Left
Centre Stage
Right
Centre
Stage
Centre Stage
Left
Downstage
Right
Downstage
Centre
(Audience)
Downstage
Left
tableau cross-over. A convention in which
groups of students form tableaux, after which
each student exchanges his or her original
tableau position for the position of a partner
in the other group’s tableau. The convention
is used to help students contrast two different
but important moments or ideas in a drama
(e.g., the effects of a sandstorm on a village
years ago before there were trees versus the
effects of a sandstorm on the village today).
Each tableau should depict a powerful
image (e.g., the worst moment during or
after the storm).
talking stick. A drama strategy named after a
ceremonial artefact used in many cultures (e.g.,
Aboriginal) to ensure that everyone’s voice is
heard. In Aboriginal tradition, a stick decorated
with eagle feathers and crystals was held by a
speaker to show that he or she had the right
to speak without being interrupted. In drama
activities, a stick or other object passed among
students can be used to give everyone a turn
to speak.
teacher in role. A teaching strategy in which
the teacher provides input into a drama
activity by taking a role in the drama instead
of commenting from outside the process.
technology. In drama, machinery, including
electrical or digital equipment, that is used to
help implement or enhance a drama production
(e.g., lighting equipment, sound equipment,
recording equipment, projector).
text. A spoken, written, or media work that
communicates meaning to an audience.
Audience
Audience
Actors
e
nc
tra
En
En
tra
nc
e
Audience
e
nc
tra
En
Audience
En
tra
nc
e
theatre in the round/arena stage. A type of stage
situated in the centre of the space, with the
audience facing it from all sides. The placement
of the audience quite close to the action creates
a feeling of intimacy and involvement.
thought tracking. A strategy in which the
teacher circulates, tapping students on the
shoulder to prompt them to focus on their
inner thoughts and feelings. Thought tracking
helps students in role to tap into thoughts and
emotions that lie beneath the surface, enabling
them to deepen their response and/or contrast
outer appearance with inner experience. The
strategy can be used effectively with students
in tableaux.
tools. Equipment (including skills and abilities)
used to produce and enhance a drama production. An actor’s tools may include vocal skills,
movement skills, imagination, and empathy.
A director’s or producer’s tools may include
props, costumes, sets, make-up, and special
effects.
turning-on-stage procedure. A customary
practice that calls for an actor to face the
audience when turning on stage.
two stars and a wish. A method of responding
to one’s own or another’s work by identifying
two strengths and one area for improvement
(e.g., “I really like... I really like... I wish...”).
visual aids. Pictures, projections, or objects
used to enhance drama performances.
visual arts extension. A strategy in which the
teacher has students use visual arts to explore
drama themes or issues. A visual arts extension
should include skill/concept building in both
drama and visual arts. Sometimes the created
artefact can help provide context for a drama
(e.g., masks, murals, books, sets, portraits).
voice. The distinctive style of expression of
a character, an author, or an individual work
conveyed through such things as the use of
vocabulary, sentence structure, and imagery,
as well as rhythm and pace of speech and tone
of voice.
GLOSSARY
theatre work. A staged drama presentation for
viewing, or a script for reading.
think-pair-share. A learning strategy in which
a student thinks about a topic or idea, works
on it with a partner, and then shares the result
with the whole group.
173
voices in the head. A convention used to deepen
students’ understanding of a conflict or a
difficult choice facing a character in the drama.
The student representing the character remains
silent while others standing behind speak out to
express the thoughts and feelings the character
might be experiencing at this point. See also
corridor of voices.
wave. An improvisational convention in which
students stand in a circle or walk in a line,
shoulder to shoulder, following a leader, and
spontaneously or sequentially drop out of the
line to create poses to mirror and then modify
an aspect of the shape and/or movement.
The shapes can reflect the themes, issues,
ideas, or characters being explored.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
writing in role. Writing done from the point
of view of a character in a drama in order to
deepen the writer’s understanding of the
character and create or develop scenes that
reflect this understanding. Some examples of
forms that may be used include diaries, letters,
and reports on specific events that indicate
the character’s responses to those events.
174
MUSIC
absolute music. “Abstract” music or music
written in specific forms for its own sake – that is,
with no connection to a story or other type of
“program”.
accent. An emphasis given to a specific note or
tone, often represented by the symbol as in .
accidental. (1) A notational sign indicating a
change in pitch: a sharp ( – up a half step);
a flat ( – down a half step); or a natural sign
( – restores a note by a half step to its normal
pitch in the scale). (2) A sharp or flat that appears
in the musical score but is not part of the key
signature.
accompaniment. A part that supports a voice
or an instrument (e.g., a rhythmic pattern; a
melodic pattern; a chordal accompaniment,
which uses chords to support a melodic line).
active listening. The process of listening to music
for more than just personal enjoyment; for example, listening to one or more specific elements
for a specific purpose, or listening while playing
with a focus on specific tasks and effects.
balance. The blend of voices and/or instruments
in a musical work, or the blend and positioning
of voices and/or instruments in a performance.
bass clef. The clef used for lower-pitched
instruments or voices. Also called the F clef.
beat. An aspect of the element called duration.
A steady pulse. The underlying pulse of many
musical forms. In music with a metre, there are
strong beats (beats that are often emphasized)
and weak beats (unstressed beats). See also
rhythm.
binary form (AB form). A musical form that
consists of two contrasting sections (A and B).
See also form.
blues scale. Usually a six-note scale in which a
chromatic half step is added to the pentatonic
scale, which gives it the typical blues sound.
A flatted note, often the third, fifth, or seventh
note, occurs in place of an expected major
interval (e.g., C–E –F–G –G–B ). See also scale.
body percussion. Sounds produced for different
effects by using the body as an instrument
(e.g., clapping hands, snapping fingers, patting
the thighs).
anacrusis. See pick-up note(s).
arrange. Adapt a composition for performance
by voice(s) and/or instrument(s) that are
different from those of the original version
of the composition. The result is often called
an arrangement.
articulation. The joining or separation of tones,
or the way in which musical tones are attacked
(e.g., legato – smooth; staccato – detached)
aural/oral. Aural relates to hearing and listening.
Oral relates mainly to singing, but can also
include spoken rhymes and chant as well as
instrumental music (as in “oral tradition”).
bar lines. Vertical lines that divide the five-line
musical staff into measures.
brass instrument. An instrument that is made
of metal and that has a cupped mouthpiece
(e.g., trumpet, trombone, tuba).
breath mark. , A symbol placed above the staff
indicating when the performer is to take a short
breath (for wind instruments) or to lift the bow
and play the next note with a downward stroke
(for stringed instruments).
call and response. (1) A lead-and-follow activity,
sometimes also called question and answer.
(2) A song or rhythmic pattern consisting of
alternating sections of calls sung or played by
a leader (solo) and responses sung or played
by an individual or a group. The call (question)
and response (answer) are different phrases
(not echoes). It is a form that is common in
GLOSSARY
bar. The notes and rests contained between
two bar lines on the musical staff. Also called
a measure.
bordun. A repeated pattern using only the tonic
and dominant (I and V, or “do” and “so”) of the
scale as an accompaniment.
175
many musical traditions. Calls and responses
are often improvised. (Rhythm example: The
teacher claps “ta, ta, ti-ti, ta” and the student
claps a response “ti-ti, ti-ti, ta, ta”. Instrumental
example: The teacher and student create a call
and response using different notes from a
pentatonic scale on a xylophone). See also
echo singing.
canon. A piece in which the same melody is
repeated exactly by a different voice that begins
a short interval after the original voice has
started. Canons may also be for more than
two voices, and may be sung or performed
on instruments. See also round.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
chant. The rhythmic speaking or singing of
words or sounds, sometimes using only one or
two pitches, called reciting tones. Some chants
are very simple (e.g., children’s chants), whereas
others are very complex melodically (e.g.,
Gregorian chant, which was sung by monks
in religious services in the Middle Ages).
176
chord. Several notes, often three or four, played
simultaneously, usually containing a root, third,
and fifth. Chords of three notes are often called
triads. For example, a G-major chord (triad) is
made up of the notes G (root), B (third), and
D (fifth). Chords are usually described with
roman numerals – for example, I for the chord
on the first degree of the scale, or tonic; V for
the chord on the fifth degree of the scale, or
dominant; IV for the chord on the fourth degree
of the scale, or subdominant. A commonly used
chord progression is therefore written and
described as I-IV-V-I.
chromatic scale. A scale made up of twelve
consecutive notes, each a half step apart.
coda. (1) An extra section of music at the end
of a piece. (2) A concluding musical section
announcing the end of a piece. See also da capo
al coda; dal segno al coda.
compose. Create a piece of music (a composition)
using the elements of music to convey musical
thoughts and meaning.
compound metre. A metre in which each main
beat in a bar is divided into three (e.g., compound duple: 68 ; compound triple: 98 ). See also
metre; oral count; time signature.
conducting patterns. Patterns that the conductor
uses to indicate the beats in a bar. (At the same
time, the conductor indicates tempo, dynamics,
and sometimes articulation.)
3
4
4
4
2
4
4
3
2
1
2
2
1
3
1
crescendo. A common term for a gradual
increase in volume, often indicated by the
abbreviation “cresc.” or the symbol
.
da capo al coda. Abbreviated as D. C. al coda.
Indication to return to the beginning of the
piece and play to coda, then play the coda.
See also coda.
da capo al fine. Abbreviated as D. C. al fine.
Indication to return to the beginning of the
piece and play to fine (the end).
dal segno al coda. Abbreviated as d.s. (or D. S.)
al coda. Indication to return to the sign and
play to coda or , then play the coda. See also
coda.
+0
dal segno al fine. Abbreviated as d.s. (or D. S.)
al fine. Indication to return to the sign and
then play to fine (the end).
decrescendo. A common term for a gradual
decrease in volume, often indicated by the abbreviation “decresc.” or by the symbol
.
The term diminuendo (abbreviation dim.) is also
commonly used.
devised notation. See non-traditional notation;
visual prompts; visual representation.
dotted note or rest. A note or rest to which a
dot is added. The dot adds one-half of the
note’s value. The following are some examples
in 24 , 34 , and 44 time:
− dotted half note. A note that is held for three
beats.
− dotted half rest. Indication of a period of
silence lasting three beats.
− dotted quarter note. A note that is held for
one and one-half beats.
– dotted quarter rest. Indication of a period
of silence lasting for one and one-half beats.
See also notes and rests.
dotted rhythm. Rhythm in which long notes
alternate with one or more short notes. The long
notes are dotted. See also dotted note or rest.
duple metre. See metre; oral count; time
signature.
duration. The element of music that relates to
time. Fundamental concepts related to it are
beat, rhythm, metre, and tempo.
dynamics. The element of music relating to the
varying degree of volume. Some fundamental
concepts related to this element are: crescendo,
decrescendo; forte (f – loud), fortissimo (ff – very
loud), mezzo forte (mf – moderately loud); piano
(p – soft), pianissimo (pp – very soft), mezzo
piano (mp – moderately soft).
echo singing. (1) A lead-and-follow activity,
sometimes also called echoing. (2) A melodic
or rhythmic pattern consisting of alternating
sections of calls sung or played by a leader
(solo) and responses sung or played by the
follower(s). The calls and the responses consist
of the same melodic or rhythmic phrase, thus
“echo”. (Rhythm example: The teacher claps “ta,
ta, ti-ti, ta” and the student claps the response
“ta, ta, ti-ti, ta”.) See also call and response.
elements of music. Fundamental components
of music. They are defined for the purposes of
this document as duration (beat, rhythm, metre,
tempo), pitch (melody), dynamics, timbre,
texture/harmony, and form. See also individual
entries for these terms.
family of instruments. A grouping of similar
types of musical instruments. In European music,
there have traditionally been four families of
instruments (i.e., woodwinds, brass, strings, and
percussion). Some musicologists now add extra
families to include electronic instruments and
musical instruments of other parts of the world.
fermata. A sign indicating that the performer
is to hold a note or pause for longer than its
usual value.
first and second endings. Signs that indicate
the following procedure: at the repeat sign at
the end of the first ending
, the performer
repeats the section just played, then goes on
to play the second ending
.
folk song. A song that is usually transmitted
orally over several generations, often related
to the daily life of the people in a culture or
community.
form. The element of music relating to the
structure of musical works or pieces. See also
binary form (AB form); fusion form; minuet;
rondo; ternary form (ABA form); theme and
variations; 12-bar blues; verse and chorus.
found sounds. (1) Rhythmic or pitched sounds
that can be produced by using everyday objects,
such as sticks, combs, pop bottles, shakers, or
pots. (2) Environmental sounds, such as the
sounds of hammering, traffic, or birds, that
can be used in creating a musical composition.
fusion form. A musical genre that results from
combining aspects of two or more genres; for
example, rock music is a fusion of blues, gospel,
and country music. See also form.
expressive controls. Particular kinds of emphasis
given to notes, using such means as articulation,
fermatas, tempo, dynamics, and timbre.
grand staff.
The combination of a staff
notated in the treble clef with one notated in
the bass clef. This staff is used for notating
GLOSSARY
ensemble. A group of singers, or instrumentalists.
gamelan. Instrumental music from Indonesia
and Malaysia that is characterized by reverberating sounds produced by gongs, chimes, and
other tuned metal percussion instruments.
Two main gamelan traditions are the Balinese
and the Javanese.
177
piano music and music for other keyboard
instruments, and is also used to notate vocal
works.
half step. The smallest interval that is commonly
used in Western music (e.g., the interval E–F
or C–C ).
harmony. The simultaneous sounding of two or
more notes, or pitches. See also chord; texture.
head tone. A sound produced in the upper
register of the singing voice. The vibrations
of sung head tones are felt in the head rather
than in the chest.
historical periods. For the purposes of this document, the historical periods for Western classical
music are the Middle Ages (ca. 500–ca. 1450),
the Renaissance (ca. 1450–1600), the Baroque
period (1600–1750), the Classical period
(ca. 1750–1820), the Romantic period
(ca. 1820–1900), and the twentieth century
and beyond (from approximately 1900 on).
Classical musical traditions from other parts
of the world also have written historical
records (e.g., North and South Indian,
Arabic, Persian, Chinese).
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
homophony (homophonic music). Music
consisting of a single melodic line with chordal
accompaniment.
178
improvise. Compose, play, or sing on the spur
of the moment without the aid of written
music, applying skills learned. Improvisation
can refer either to the music produced or the
activity of improvising.
interpretation. (1) Analysis or appreciation of a
musical work by a viewer or listener. (2) The
particular understanding of a musical work that
is communicated by a performer of the work.
interval. The distance between two notes
(e.g., the interval between two pitches that are
one step apart, such as C–D, is called a second).
See half step; major interval; minor interval;
perfect intervals; skip; step; unison.
invented notation. See non-traditional notation;
visual prompts; visual representation.
key signature. The pattern of sharps () or flats ( )
placed on the staff immediately to the right of
the clef to indicate which notes are to be played
sharp or flat throughout a piece of music. (Sharps
or flats indicated in the key signature can be
temporarily cancelled by a natural sign [].) The
key signature also identifies the key and scale
associated with the music. See the diagram of
key signatures on page 185.
leap. Any interval that is larger than a skip, or
third (e.g., the interval of a fourth, such as C–F).
See interval; skip; step; unison.
ledger lines. Extra, short lines that are added
above or below the regular five-line staff to
extend the staff in order to notate pitches that
fall above or below the staff.
legato. Smooth, flowing performance of a phrase.
major and minor keys. A major key is based
on the notes of the major scale (e.g., C major:
C–D–E–F–G–A–B–C), while a minor key is
based on the notes of the minor scale (e.g., A
minor [harmonic]: A–B–C–D–E–F–G –A). See
also major scale; minor scales.
major interval. The distance between two notes
within the major scale, measured from the
first note of a major scale; that is, the major
second, major third, major sixth, and major
seventh (e.g., the interval F–G is a major second,
and C–E is a major third). See also interval;
leap; major scale; minor interval; perfect
intervals; skip; step; unison.
major scale. A stepwise series of eight notes
composed of whole steps and half steps in the
following sequence – whole, whole, half, whole,
whole, whole, half. In this pattern, a major
interval occurs between the first note of the
scale and each of the second, the third, the sixth,
and the seventh notes of the scale. See also
minor scales; scale.
manipulatives. Models, blocks, tiles, and other
objects that children can use to explore musical
ideas; for example, math cubes to demonstrate
the length (duration) of notes: long, long, short
short.
measure. See bar.
melody. A succession of sounds (pitches) and
silences moving through time. Melodies can be
thought of as movement in sound by repetition
of a pitch, by step, and by skip, or as movement
by a series of intervals (unison, step, skip, leap).
melody map/melodic contour. A graphic
representation that illustrates the movement
(rise and fall) of a melodic line. Also called
pitch contour.
metre. An aspect of the element called duration.
The grouping of beats in music using time signatures. Metres are typically simple (e.g., 24 , 34 , 44 ),
compound (e.g., 68 , 64 , 98 ), and irregular
(e.g., 54 ). Duple metres have two main beats in a
bar (e.g., 24 , 68 , 64 ). Triple metres have three main
beats in a bar (e.g., 34 , 98 ). See also oral count;
time signature.
minor interval. (1) The distance between two
notes within the minor scale, measured from
the first note of a minor scale; that is, the minor
third, minor sixth, and minor seventh (e.g., a
minor sixth is A–F). (2) Any interval that is one
half step (or semitone) smaller than a major
interval (e.g., a major second is C–D, but the
minor second is C–D ). See interval; leap;
major interval; minor scales; perfect intervals;
skip; step; unison.
monophony (monophonic music). Music consisting of a single melodic line with no accompaniment. It can be performed by one person (a solo)
or by several in unison (e.g., a unison chorus).
movement. A relatively independent segment
of a larger work that is found in such works
as sonatas, symphonies, and concertos.
musical literacy. The ability to understand
and use the variety of ways in which meaning
is communicated through music, including use
of the elements, aural skills (in listening and
performing), reading and writing skills (use of
notation, symbols, terminology), and interpretative performance skills.
musicianship. The knowledge, skills, and artistic
sensitivity necessary for interpreting music
through performance and conveying understanding of feelings and ideas in the music.
non-pitched percussion instruments. Percussion
instruments that sound only one pitch (e.g.,
snare drum, cow bell, cymbals, tambourines,
wood blocks). Also can be called unpitched
or untuned percussion instruments.
non-traditional notation. A way of writing
music that is not standard notation, such as
rhythmic or stick notation, graphic notation,
a melody map, depiction of melodic contour,
notation using icons, or a visual representation.
Sometimes referred to as devised or invented
notation. See also melody map/melodic contour;
oral prompts; solfège; visual prompts; visual
representation.
notation. A way of indicating pitch and rhythm
in written form; for example, standard notation,
tablature, and percussion notation, as well as
written forms of oral syllables, such as the
syllables used in the Indian tabla tradition
and the Griot tradition of Africa. See also nontraditional notation; oral prompts; solfège.
GLOSSARY
minor scales. (1) In the natural minor, there is
a stepwise series of eight notes composed of
whole steps and half steps in the following
sequence – whole, half, whole, whole, whole,
half, whole. In this pattern, a minor interval
occurs between the first note of the scale and
each of the third, the sixth, and the seventh
notes of the scale. (2) In the harmonic minor, the
seventh note is raised. (3) In the melodic minor,
the sixth and seventh notes are raised going up
the scale, and are lowered going down (lowered to the same pitches as those in the natural
minor). Common to all three minor scales,
ascending and descending, is the minor interval
between the first note and the third. See also
major scale; scale.
minuet. A musical form in 34 time. It is based
on ABA form, but there are many repeats with
modifications (usually at the end of a repeated
section) and variations of themes used. See
also form.
179
notation software. A computer application
used to compose, arrange, and publish musical
compositions. Most notation software is able to
receive information from, and send information
to, a MIDI-capable keyboard or synthesizer.
note. A musical sound or the symbol used to
write it down.
notes and rests. The following are the standard
symbols for common notes and rests. The values
given here are samples in simple time ( 24 , 34 ,
and/or 44 ).
– whole note. A note that is held for four
beats.
ments, because, in several instances, the same
sound/pitch is referred to by a different name
for different instruments (e.g., a B on an oboe
is the same pitch as a C on a clarinet). See also
chord; chromatic scale; major scale; minor
scales; pentatonic scale; scale; solfège.
one-line staff. A “staff” of one line on which
the up-and-down nature of pitch progression
can be indicated in relationship to a reference
point (the line). It can be used to teach young
children to read music. The number of lines
can be increased to two, three, and finally five.
See also notation.
– whole rest. Indication of a period of
silence lasting four beats.
– half note. A note that is held for two beats.
– half rest. Indication of a period of silence
lasting two beats.
– quarter note. A note that is held for one beat.
– quarter rest. Indication of a period of
silence lasting one beat.
– eighth note. A note that is held for one-half
of a beat. Beams can connect sequential
eighth notes: ¯¯¯
– eighth rest. Indication of a period of silence
lasting one-half of a beat.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
– sixteenth note. A note that is held for
one-quarter of a beat.
180
– sixteenth rest. Indication of a period of
silence lasting one-quarter of a beat.
|| Indication of the
– multi-measure rest. number of measures of silence, which is used
to conserve space. This convention requires
the performer to count carefully.
See also notation; oral prompts.
numbers for notation (scales). In scales, the
names of notes are usually used (e.g., C, D, E,
F, G, A, and B), but the notes are sometimes
assigned numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7) or
syllables (do, re, mi, fa, so, la, and ti) for purposes of instruction. For example, it is helpful
to use numbers to refer to notes when having
students play a scale together on band instru-
oral count. Use of words to indicate beats and
divisions of beats; for example, in 34 time, “one
and two and three and” to indicate quarter and
eighth notes. Also called counting aloud. See the
chart on page 185 showing a way of counting
aloud for various metres. See also metre; time
signature.
oral prompts. Syllables derived from the
Kodály method of teaching music. See the
chart on page 186 for oral prompts and their
equivalents in standard and rhythmic (stick)
notation.
ostinato. A continuous repeated rhythmic or
melodic pattern (e.g., bordun). An example of a
simple rhythmic ostinato might be “ta, ta, ti-ti,
ta”. A melodic ostinato might include a word
from a song that is repeated using the melodic
pattern of “so–so–la–la–so–so–mi”. See also oral
prompts; rhythmic pattern; solfège.
partner song. A song that results when two
different songs are sung together that have
melodies that fit together well when they are
performed simultaneously (e.g., “Fish and
Chips and Vinegar” sung with “Rufus Rustus
Johnson Brown”). It is a form of polyphony.
pentatonic scale. A musical scale of five pitches
or notes (e.g., C–D–E–G–A, or do–re–mi–so–la).
The pentatonic scale plays a significant role in
music education, particularly in Orff-based
methodologies that place a heavy emphasis on
developing creativity through improvisation.
Orff instruments (e.g., xylophones) use wooden
bars that the teacher can remove, leaving only
those bars that correspond to the pentatonic
scale. Because of the nature of the pentatonic
scale, it was found that it was impossible for
a child to make any real harmonic mistakes
when using it. See also scale.
percussion instrument. An instrument that
one has to hit, scrape, or rattle in order to make
a sound. Percussion instruments are typically
classified as pitched (e.g., xylophone) and
non-pitched (e.g., maracas).
perfect intervals. The perfect 4th (e.g., the interval C–F or F–B ), perfect 5th (e.g., the interval
C–G or F–C), octave (e.g., the interval from C
to the next C, ) and unison. In Western music,
perfect intervals have been considered to be
the most harmonious.
perform. In elementary school, share work in
progress to get feedback from peers and the
teacher (e.g., sing a song), or share a finished
product with another individual or a group of
people in either an informal or a formal context
(e.g., play an instrumental piece for a classroom
audience).
phrase. (1) A group of sounds that has a
beginning, a middle, and an end. (2) A musical
sentence that is both rhythmic and melodic
(often four to eight measures long).
pick-up note(s). One or more unstressed notes
that lead in to the downbeat, or strong beat.
Also called an anacrusis.
pitch. The element of music relating to the
highness or lowness of a tone.
pitched percussion instruments. Percussion
instruments that produce more than one pitch
(e.g., xylophone, metalophones, piano, orchestral
bells).
program music. Music that depicts a story,
scene, or emotion.
question and answer. See call and response.
recorder. A woodwind instrument consisting
of a wooden or plastic tube, at the top of which
is a whistle-like mouthpiece. The recorder has a
softer tone than the flute, and is held vertically,
not horizontally.
repeat. A symbol used to enclose a
passage that is to be played more than once.
If there is no left repeat sign, and the performer
encounters a right repeat sign, he or she goes
back to the beginning of the piece and plays
it again. See also first and second endings.
rest. See notes and rests.
rhythm. An aspect of the element called duration.
The pattern of long and short sounds or silences.
Patterns can be created by both musical sounds
and lyrics or words. Rhythm differs from beat;
for example, the rhythm at the beginning of a
song might be “ta, ti-ti, tika-tika, ta”, whereas
the beat is the underlying steady pulse of “ta,
ta, ta, ta”. See also beat.
rhythmic (or stick) notation. See oral prompts.
rhythmic pattern. A short, repeated pattern
using two or more note values (e.g., quarter note
and eighth note). A sample of such a pattern is
“ta, ti-ti, ta, ta”.
rhythm syllables. See oral prompts.
roman numerals. See chord.
rondo. A form of music in which the main
theme alternates with contrasting themes. It
often consists of five sections, of which the first,
third, and fifth are the same or almost the same
(ABACA or ABABA). See also form.
GLOSSARY
pitch matching. Singing or playing, in tune,
exactly the same pitch as another person,
after hearing it sung or played.
polyphony (polyphonic music). Music consisting
of two or more melodic lines that are performed
simultaneously. Also called counterpoint. See
also partner song.
181
round. A piece for three or more voices or
instruments in which each sings or plays the
same melodic material but starts one after the
other at a set point (e.g., “Row, Row, Row Your
Boat”, “Frère Jacques”). It is a kind of canon.
scale. A series of notes that go up or down
stepwise. Names of notes are usually used
(e.g., C, D, E, F, G, A, and B), but the notes are
sometimes assigned numbers or syllables for
purposes of instruction. Chords based on the
notes of the scale are referred to with roman
numerals. See also chord; chromatic scale;
major scale; minor scales; numbers for notation
(scales); pentatonic scale; solfège.
section. A part of a larger composition that is
longer than a phrase (e.g., an introduction, a
verse, a chorus, a coda). Musical forms, such
as binary and ternary, are built from smaller
musical units called sections.
sforzando (sfz). A sudden and very forceful
emphasis, often on a whole chord.
sight reading. Singing or playing notated music
that one has not seen before.
skip. Any interval that is larger than a step,
or second (e.g., the interval of a third, such as
C–E, which is the distance between notes either
a line or a space apart on the staff). See also
interval; leap.
(e.g., Indian, Balinese, Chinese, Korean traditions). In some cases, music is notated using
oral syllables (e.g., Indian drum notation). See
the drawings of the hand signs on page 186 that
indicate the solfège syllables. See also visual
prompts.
soundscape. A piece of music that, through
sound, depicts a picture or an event or creates
a mood or an atmosphere. It can, for example,
contain a structured or shaped sequence of
musical and found sounds.
staccato. Short and detached, indicated by
a dot above or below the note head.
staff. The five lines and four spaces on which
the symbols of standard notation of music are
written.
standard notation. The system of written
symbols conventionally used to represent the
sounds of a composition. This includes the
five-line staff, notes, key signatures, time
signatures, and indications of tempo, dynamics,
and articulation. See also notation; solfège.
step. The interval between a note that is on a
line and a note on the adjacent space, or vice
versa (e.g., the interval C–D or E–F ). Also called
the interval of a second, a whole step, or a tone.
There are two half steps (semitones) in a step.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
stick (or rhythmic) notation. See oral prompts.
182
slur. A curved line connecting notes on a score
to indicate that they are to be played or sung
smoothly (legato, or without separation). For
example, for a violin, a slur encompasses more
than one note in a single bow stroke; brass and
woodwind players should tongue only the
first note of a slur group; in guitar music, slurs
are commonly known as “hammer-ons” and
“pull-offs”.
solfège. A technique for teaching sight singing
and ear training in which each note is sung to a
special syllable, called a solfège syllable (or sol-fa
syllable). The syllables do, re, mi, fa, so, la, and
ti represent the pitches of the scale. Various kinds
of syllables are used in oral traditions around
the world for learning music or for reciting
stringed instrument. An instrument that has
strings and that is played with a bow or
plucked (e.g., violin, viola, violoncello, double
bass, guitar, lute).
style. Characteristic use of the elements of
music by musicians of particular traditions.
Often refers to music of a specific historical
period (e.g., Baroque style). Knowledge of
aspects of the style of a particular time or
tradition is essential for proper interpretation
and performance of works in that style.
syllables. See oral prompts; solfège.
symbols. Conventional marks, signs, or characters indicating how to perform musical notes.
harmony, speed, and/or mood of the theme.
See also form.
tie. A symbol that links two adjacent notes
of the same pitch, indicating that the first note
is to be held for the total time value of the
two notes. A tie can also extend over two or
more measures.
(
syncopation. The displacement of beats or
accents so that emphasis is placed on weak
beats rather than on strong beats.
tablature. A form of notation used for guitar
and other plucked instruments, such as the lute.
In the example below, notation is given for a
solid A minor chord that is followed by some
individual notes. The lines represent the strings
(not a staff) and the numbers represent the frets
(not fingering). See also notation.
T
A
B
0
0
1
1
2
2
2
2
0 0
0
technology. Electronic instruments and interfaces,
as well as compositional hardware and software,
used for composing music and altering and
recording sound.
tempo. An aspect of the element called duration.
The speed of a piece. Some common tempo
indications are: allegro (quickly and in a lively
way), moderato (at a moderate speed), andante
(somewhat slowly, at a walking pace), largo
(slowly), adagio (slowly and gracefully), and
vivace (briskly, quickly, brightly).
ternary form (ABA form). A musical form that
consists of three sections – a first section, a
contrasting section, and a third section that
is a repetition of the first. See also form.
texture. The relationship between the “horizontal” aspect of music (i.e., a single line such as a
melody) and the “vertical” (i.e., some type of
accompaniment such as harmony). For example,
texture that is mainly vertical is homophonic
(i.e., it consists of a melody with chordal accompaniment), and texture that is mainly horizontal
is polyphonic (i.e., it consists of two or more
melodies sung or played together). Texture may
also be created by a group of percussion instruments playing music that is not primarily
melodic, such as the Balinese gamelan.
time signature. A numerical indication showing
the number of beats in a bar and the value of
the note that gets one beat. The following are
some common examples:
2
4
–
time. Indication that there are two beats
to a bar and the quarter note gets one beat.
Also called simple duple.
–
3
4
–
time. Indication that there are three beats
to a bar and the quarter note gets one beat.
Also called simple triple.
time. Also represented by . Indication that
there are four beats to a bar and the quarter
note gets one beat. Also called simple quadruple
or common time.
4
4
5
4
–
time. Indication that there are five beats
to a bar and the quarter note gets one beat.
Also called irregular compound.
–
6
4
time. Indication that there are six beats
to a bar and the quarter note gets one beat.
Also called compound duple, since there are
really two main beats to a bar, each divided
into three.
–
6
8
time. Indication that there are six beats
to a bar and the eighth note gets one beat.
Also called compound duple, since there are
really two main beats to a bar, each divided
into three.
–
9
8
time. Indication that there are nine beats
to a bar and the eighth note gets one beat.
Also called compound triple, since there are
really three main beats to a bar, each divided
into three.
See also compound metre; metre; oral count;
time signature.
GLOSSARY
theme and variations. A form of music in
which a melody or section of music constitutes
the basis (the theme) for a series of variations
(A, A1, A2, A3...). The variations often result
from changes in the key, metre, rhythm,
timbre. The element of music relating to the
unique quality of sounds that allows us to distinguish between them (e.g., the characteristic
sound of a trumpet versus a clarinet, or a male
versus a female voice). Also called tone colour.
183
treble clef. The clef used for higher-pitched
instruments or voices. Also called the G clef.
triad. See chord.
triple metre. See compound metre; metre; oral
count; time signature.
triplet. A grouping of three notes that takes the
same amount of time that two notes of the same
value would normally take in a specific piece.
A small numeral “3” is placed above the triplet.
Heard in succession, triplets produce a gently
swinging motion.
tone colour. The quality of a particular musical
sound. Also referred to as timbre. Words that are
sometimes used to describe the tone colour or
timbre of an instrument or the tone colour(s) of
a musical work might be rich, bright, mellow,
or piercing.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
12-bar blues. One of the most popular forms
in the blues and in other popular music. The
12-bar blues has a distinctive structure both
musically and in its lyrics. The typical 12-bar
blues chord progression is a version of the
I-IV-V-I chord progression (e.g., G-C-D7-G or
A-D-E7-A). This chord progression forms the
basis of thousands of songs, not only blues
songs such as “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” and
“Hound Dog”, but also jazz classics such as
“Night Train” and pop and rock songs, such
as the Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”.
Lyrics are typically in three lines, and the first
two lines are almost the same with slight differences in phrasing and interjections. See also form.
184
two-line staff. See one-line staff.
unison. (1) The sound produced when two or
more instruments or voices play or sing the
same pitch. (2) The interval that occurs when
two melodic parts (voices or instruments) join
to produce the same sound.
verse and chorus. A musical form in which a
verse part and a chorus part alternate. The
chorus is usually repeated relatively unchanged,
whereas the verses are not usually exactly alike.
Sometimes there is an introduction, or the
chorus may be repeated without an intervening
verse. See also form.
visual prompts. Pre-reading representations,
such as hearts, to represent the beat, or sticks,
to represent note values (see illustration below).
Visual prompts facilitate the learning of notation
at early stages. Other forms of visual prompts
are solfège hand signs; visual placement of
solfège hand signs higher and lower in space or
placement of solfège letters (e.g., S, S, M, S) on
the blackboard to indicate melodic movement
up and down; placement of solfège letters or
simple circles on a staff; or indication of pitches
and rhythm by using solfège letters with rhythmic (stick) notation (with or without a staff).
See also melody map/melodic contour; nontraditional notation; oral prompts; solfège;
visual representation.
visual representation. Use of symbols visually
to reflect pitches and/or rhythms heard. For
example, the size of the visual symbols used
can provide an indication of the volume or
duration of the sounds (e.g., a large object could
indicate a loud or long sound). Also called
graphic response. See also melody map/melodic
contour; non-traditional notation; visual
prompts.
whole step. See step.
wind instrument. An instrument in which the
sound is produced by a column of air (e.g., flute,
clarinet, oboe, trumpet, trombone, tuba).
woodwind instrument. An instrument, usually
made of wood, that one has to blow into in
order to make a sound (e.g., clarinet, oboe,
English horn, flute, recorder, bassoon). Despite
the name, some woodwind instruments are
made of metal – for example, flutes, saxophones,
and some clarinets.
Illustrations of Some Musical Concepts
Key signatures
The following chart shows the number of sharps
and flats in key signatures. (Lower-case letters
indicate minor keys.)
Names of Keys
With Flats
Number
of ’s or
’s in Key
Major
keys
Names of Keys
With Sharps
Minor
keys
0
Major
keys
Minor
keys
C, a
1
F
d
G
e
2
B
g
D
b
3
E
c
A
f
4
A
f
E
c
5
D
b
B
g
6
G
e
F
7
C
a
C
Oral count
In the following chart, illustrations are provided
to show how one might count aloud in some
commonly used metres. Only the main beats
and main divisions of beats are indicated.
Primary emphasis is indicated with bold
type and secondary emphasis with bold italic.
(See also notes and rests and time signature
for the specific meaning of the time signatures
and note values.)
Time
Metre
Signature
Count
2
4
simple
duple
one-and-two-and
3
4
simple
triple
one-and-two-and-threeand
4
4
simple
quadruple
one-and-two-and-threeand-four-and
d
5
4
irregular
compound
one-two-three-one-two or
one-two-three-four-five
a
6
8
compound
duple
one-and-a-two-and-a
6
4
compound
duple
one-two-three-four-five-six
9
8
compound
triple
one-and-a-two-and-athree-and-a
GLOSSARY
Continued on next page
185
Oral prompts with rhythmic and standard notation
Solfège hand signs
The oral syllables and the equivalents in rhythmic notation and standard notation are given in
the chart below. Rhythmic notation, often called
stick notation, which is a simplified form of
standard notation, is often used in conjunction
with oral prompts.
For instructional purposes, the solfège hand
signs are usually posted from bottom to top
(as in the illustration below), so that students
will associate the rise in pitch with the rising
of their hands in the air as they sing and use
the hand signs.
Oral Prompt
Rhythmic
(or Stick) Notation
Standard
Notation
ta
ti
ti-ti
¯¯
tika-tika
¯¯¯¯¯¯
ta-ah
ta-ah-ah-ah
ti-tika
¯¯¯¯
tika-ti
¯¯¯¯
tum-ti
syn-co-pa
tim-ka
¯¯
shh (or “rest”)
do
ti
la
so
fa
mi
re
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
do
186
VISUAL ARTS
abstraction. A technique of depicting observable
phenomena such as figures, places, or objects in
a simplified or modified form (e.g., as geometric
shapes, stick figures, shapes and spaces composed of tonal areas). Below is an example of
abstraction of musical instruments and
symbols. See also style: abstract art; style:
non-objective art.
advancing colour. Colour that appears to come
forward in the picture plane and forward from
the surface (e.g., a warm colour or a vivid
colour).
allegory. The use of symbolic figures, events,
or actions to represent abstract ideas.
analogous colours. Two or more colours that are
next to each other on the colour wheel, such as
red, red-orange, and orange. Also called adjacent
colours. See also colour.
angle of view. See point of view (visual).
animation. The process of creating the illusion
of movement through a series of images
(e.g., drawings, digital images, paper cut-outs,
photographs, puppets, sculpted figures) that
show slight, progressive changes sequentially
in time using various techniques (e.g., claymation, cut-out/collage animation, flipbook,
thaumatrope, pixilation, rotoscope, stop
motion, digital processes).
art analysis strategy. A method for analysing
visual art works. Types of strategies include
the following:
– artist journal (in role). The student synthesizes biographical information about an artist
and compositional information about the art
work by writing a journal, in role, as an artist.
A variation is writing letters in role.
– image improv(isation). A cooperative
strategy. Students in small groups discuss
an art work to determine what could be
happening and/or the relationships among
the people, animals, or objects in it. Students
then explore their analysis of the image
through various drama conventions and
improvisation.
– pop master. Students select an Old Master
painting and create an abstract painting in
response to it, using contemporary figures,
settings, or issues. Students generalize the
shapes in the painting as either geometric,
hard-edged shapes or organic, free-flowing
shapes. The placement of objects in the composition should match the original image.
Students test out their shape abstractions
with rough sketches, then select a warm,
cool, or limited colour scheme to work with
(choosing a colour scheme that contrasts
with the original colour scheme would
increase the “abstract” effect). Students
then discuss how their new composition
and colour choices affect the viewer and
change the meaning/interpretation of the
original art work.
– word and image match. A cooperative
strategy. Students match printed words to
postcard-size or large reproductions of art
images. The words can be in different sets
(e.g., emotions, moods, adjectives, nouns,
verbs, adverbs). Students then discuss
their choices.
GLOSSARY
appropriation. The taking or borrowing of
elements to recontextualize them or create new
works. The borrowed elements may include
images, forms, or styles from art history or from
popular culture, or materials and techniques
from non-art contexts (e.g., everyday objects).
The audience or viewer may or may not be
aware of the intertextuality of the imagery.
187
– word association in image interpretation.
A cooperative strategy. The teacher presents
students with paired images in a variety of
art forms (e.g., paintings, sculpture, photographs) along with two words that are not
related to visual arts (e.g., flip, flop). The
students decide, according to their own
criteria and direct observation, which image
suits which word. A wide variety of interpretations are acceptable as long as visual support can be found in the selected images.
See also artist interview; artist’s statement;
classifying images; image round-table.
artist interview. A cooperative art-analysis
strategy in which one student takes on the role
of an artist and is interviewed by a student or
students. The interview is used to explore ideas
and to gain personal and practical information
from the “artist”. Interviews help to focus on
significant information, ideas, or experiences
that yield new learning, and can teach students
how to probe and use follow-up questions to
extend understanding.
automotion. A technique in which a figure or
object is drawn in motion in a series but within
one frame or within a single image.
background. See ground plane.
balance. A principle of design. A feeling of
balance results when the elements of design
are arranged symmetrically or asymmetrically
to create the impression of equality in weight
or importance or harmony of design and
proportion. Forms and figures acquire greater
weight the farther away they are positioned
from the centre axis of the image.
blending. The drawing and painting technique
of mixing two or more colours. It may be used
to create gradations of colour so that two hues
or values merge imperceptibly. There are a
variety of techniques for blending in each of
the different media.
Visual Arts Illustrations
artist’s statement. A concise summary in which
the artist reflects on and/or analyses what he
or she has done, in order to help the viewer
understand his or her purpose, priorities, and
techniques.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
artist trading cards (ATCs). Miniature art works
(65 by 90 mm; 2½ by 3½ in.) created by artists
to trade with other artists. They may be unique
works or limited editions of prints. The art on
the cards may be done in any medium.
188
assemblage. A three-dimensional work of art
that combines a variety of materials such as
textiles and found objects or parts of objects.
asymmetry. Inequality in size, shape, and/or
position between parts or elements or objects.
An asymmetrical arrangement may still
produce a balanced visual effect or weight.
block print. See relief printing.
camera angles. Various positions of the camera
with respect to the subject being photographed,
each giving a different viewpoint and perspective. See also point of view (visual).
camera shot. (1) The view that is seen or filmed
through a camera’s viewfinder. (2) The composition of key elements within a frame used
to support the story or idea indicated in a
storyboard. Different types of shots include
the following:
– close-up. The camera is placed close to an
object or person to focus attention on details
(e.g., to display emotions and reveal what
the character is thinking). In these shots, the
subject will dominate the frame.
classifying images. A critical-thinking art-analysis
strategy in which students collect, sort, display,
and interpret images according to established
or student-generated criteria in order to identify
a variety of relationships among the images or
parts of the images.
– tracking shot. The camera follows a character
as he or she moves.
clustering. In design, creating a focal point by
grouping different objects or shapes together.
chine collé. See printmaking.
close-up. See camera shot.
– wide shot. The camera is positioned to observe
simultaneously everyone and everything
present in the scene. Wide shots establish
the setting or location and background detail.
Individual characters are not the main focus
in this composition or view.
Visual Arts Illustrations
collage. A form of art in which a variety of
materials (e.g., photographs, fabric, found
objects, bits and pieces of originally unrelated
images including commercial images) are
arranged and attached to a flat background,
often in combination with painted or drawn
areas. Also known as découpage. See also
composite image.
Visual Arts Illustrations
ceramics. (1) Objects made of clay and fired in
a kiln. The term refers to functional and decorative objects, as well as sculpture made from clay.
(2) The art of making ceramic objects. See also
hand building (clay).
colour wheel. A tool for creating and organizing
colours and representing relationships among
colours. See also complementary colours.
yello
wora
n
w
ello
n-y
ee
gr
ge
characterization. In art, a technique in which
features or qualities of an inanimate object are
exaggerated and given human qualities. Also
known as personification or anthropomorphism.
colour. An element of design. The particular
wavelength of light seen by the eye when an
object reflects or emits light. The four characteristics of colour are hue (name), value (lightness
and darkness), intensity (saturation, or amount
of pigment), and temperature (warm and cool).
See also cool colours; hue; intensity; neutral
colours; primary colours; secondary colours;
tertiary colours; value; warm colours.
yellow
violet
red
etviol
GLOSSARY
blu
e-v
iole
t
red
orange-red
blue
e
ng
ora
n
cast shadow. The dark area that appears on
a surface when an object intervenes between
the light source and the surface.
collograph. A print made from a surface that
has been constructed as a collage of objects and
textures. The surface requires low-relief texture
in order to print.
gre
e
caricature. A representation, especially pictorial
or literary, in which the subject’s distinctive
features or peculiarities are deliberately exaggerated to produce a comic or grotesque effect.
blue-green
strations
– medium shot. The camera is placed so there
is a relatively equal balance between subject
and setting in order to demonstrate relationships (e.g., of the subject to others or to the
environment) and body language. When the
subject of this shot is a human body, its field
of view will include the knees or waist up
to the head. The subject of this type of shot
will take up about as much space as the
background.
189
Visual Arts Illustrations
comic. A graphic art form in which images and
words are used to tell a story. The images are
the main focus and are presented in strip or
page layout. Dialogue and necessary information are enclosed in speech balloons and boxes.
Panels, layout, gutters, and zip ribbons help
indicate the flow of the story. Ideas in a comic
are organized into a series of “shots”, like the
storyboards for a film. A related form is the
graphic novel. See also camera shot; point of
view (visual); pose.
complementary colours. Colours that are directly
opposite each other on the colour wheel (e.g., red
and green, blue and orange, yellow and violet).
A secondary colour’s complement is always
the primary colour that is not used to create
it (e.g., red and yellow make orange; the only
primary not used to create orange is blue,
therefore blue is the complementary colour
or opposite of orange).
Illustrations
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
composite image. An image made from a variety
of materials and methods (e.g., a mixed-media
print made up of text, images, and other
materials). See also collage; photo montage.
190
composition. The organization of the elements
of design in an art work, following certain
principles of design (e.g., balance of positive
and negative spaces; variety of shapes, textures,
and values; off-centre placement of the focal
point; division of the area into several areas of
interest; overlapping of objects of various sizes;
placement), as well as other layout considerations
such as the rule of thirds and compositional
triangles.
construction. A type of sculpture in which
the form is built by adding on material
(e.g., a sculpture built with scrap wood blocks).
Also called additive sculpture.
conté (crayon). A drawing medium consisting
of natural pigments such as fine charcoal and
clay mixed with a waxy material to create a
hard stick. Conté crayons can create sharp
lines and very dark tones.
contemporary art. Art created in the present by
living artists.
content. The meaning of an image beyond its
overt subject matter, including the emotional,
intellectual, symbolic, thematic, and narrative
connotations. See also subject matter.
continuity. In design, the arrangement of
shapes so that the line or edge of one shape
leads into another (a technique used to achieve
unity in a composition).
contour drawing. An outline drawing that
represents the edge of a form. In “blind”
contour drawing, the artist slowly draws
each bump and curve on the edges of an
object without looking at the paper.
contour lines. Lines that define the edges,
ridges, or outline of a shape or form.
conceptual art. A work of art that is regarded
as a vehicle for the communication of ideas,
which may be drawn from disciplines such as
philosophy or film studies or from the agendas
of social justice advocacy and political activism.
I’M A
REAL
ARTIST
I will make exciting art.
I will make exciting art.
I will make exciting art.
I will make exciting art.
I will make exciting art.
I will make exciting art.
I will make exciting art.
I will make exciting art.
I will make exciting art.
I will make exciting art.
contrast. A principle of design. The juxtaposition
of different elements of design (e.g., complementary colours such as red and green, textures
such as rough and smooth, values such as dark
and light) in order to highlight their differences
and/or create balance, visual interest, or a
focal point.
cool colours. Colours that suggest coolness
(e.g., blue, green, purple). Cool colours often
appear to recede into the background or distance.
critique. A review of a finished art work, or
constructive feedback that can be used by
the artist for further revision of an art work
in progress.
cropping. The trimming or cutting away of
unnecessary or unwanted edges of a picture,
or the reframing of an area of an image to create
a stronger composition. A viewfinder may be
used to help determine the best composition
before cropping. See also viewfinder.
crossed creatures. A drawing technique in which
the features, characteristics, shapes, or forms
from two different creatures (e.g., an elephant
and an ant) are combined into a single image.
cross-hatching. A drawing technique for shading using numerous crossed sets of parallel
lines, and usually resulting in darker values.
The darker values are created by frequency
rather than thickness of line: fewer lines create
a light image, while more lines, closely spaced,
create a darker image. See also hatching.
current media technologies. Technologies that
are used to create art. Examples include digital
photography, animation, interactive video and
time-based displays, installations incorporating new media, and software-based and
web-based art.
design. See composition.
design process. A problem-solving model that
involves the concrete manipulation of images,
materials, and technology for the purpose of
solving a design problem. The technical design
process can be open ended when the student
designs all the steps, or it can be teacher directed
to varying degrees.
dimension. An object’s extent in space. A twodimensional object has length and width.
A three-dimensional object has length, width,
and depth.
directional lines. Edges of objects, such as roads,
trees, folds in clothing, or even people’s line of
sight, that cause the viewer’s gaze to follow a
particular path. The eye tends to follow lines
towards the centre of a picture and/or towards
areas of greatest contrast. However, since the
eye also follows arrow-type shapes, images
need to be carefully composed to avoid leading
the eye away from the focal point. See also line;
movement.
Visual Arts Illustrations
cubist technique. The technique of reducing and
fragmenting the form of an object from multiple
points of view into geometric shapes and planes
of the cone, cube, and sphere. Colour plays a
secondary role. In graphic design, the technique
develops simplified, flat shapes. Cubist art
depicts real objects although it may appear
abstract or geometric. See also style: cubism.
dominant element. The element in a work of
art that is noticed first (elements noticed later
are subordinate).
GLOSSARY
drawing. The process of marking a surface by
applying pressure on a tool (e.g., pencil, marker,
computer drawing tablet) and moving it across
the surface to record observations, thoughts,
feelings, and ideas, or to explore the artistic
possibilities of the drawing material(s). Dry
drawing materials include charcoal, conté, crayon,
ink, marker, pastel, pencil, scratchboard, software,
and watercolour pencils. Wet drawing materials
include black or coloured ink applied with a
pen, soft brush, nib, or other stylus. See also
cross-hatching; hatching; scumbling (drawing).
191
drawing pencil. A drawing tool made from
graphite. The graphite used in drawing pencils
is relatively soft and malleable. Shading pencils
in the B to 6B range provide dark, even tones
and values. Primary printing pencils contain
soft graphite or lead and are a substitute for
drawing pencils in classroom settings.
chin; the bottom of the nose is halfway between
the eyes and the chin; the mouth is halfway
between the nose and the chin; the outer corners
of the mouth line up with the centres of the eyes;
the tops of the ears line up just above the eyes;
the bottoms of the ears line up with the bottom
of the nose. In both men and women, the front
of the neck is lower than the back; however,
a woman’s neck is usually longer and more
rounded than a man’s, while a man’s neck
is wider.
Visual Arts Illustrations
elaboration. A technique in which the shapes
or forms are decorated with additional features
such as lines, dots, circles, and patterns. Also
called mark making.
elements of design. Fundamental components of
art works. They include colour, form, line, shape,
space, texture, and value.
emphasis. A principle of design. Special attention
or importance given to one part or element in
an art work (e.g., a shape of darker value in a
light composition). Emphasis can be achieved
through placement, contrast, colour, size, and
repetition, among other means.
etching (dry point). A dry (non-acid) printmaking
process in which a design is scratched (etched)
into the surface of a soft metal or plexiglass plate.
When ink is applied to the plate and wiped off,
the etched lines retain the ink, which is then
transferred to (printed on) paper pressed against
the plate. Also called dry-point engraving.
Visual Arts Illustrations
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
wax scratched away
192
Visual Arts Illus
figurative art. (1) Drawings and paintings of
the human figure. (2) Art that depicts recognizable subjects such as landscapes, still lifes,
portraits, and figures.
flipbook. A book of pictures in which the
sequential images vary slightly from one page
to the next. When the pages are turned (flipped)
rapidly, the sequence of changes in the pictures
simulates motion. Persistence of vision creates
the illusion that continuous motion is being seen
rather than a series of discontinuous images.
etching
needle
metal plate
with wax
exaggeration. A technique of increasing,
distorting, or enlarging an element, object,
or figure.
expressionism. See style.
facial proportions (standard). Generalizations
about the relative position of the features of the
human face. For example, the eyes are about
halfway between the top of the head and the
focal point. The centre of interest in an art work
(i.e., the elements or area in an art work on which
the viewer’s attention is focused). The artist
directs the viewer’s eye using a variety of means,
including directional lines, contrast, location,
isolation, convergence, and the unusual (e.g.,
areas that are light in value, or bright in colour,
or highly detailed).
foreground. See ground plane.
foreshortening. A form of perspective where the
nearest parts of an object or form are enlarged
so that the rest of the form appears to be farther
back in space.
form. (1) An element of design. The compositional style, design, and arrangement of the
visual elements within an art work. (2) The
physical shape and dimensions of an object
within an art work. (3) A particular field or
genre within the visual arts (e.g., painting,
printmaking).
gesture drawing. A drawing done quickly to
capture the action and movement of the subject.
It is most concerned with the essence of the
pose and economy of means in representing
it rather than careful depiction of anatomy or
form. Artists use gesture drawing as a warm-up
of the full arm, to prepare themselves mentally
and physically for a figure-drawing session.
Visual Arts Illustrations
framing. See camera shot; point of view
(visual); viewfinder.
gallery walk. An instructional technique in
which students rotate around the classroom
looking at art work, composing answers to
questions, and reflecting on and reacting to the
answers given by other groups. The technique
is used to encourage active engagement by
students in synthesizing important concepts,
building consensus, writing, and speaking.
genre. A style or category of art that has a tradition or history and is identifiable by specific
characteristics (e.g., portrait, landscape, still life,
abstract painting).
geometric shape. A shape that is based on
geometric figures (e.g., square, circle, triangle).
glue-line printing. A relief or block printing
technique in which a raised image is created
by drawing with thick beads of white glue or a
low-temperature glue gun on a printing plate.
Once the glue drawing is dry, ink is rolled onto
the raised surfaces with a brayer, for printing
onto paper.
gradation. In a drawing or painting, a small,
subtle change from one shade, tone, or colour
to another.
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ground plane. The perceived space of a composition. Its parts are classified as follows:
– background. The part of a composition that
appears to be farthest from the viewer or
behind the other objects.
– foreground. The area of a picture that appears
to be closest to the viewer and in front of the
other objects. It is often at the bottom of the
picture plane.
– middle ground. The part of a composition
that appears to be in the middle of the
picture plane.
picture
plane
background
middleground
GLOSSARY
foreground
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hand building (clay). The creation of ceramic
pieces using only the hands and simple tools
(as opposed to a potter’s wheel) by coiling,
moulding, pinching, pulling up from a mound
of clay, slabbing, or combinations of these techniques. Terms used in ceramic work include the
following:
– clay types. Clays may be classified according
to the temperature at which they harden or
vitrify in the kiln. Earthenware clay is fired at
relatively low temperatures, while stoneware
clay and porcelain clay require higher temperatures. Clay also comes in many colours
based on its mineral content.
Illustrations
– coiling. Building ceramic forms by rolling
out coils or ropes of clay and joining them
together with the fingers or a tool.
together. The surfaces are then wetted with
slip (liquid clay), and the two pieces are
pressed together. Leather-hard clay should
be used in this process to prevent the pieces
from popping apart when they are fired.
– sgraffito. A method of decorating clay.
Leather-hard clay is coated with a slip
(made from clay of a contrasting colour
but of the same clay type), and a pattern
or picture is created by carving through,
incising, or scraping off the air-dried slip
to reveal the clay underneath.
– kiln. A furnace designed to gradually and
safely reach high temperatures for firing clay.
– leather-hard clay. Unfired air-dried clay.
The surface is still soft enough to be carved.
– slabbing. Building ceramic forms by rolling
out a flat piece of clay.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
– moulding. Flat slabs of clay are draped over
forms or pressed into moulds in order to
create various shapes or forms.
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– pinching. The thumb of one hand is inserted
into the clay, and the clay is lightly pinched
with the thumb and fingers. The ball of clay
is slowly rotated in the palm of the other
hand as the clay is shaped.
– score and slip. A method of joining two
pieces of clay together. Scratches are scored
(e.g., with a fine-toothed scraper or old toothbrush) in the surfaces that will be sticking
– slip. A muddy solution of liquid clay, usually
made by dissolving a small piece of clay into
a shallow cup of water, and used to coat clay
shapes during various ceramics processes.
The slip should be of the same clay type as the
piece it will be applied to and the consistency
of thick cream.
– slip trailing. A method for drawing on the
surface of a piece. Slip (liquid clay) is applied
to a dry piece (greenware) through a tube or
nozzle. The slip should be made from the
same type of clay but may be in a contrasting
colour.
– stages of dryness. Degrees of moistness or
dryness that determine the malleability of
clay. The three basic stages of dryness are
wet, leather-hard, and bone-dry (greenware).
– stamping. Pressing forms (e.g., shells, lace)
into wet clay to add surface detail, texture,
and decorative effects.
handmade paper. Paper made using water and
shredded fibres, or scrap (recycled) papers,
beaten and turned into a soupy pulp (slurry),
which is usually scooped into a mould or a
screened frame, drained, and then dried on
blank newsprint or felt into individual sheets.
harmony. A principle of design. The combination
of elements so as to highlight their similarities
and produce a unified composition.
hatching. A drawing technique used to create a
sense of depth or three-dimensionality on a flat
surface. Areas of darker value and shading are
created by using numerous repeated strokes of
an art tool (e.g., pencil, marker) to produce
clustered lines. The lines are usually parallel,
but may also be curved to follow the shape of
the object. Fewer lines create a lighter image,
while more lines, closely spaced, create a darker
image, since less white paper shows. See also
cross-hatching.
often associated with postmodernism in popular
culture and contemporary art. See also style:
postmodernism.
icon. A symbol, image, motif, emblem, or object
that is generally recognized as representative of
a person, place, era, or culture.
illusory texture. See texture.
illustration. An art practice, usually commercial
in character, that stresses anecdotes or story situations and focuses on subject more than form.
image round-table. A cooperative image-analysis
strategy. Students move around the classroom
between art reproductions. Beside each image
is a piece of paper on which students answer a
question about the image. Students then fold the
paper so that their answer is no longer visible
and move to the next image. After responding to
several images, students return to their starting
point and read the accumulated statements about
their image. Students use some or all of the
words to describe the image, in poetry or prose,
then paint or draw a response to the image and
the ideas generated about it.
implied line. A line that is not drawn but
suggested by the way elements have been
combined in an art work.
impressionism. See style.
imprint. An image or pattern created by pressing an object onto a wet surface or by coating
the object with paint and pressing it onto a dry
surface. Objects with raised or textured surfaces
produce the clearest images.
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horizon line. The “line” at which the sky and
the earth appear to meet. See also perspective.
ink. See printing ink.
hue. The common name of a colour (e.g., red).
Also referred to as pigment. See also colour.
GLOSSARY
hybrid art. Art in which genres, styles, concepts,
materials, media, and cultural forms are combined to create new forms. Hybridization is the
technique used in creating hybrid works, and is
installation. A two-dimensional, threedimensional, or time-based art work (or a
combination of these) made specifically for a
chosen site or environment, arranged in place
either by the artist or to the artist’s specifications,
and often involving interaction between the work,
its audience, and the site. Installations are relatively large, and may be temporary or permanent
and created for indoor or outdoor settings.
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intensity. The saturation (amount of pigment),
strength, or purity of a colour. A vivid colour is
of high intensity, a dull colour of low intensity.
Visual intensity can be enhanced by placing
complementary colours next to each other in an
image or reduced by mixing in a small amount
of the colour’s complement (e.g., a small
amount of yellow mixed into violet neutralizes
and dulls the colour). See also colour.
juxtaposition. The placing of items in an image
close to one another to reveal some contrast or
similarity that conveys a message.
kinetic art. Any work of art that includes natural
or mechanical movement as one of its defining
properties or as part of its intended expression.
landscape. (1) A painting or drawing in which
rural scenery is the main feature. Cityscapes,
streetscapes, and seascapes are variants of the
landscape genre. (2) The physical orientation of
a two-dimensional art work, where the width is
greater than the height.
magnification. A technique in which a small
detail of an object is enlarged. In art, this
technique can be used to create a form of
abstraction. Below is an example of abstraction
through magnification (part of the torso of a
bug). See also abstraction.
layering. A technique of applying one layer of
opaque or transparent material (e.g., tissue
paper, paint, glaze) on top of another.
layout. The arrangement and positioning in
a design of text, illustrations, photographs,
and/or diagrams.
matte. Non-glossy; having a dull surface
appearance.
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THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
logo. A typographic or graphic form or image
used as an emblem to identify an individual,
club, organization, project, or product. Also
called a logotype.
materials. The substances out of which something is or can be made, including media
(e.g., wax, crayons, modelling clay), substrate or
surface (e.g., canvas, paper, wood), and found
objects (e.g., leaves, shells, wire).
limited palette. A restricted range of colours.
As a problem-solving exercise, students may
be required to work with only a few specific
colours for particular assignments.
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linoleum. A material made of a pressed mixture
of heated linseed oil, powdered cork, and pigments on a burlap or canvas backing. Linoleum
can be used for block printing. The image is cut
into the surface. See also softoleum.
line. An element of design. The visual path
left by a moving point; also, a mark, guide,
or boundary that leads the eye in an art work.
Differences in the type, orientation, and/or
quality of lines can be used to suggest a variety
of ideas, states, or moods. For example, horizontal and curving lines can feel restful or inactive,
and vertical and diagonal lines can imply
movement or action; combinations of horizontal
and vertical lines can suggest stability.
media production. The use of a variety of technological and media tools to create a work that
conveys information or represents a student’s
culminating performance or project. Tools used
in media production include cameras, video or
digital editing equipment, televisions, video
players, audio recorders and players, projectors,
computers, and the appropriate software
required to use these tools. Media production
provides the opportunity to integrate and present text, graphics, sound, video, and animation
in new ways.
medium (plural: media). (1) The material(s) used
by an artist to produce a work of art. A medium
may be two-dimensional (e.g., graphite, ink,
paint, photographic paper, canvas), threedimensional (e.g., fibre, clay, wood, metal, glass,
plastic), or time-based (e.g., animation, video),
and may have wet properties (e.g., paint, ink,
dye, wash) or dry properties (e.g., pencil,
charcoal, conté, crayon). (2) A clear polymer
or acrylic gel or emulsion used for glazing or
varnishing in painting, in image transfer processes, or as an adhesive in collage. (3) The
liquid with which powdered pigments are
mixed to make paint (e.g., in oil paints, linseed
oil is the medium). See also mixed-media work;
wet and dry materials.
modernism. See style.
modulation. A drawing technique for depicting
levels of darkness on paper by applying a
medium (e.g., pencil) more densely or with a
darker shade for darker areas, and less densely
or with a lighter shade for lighter areas. Hand
control of pressure rather than smudging is
used to create smooth transitions between
different degrees of darkness.
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medium shot. See camera shot.
metamorphosis. A change in form or nature.
Artists may create forms and images showing
such change (e.g., a letter becoming an object,
a flower becoming a dancer) to communicate
a variety of ideas.
middle ground. See ground plane.
mixed-media work. An art work in which more
than one medium is used (e.g., acrylic paint,
collage, and oil pastels, in combination).
model (noun). (1) A small-scale preliminary
work made as a “trial run” in preparation for a
larger sculpture or architectural work. Also
called a maquette. (2) A person who poses for
an art work.
model (verb). (1) To shape and manipulate
malleable sculptural materials such as clay.
(2) To simulate light and shadow on a flat surface in order to create the appearance of depth
or three-dimensionality in two-dimensional art.
mosaic. An art work made with small pieces of
a material, such as coloured stone, glass, paper,
or tile.
motif. A design or theme that may be repeated in
a larger overall design (e.g., in a two-dimensional
or three-dimensional art work) or a time-based
art work (e.g., video) for decorative or narrative
purposes.
movement. A principle of design. The way in
which the elements of design are organized so
that the viewer’s eye is led through the work of
art in a systematic way, often to the focal area.
Movement can be directed along lines, edges,
shapes, colours, and similar values within the
work. See also directional lines; line.
multimedia applications. Computer software
programs that combine a variety of elements
such as sound, animation, text, and graphics
into a multimedia production. Multimedia
applications that provide hypertext links
among elements such as computer text, visual
material, and sound files are called hypermedia
applications. Multimedia applications may be
non-linear. They allow students to compose,
communicate, and create new knowledge in
innovative ways.
narrative art. An art work that tells a story, or
in which a story line is a prominent feature.
GLOSSARY
model making. A thinking strategy involving
the creation of two- or three-dimensional constructions to represent ideas and interpretations
and demonstrate knowledge and understanding.
It emphasizes the importance of information
carried by visual, tactile, or concrete features
and often attempts to represent ideas and mental
constructs of the universe through physical
details, shape, dimension, and scale. Model
making is a process activity that can be used
in all subject areas.
monochromatic colour scheme. A colour scheme
in which only one hue is used, along with its
tints (i.e., the hue plus white) and shades (i.e.,
the hue plus black).
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negative space/shapes. The empty or open areas
within or around an object or form (in twodimensional and three-dimensional art work).
When these areas have boundaries, they also
function as design shapes in the total structure.
See also positive space/shapes.
negative space
positive space
strations
neutral colours. Colours such as black and grey
that are created by mixing equal proportions
of complementary colours. The proportions
may be altered to create variable colours such
as blue-grey, green-grey, or purple-grey or
red-brown, yellow-brown, or green-brown.
non-objective art. See style.
opaque. A material or colour that does not let
light pass through. Strong opacity will prevent
the colour below from showing through. The
opposite of transparent.
op art. See style.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
organic shapes or forms. Non-geometric,
irregular, or free-flowing shapes or forms that
are based on shapes or forms found in nature.
Also referred to as free-form shapes.
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original art work. An art work created by hand
using techniques such as drawing, printmaking,
painting, and sculpture, singly or in combination.
painting. The process of marking a surface
by applying pigments suspended in a liquid
medium to record observations, thoughts,
feelings, and ideas or to explore the possibilities
of the materials. Materials include acrylic,
block and liquid tempera, food colour, liquid
ink, gouache, and watercolour.
painting techniques. The following are some
examples of commonly used techniques:
– blocking in. The process of establishing the
main shapes and areas of colour or tone in a
painting by filling in large areas with thin
layers of paint, starting with the background.
The technique helps organize shapes and
values before colour details are added. Also
called underpainting.
– broken colour. The use of small separate
strokes of pure colour, which, when viewed
from a distance, mix optically to form the
impression of blended colour.
– dry brush. A technique using thick paint on
a dry brush that produces a textured or
“scratched” appearance. See also watercolour
techniques.
– glazing. The process of superimposing
transparent washes of paint over other
washes that have dried, creating a glowing
effect similar to stained glass.
– impasto. The process of applying oil paint
in thick, solid masses, producing a textured
surface.
– scraping. The process of scraping paint off
the surface of a painting to show the layers
or material below, as in sgraffito. When the
paint is wet it can be scraped away with a
palette knife, the back end of a paintbrush,
or a fingernail. In watercolour, a blade or
sandpaper may be used to produce white
highlights.
– scumbling. Applying fairly dry paint with an
irregular scrubbing motion in order to place
an uneven layer of colour over an already
dry underlayer. The paint may be applied
using a variety of implements (e.g., brush,
rag, sponge, paper towel). The technique is
useful for representing weathered or irregular
textures such as rocks or bushes. See also
scumbling (drawing).
– spattering. The process of flicking spots
of colour onto a horizontal surface from
a brush held above it to create a random
pattern of dots.
– stippling. The use of small dots of pure colour
placed close together, which, when viewed
from a distance, mix optically to form the
impression of blended colour. The unmixed
colours are vibrant, and the dots create a
shimmering effect. Sometimes the colour is
applied with a stiff brush or a sponge as a
faster method than painting each dot with
a brush. Also called pointillism. See also
stippling (drawing).
path (of movement). The path along which the
viewer’s eye moves from one part of an art
work to another.
paint resist. A technique in which colour is
drawn or rubbed onto paper with wax crayons
or oil pastels, followed by the application of a
water-based wash (e.g., food colour, tempera,
watercolour block). The water-based colour
wash is absorbed by the paper but not the
wax or oil.
or staged by an artist for an audience.
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pattern. (1) A principle of design. A regular
arrangement or sequence of alternated or
repeated elements (shapes, lines, colours) or
motifs. (2) A template, model, or guide for
making something.
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performance art. A series of events performed
palette. (1) A board or surface (e.g., wax paper,
polystyrene, plastic) on which colours are
blended and mixed, allowing the painter
to experiment with mixtures of colour while
leaving pure, unmixed colour in the paint tubes.
(2) The range of colours that an artist uses.
papier mâché. A sculptural technique using
paper pulp or paper strips mixed with glue
or paste (e.g., wheat paste, boiled cornstarch
paste) built up on an armature of cardboard,
rolled newspaper, or plastic bags stuffed with
crumpled paper. The surface can be painted
after it has dried.
pastel. (1) A drawing medium consisting of
pigment compressed into a stick. The following
are some examples:
perspective. The representation of space and
three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional
surface so as to convey the impression of
height, width, depth, and relative distance. The
illusion of depth, distance, and so on, is created
through methods such as the depiction of faraway objects as smaller in scale and positioned
closer to the top of the art paper and the use of
overlapping objects, vertical placement, diminishing size, and shadows and shading. Ways of
characterizing and/or creating perspective
include the following:
– atmospheric perspective. The intensity of
colour and the distinctness of detail are gradually lessened to indicate an increase in the
distance between objects and the viewer, The
technique is based on how atmosphere affects
the appearance of distant objects (e.g., dust
and other substances in the air make background elements less distinct than the same
things close to us). Also referred to as aerial
perspective.
– chalk pastel. Chalk is the medium for the
pigment. It can be smudged.
– oil pastel. Oil is the medium for the pigment.
It smudges less easily than chalk pastel.
(2) An art work created using pastels. (3) A
descriptive word for certain soft, light shades
of colour. See also conté (crayon).
– diminishing perspective. Objects are depicted
as smaller in size as their distance from the
viewer increases.
GLOSSARY
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– linear perspective. The parallel lines of buildings and rectangular shapes or objects are
drawn so as to converge at a point on the
horizon or eye-level line called the vanishing
point. There can be as many vanishing points
in a painting as there are sets of converging
parallel lines. In one-point linear perspective
(see first illustration below), parallel lines
converge at a single point on the horizon or
eye-level line. In two-point linear perspective
(see second illustration below), parallel lines
converge at two vanishing points on the
horizon or eye-level line.
point of view (visual). The angle from which
the viewer sees the objects or scene. Also called
angle of view. The following are two examples:
– bird’s eye or aerial view. A downward
perspective that gives the viewer a feeling
of elevation in relation to the subject or
art work.
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– worm’s eye or low view. An upward perspective that gives the viewer a feeling of seeing
from the floor or the surface of the earth in
relation to the subject or art work.
photography. The process of creating still or
moving pictures (e.g., photographs, video, animation) usually through a photographic lens in
a traditional or digital camera, but also using a
simple pinhole camera (made with a sheet of
film in a light-tight can such as a coffee can).
Pictures produced with photographic materials
but without a camera, called photograms,
are created by exposing light-sensitive paper
to sunlight. Objects placed between the lightsensitive paper and the light appear on the
paper as silhouettes. See also camera shot;
viewfinder.
popular culture. Art, objects, images, artefacts,
literature, music, fashion, and so on, intended
for, consumed by, or representing the taste of
the general public.
portrait. (1) An art work that depicts a person.
Portraits may be life size, or smaller or larger
than life, and may depict heads, torsos, or
full-length figures. They may be abstract or
realistic and executed in a variety of media.
A self-portrait is an artist’s depiction of himor herself. (2) The physical orientation of a
two-dimensional art work, where the height
is greater than the width.
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photo montage. A form of collage in which
photographs are used to create a composition.
The subject matter and arrangement of the
individual photographs combine to express a
new meaning conceived by the artist. Assembly
can be done through cut and paste or digitally.
See collage; composite image.
plaster bandage. A sculpture material made
of a cloth similar to cheesecloth that has been
saturated with plaster of Paris.
point of view (literary). A social, political,
economic, intellectual, or emotional position
or opinion expressed by an artist through an
art work.
pose. The position of a figure. The artist may
position a subject to suggest the subject’s mental
attitude or a physical movement or action.
positive space/shapes. Shapes or forms on a
two-dimensional surface. See also negative
space/shapes.
poster. (1) A mass-produced digital or photomechanical reproduction of an original art work.
(2) A combination of image and text produced
to convey a message to a specific audience,
using graphic design considerations such as
backgrounds, colour, spacing, legible text,
concise message, and graphics. See also print.
primary colours. Red, yellow, and blue. These
are colours that cannot be created by mixing
other colours but that can be mixed to produce
all the other colours.
primary printing pencil. See drawing pencil.
principles of design. Generally accepted ideas
about the qualities that contribute to the effectiveness of an art work that are used as guidelines
in composing an image and analysing how
viewers are likely to perceive it. The qualities
include but are not limited to the following:
balance, emphasis, harmony, movement, proportion, rhythm, unity, variety. See individual
entries for these terms.
(e.g., ink) is applied. See also collograph; relief
printing.
printmaking. An artistic method or process that
uses a printing plate, screen, stamp, or stencil
to create one or a series of prints. Printmaking
processes include collograph, embossing, and
glue-line printing. Materials include linoleum,
silk screen, softoleum, stamps, stencils, and
polystyrene. Other tools and processes used
in printmaking include the following:
– bench hook. An aid used by printmakers
to steady the printing block during cutting.
It is made from a wooden baseboard with
one strip of wood along the top edge to hold
the block in place and another underneath to
hook the board against the edge of the table.
Also known as a side hook. A clamp can be
used for the same purpose.
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print. An image created and reproduced by hand,
on paper, fabric, or other support, using a
printmaking technique (e.g., etching, woodcut,
silk screen, lino cut). See also etching; poster;
printmaking.
printing ink. Thick ink, used specifically for
relief or block printing, that produces complete,
even coverage on raised surfaces, including
linoleum, wood, and flexible printing plates
such as softoleum or polystyrene. (Water-based
inks are recommended for elementary
classrooms.)
– chine collé. A process used for printing on
thin paper. Thin paper (e.g., tissue or kozo
paper) is placed on an inked printing plate,
glue is applied to the other side of the paper,
and the plate and paper are placed on a
dampened piece of some backing material.
The whole is then run through a printing
press or a set of rollers so that the ink adheres
GLOSSARY
printing plate. A surface, used in the process
of making relief or block prints, into which
the image to be printed is incised (e.g., wood,
linoleum, or polystyrene in block printing;
low-relief collage in collograph printing). The
image is then transferred to another surface
(e.g., paper or fabric) after a colour medium
– brayer. A rubber roller that is used to roll out
printing ink on an ink slab and then apply the
ink to the raised surface of a block printing
plate.
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to the paper and the paper to the backing.
The backing provides support that prevents
the thin paper from tearing.
– lino cutter. A tool with a metal blade used
to cut into a linoleum or softoleum printing
block.
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– monoprint. A one-of-a-kind print that cannot
be duplicated, made by pressing paper onto
the wet paint or ink of an image on another
surface (e.g., pressing paper onto a fingerpainted image on plexiglass).
– polystyrene plate. A thin, polystyrene sheet
on which the slightest pressure (e.g., with
a pencil) can create an incised impression,
eliminating the need for sharp, pointed
tools that might be hazardous for younger
students.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
– screen printing. A process in which a stencil
is attached to a taut fabric screen, which is
placed over paper. Ink is wiped over the
screen with a rubber blade or squeegee,
forcing the ink through the mesh fabric onto
the paper while leaving the area beneath the
stencil white (without ink).
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proportion. A principle of design. The relationship between objects with respect to size, number,
and so on, including the relation between parts
of a whole. See also proportions (figure).
proportions (figure). The average human
height in drawing is eight heads high (nine in
fashion drawing). This measure may be used
as a reference for locating the main points of
the body. On a vertical line the height of the
figure, the halfway point is the hip, the onequarter point is at the bottom of the knees,
the three-quarters point is the chest, and the
seven-eighths point is the bottom of the head.
These proportions can be adapted to drawing
children, depending on their age: a three-yearold is, on average, five heads high; the neck
is less developed than in adults and the face
and body are rounder. A teenager could be
seven heads high with a smaller head and less
rounded face than a child. See also proportion.
radial design. A composition that has the major
images or design parts emanating from a central
point or location. If the radiating parts are equal
in size and/or shape, the composition would
have radial symmetry (also called a balance
pattern). See also symmetry.
realism. See style.
real texture. See texture.
reflected colour. Colour that bounces off nearby
objects and affects the perceived colour of the
objects (e.g., the red of a cup on a desk may
bounce off the surface of the desk, making a
faint area of visual redness on the surface of
the desk).
relief printing. Any method of printmaking
where the surface to be inked is raised (“in
relief”). The printing plate (e.g., woodblock,
polystyrene, glue line, linoleum, softoleum)
is adapted, cut, incised, or built up to create
a low-relief image, and the image is then
transferred to a surface (e.g., paper or fabric)
after a colour medium (e.g., ink) is applied.
Also called block printing. See also printing
plate; relief sculpture.
relief sculpture. A type of carving or sculpture
in which the form projects from a background
(e.g., high relief, low relief/bas-relief, sunken
relief). Unlike other types of sculpture, relief
sculpture is intended to be viewed from one
side. See also relief printing; sculpture.
repetition. A principle of design. The repeated
use of similar elements and visual effects in
a composition. Repetition may produce the
dominance of one visual idea, a feeling of
harmonious relationship or unity, a pattern,
or a rhythmic movement of the viewer’s eye
(e.g., a repeated pattern of similar colours,
brushstrokes, and textures can lead the eye
through the art work).
Visual Arts Illustrations
representational art. Art that depicts the
physical appearance of recognizable images
from “real” life.
reproduction. A copy of a work of art. See
also poster.
resist. See paint resist.
rhythm. A principle of design. The use of
recurring elements to direct the movement
of the viewer’s eye through the art work
and give a sense of unity to the composition.
There are five kinds of rhythm: random,
regular, alternating, progressive, and flowing.
rubbing. (1) The technique of placing paper over
a textured surface, then rubbing the surface of
the paper with a pencil, pastel, or crayon, causing
the appearance of the texture to be reproduced
on the surface of the paper. Also called frottage.
(2) An image produced by the use of the
rubbing technique.
rubbing plate. A tool for exploring texture that
may be created by building up a low-relief
texture on a surface (e.g., cardboard). The low
relief may be created as conscious exploration
of line or pattern using materials such as beads
of glue or random or found elements such as
lace or mesh bags. Rubbing plates may also be
themed (e.g., using fossils or shells).
scoring. A sculpting technique. In paper sculpture, the use of a semi-sharp object to crease
paper for easy folding. In clay sculpture, the
process of abrading or scraping surfaces before
joining pieces, for improved adhesion.
sculpture. (1) A work of art in three dimensions
(i.e., with height, width, and depth), usually
intended to be viewed from all sides. (2) The
technique of creating three-dimensional forms
or figures by carving, cutting, hewing, casting,
moulding, welding, or assembling materials.
Materials may include clay, found objects, papier
mâché, plaster bandages, plasticine, wire, and
wood. Types of sculpture include the following:
– found-object sculpture. A type of sculpture
made of materials and objects found in the
environment. The materials and objects are
reorganized and reassembled into a new
form with or without surface decoration.
– free-standing sculpture. A self-supporting
three-dimensional form surrounded by space
and designed to be viewed from all sides.
Also called sculpture in the round.
scumbling (drawing). A drawing technique that
uses layers of small, calligraphic, scribbled
marks to build up value and texture.
secondary colours. Colours that are created by
mixing two primary colours (e.g., orange is
made my mixing red and yellow; green is made
by mixing blue and yellow; violet is made by
mixing blue and red).
GLOSSARY
rule of thirds. A compositional rule of thumb
that advocates dividing an image space into
thirds, both horizontally and vertically, and
positioning important elements in the composition at or near the imagined dividing lines or near
the points at which the lines would intersect.
The rationale is that the use of off-centre rather
than centred elements gives tension, energy,
and interest to the composition.
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self-portrait. See portrait.
sequential images. Images organized into a
series to tell a story. They are an important
component used in some forms of narrative art,
such as animation, comics, graphic novels, and
historical tapestries.
shade. (1) A dark value of a colour, made by
adding black. (2) A drawing and painting
method for adding darker values to an image
using a variety of techniques such as modulation, stippling, or hatching.
shape. An element of design. The external form
or outline of an image produced by the use of
line, value, colour, and/or texture. Shape may
be geometric or organic, positive or negative.
Shapes have two dimensions, length and width.
sign. An image used to represent or point to
something (e.g., a concept or object) other
than itself.
sketch. A quick drawing that may be a reference
or plan for composition or later work. A figure
sketch designed to capture proportions and
body language may be highly stylized, with
very little detail. See also thumbnail sketch.
dimensional surface by means of techniques
such as the overlapping of objects, the varying
of object size or placement, the varying of
colour intensity and value, and the use of
detail and diagonal lines.
stamp. (1) A piece of clay, rubber, polystyrene,
or similar material on which a design has been
carved or incised. When its surface is inked it
can be used to print the design onto another
surface (e.g., paper, fabric). (2) A created or
found texture tool (e.g., shells, lace, textured
rolling pins) with a raised, low-relief surface
used to impress a design onto the surface of clay.
stencil. Thick paper, cardboard, or other stiff
material with a cut-out design used as a template
in printmaking. The stencil is held above a
surface, and paint or ink is brushed over it to
reproduce the design on the surface below.
still life. An art work depicting a grouping of
inanimate objects.
stippling (drawing). A drawing technique
that uses patterns of dots to create shadows,
values, and value gradations. Darker tones
are created by using more dots close together
rather than larger dots. See also drawing;
painting techniques.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
Visual Arts Illustrations
204
sketchbook. A book of drawing paper in which
artists record things they see or imagine. It may
include sketches, completed work, rough plans,
notes, images, and clippings.
softoleum. A soft, grey, rubber-like material
designed to be easily and safely cut or incised,
for use in block printing.
space. An element of design. The area around,
within, or between images or elements. The
appearance of space can be created on a two-
storyboard. A visual planning tool for organizing
ideas for an animated work, story, video, or
comic book into a sequence of sketches, images,
or “shots”. Each item (frame) in the sequence
depicts scenes or figures and includes commentary that describes details of how the image
should look and how it fits into the story. See
also camera shot.
Visual Arts Illustrations
style. The way of creating art that is characteristic
of a particular person, culture, historical period,
or group. In an art work, the type and use of
materials, methods of work, subject matter,
and so on, may reflect a particular style. The
following are some major artistic styles:
– abstract art. Art that achieves its effect by
simplifying the visual elements (e.g., line,
shape, colour) of images. Though people and
things may not be recognizable as such in
abstract art, they are the inspiration behind
the simplified shapes and forms. See also
abstraction.
– cubism. A non-objective school of painting
and sculpture developed in Paris in the early
twentieth century. Its practitioners often
depicted objects as fragmented assemblages
of geometric planes. See also cubist technique.
– expressionism. (1) Art in which emotion or
feeling is paramount, often characterized by
distortion or exaggeration and the emotive
use of colour. (2) A movement in the arts
during the early part of the twentieth century
that emphasized subjective expression of the
artist’s inner experiences.
– impressionism. A style or technique of art
that is concerned with depicting the visual
impression of the moment, especially the
shifting effect of light, by the use of unmixed
primary colours and small strokes to simulate
actual reflected light; the theory and style of
impressionism originated and developed in
France during the 1870s.
– modernism. (1) Art in which the images are
focused not on traditional subject matter but
on elements of design (e.g., form, colour).
(2) A general term used for most of the artistic
work from the late nineteenth century until
approximately the 1970s, loosely signifying
art that repudiates traditional forms or ideas.
and texture as formal concepts or shapes
and forms produced from the imagination.
See also style: abstract art.
– op art (optical art). Art that emerged in the
1960s and that uses line and colour interactions to create optical illusions, causing the
viewer to see the work as pulsating, flickering,
or moving.
– postmodernism. Art that is opposed to the
modernist preoccupation with form and
technique and that encourages the fusion
of genres, ideas, media, technologies, and
forms to promote parody, humour, irony,
and criticism. This style often features words
as a central artistic element, and uses collage,
simplification, current technologies, performance art, and elements from works of the
past or from consumer and popular culture
arranged in new combinations.
– realism. (1) Art in which objects, figures, or
scenes are drawn or painted as they appear
in nature or in real life. Also called naturalism.
(2) A style of art, developed in nineteenthcentury France and influenced by the advent
of photography, that based its depictions
on direct observation of reality without the
addition of personal emotion associated
with romanticism.
– naturalism. See style: realism.
GLOSSARY
– non-objective art. Art that achieves its effect
by using the elements of line, shape, and
colour in a non-representational way rather
than to depict recognizable objects or figures.
It is often focused on exploring colour, form,
205
Visual Arts Illustratio
– surrealism. Art associated with a twentiethcentury artistic movement that attempts to
express the workings of the subconscious
mind and that is characterized by the use of
fantastic imagery and incongruous juxtapositions of subject matter. Surrealist art works
often feature imaginary creatures formed
from collections of everyday objects, and
unnerving and illogical scenes depicted
with photographic precision.
texture. An element of design. The feel, appearance, thickness, or stickiness of a surface or
substance. Subcategories of texture include
the following:
– illusory texture. A visual effect in which the
eye is tricked into seeing three-dimensional
materials (e.g., wood, fur, glass, metal, fabric)
on a two-dimensional surface. Also called
simulated texture or the illusion of texture.
subject matter. The ideas, objects, figures,
feelings, and understandings represented
in a work of art. See also content.
substitution. A technique in which the qualities
of an object are changed to create an incongruous effect (e.g., a furry teacup, a brick patterned
couch).
symbolism. The use of something (e.g., an object)
to represent something else (e.g., an idea or
person). In art, a style that uses symbolic images
to suggest abstract ideas or intangible things
or states.
symmetry. Equality in size, shape, and/or
position between parts or elements or objects.
THE ONTARIO CURRICULUM, GRADES 1–8 | The Arts
technique. A method or procedure of using a
tool or material to produce a work of art or
achieve an expressive effect (e.g., using the
side of a pencil to shade light and dark tones;
using the point of a pencil to create a fine line).
See also drawing; painting techniques.
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tertiary colours. Colours made from combinations of all three primary colours (red, yellow,
and blue). (Tertiary means third in order or
level.) For example, a colour made by combining
orange and blue is a tertiary colour because
orange (secondary colour) is made up of the
two primary colours red and yellow, with blue
as the third primary colour. In traditional painting, the term tertiary colour is used loosely to
signify a colour made from the combination
of a primary colour and a secondary colour.
– real texture. The three-dimensionality of
surfaces and materials that is perceptible by
touch as well as sight (e.g., smooth, rough,
silky, furry).
thumbnail sketch. A small, quick sketch that
records ideas and very basic information.
Thumbnail sketches are often used as examples
of possible layouts, showing combinations of
pictorial elements of various heights and widths,
different vertical and horizontal treatments,
and/or close-ups and distant views. See also
sketch.
tint. A light value of a colour, created by adding
white.
tone. A dark value of a colour, created by
adding black.
transfer (acrylic). A process for transferring an
image or colour from one surface to another.
Acrylic gel is brushed onto the surface (e.g.,
inkjet transparency, photocopy) holding the
image, and the gel-soaked surface is pressed
firmly onto a new surface. Once the gel is dry,
the original paper is moistened and rubbed
with a sponge until all of the paper fibres are
gone and the new surface holds only the image
embedded in a layer of clear acrylic. For a
process for transferring texture, see rubbing.
Visual Arts Illustrations
transformation. A change in structure, appearance, character, or function.
unity. A principle of design. The arrangement
of elements to give the viewer the feeling that
all the parts of the piece form a coherent whole.
value. An element of design that describes the
lightness or darkness of a colour and/or the
gradual changes in the lightness or darkness
of an art work even when colour is absent.
Visual Arts Illustrations
value scale. A tool for showing a range of
values, consisting of a series of spaces filled
with the shades of one colour from lightest
to darkest.
variation. A representation (e.g., of an object)
that is changed in some way from an earlier
representation of the same thing (e.g., through
magnification, distortion, changes in texture or
pattern, and so on).
variety. A principle of design. The quality of
being diverse or incorporating a number of
different or contrasting elements. Variety may
be achieved by opposing, changing, elaborating,
or contrasting the elements of design.
video. A recording of moving images and
sound on an electronic medium such as
videotape, a hard disk, or streaming media,
or the process of making such a recording.
viewfinder. (1) A cardboard frame used as a
tool to select images, or to compose an image,
by cropping out unwanted perimeters (edges).
(2) A device on a camera used to frame what
is to appear in the picture. See also cropping.
warm colours. Colours that suggest warmth
(e.g., red, yellow, orange). Warm colours usually
appear to advance into the foreground.
watercolour paint. Transparent, water-soluble
paint available in solid cakes or in semi-liquid
form in tubes.
watercolour techniques. Painting techniques
using water-soluble paint. Types of watercolour
techniques include the following:
– dry brush. A technique that involves the use
of thick paint and little water on the brush.
The relative dryness causes the brush to
skip on the surface of the paper, producing
a broken or textured appearance.
– salt resist. A technique that involves sprinkling
coarse salt on washes of damp, water-based
paint. The salt crystals gradually take up
the pigment, creating a multiplicity of light,
starlike shapes on the surface of the paper.
– wash. A technique that involves broadly
applying thin layers of diluted pigment to
a surface, producing an almost transparent
effect.
– wet on dry. A technique that involves letting
each layer dry before applying another layer
of colour on top.
– wet on wet. A technique that involves applying wet paint to a wet surface so that the
paints bleed and blend into one another.
wet and dry materials. Art-making media with
wet properties (e.g., paint, ink, dyes, washes)
or dry properties (e.g., pencil, charcoal, conté,
crayon).
wide shot. See camera shot.
GLOSSARY
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The Ministry of Education wishes to acknowledge
the contribution of the many individuals, groups, and
organizations that participated in the development
and refinement of this curriculum policy document.
Printed on recycled paper
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ISBN 978-1-4249-8061-1 (PDF)
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