Project Review: Enchanted Lands

5th Grade Artists in Reno, NV explore Enchanted Lands

The Project: In Enchanted Lands, student artists create a magical land using painting and collage. This project is designed to deepen understanding around ‘Fairy Tales’, a common literacy topic.  



Mr. Grossman teaches 5th grade at Roy Gomm Elementary in Reno, Nevada. His students embrace the class mantra of “making the invisible, visible.”

The lesson itself is really well-done. As a teacher, I know how to move students to the instructional goal despite my limited experience with the art standards. In turn, I felt successful and the students felt successful.


Managing Materials: We used “Numbered Heads” to have each person in a pod/group have a unique role in managing materials.

Discussing artworks: The students valued and were really engaged with the Inspirational Images that started each lesson. They used key vocabulary to help support the claims they would make. Moreover, it gave them great ideas for their own art. Students were able to take the literacy lessons we were completing, especially around our evidence standards, and apply them to the Inspirational Images. Through careful observations, they would find evidence to support claims. During the Inspirational Image portion, students would meet with their “writing coach” to share their initial observations. This gave struggling students models of appropriate answers and gave all students a chance to rehearse what they might say in a whole group setting.

Creating Unique Works of Art: We would pause during Work Time, around the 15 minute mark, so students could do a short gallery walk and see where their classmates were going with the project. The pathways of learning in each lesson are really smart and students are able to apply their new understanding to the pieces they created. Moreover, they knew they had the latitude to add their own personal touches. This led to each piece feeling unique and individualistic.

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