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Child Development Tracker

Home » 7 to 8 »

Creative Arts


Supporting Activities

Maya & Miguel

Help your child create a wind chime from shells, beads, and stones. Wind Music

Books for Your Child

Reading is a great way for children to learn about new things. Second graders will enjoy these books about art.

A child's development in the creative arts varies greatly based on the child's experiences with art, music, dance, and theater. Given exposure and practice, seven-year-olds create art that depict objects more realistically and that reflect personal culture and experiences. In addition, they increase their knowledge of art elements, materials, techniques, and processes. Seven-year-olds also perform, read, and write increasingly more complex music. They respond to the mood of music through movement and dance, and show greater body awareness as they imitate and distinguish among various body shapes. Finally, they can name the characters, setting, problem, and solution in a drama, as well as act out real-life and imaginative situations through dramatic play, puppet shows, and other dramatizations.

Art

  • Expresses ideas and feelings in artwork, using a variety of colors, forms, and lines. Creates effective compositions, using design elements and principles (e.g., uses color descriptively to show the colors of objects in real life). Manipulates a variety of materials to create 2-D or 3-D art works with increased dexterity. Selects ideas for works of art that reflect personal culture and experiences (e.g., draws the family at dinner, constructs model buildings that frequently reflect buildings in current or past communities). Continues to increase self-sufficiency by trying activities independently. Begins to depict objects realistically.

  • Continues to develop knowledge of the differences among art materials (e.g., paint, clay, wood, videotape), techniques (e.g., overlapping, shading, varying size or color), and processes (e.g., using a wash in watercolor). Is increasingly able to use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner. Describes with expanded analysis how different materials, techniques, and processes cause various responses (e.g., says, "The large size of the person in the middle shows that he is important."). Makes increasingly complex choices about the structures and functions of art, as well as the media and techniques used to convey meaning (e.g., chooses tempera paint to depict a garden).

  • Compares ways that individuals and families are depicted in different artwork. Defines reasons for preferences and choices in personal artwork (e.g., says, "I drew myself painting because that is my favorite thing to do.").

  • Is able to identify a number of stories and other subject matter shown in a variety of artwork. Recognizes art elements (e.g., color, texture, form, line, and space) and art principles (e.g., emphasis, pattern, and rhythm). Describes how different media (e.g., oil, watercolor, stone, metal), techniques, and processes can be used to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories, as well as evoke different responses in the viewer. Explains how different compositional, expressive features (e.g., colors or subjects evoking joy, sadness, or anger), and organizational principles (e.g., repetition, balance, emphasis, contrast, unity) also cause different responses.

  • Knows how history, culture, and the visual arts can influence each other, with an increased interest in stories about artists. Knows how people's experiences (e.g., cultural background, human needs) can influence the development of specific artwork. Identifies distinctive roles of artists in society (e.g., says, "Artists help us to think and feel differently. They make things for us to look at and enjoy."). Identifies a number of specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places.

  • Compares ways that individuals and families are depicted in different artwork. Can express ideas about personal artwork that refer to the image or structure (e.g., draws a picture of her dog eating with identifiable details). Gives simple reasons for what he or she likes and dislikes about an artwork (e.g., says, "I like this painting because it has purple in it."). Identifies ideas about original artwork, portfolios, and exhibitions by peers and others (e.g., says, "I think Sally painted flowers because she has a garden at home."). Gives examples of various purposes for creating works of visual art (e.g., for personal expression, to communicate an idea, in rituals and celebrations, etc.). Understands that there are different responses to specific artwork (e.g., one person may find Monet's painting of waterlilies beautiful while another may find it messy). Knows how people's experiences (e.g., cultural background, human needs) can influence the development of specific artwork.

  • Uses increased detail to draw and discuss visual images based on text descriptions. Identifies a larger number of literary and historical subject matter depicted in the visual arts. Experiments with light and the color spectrum to create further visual effects. Works with additional geometric shapes to create artistic designs.

Music

  • Responds through purposeful movement (e.g., swaying, skipping, dramatic play, painting) to a variety of musical selections. May be able to discuss music in basic terms.

  • Can remember the words and melodies to a variety of songs. Is able to sing or play these songs on instruments in an expressive manner, either alone or with a group. In a group performance, can perform increasingly complex partner songs (two separate songs that can be performed simultaneously), rounds, and short musical patterns that are repeated throughout a song (ostinatos). Will follow cues given by a conductor.

  • Can remember the words and melodies to a variety of songs. Is able to sing or play these songs on instruments in an expressive manner, either alone or with a group. In a group performance, can perform increasingly complex partner songs (two separate songs that can be performed simultaneously), rounds, and short musical patterns that are repeated throughout a song (ostinatos). Will follow cues given by a conductor.

  • Plays musical patterns on simple instruments. Improvises musical rhythms to go along with songs of various cultures. Can make up short vocal or instrumental phrases within specified guidelines. Uses a variety of sound sources when composing, such as classroom instruments, electronic sounds, and body sounds.

  • Can listen to and identify a larger variety of simple music forms (e.g., AB form: when a song has two distinct melodies that are played in sequence). Reads and writes increasingly more complex music notation that uses a system (e.g., letters, numbers, symbols) and follows specific patterns. Is able to identify a number of instruments by sight and sound, and begins to group them by musical families. During music performances, better distinguishes between higher/lower, louder/softer, faster/slower, and same/different.

  • Shows appropriate audience behavior during musical performances. Describes personal preferences for specific musical works and styles.

  • Can give an example of a type and/or style of music from a different culture. Can suggest music that might be appropriate for a specific use (e.g., to play at a wedding). Is able to name some roles that musicians play in society (e.g., orchestra conductor, folksinger, church organist).

  • Gives examples of connections between music and other disciplines (e.g., foreign languages: singing songs in various languages; language arts: using the expressive elements of music in interpretive readings; mathematics: mathematical basis of values of notes, rests, and time signatures; science: vibration of strings, drum heads, or air columns generating sounds used in music; geography: songs associated with various countries or regions).

Dance

  • Responds to the mood of a piece of music through movement and dance. Moves to a rhythmic accompaniment (e.g., drum beat) and responds to changes in the speed of music (tempo). Imitates and distinguishes among body shapes that are stretched, curled, angular, twisted, symmetrical (the same on both sides of the body), and asymmetrical (left and right sides of the body take different positions). Performs and differentiates among basic locomotor (e.g., hopping, walking, sliding, etc.) and nonlocomotor (e.g., bending, twisting, swinging, etc.) movements. Shows body awareness when performing movement skills, and has improved concentration and focus. Demonstrates better understanding of spatial elements (e.g., personal and shared space, movement at different levels above the floor, moving in various directions around a room, size of movement) in response to verbal cues. With adequate exposure to dance instruction, can describe a number of basic movement elements (e.g., the height of the dancer from the floor, directions of movement). Shows improved ability to remember movement sequences.

  • Solves movement-related problems (e.g., how to use a scarf to convey a strong wind) and makes decisions on the appropriateness of movement in response to teacher-directed tasks. Suggests meanings that locomotor and nonlocomotor movement can convey (e.g., light, quick skips suggest happiness; dragging feet suggests sadness).

  • Gives examples of how improvisation is used to discover and invent movement. Can demonstrate improved partner skills (e.g., copying, leading and following, mirroring). Shows improved ability to suggest appropriate movements in response to words, sounds, pictures, props, and/or stories.

  • Gives examples of how dance is different from other forms of human movement (e.g., sports, everyday gestures). Gives examples of how a dance may elicit various interpretations and reactions that differ from the meaning intended by the dancer. Knows the technical and artistic components of a few forms of dance.

  • Knows that many cultures have their own dances. Is familiar with the cultural and historical context of a number of dance forms, especially those found within their community.

  • Can give examples of how nutrition and safety enhance the ability to dance.

  • Shows progress in how to use movement to show understanding of principles in other disciplines (e.g., shapes in math, patterns in science, the mood of a poem). Gains experience in using other art forms to respond to dance (e.g., creates a painting that reflects a style of dance).

Theater

  • Can act out real-life and imaginative situations through dramatic play, story dramatization, and narrative pantomime (using movement rather than talking to act out poetry and other writing). Is also able to use a puppet to tell a story. Can recreate dialogue. Demonstrates improved abilities to work with others.

  • Continues to adapt the environment for dramatic play, using simple objects/props from the environment (e.g., a towel becomes a cape, blocks may represent items in a picnic). Actively enhances dramatic play with music, creative movement, and visual components (e.g., props, costumes). Demonstrates ways to use the body and voice to communicate character actions, emotions, and sounds in a drama. Can distinguish between the vocal and non-vocal sounds used in a drama.

  • Identifies the beginning, middle, and end of a dramatization. Can name the characters, setting, problem, and solution in a drama, as well as the emotions (e.g., happy, sad, mad, scared) created by actors. May laugh, cry, or otherwise respond to dramatic activities. Is able to describe simple reasons for appreciating a dramatic performance (e.g., thought a particular character was funny). Can learn and better apply the characteristics of appropriate audience behavior.

  • Gives examples of how theater reflects life in different times and cultures (if given adequate exposure to dramatic works and productions).

  • Can use experiences from other disciplines (e.g., writing, discussion, movement, music, art, knowledge of history) to understand and interpret dramatic works.

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