Skip to main content

Art at Lincoln

art at lincoln clip art    

The value of an arts education is widely accepted, especially in California.”

-Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California

PHILOSOPHY     cereal box

The teachers of Lincoln Elementary School in the Burlingame School District believe an exemplary art program aims to provide an artistically enriched educational environment that motivates student learning, maintains high student achievement, enhances instruction for all students, bridges cultural and social differences, and promotes students to become life-long learners to contribute to our community. While we strongly believe that art enhances learning in all subject areas by providing visual, auditory, and sensory experiences, it has intrinsic value and is worth learning for its own sake.  


Art enables us to perceive, interpret, and evaluate life’s experiences in a way unique to each of us. Structured learning situations are an essential part of the intellectual, social, and emotional growth of every child, and the art curriculum is designed to develop the unique mental capabilities, which foster flexible, divergent, original, fluent, and imaginative thinking. Additionally, the arts present opportunities to develop the higher levels of thought.


At Lincoln, teachers follow the California State Visual Art Standards in our classrooms. We integrate art into our curriculum and also provide monthly art lessons in technique, aesthetic valuing, creative expression, history and application. In each grade, we build art skills and vocabulary and have art supplies readily available to us. Each classroom is a virtual gallery of learning and you’ll find examples in all sorts of mediums, from watercolors to pastels to collage and paper mache.



In each grade, you will find art projects that relate to grade level standards across the curriculum. Fifth grade students leave Lincoln with a balanced education rich in visual art, music, dance and performance. While teachers integrate art into our classrooms, thanks to specialists like Carol Prater (chorus), an art teacher (Linda Hoeck in the past) and Patty Rossi (dance as part of PE) students are provided such a comprehensive elementary school experience.



pumpkin kindergartenStudents learn to observe art, describe simple patterns and identify line, color, shape/form, texture, value, and space. They are able to identify and use art materials. They work with scissors, glue, and torn paper to make three-dimensional geometric shapes and create patterns using lines, shapes and colors, and geometric shapes.  

Students are presented with and discuss art from a variety of cultures and time periods. They learn to recognize the difference between utilitarian and aesthetic art. As part of their family unit, students create watercolor pastel family portraits.

Kindergarteners have free access to art supplies including free-standing easels.



winter trees first gradeFirst grade classes base much of their art on Core Literature. They use Ezra Jack Keats as inspiration for paper shape art and Eric Carle influences their torn paper pictures, made with home- made paper.  In math, they solidify geometry concepts by creating pastel clowns out of geometric shapes. Animal Reports in science culminate with a paper mache animal head.

In first grade, students do an artist study about Georgia O’Keefe, and create pastel flowers based on her work. Art projects in this grade also include torn paper art, and foil prints.



kandinsky second gradeArtist studies continue in second grade, when students learn about Andy Warhol while practicing using primary, secondary, and tertiary colors with pop art pumpkins. Kandinsky is another influence as they create Kandinsky circles. They also study Picasso and cubism by creating oil pastel faces with a focus on line and shape.

Second graders learn about construction and engineering as part of their social studies Community Unit by building a town out of painted milk cartons.  Other popular second grade art activities include silhouette art, line design to study shapes and patterns and oil painting pumpkins to study overlapping, depth and blending of color.



snowman third gradeThe Native American Unit in social studies is a source of much art-inspired learning in third grade. They create “buffalo hide” art, rubbings, sand paintings and totem poles. They also create a diorama out of shoe boxes to illustrate their understanding of how different tribes used natural resources to construct their dwellings.  Third graders use core literature as a basis for Amos and Boris watercolors and Charlotte’s Web watercolor and pastel art. Geometry and symmetry are mathematical art themes.



earths layers fourth gradeIn fourth grade, students create art as part of almost every social studies unit. They make salt dough maps of California, drawn examples of galleons and portraits of the explorers who sailed on them, draw a diseno of secularized mission lands, and construct a boom town found in Gold Rush times. As part of the Mission Unit, fourth graders choose from a variety of media to show a creative interpretation of their learning - including e-presentions, comic strips, a model of a mission building (physical or virtual), blueprints, a play or song or a video tour. In science, students have built volcanoes and earthquake models also out of a variety of materials. In math they create butterflies and flowers illustrating rotational and reflectional symmetry. They regularly create and illustrate word problems and create patterns when studying fractions.

Students learn about Picasso and create monster self-portraits. They study Kandinsky and create dream art out of torn paper.



fifth gradeFifth graders create State Report related projects, including torn paper flags and quilt pieces. At Outdoor Ed, they make torn paper and watercolor renditions of natural habitats. Geometry line art and “wanted” posters describing the characteristics of a number are popular math art activities. Students learn about Georgia O’Keefe and create pastel flowers based on her style. They also work with watercolors, pastels and make self-portraits.




Our art wishes at Lincoln are

  • to continue to have art supplies
  • to be allowed staff development days to develop strong art curriculum
  • to have visits from art specialists or museum staff as “in school field trips”