CSMA’s Art4Schools in-school visual arts program provides weekly art lessons to students in Grades K-12. The program consists of in-depth, skill-building and sequential art lessons that are tied to the California State Visual Arts Framework appropriate for each grade level. Taught by professional CSMA visual arts instructors, art lessons coordinate with each classroom’s curriculum to become an integral part of the school day.

Curriculum Overview

Lessons are inspired by a variety of themes:

  • Art from World Cultures - inspires students to explore diverse cultures and perspectives
  • Ceramic and Sculptural Arts - teaches basic techniques in building form and developing 3-D concepts
  • Art by the Masters - teaches techniques such as line, color and self-portraits, giving students an historical context for their own creations

Art4Schools Objectives & Goals by Grade Level


  • Visual expression using lines, shapes, colors and value
  • Drawing, painting, clay modeling and printmaking
  • Works of master artists and multi-cultural artistic traditions
  • Responding to expressive qualities of their own art and work of others

Grade 1

  • Creative expression using line, pattern, and shape
  • Using art elements to illustrate a story and to show family relationships through scale
  • Learning technical skills, including color mixing in painting and pinch techniques and hand building in clay
  • Inspiration drawn from the works of master artists and multi-cultural artistic traditions

Grade 2

  • Creating varieties of line to make pattern, using overlapping shapes to create space, and mixing primary colors to make secondary colors
  • Creative expression through drawing from nature, representing family relationships through size and placement, and utilizing art elements to illustrate a story
  • Developing an awareness of art from other cultures, discovering art in the world around us, and learning that artists make portraits, still lifes and landscapes
  • Kinetic learning to refine small motor skills through drawing, painting and hand building with clay

Grade 3

  • Creating texture by grouping patterns, using blending to show light and shadow, and learning clay hand-building techniques
  • Understanding of the language of art through painting and collage using geometric, organic and symmetrical shapes, and by color mixing
  • Critical thinking, creative expression, and linking the imaginative and realistic through self-portrait, illustration and design
  • Appreciating art from other cultures and periods, and developing the ability to see through the eyes of a master artist

Grade 4

  • Drawing and painting using perspective, positive and negative shapes, and mixing primary colors to create warm and cool colors
  • Expressing inner self through self-portrait and using symbolic line, shape, and color to create mood
  • Developing cultural and historical awareness of art created for ritual uses, identifying art from specific periods, and creating variation on a theme to express an idea inspired by a master artist
  • Creating texture with line, portraying light source using blending techniques, and using slab and add-on techniques with clay.

Grade 5

  • Expressing inner self in self portrait, creating illusions using value and perspective, and linking imagination with reality through design
  • Building awareness of art as a part of daily life, identifying works from specific periods, and looking at art through a master artist’s eyes to build cultural and historical knowledge
  • Using drawing techniques to describe the outside and inside of a form with contour lines, identifying positive and negative shapes, and painting with complementary colors to create contrast
  • Using line to create form in drawings, using value to create 3-D renderings, and adding complexity to clay modeling and sculpting

Download: Art4Schools Key Concepts
Download: Art4Schools Curriculum Objectives
Download: Art4Schools Sample Lessons

Interested in bringing Art4Schools to your school?

Learn more about the program here.