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Visual Arts / Year 3 and 4 / Exploring and responding

Curriculum content descriptions

explore where, why and how visual arts are created and/or presented across cultures, times, places and/or other contexts (AC9AVA4E01)

  • exploring a diverse range of artworks created by artists working collaboratively and brainstorming the reasons why artists might choose to work as a team, and then comparing their ideas with information the artists have shared about their collaborative practice
  • exploring artists’ practice by sourcing information created or co-created by the artist and using Viewpoints to develop questions to develop understanding of the practices, such as “What does the artists’ studio or space look like?”, “How do they develop their ideas?”, “What are they doing when they are developing and trialling their techniques and working with materials?”, “How do they engage with galleries (physical or virtual) to exhibit their work?”
  • observing and exploring details such as use of materials, patterns, proportions or familiar features in artworks and using Viewpoints to co-create questions such as, “What is the artwork made of?”, “How can I look more closely at this work to see something I did not notice the first time?”, “What do I see when I look at the work through half-shut eyes?”, “How does the work look like it feels, and how does it actually feel?”
  • making connections and comparisons between artists working across cultures, times and/or places; for example, finding similarities and differences between the ways that an artist’s context impacts their approach to a theme such as sustainability or community celebrations, or finding similarities and differences between the ways that different artists approach the same material and techniques, such as different approaches to creating sustainable sculpture using found objects, natural and human-made materials
  • exploring ways to represent the world as they see it; for example, using ideas and experience about a recent event (such as a sports or cultural event or celebration) and making an artwork that communicates their perspective of the event; and then identifying how their work is different from the works created by other students in the class, how the teacher’s work differs from the students’ work or how their works compare to works by other artists that feature similar subject matter
  • identifying ways that artworks by different artists can present multiple perspectives of the same event and discussing how these works can develop social awareness; for example, accessing and comparing artists and artworks that explore sustainability, such as land art, artworks using recycled materials that represent the effects of climate on the environment
  • describing and categorising visual features and cultural works around the school, such as artworks, craft works, design or architectural features, memorials, murals or displays according to their purpose; for example, social, decorative, architectural, functional, cultural
General capabilities
  • Literacy Literacy
  • Intercultural understanding Intercultural Understanding
ScOT terms

Regional art,  Composition (Visual arts),  Art materials,  Visual arts,  Artists,  Culture,  Cultural contexts,  Art movements


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The Art and Science of Impressionist Color

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Alexander Schramm: 'Adelaide, a tribe of natives on the banks of the river Torrens' 1850

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'The Rajah quilt' 1841

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The Sydney Bird Painter: 'The white gallinule' c. 1791-92

Can you imagine what it would have been like to arrive in Australia and see its unique flora and fauna for the first time? Scientific drawings of Australia's flora and fauna emerged with the arrival of the first European settlers who were fascinated by how unusual they were. Sadly, even as they documented these extraordinary ...


John Glover: 'Patterdale landscape with cattle' c. 1833

John Glover migrated to Tasmania in 1831, arriving on his 64th birthday. He is considered one of Australia's most important artists of the early 19th century and the colonial period. This piece was one of the first he completed after taking up a land grant in Patterdale on the Nile River. The pastoral scene depicts the ...


Eugene von Guérard: 'Purrumbete from across the lake' 1858

Lured to Australia by the discovery of gold, Eugene von Guérard was the lead painter in the first century of European settlement. This piece is one of a pair that was commissioned by land owners Peter and John Manifold. Von Guérard was known for his mastery of landscapes, and his attention to detail and interest in the ...


John Glover: 'Mr Robinson's house on the Derwent, Van Diemen's Land' c. 1838

Artists were often captivated by their first glimpse of the Australian landscape and portrayed the countryside with a sense of wonder. This example by John Glover includes trees with curled branches, brightly lit skies and colour infused hills. How does this image compare to others you have seen of this period?


Conrad Martens: 'View from Rose Bank' 1840

Many early artists romanticised the Australian colonial landscape and did not always strictly paint what they saw. In this example Martens has given the landscape a decidedly Italian atmosphere, softening the colour palate and creating a more ‘civilised' view. Can you think of why the artist may be interested in changing ...


Emma Boyd: 'The quail shooter' 1884

In this work Emma Boyd depicts the landscape near her home, ‘The Grange', in Victoria. See how the landscape dominates the single human figure? What do you think this suggests? What is the artists trying to say by creating this sense of scale?


Eugene von Guérard: 'North-east view from the northern top of Mount Kosciusko' 1863

In this landscape Eugene von Guérard blends topographical accuracy with the grandness of a mountain top view which he witnessed in 1862 as a member of a geographical survey led by scientist Georg von Neumayer. The artist has taken some liberties with the depiction of the boulders in the foreground to demonstrate the enormous ...


John Lewin: 'Reed warbler' 1805

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Charles Conder: 'Hot wind' 1889

In the late 19th century symbolism was used in depictions of the Australian Colonial landscape. This example painted by Charles Conder was painted during the Victorian drought in 1889.How does the artist convey the heat of the Australian landscape in this image? What role does the female figure play in this painting?


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Narragunnawali: Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning

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Koorie Cross-Curricular Protocols for Victorian Government Schools

The Koorie Cross-Curricular Protocols for Victorian Government Schools are applicable to schools intending to develop activities that involve the use of Koorie cultural expressions, including stories, songs, instrumental music, dances, plays, ceremonies, rituals, performances, symbols, drawings, designs, paintings, poetry, ...