Wallingford Elementary School

    Name: Sarah Ryan
    Email Address: sryan@wssd.org
    Phone: ext. 4901

    Welcome WES artists!

    I am excited for another year filled with fun, creativity, and lots of art production!

     About Mrs. Ryan:

    I graduated from James Madison University with a B.A. in Art Education, and from Villanova University with a M.A. in Education.  I live right here in Wallingford with my husband and two daughters.  I love running, hiking, photography, painting, the beach, and spending time with family and friends!



    We will be beginning our school year with a review of the art elements of line, shape, color, form, texture, value, and space. Throughout the year, many projects will be focused on giving children experiences with each of the above art elements. Upper grade levels also focus on art principles such as pattern, movement, balance, emphasis, unity, and movement. 

    Art history is also a large component of my curriculum. Each grade level focuses on learning about the lives and work of historical as well as some contemporary artists. Many times we also focus on the art of a particular civilization, culture, or country. 


    Kindergarten: Vincent Van Gogh, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso as well as art from Ireland and Native American art.


    1st Grade: Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Keith Haring, Wassily Kandinsky as well as art from China and Modern Art.


    2nd Grade: Paul Cezanne, Wayne Thiebaud, Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse as well as art from India, Egypt and Italy.


    3rd Grade: Leonardo DaVinci, Jackson Pollock, Jamie Wyeth, Andy Warhol as well as cart from Japan and the Middle Ages.


    4th Grade: Edward Hopper, Edvard Munch, Henri Rousseau as well as art from Egypt, Greece and Modern American Art.


    5th Grade: Alberto Giacometti, Salvador Dali, Roy Lichtenstein, Georga O’Keeffe as well as Pop Art, and art from Mexico and Africa.

    I also try to have each grade level experience a variety of materials and genres. Some genre choices include: portraits, landscapes, cityscapes, architecture, cartoons, realism, abstraction, and figure drawing. 


    Classroom Expectations:

    In the art room, I have five main rules for all students:

    1. Come in quietly and ready to work.
    2. Listen to the directions.
    3. Treat the supplies and your classmates respectfully.
    4. Stay at your seat (especially when we are doing something messy & fun!)
    5. Clean up after yourself and take care of our art classroom.


    Ever want to talk to your kids about their art work??? 

    To help develop your child’s critical thinking skills, ask your child open ended questions about their artwork. Open ended questions will help support your child’s efforts rather than if you said “good job” or “that is beautiful”. Here are a few questions to get started with!


    1. What can you tell me about your picture?
    2. What materials did you use?
    3. Where did you get your idea?
    4. What is your favorite part of the picture?
    5. How did you.....


    10 Lessons the Arts Teach

    Source: Eisner, Elliot. "What the Arts Teach and How It Shows", The Arts and the Creation of Mind, 2002.

    1) The arts teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships. Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts it is judgment rather than rules that prevail.

    2) The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.

    3) The arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.

    4) The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem solving purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity. Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.

    5) The arts make vivid the fact that neither words in their literal form nor numbers exhaust what we can know. The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition.

    6) The arts teach students that small differences can have large effects. The arts traffic in subtleties.

    7) The arts teach students to think through and within a material. All art forms employ some means through which images become real.

    8) The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said. When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will do the job.

    9) The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling.

    10) The arts' position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe is important.


    Looking for some art books?

    Here are a few great children's art books I recommend:

    "The Art Book for Children"


    "13 Art Mysteries Children Should Know" (the whole series is wonderful!)


    "My Art Book"


     Looking for a local arts experience?


    We are lucky to live in an area SURROUNDED by art!!!

    Check out some of my favorite links: