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Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten Art


Class Duration:  Pre- K.- once per week for 30 min; K. - once per week for 45 min

Lower Elementary Art Education Pedagogy

The Visual Arts program at the Lower Elementary Level is most closely aligned with the Reggio Emilia approach.  The Reggio teacher is unique because she offers herself to the process of co-construction of knowledge, releasing the traditional roles of a teacher and opening doors to new possibilities. She starts with the use of the child’s own theories, promotes disequilibrium, and helps the child to think about their thinking to facilitate new learning.

The Reggio teacher is a keen observer, documenter, and partner in the learning process who allows the children to:  
  • Ask their own questions and generate and test their own hypotheses
  • Explore and generate many possibilities, both affirming and contradictory. She welcomes contradictions as a venue for exploring, discussing and debating
  • Use symbolic languages to represent thoughts and hypothesis
  • Communicate their ideas to others
  • Through the process of revisiting the opportunity to reorganize concepts, ideas, thoughts and theories, construct new meaning

The teacher also has rights within this unique system. It is the right of the teacher to contribute to the study and preparation of the conceptual models that define educational content, objectives, and practices.

Course Curriculum

**ALL Art students will be learning in accordance with the curriculum outlined by the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards.  These standards are available to view at  The study of aesthetics, art history, and art criticism will be included at all levels.**


First and Second Grade Art


Class duration:  once per week for 45 min

Mid Elementary Art Education Pedagogy

The Visual Arts program at the Mid Elementary Level is most closely aligned with the Understanding by Design (UbD) framework.  Developed by nationally recognized educators Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe, and published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), some of the key ideas of UbD are:

A primary goal of education should be the development and deepening of student understanding.

Students reveal their understanding most effectively when they are provided with complex, authentic opportunities to explain, interpret, apply, shift perspective, empathize, and self-assess.

Effective curriculum development reflects a three-stage design process called "backward design" that delays the planning of classroom activities until goals have been clarified and assessments designed.

Student performance gains are achieved through regular reviews of results (achievement data and student work) followed by targeted adjustments to curriculum and instruction. Teachers become most effective when they seek feedback from students and use that feedback to adjust approaches to design and teaching.


Third and Fourth Grade Art


Class duration:  once per week for 45 min

Upper Elementary Art Education Pedagogy

The Visual Arts program at NCA from Upper Elementary through High School is based on the principles & practices of the nationally recognized & research backed “Teaching for Artistic Behavior” (also known as TAB or choice-based).  The idea is simple: Students are artists & the classroom is their studio.  They are offered real choices for responding to their own ideas and interests through the making of Art.  When given the chance to explore their own ideas, passions, and interests, children often find greater meaning and relevance in their work.  This concept supports multiple modes of learning to meet the diverse needs of all students.


K-4 Art Media

  • Paint: Watercolor, Tempera
  • Pencil, Marker, Crayon, Ink, Colored Pencil, Oil & Chalk Pastel
  • Paper Mache, Found-Object, Cardboard construction, etc.
  • Stamps, Linoleum-cut
  • Multi-media, Tissue paper, Construction Paper, Magazine Cut-Outs, Newspapers
  • Clay: Hand-built/Coil, Slab Construction
  • Scratchboard, Weaving

K-4 Art Competitions/Exhibitions


All-City Art Show  - One student from every grade level K-12 will be selected to have a piece of artwork framed and displayed at the Springfield Art Museum for one month in the spring.

NCA Art Show - Every student will submit ONE piece to be displayed at the annual NCA Student Art Show held usually at the end of April or beginning of May.  This show is presented by the High School Art students.