Middle School Art Exploration

(8 customer reviews)

From: $73.00 / month for 8 months

Grades: 6th–8th

Live Class: Tues 1:30–2:30 p.m. ET

Dates: Sept 13–May 20 (This is a late start class.)

Price: $499

Instructor: Jennifer Morgan

Enrollment in this class is currently closed.

Course Description

This live, online visual arts course is suited for middle school students of all art backgrounds and abilities, and incorporates only family friendly materials. A complete blend of art appreciation and fine art lessons, this course is designed around the National Visual Arts standards (part of the National Core Arts Standards), building a solid foundation for further advanced art courses in the Visual Arts.

So much more than basic art lessons, this course focuses on helping students learn to think like artists and develop basic understanding of the Elements of Art (line, shape, color, value, form, texture, and space) and the Principles of Design (rhythm, balance, proportion, variety, emphasis, harmony, and unity), and how artists use both in their work. Through both studying the foundational elements of art and creating their own works of art using a variety of media and techniques, students develop their creative and expressive abilities, knowledge of art history movements, capabilities to make aesthetic judgments, and an ability to make visual connections across subject areas.

This one-of-a-kind class features weekly live explorations in aesthetics, production, art criticism, and art history. It also engages students in creative problem solving through a variety of contemporary and traditional art-making processes in a very non-traditional studio experience. Students are continually involved in innovative creative thinking, self-expression, problem solving, and experimenting with different techniques and media within their creative work. Their weekly project will require approximately an hour of work outside of class. Each semester will wrap up with a virtual art exhibit to share with family and friends, as well as with the Aim Academy community.

Our virtual class time will involve interactive discussion of concepts, artworks, artists, and art history, demonstration and class experimentation with various techniques and media with a weekly visual prompt, and conclude with critique, project planning, and fun art/art history games and activities. An optional recorded demonstration of each week’s project will be posted each Thursday where students can follow along with the Instructor on the weekly project where they can pause or speed up the process as needed, or they can use their own creative approaches. Once a month, students bring all project supplies to class for a live studio session during a live class time dedicated solely to creating art together.

This course seeks to achieve the following goals through a study of art and design foundations, examining how artists use those in their art. We’ll also do weekly hands-on projects.

  • We will identify, describe, and apply the elements of art and principles of design.
  • We will experience studio practices that include a variety of traditional media, techniques, and processes in two and three dimensions. (*While supply lists are given and encouraged, media substitutions are provided and always allowed, with a focus on mastering the concepts versus mastering the media.)
  • We will develop basic visual art literacy and vocabulary at the middle school level.
  • We will discuss works of art regarding theme, genre, style, idea, and differences in media.
  • We will describe how artists can show the same theme by using different media and styles as we study significant artists, styles, and movements in art history.
  • We will develop and refine observational drawing skills to depict a variety of subject matter.
  • We will create increasingly complex original works of art reflecting personal choices and increased technical skill, selecting specific media and processes to express moods, feelings, themes, or ideas.
  • We will experience opportunities to begin understanding the constructs of art criticism.
  • We will be introduced to careers in and related to visual art.
  • We will generate portfolios as assessment tools and artistic presentation.
  • We will develop basic creative problem-solving skills and refine craftsmanship.
  • We will explore visual avenues to communicate self-expression.

My teaching style is lighthearted, relational, and tailored to each group of students in my class. I keep my class atmosphere positive and encouraging – a place where all feel welcome and valued, with a focus on the joy and wonder of creating and creation, and where all artworks discussed will be kept rated PG and family-friendly.

Feedback to all students will be done in positivity, kindness, and encouragement with a focus on the art concepts being studied over talent or skill level.

Course Structure

Live course meeting time: Live meetings via Zoom will occur every week on Tuesday at 1:30 PM EST. All course meetings are optional, though highly encouraged for class community and opportunities to engage in the lessons and ask questions. They will be recorded for scheduling convenience. This course emphasizes that art is for everyone and values the heart of homeschooling where flexibility is a top priority.

Over the course of the school year, students will engage in interactive lectures and weekly discussions, reflect and respond orally to famous artworks in numerous styles and art movements. Students can also expect to keep a visual journal/sketchbook, where they will wrestle with and work through artistic problems. They will also have hands-on art projects to work on each week, some taking several weeks for completion. This class will require weekly homework (1-2 hrs.) of creative, hands-on, and reflective projects to submit for a grade and individualized feedback.

Weekly assignments may include:

  • A weekly 50-minute live meeting
  • Reading/viewing assignments from our text, handouts, or various sources
  • Art journal/sketchbook prompts
  • Art projects in a variety of styles, techniques, and media
  • Presentations
  • Research, critiques, and compare/contrast papers (only 1 paper/presentation max per semester)

Who should enroll?

Students in 6th-8th grade should enroll in this class. All artistic skill levels welcome. This class provides general visual art education and is planned to develop essential basic skills of expression and understanding in art.

Technology Requirements

  • High speed, broadband Internet
  • Sound card and working microphone (for live sessions)
  • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
  • Digital camera (can be phone with camera), or other means to photograph, scan, and upload student artwork

Evaluation and Feedback

All homework will be submitted and formally critiqued through our website on Canvas. I provide detailed critiques on all artwork, focusing on understanding and demonstration of the concept/theme versus artistic skill, as well as on special projects/papers. My goal is to provide detailed artwork critiques within one week of the assignment’s due date (expect two weeks for larger projects). Students receive all critiques well before the next art project is due so that they may steadily develop and grow in their artistic abilities while improving their work and developing their own artistic style with each assignment.


I will confirm registration with parents and provide a welcome email with clear details and video instructions on how to navigate this course. All parents are welcome to join us in Canvas as observers, and I will respond within 24 hours to all parents’ and student questions via email or Canvas message. I prefer communication through Canvas on our course website.


Required Texts


The following text is required for assignments in this course and can serve as an excellent resource to students taking further middle school art classes with Mrs. Eades.

  • Introducing Art, Student Edition (4th ed.) by Mittler, Ragans, Unsworth, & Scannell,  Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 2007, ISBN 10-07-873555-6

Used copies in excellent condition are available here: https://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?cm_sp=SearchF-_-topnav-_-Results&kn=0078735556&sts=t

or here:

8 reviews for Middle School Art Exploration

  1. Clara R.

    I took this class and really enjoyed it! It was a great balance of exploring new types of art, and improving skills. Mrs. Eades is a great teacher! She’s enthusiastic, understanding, and tries to make the projects work for all the students. I found a lot of new art interests in this class, and was able to learn how to do some types of art that I had wanted to do, but wasn’t sure how to go about. I loved doing Art Explorations last year, and would definitely recommend it!

  2. Lindy T (verified owner)

    I am the mother of a non-neurotypical young teen and she did very well in Mrs. Eades’ class. She absolutely loved it and was introduced to so many different artistic media and tools and projects — waaay more than I would ever have gotten around to sharing with her on my own. The environment in the live class was welcoming and investigative, and Mrs. Eades herself is an outstanding teacher and lovely to deal with. We communicated frequently because she was completely committed to making the class work for my daughter, and it truly did. The flexibility of project timelines combined with the different options Mrs. Eades gave for many of the assignments made this class a really good experience for us. Due to the level of assistance my child required, it was definitely a time commitment for me, but it would not necessarily be that way in another family, and one interesting side effect of my involvement is that I used watercolors alongside my daughter for the first time and totally fell in love with them and am hoping to take a local class to learn more. Homeschooling really is a blessing for the whole family!!

  3. Sloan W

    Mrs. Eades is one of the best teachers I have ever had! She is super kind and willing to make changes to any art project that students might not have supplies for, so they are still able to do it! I really enjoyed her class this year, I don’t want it to end! I learned so much about art, and she taught me to truly appreciate art! I got to experiment with so many different art media! When I first went into this class I thought I only liked sketching, (Because that’s the only art I really did) but now that this class is ending, I know I enjoy so many other art media that I would have never tried before this class! I loved this class and would recommend it to anyone interested in art!

  4. Naomi Van Kooten

    I am an eleven-year old girl who has been a student of Mrs. Eades for more than three years. My favorite thing about her as my art teacher is how she explains what I should be doing along the way and makes it easy for me to learn as she teaches me new ideas about art. She always has an example, so I see what the goal is, making it more objective for me to understand the process. I have had both group and private lessons, but I think I enjoy the group lessons with friends even more than the personal instruction. I would highly recommend Mrs. Eades as an art instructor because she is a super fun teacher!

  5. Marlene Van Kooten

    Mrs. Eades has taught my daughter art lessons for several years, both private and group lessons, and Naomi keeps begging for more lessons. As a result, she has stretched Naomi’s talents by using all different types of mediums and compositions, and she has has created an amazing portfolio for Naomi. Mrs. Eades is a very fun loving, talented teacher, who is passionate about seeing her students catch her love of art. The manner in which she engages her students in an entertaining way makes art not only fun, but attainable for the student as well. I would highly recommend Mrs. Eades to any family who is wanting a teacher who truly cares about her students, and she is willing to invest in them to see them succeed in their growing talents and knowledge of art.

  6. Emily Kastens

    Mrs. Eades is a wonderful teacher! I took her classes for about a year, and I absolutely loved it! I always looked forward to Tuesday art classes. It was always fun to see what new project we were going to do, and I loved learning to work with many different mediums – watercolor, oil pastel, even shaving cream! I would recommend Mrs. Eades classes for any aspiring artist!

  7. C. Kastens

    Heather is a great teacher and has an amazing heart for not only children, but for everyone she crosses paths with. She taught our middle daughter art for a year and always inspired her to use her imagination and add her own flair to the project, while also giving direction and objectives. It was a great balance. She is a good listener and understands that each person is unique with special giftings. I highly recommend her as an art teacher and consider her to be one of those people we need way more of (joyful and encouraging)!

  8. Shardelle Olson

    I am a mother of 4 children. Some are artsy, some are not. Over the years my children have been involved in a number of Heather’s art classes with many different themes from crazy art to specific drawing. Every time my children have been engaged and learn a lot about different mediums. They have participated in her classes at many different ages and she has a wonderful way of engaging them all. She has a spunky personality that makes every class delightful and entertaining and yet has patience for all levels in the class. Every child feels successful. Not only has she taught my children but she has taught at homeschool groups with older teens. The teens all loved her as a teacher as well and she created incredible artists. I would highly recommed any and all art classes that Heather teaches. She is extremely talented and knowledgable and her teacher skills are phenominal.

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Instructor Bio

Jennifer Morgan

Hello! My name is Jennifer Morgan. For the past 15 years I have been a middle school art teacher in Michigan. I have also taught Intro to Computers and run art camps during the summer months. During this time I have created an art curriculum, served as a mentor teacher, volunteered on planning committees, and put on yearly art shows. 

I earned my degree in education from the University of Michigan. I am K-12 certified in Visual Arts, with a minor in psychology. I also have a Masters degree in literacy. I have always loved creating art and working with children so I am blessed to have found the perfect career that combines both of my passions.

 I believe there are numerous benefits to an art education. Art improves creativity, confidence, problem solving and perseverance. It encourages you to slow down and observe the world around you. I believe that everyone is an artist and that even if you think you aren’t a “good” artist, art is a skill that can be learned and improved upon. In my classes, students will be exposed to various techniques and media, as well as different styles of art. Everyone is sure to find their own favorite! I especially love drawing and pottery. I aim to create a warm and welcoming classroom culture where students feel encouraged and empowered to express themselves and be creative!

I have three children of my own. We love family board games, bike rides, and exploring new places.  However, what I love to do most days with my kids is CREATE! You might find us painting boxes to turn into forts, designing our own carnival style games, or baking a cake so that we can decorate it with fondant sculptures. I love inspiring creativity and I am excited to share this passion at Aim Academy!


All classes taught by Jennifer Morgan