Animals of Asia

Term: 3 Year: 2014

Yarra Valley Grammar’s Year 6 students researched and explored the significance of the symbolism of the elephant and the Koi fish within specific Asian countries and created ceramics inspired by their discoveries.

Unit: Modeling- Animals of Asia
Year Levels: 6
AusVELS  Level: 4
Duration of Unit: Five weeks
Term: One
Year: 2014

Learning Focus from AusVels Level

As they explore and respond to their own and others’ arts works, students develop skills, techniques and processes for expressing emotions and ideas, and signifying purpose. Using appropriate arts language they begin to identify and describe ways they and others use specific elements, principles and/or conventions, skills, techniques and processes and discuss how ideas, feelings and purpose are conveyed.

Unit Learning Focus

Students research and explore the significance of the symbolism of the elephant and the Koi fish within specific Asian countries

Unit Assessment Standards Level 4

Creating and making

Students create and present works in a range of arts forms that communicate experiences, ideas, concepts, observations and feelings. They select and combine a range of arts elements, principles and/or conventions, and use a range of skills, techniques and processes, media, materials, equipment and technologies.

Exploring and responding

Students comment on the exploration, development and presentation of their arts works, including the use of specific arts elements, principles and/or conventions, skills, techniques and processes. They identify and describe key features of arts works from their own and other cultures, and use arts language to describe and discuss the communication of ideas, feelings and purpose in their own and other people’s arts works.

Teaching & Learning Activities

Week 1: Elephants

Exploring & Responding

Students view, respond, discuss images of elephants from various Asian countries, this is then refined to specific countries and ceremonies.

Using IPads student’s research techniques for drawing elephants.

Creating & Making

Students use various programs to draw several rough drafts and on final drawing of an elephant. This is then cut out.

Week 2:

Creating & Making

Students revise clay slab skills. Elephants are cut out using the pattern created last week.

Week 3

Exploring & Responding 

Students view specific images based on their individual research. These are shared and discussed.

Specific symbols, colours and designs are noted.

Creating & Making 

Students apply an undercoat of white poster paint to fired clay elephant. Students given opportunity to roughly plan design on paper.

Students paint elephant with poster paint details are added with posca markers.

Further individualisation with jewels and textiles.

Week 4: Koi Fish

Exploring & Responding

Prior to this lesson students have started their research on the cultural significance of the Koi fish in Asia.

Images of koi fish reviewed, special focus on shape and features.

Creating & Making

Students draw koi fish shape this is cut out.

Week 5

Students use paper fish pattern as a stencil on their clay. Two halves are cut out and joined together.  Various textures are explored on spare clay and then applied to clay fish.

Week 6

Exploring & Responding

Students review koi fish images with a special focus on pattern colour.

Creating & Making

Students paint fish using poster paint.

Resources and Materials

Internet research- Ipads
Teacher resources
Pencils, paper, scissors
Clay hand building earthenware or stone ware.
Research images
Poster paints
Posca Markers
Megmar Metallic markers
Paper, pencils , scissors
Clay hand building earthenware or stone ware.
Poster paints

Assessment Tools

Anecdotal notes


Teachers know their students and can respond to their individual needs. They also challenge students to extend their response

Activities are design to provide a clear foundation while offering a range of choices.

These choices enable students to make decisions in regard to one or at times all of the following.

Use of elements of colour

Application of skills

Design Strategies

Term: 3 Year: 2014

Link with other domains

Speaking and listening- review and analysis of images and work

History- Historical skills, understanding of the historical and cultural significance of animal symbols

Cross Curricular Priorities

Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia

Interconnections of animal symbols with the culture of specific Asia countries

Link with Personal, Social and Physical Domain

Student interaction, sharing, reflection of ideas, problems and outcomes

Link with Interdisciplinary Domain

Individual problem solving in working with arrange of skills and processes