Monthly Archives: October 2017

Totem poles by Grade 3/4

Last term, Grade 3/4 students learnt all about totem poles from the Pacific Northwest. We looked at the artworks of the Haida people in particular. Students chose an animal and did a series of developmental sketches and drawings, followed by a collage as their final piece. These collages were then put together to form a totem pole. Over the term, students learnt about white settlement in America and the effect it had on the First People’s of America. It was interesting (and great) to hear some of the conversations around the unethical treatment of Native Americans and their cultural identity. Our students at Bell definitely have strong moral compasses. Students also learnt about the cultural significance of totem poles in Native American tribes and the meaning behind the chosen animals. If you would like to see this display, it’s just outside the art room in the main hallway.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Prep Bushwalk artworks

Last term we read the book The Bushwalk By Sandra Kendell and Prep students created a bushwalk artwork using soil, dry pastels for the gum leaves and footprints and paint for their animal. This was a great artwork as it allowed students to work with a variety of different mediums. Students could pick between a range of different Australian animals to put on their artwork, which let them have a more independent drawing experience than in previous terms. Below are some photos of their fantastic work! You can also visit the display, just on the left as you walk down the hallway in the main building.

What’s happening in music this term?

This term, Prep students will be introduced to composition by exploring pitch and other important musical elements. Students will learn how to sing then play simple melodies on tuned percussion instruments. They will deconstruct these melodies by looking at how music can be written into groups and then students will create their own melodies. Preps will also learn that instruments can be categorised into different families according to their characteristics and how they are played.

Grade 1 and 2
Boom-whacker, boom, BOOM!! This term, Grade 1 and 2 students will learn all about the percussive colourful tubes called Boomwhackers. Each tube makes its own pitch (note) when struck and they’re super fun to play! Students will learn to play short repeated patterns called ostinatos and begin looking at simple melodic patterns. They will compose their own short pieces with rhythmic patterns using musical notation. Each group will perform their pieces to the class and students will be encouraged to give feedback to their peers using correct musical terminology.

Grade 3 and 4
Tying in closely with their work in Art, Grade 3s and 4s are focusing on the music of the Native Americans. We will discover the significance of music in their culture and how it is used as an important form of storytelling. Students will learn chants from various tribes and find out about traditional instruments and how they were made. We will listen to and analyse Native American songs and discover how they are linked to other art-forms such as dance. Students will work in small groups to compose their own short piece in the musical style of a particular Native American tribe.

Grade 5 and 6
In Term 4, Grade 5/6 students will be going Back to the Future! This term is all about Science Fiction (Sci-Fi) and how composers use technology and the elements of music to create a world of chaos and mystery. Students will set upon a mini-inquiry into the Science Fiction genre and plan out their own Sci-Fi story using digital Mind Mapping tools. They will unleash their creativity and compose their own Sci-Fi music to represent their main characters using the Soundation program. We will also be listening to and analysing classic Sci-Fi music by composers such as John Williams and James Horner.

What’s happening in art this term?

Art of the First Peoples of America


As part of the Native North American Art Unit this term, Preps will be learning about artwork unique to Navajo people, with a particular focus on pattern and repetition. Using paper, pastels and paints, students will work on a series of experimental artworks in their art journals, inspired by the bead and pattern work of Navajo people. With this experience, students will incorporate this pattern work into an artwork inspired by intricately decorated cradleboards – A pouch-like bag used for carrying a baby, worn on the back”. Through this unit, students will learn about the craftwork of Navajo people and the cultural significance behind some of their artwork.

Grade 1 and 2

This term is all about the art of Native Americans. Students in Grade 1 and 2 will be learning about the Sioux tribes and their traditional (post-colonisation) beaded vests. Like the Preps, students will work on a series of experimental pattern artworks in their art journals, before using brown paper to create their own Sioux inspired vest artwork. The focus for this artwork is on the traditional patterns and animals depicted in the beadwork and clothing of Sioux tribes. From an anthropological perspective, students will also have the opportunity to learn about the preparation of buffalo and deer hides and the craft techniques of clothing made by Sioux people.

Grade 3 and 4

Grade 3 and 4 students will create a mixed-media artwork from clay and yarn as part of the Native North American Art Unit this term. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the textiles and ceramics of Navajo people. They will then combine this knowledge to create an artwork that is inspired by these elements. In phase one, students will create a clay loom influenced by the patterns and colours of Navajo ceramics. In phase two, once their clay loom is dry, students will use yarn to weave either a horizontal or spiral design into their clay loom, giving them an understanding of traditional weaving techniques used by Navajo people.

Grade 5 and 6

Students in Grade 5 and 6 will spend the term creating artworks inspired by warrior and medicine shields used by the Plains people during combat. Students will have the opportunity to create either an animal or geometric inspired shield using paint, paper and beads. During this process, students will learn about the cultural significance and differences between the shields and why they were an important symbolic and defensive part of the Plains people’s culture.

Moth relief artworks

Last term, Grade 1 and 2 students looked at the work of American artist, Yumi Okita. Over 11 weeks, students created these stunning moth relief artworks made from textiles, cardboard and feathers. This artwork allowed students to explore the tactile nature of fibres, with a focus on texture. You can view these works in the hallway of the main building.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Prep Music Fun!

Preps have been SUPER busy this term in music! We had a go at composing our own ‘fast and slow’ pieces by drawing pictures to create a score. We learned that symbols can be used to represent sounds. AND we learned how important it is for the actions in a song to match the words (lyrics) so the story makes sense. Singing and moving at the same time can be tricky! But we were so brave and LOVED performing at the end of term assembly in front of the WHOLE SCHOOL!! Go Preps!!