Creativity is an integral part of any child’s developing personality, and a powerful tool for learning. For this reason, the visual arts, music, and theater are key components of EB’s programs from preschool through eighth grade. The school is actively engaged in a curriculum review and in a school-wide an effort to integrate the Arts with other subject matters in a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) curriculum.
Art, music instruction, and performance are integrated into the curriculum beginning in PK. Whether children are learning songs in French or English, seeing their own progress by drawing monthly self-portraits in Kindergarten, or acting out classic French fairy tales, the arts are a vital element of the gentle way in which we introduce French to the children as well as a part of the English curriculum.
As the children get older, music and art continue to be both an important means of self-expression and a window into other cultures, as well as a way to make social studies, literature, and math come alive. Our visual arts curriculum in grades 3-5 is integrated with the English academic curriculum, and students build confidence and knowledge of the arts as well as deepen their knowledge of the academic subject areas. Students in the middle school have a dedicated art class with projects that are connected to what they are learning in other subject areas.
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The Visual Arts Program
The walls of the school’s hallways are always adorned by student art-work that reflects our rich program. From preschool to G8, students are invited to create and learn artistic skills and explore different media through daily or weekly activities. The program is guided by the principles of the Studio Habits of Mind: creative self expression, envisioning, observation, exploration, persistence, engagement and reflection.
These skills are used to varying degrees depending on the grade level, exploration and creative self expression are central for the younger students while staring in fourth grade the students should be able to demonstrate several or all of the skills.
The teachers introduce the students to many different techniques, and Art history is also taught concurrently with artistics skills and techniques. This approach allows the students to be creative on their own by exploring or perfecting the use of a technique or a specific medium, or to be inspired by the work done by a famous artist. Copying or “doing like” requires observation, persistence and develops an understanding of the elements of Art.
Throughout the program the students explore elements of art, and develop their skills in the following areas:
- Drawing and proportions
- Using shading values for 3D effects
- Complementary colors
- Positive and negative space
- Manipulation of digital imagery
- Abstract composition
- Tints and shades
Students at EB also become familiar with using a variety of artistic media, including:
- Acrylic paint
- Digital art
Art projects are closely connected to studies of art history, and students build their artistic eye and aesthetic by learning to critique and appreciate art. Discussion and writing about art help build oral and written language skills in both French and English.
The Music Program
Music is taught by classroom teachers through first grade, and instruction with a music specialist begins in second grade. Read about the music program here (insert link). The Music class is taught from G2 to G5, in French for 50 minutes once a week. The children have the opportunity to perform on stage 2 or 3 times a year during several events, including Grandparents’ and Friends’ Day, Opera à la Carte, the Chorale de la Baie, and the end of year Music Show.
Students will learn to:
- Sing and perform by heart a great variety of songs in French, English, or other languages.
- Use the songs to embody French Language through games on articulation, intonation, phonics, and accentuation of the texts
- Adopt a good posture, control breathing and vocal production
- Play an instrument
○ G2: xylophones and small percussions
○ G3: recorder, xylophones, small percussions
○ G4: recorder, ukulele, percussions, djembes
○ G5: ukulele, percussions, djembes
- Know the music alphabet in French (do, ré, mi, etc.) and in English (A, B, C…)
- Know basic chords and different kind of strummings
- Repeat a rhythmic pattern with a steady pulse in a polyphonic piece
- Listen to music and watch music video of great Artists to get inspired, discover famous Singers and Music Composers such as: Alain Schneider, Juliette Greco, IZ, Louis Armstrong, Pascal Parisot, Les p’tits loups du jazz, Queen, Thomas Fersen, Sidney Bechett, Charles Trenet, Frank Sinatra, Alain Souchon, ACDC, Edith Piaf, Jacques Higelin, etc.
Learn a musical vocabulary (tempo, dynamics, instruments, etc.) and different styles of Music (Jazz, Opera, Symphony, Rock, etc.)
Dance & movement
The EB curriculum includes Dance and Movement as part of the physical and artistic development of our students. The French program focuses on movement and dance for the young children in preschool and kindergarten. Creative movement is explored, and collective or regional dances are also taught at the upper grade levels, either as part of the physical education curriculum, or as part of a show for parents or grandparents.
Students develop skills in the area of artistic perception, creative expression, historical and cultural contest, aesthetic valuing, and applications. Beginning in the preschool, students begin to learn how to:
- Perform basic locomotor skills (e.g., walk, run, gallop, jump, hop, and balance).
- Respond spontaneously to different types of music, rhythms, and sounds.
- Perform simple movements in response to oral instructions (e.g., walk, turn, reach).
- Respond spontaneously to different types of music and rhythms.
- Participate in dance games, sing songs, recite poems, and tell stories from countries around the world.
Demonstrate curricular concepts through dance (e.g., growth cycle, animal movement).
Drama & Theater
Our students are exposed to performing arts at a very young age as each grade level from PK to G2 produces one or several shows for the parents or grandparents. They act out stories and skits that have been either prerecorded or are done live in front of the audience.
In class, dramatization if often used to illustrate a passage, act out an entire story, explain an unknown word, or to role play for Social and Emotional Learning classes.
Beginning in sixth grade, students can study theater with a Drama specialist and perform their own original works.
By the end of Kindergarten, students will be able to:
- Understand the vocabulary of theatre, such as pretend, imagination, movement, puppetry, and audience, to describe theatrical experiences.
- Identify various theatrical experiences, such as live theatre and puppetry.
- Respond appropriately as an audience member.
- Use body, voice, and imagination to illustrate concepts in other content areas.
- Use movement and voice, for example, to reinforce vocabulary, such as big, little, loud, and quiet
- Perform group pantomimes and improvisations to retell familiar stories.
By the end of second grade, students will be able to:
- Talk about the cultural and geographic origins of stories.
- Identify theatrical conventions, such as props, costumes, masks, and sets.
- Use the vocabulary of the theatre, such as play, plot (beginning, middle, and end), improvisation, pantomime, stage, character, and audience, to describe theatrical experiences.
- Dramatize or improvise familiar simple stories from classroom literature or life experiences, incorporating plot (beginning, middle, and end) and using a tableau or a pantomime.
- Apply the theatrical concept of beginning, middle, and end to other content areas.
By the end of fifth grade, students will be able to:
- Use the vocabulary of theatre to describe theatrical experiences.
- Identify the structural elements of plot (exposition, complication, crisis, climax, and resolution) in a script or theatrical experience.
- Participate in improvisational activities to explore complex ideas and universal themes in literature and life.
- Collaborate as an actor, director, scriptwriter, or technical artist in creating formal or informal theatrical performances.
- Select or create appropriate props, sets, and costumes for a cultural celebration or pageant.
By the end of eighth grade, students will be able to:
- Use the vocabulary of theatre, such as ensemble, proscenium, thrust, and arena staging, to describe theatrical experiences.
- Analyze the use of figurative language and imagery in dramatic texts.
- Create short dramatizations in selected styles of theatre, such as melodrama, vaudeville, and musical theatre.
- Compare and contrast how works of theatre from different cultures or time periods convey the same or similar content or plot.
Use theatrical skills to present content or concepts in other subject areas, such as creating a video on cellular mitosis.