Art & visual culture in K-12

A sampling of courses I have taught in K-12 settings.


Photo 1 student work: Shadowgrams


A view of the classroom: Student created Snowboard displaying a photo essay on snowboarding, in Photo II


A middle school student working with watercolors, Nagoya, Japan


For grades 9-12

 Introduction to 35mm, Black & White photography; We cover history, images, and techniques of photography as we inspect both the technology and content of this medium. Students will learn to use the camera and darkroom to best communicate personal meaning through black and white prints. The semester culminates in a portfolio of work comprising 20 prints.

Pre-requisites: None

 Photo II

The students expand upon the knowledge of black and white photography acquired in Photo 1. We cover techniques of controlling film and print more finely. We also learn more darkroom processes like toning and montage to produce specific effects. Students will develop a portfolio theme; the semester will culminate in a mini-exhibition for each student.

Pre-requisites: Photo I

 Photo III

This course is one of largely Independent study & research, where students experiment with various traditional & alternative darkroom and in-camera techniques (including historical processes, and the digital darkroom) to explore their own interests. Students will produce a 15-image portfolio by the end of the semester and exhibit in the School art gallery at the end of the semester.

Pre-requisites: Photo II

 Digital Imaging

This course is an introduction to the creative use of digital photography. Students will learn the basic differences between film and digital cameras and how to use the latter. They will also learn how to scan images, alter color, tone and texture, restore damaged images, combine images with type, combine two separate images into one and learn how to make their work print ready as well as web ready. We will work with iphoto, Photoshop and Adobe Bridge. Students who take this course must have a camera and working knowledge of Macintosh computers.

Pre-requisites: Photo I


Digital manipulation: Students created a magazine graphic developed in response to Mumbai terror attacks of 2008. Photoshop, by Natalia R. & Ariadne C., 2008

Graphic Design

For grades 9-12

This course explores the elements and principles of design as applied to illustration and photography in advertising and commercial art. The course will include assignments designing forms of visual & graphic communication and calligraphy.

Students will understand how the basic principles and elements of design are reflected in 2-D & 3D design through mock commercial art projects, such as designing and presenting corporate identities (logo & calling card, stationery), posters, packaging design etc. Students will work individually and collaboratively to understand how the real design world works and will gain an idea of possible careers in Graphic Design. Students will work with design applications such as Illustrator & Photoshop during the semester and learn about other programs available for computer aided design in the industry.


IB Art (1st yr): Gestural drawing: Self portrait study in pen and ink wash. Artist: Maria Kalach

International Baccalaureate (IB) Art

Aims of the course at HL options A, B and SL options A, B:

-Investigate past, present and emerging forms of visual arts and engage in producing, appreciating and evaluating them

-Develop an understanding of visual arts from local, national and international perspective

-Build confidence in responding visually and creatively to personal and cultural experiences

-Develop skills in, and sensitivity to, the creation of works that reflect active and individual involvement

-Take responsibility for the direction of your learning through the acquisition of effective working practices


What's in my head, digital collage. 10th grade (non art) ESL students 


A display of middle school students' posters on issues they thought it was important for their peers to consider and be aware of. These students were also EFL learners

Art & Language learning

I have taught visual art in conjunction with English as a Second Language (ESL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in the United States (with Latino and Polish elders) and in Japan (with middle and high school students).

The image to the left is an example of a lesson I did with high school students in Japan, who were intermediate level ESL learners. The students discussed and researched what occupied their thoughts as teenage males. They researched and chose images from visual culture that they felt represented the mess of thoughts filling their heads ; they made a collage on paper and then used photoshop to create digital collages (listening to instructions in English, and also wrote an accompanying essay in English, both on the topic itself as well as on the process of making the image.