Middle School Art Exploration (Second Semester)

(5 customer reviews)

From: $120.00 / month for 3 months


Wed 3 PM EST

Jan 6–May 5


Heather Eades

See Reviews of Instructor Heather Eades

Enrollment in this class is currently closed.

Course Description

This live, online visual arts course is suited for upper elementary and 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). Through both studying the works of famous artists 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, 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, AS WELL AS 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. They are also encouraged to develop their skills in both verbal and written expression, as well as in their artwork. Students are encouraged to visit a local art museum or gallery at least once in this class (if at all possible.) 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 live stream demonstration of each week’s project will be recorded and posted each Thursday where students can follow along with the instructor on the weekly project and ask questions throughout the process, or students may watch the recording posted on our Canvas website where they can pause or speed up the process as needed.

This course seeks to achieve the following goals through a study of artists and their art as well as 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 allowed with a focus on mastering the concepts vs. 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 compare and contrast works of art from various periods, styles, and cultures and explain how those works reflect the society in which they were made.
  • 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 apply the constructs of Art Criticism and critique to works of art, including their own
  • 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 PG and family-friendly.

All critiques, whether given by teacher or classmates with a rubric, will be crafted to produce insightful, helpful and, wherever possible, positive statements meant to encourage and deepen the understanding and success of the student artist. All 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 Wednesdays at 3PM EST.

All course meetings are optional (though encouraged for class community) and will be recorded for scheduling convenience. Students who are unable to attend live lectures still will be able to participate with peers through our weekly short-form written group discussions on the course website in Canvas. This course emphasizes that art is for ALL 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 and in writing to famous artworks in numerous styles and art movements, (creating two papers/presentations). Students can also expect to keep a visual journal and a sketchbook, where they will wrestle with and work through artistic problems. Students will also have hands-on art projects to work on each week, some taking several weeks for completion. This class will require several hours (2—3hrs., including live class time) of creative and reflective response time each week.

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 and 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 vs. artistic skill) as well as special projects/papers. My goal is to provide detailed artwork critiques within 1 week of the assignment’s due date (2 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 to all parents and student questions via email or Canvas message within 24 hours. I prefer communication through Canvas on our course website.


Required Texts

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

Mittler, G., Ragans, R., Unsworth, J., & Scannell, F. (2007). Introducing Art, Student Edition (4th ed.), Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 0-07-873555-6

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

or here:

5 reviews for Middle School Art Exploration (Second Semester)

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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)!

  5. 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.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Instructor Bio

Heather A. Eades

For as long as Heather Eades can remember, she has been both a writer and an artist, and loves teaching young people to do the same. Earning her B.A. in Visual Arts and English from Otterbein College in Westerville, OH, along with her studies at Columbus College of Art and Design, helped launch her professional career in publishing where she served as an editor and art liaison for SRA/McGraw-Hill, Inc., helping to create the elementary art program, Art Connections: the companion series to the middle and high school texts utilized in her art classes. Her passion and enthusiasm for helping create fun, innovative learning experiences led her to earn her MA in education with a focus on creating arts-based, literacy-rich curriculum for all students. With over twenty years of professional experience in publishing, her specialty has become designing, writing about, and implementing creative, arts-based curriculum and educational “fun-tivities” for all ages.

And while she enjoys her professional work mosaic of writing articles and book projects, editing online course material for Colorado Christian University, and managing social media communications for Aim Academy by night, by day Heather is passionate about her first and favorite work: the fine art of homeschooling—teaching her own and other students in their homeschooling community. Heather Eades is excited to begin her fourth successful year of teaching online with Aim Academy—this year introducing her art classes to the Aim Academy community!

During her graduate program, Mrs. Eades developed and implemented an early childhood art program for an inner city preschool, which she now continues to teach locally to preschoolers in her own community with the help of her two teenage daughters. She has also taught art classes to middle schoolers for many years at a local Christian art collaborative, and to elementary through high school students for the past 8 years at their local homeschool co-op, as well as private art lessons. “Mrs. E.” loves to teach art with the intent and encouragement of bringing joy to others and developing/using the arts for Good in the world. While Heather’s own specialty area is mixed-media illustration, exposing her students to experiment with as many styles, techniques, and media in the arts as possible assures that her class times are never boring and helps students to find their favorite creative outlets. Mrs. Eades is excited to bring her latest collection of “fun-tastic,” hands-on art experiences to Aim Academy, with the same authentic, light-hearted teaching style found in her writing classes!

In her spare time, Mrs. Eades loves to laugh, draw, read, hike and camp with her family, co-lead youth ministry with her husband at their church in Denver, …and can be found consuming obscene amounts of coffee.

Email: [email protected]