Specialists Bi-Weekly Update

June 10th 2022

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What is happening during WMS specials classes?

The specials classes are listed below.

Art: 6th, 7th and 8th grade

Technology Education: 6th, 7th and 8th grade

Health: 6th, 7th and 8th grade

Music: 6th and 7th grade

Drama: 8th grade only

Physical Education: 6th, 7th and 8th grade

Orchestra, Band and Chorus: 6th, 7th and 8th grade by student choice

Specials classes meet for 1 term every other day with the exception of physical education; physical education meets every other day all year. There are 4 terms in the school year, so your child will have all four specials by the end of the school year.

Art Class

Art Shows!!

If you missed the 6-12 Art Show in Person at the Watertown Mall, you can see photos of it online on the Watertown Kk-12 Online Art Show:


We also currently have a WMS/WHS Collaborative “Minumental Show” of 2” works of art displayed in WHS Lobby through the end of the school year.

You can also see photos of this online:


6th grade: Students are working on their Animal Projects. All students chose an Animal that they are excited to learn how to draw and got reference photograph print outs to work from. Students started with Thumbnail Sketches for their Animals project. While looking at photographs of those animals, they broke them down into simple shapes and tried out different compositions until they found a favorite plan. Once students finish their Thumbnail Sketches they have a choice of making their Animals as either: Shaded Pencil, Colored Pencil, Watercolor, Oil Pastel or Collage. Each material has its own set of directions to follow. Students map out their animal composition in pencil first so that they have a chance to make edits as needed. Then they move on to the final material, adding colors, shading and details to both the animal and the background. Students have been working hard, and the results are looking quite exciting!

Learning Targets: ANIMALS

1. Artists draw realistically by breaking things down into simple shapes first.

I WILL take time to look at the animal image in front of me, SO I CAN identify the simple shapes that make it up, and start to draw my animal from those simple shapes.

2. Artists edit their work, they don’t expect the first thing they draw to look perfect right away.

I WILL take time to look at my paper, compare it to the animal image I’m looking at and be honest with myself about what looks good, and what needs fixing SO I CAN edit, refine and change what’s on my paper, to match what I’m seeing.

7th grade: Students are working on their Mandala Projects. First, students research Mandalas and choose some favorite inspiration images. Then, they try out a few different ideas in Thumbnail Sketches before moving on to their Rough and Final Draft. Rough Drafts map out the structure of the Mandala in pencil first and then in either black or colored ink. Final Drafts follow a Color Scheme that applies the Color Theory ideas we’ve learned from our Color Wheel work.

Students have a “final material” option of using Marker, Colored Pencil, Watercolors or Oil Pastels. The shading, color variations and blending is the “fun part” we are looking forward to next week!

Learning Target: MANDALAS

1. I can apply what I know about Color Theory to make my viewer notice specific things about my artwork.

2. I can apply what I learned from Zentangles to create complex patterns by fitting shapes together in interesting ways.

8th grade: Students wrapped up their Final Perspective Drawings and then began their Photorealistic Portrait Projects last week before Washington/Watertown Weeks began. They will continue with their Portrait Projects when they return. Students are learning a basic 4-box grid and are using their analyzing skills to draw a portrait based on a photograph of their choosing. We started by mapping out the head, neck and shoulders outlines. From there, we will move on to mapping out the features guidelines and individual features in the next two weeks.

Precision with the head, neck and shoulders and the guidelines lays the groundwork for drawing the features as the correct size and in the correct placement according to what we see in our photographs, this is the key to making our Portraits Photorealistic! We will tackle the specifics of the features after we know we’ve got the head, neck and shoulders placed correctly according to the reference photograph.

Some students are still working on finishing up their Final Perspective Drawings as well. Because we are getting so close to the end of the term, it is important for students to turn in missing work as soon as possible! Please check with your students or check their Google Classroom Grades Report to see about missing work, incomplete work, grades, etc.

Learning Target: PORTRAITS

I can use gridding and other drawing “tricks” to analyze my portrait reference image and draw a pretty realistic version of that image. I will refine and change what is on my page as necessary until I have an image that captures the essence of my portrait.

Advanced Art 7th grade:

This course focuses on independent projects based on student interest; examples being realistic drawing, color rendering, painting, printmaking and sculpture. We will work through the artistic process and examine and critique our work as we develop complex and refined final projects.

Some students are wrapping up their Mandala Stone Painting or Mandala Flower Pot Painting Projects, while others have moved on to our next project.

For the Mandala Stone Painting or Mandala Flower Pot Painting Projects students are expanding on the Mandala concepts we learned in General 7th Grade Art and transferring those radial pattern design skills onto 3-D objects. Students choose to paint their object either black or another solid color, mapped out a radial design and color scheme and then carefully painted it onto their object. Many are in the final stages of these, now and they are quite impressive!

Our next project is a choice between Magazine Paper Pottery Vessels and Linoleum Carving.

Advanced Art 8th grade:

This course focuses on independent projects based on student interest; examples being realistic drawing, color rendering, painting, printmaking and sculpture. We will work through the artistic process and examine and critique our work as we develop complex and refined final projects.

We are currently focused on our Printmaking Projects. Students had a choice between a painted Monoprint Landscape or a Carved Linoleum Print. Students then found reference images to work from and worked through the Artistic Process of doing Thumbnail Sketches to try out different compositions, sketching out a larger rough draft of the image and then transferring it onto their Printing Plate where they can then make multiple versions of their final image. We are using a printing press to transfer these images which is the first time most of these students have gotten to use a press.

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6th Grade: All 6th grade general music is taught by Mr. Rick Saunders. For an update on what they’re up to, reach out to richard.saunders@watertown.k12.ma.us!

7th Grade: Our young musicians have jumped into their second unit on the Blues! They’ve started learning some music history, getting to know Robert Johnson, Bessie Smith, and Huddy “Leadbelly” Ledbetter. Additionally, they’ve been honing their piano skills on iPads through GarageBand, composing their own blues pieces bit by bit. In the coming weeks, they will compose full-fledged blues songs!

8th Grade: Students are just finishing up their Contentless Scenes unit, performing and presenting their projects to the class. Next week, we will be moving on to Theater Tech, spending most of our classes in the auditorium and working with lighting equipment.

Technology Education

Check back next week for updates!


6th grade: This week students began talking about themselves. For some students this is a simple task and for others it is a bit more challenging. We focus on self-image in 6th grade, so that students can feel confident and comfortable with who they are. Having a positive self-image is the foundation for healthy decision making!

7th grade: The last unit of the term is Marijuana. Students are identifying short and long term effects of marijuana. We are taking a look at the laws around marijuana and defining the term “gateway drug”. A big focus when learning about marijuana is how THC affects the developing teen brain.

8th grade: This week 8th grade students participated in Watertown week or went to DC. Next week they will be presenting their Song Evaluation Projects, and continuing conversations around healthy decision making.

Physical Education



Please visit the Band S'MORE directly: https://www.smore.com/xsk9v


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