This example demonstrates how one teacher has organised an aspect
of the learning environment as an art studio to support and encourage
children to become creative, independent and self-directed learners.
QKLG related learning areas: Active learning, Identity
It demonstrates:
• the elements of a supportive learning environment
• decision making when planning and organising the learning
• intentional teaching practices such as modelling
• advice about promoting the development of children’s visual art
knowledge, skills and dispositions
• the importance of sharing perspectives with families.
The kindergarten art studio
Chris-Anne Aroney, teacher trialling the
Queensland kindergarten learning guideline
A teacher’s perspective
“Visual art and the concept of an art studio have always been
a passion of mine because children are such eager explorers.
Throughout their play, children are able to explore ideas, gain
understandings and are free to make meaning of their world.
One effective way of expressing these concepts is through
drawing, painting and clay work.”
Chris-Anne Aroney
Designated space for an art studio
Opportunities to use a wide variety of media and materials enable
children to explore, experiment and play with colour, texture, shape
and line. Presenting materials used in the art studio in a beautiful and
aesthetically pleasing way invites children’s interest.
A supportive learning environment
The art studio demonstrates qualities of supportive learning spaces.
Through the organisation of materials and furniture it combines the
elements of:
• practicality and ease of use
• accessibility of materials
• aesthetic appeal.
A vehicle for intentional teaching
The art studio also supports the development of children’s
knowledge, skills and dispositions through intentional
teaching practices. These practices promote:
• independence
• creativity
• respect and appreciation for their own and other children’s work
• engagement and excitement.
QKLG related learning areas: Identity, Connectedness, Active learning
Decision making: Organising the art studio
Practicality, ease of use and accessibility of materials are priorities.
In the art studio I have:
• set a long table in the centre of the studio to allow children to work
alongside or with each other
• provided water and sponges that are readily accessible to
encourage children to care for
art materials
• modelled care of equipment and
encouraged children to clean their
Decision making: Getting started
It takes time to intentionally demonstrate processes and support
children’s attempts to clean and care for this space. Having an adult to
provide prompts can be helpful. This may impact on when children can
access the art studio at first.
Decision making: Organising materials
In the art studio, the selection and location of materials is important.
It includes:
• space that enables children to choose the items they wish to use
• aesthetic presentation of materials that are changed regularly
• access to clay, allowing children to sculpt and experiment with twoand three-dimensional forms
• paint pumps to enable children to mix their own colours using a
pallet. Other paints are also added over the year.
• use of the store room to enable children to safely store materials
needed for projects.
Decision making: Selecting materials
Promoting independence:
• a variety of materials are presented in an organised manner for
the children to select with ease
• children spin a small table wheel to select various paints
• art materials are located throughout the environment for ease of
accessibility and to encourage independence.
As the materials are always available,
children may access them as:
• an engaging experience in their own
right or
• to incorporate as part of a play
scenario, such as adding a painting to
the doctor’s surgery.
Intentional teaching: Introducing
knowledge, skills and dispositions
I introduce materials:
• initially, to the whole group of new children
• during the year as new materials are added.
Specific art techniques:
• are introduced over the year
• increase in complexity as the children become more confident and
Using real art terms and techniques allows the children to:
• develop accurate vocabulary and understanding of art terms and
• build an appreciation of and respect for the visual arts.
QKLG related learning areas: Active learning, Communicating
Intentional teaching: Creating opportunities
Children have many opportunities to use a wide variety of art materials
allowing them to explore, experiment, play and represent ideas.
This space invited
children to look closely
at themselves to create
a self-portrait.
Intentional teaching: Modelling use of materials
Art techniques are taught through teacher modelling. When modelling
the use of materials I explain ways to use them and demonstrate
techniques for using the tools.
Once children understand the
techniques for using materials, the
possibilities are amazing …
For example, when we added water colours to the easels with various
sized paint brushes I talked about the materials to the group. I then
demonstrated the techniques, modelling the dip, wipe and paint method.
Respecting the process, respecting the work
Allowing children the necessary
time to create their artworks
demonstrates respect for the
processes by which those pieces
of art are made.
Careful display of children’s
artwork promotes a sense of
respect, pride and appreciation in
their work.
Sharing perspectives and beliefs with
parents to inspire involvement
During a parent information evening, parents reflected on their
image of the child. The staff also discussed their images of the child.
We discovered some shared perspectives and beliefs about children.
“ Children are eager to learn, and are capable,
receptive, inquisitive individuals.”
Parents were then invited to work collaboratively to represent their
image of the child through the medium of paint, collage and pastels
onto a large canvas.
Accepting the challenge …
The creative process began at the parent night.
This canvas was also made available for the next two weeks for all
parents to make their contributions. It now hangs in our art studio.
By physically engaging with the curriculum, the families agreed that
their children were engaged in a living curriculum within an
empowering learning environment – one that will truly equip them
for a future of lifelong learning.