Course Syllabus

Welcome to Child 55.6

Art for the Young Child

Fall 2020


Welcome!  I look forward to meeting you all soon in this hybrid online course for fall 2020 semester. "Hybrid" for this semester means that we will have some Zoom meetings on Wednesday evenings, while the rest of the content for the course will be online in our Canvas page.

Zoom meeting dates

We will have Zoom meeting sessions for the class on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, August 19th
  • Wednesday, August 26th
  • Wednesday, September 9th
  • Wednesday, October 7 th
  • Wednesday, October 14th
  • Wednesday, October 28th
  • Wednesday, December 9th
  • All of these Zoom sessions start at 6 p.m.  The schedule of classes says the Zoom sessions will be 6- 9 p.m., but this is because of our original time slot for the course, back when we thought we would be in the classroom.  I've found that 3 hours is too long to try to stay focused in Zoom.  Each scheduled Zoom class will include some lecture and some interactive activities, including Breakout Rooms.  I will try to let you know approximately how long each Zoom session will last before the scheduled date; most should be about 2 hours.

What happens if you can't make all of the Zoom sessions? These Zoom sessions are pretty important to conveying the content for this very interactive class.  Please try your best to be present at all Zoom sessions, and make sure you have them on your calendar.  We all know that life happens, though, so if you miss one or even two Zoom sessions you will still be able to pass the class.  At this point I do not plan on recording our Zoom classes as they will be interactive and I want to respect everyone's privacy.


Course content

Art for the Young Child is typically a hands-on, very interactive course where we explore materials, activities and teaching methods for teaching art to children.  This semester I've decided to move forward with this class in our all-online environment, so the course will definitely look a little different than it has in the past!  I'm very committed to providing you with the best possible experience I can virtually.  To do this, we will use Zoom, video content, Canvas discussions, web pages, and photographs to convey all the exciting ways children can experience art from a very young age.  My goal in this course is to combine theory with practice; ideas and conversations with exploration of materials, and to support your interest and inquiry about art as a learning tool.

It is true that our main focus in this course is art for the early childhood stage, by which we mean infancy through age 8.  However, we will explore art education philosophies and art activities that can extend through elementary-school age and beyond.

Official Course Description and Outcomes

Catalog Description (from the Course Outline of Record):

This course will introduce students to the stages of children's artistic development, birth through age eight. Students will explore hands-on activities for use in the early childhood classroom and experience a variety of age-appropriate art media. Classroom environment and materials, art education philosophies and creative development will be addressed.

Student Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1.  Identify and plan appropriate art activities for young children considering factors such as creativity, art domain skills, and children's ages and abilities.
  2.  Analyze art curricula and projects that represent different art education philosophies.
  3. Explain how early art experiences lay a foundation for later creative and artistic skills.

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of the course, the students will be able to:
  1. Identify sequential stages of art development in the young child.
  2. Analyze the essential elements of a good quality art program including the physical  environment, materials and adult-child interactions.
  3.  Assess art activities for the young child based on developmentally appropriate practice.
  4. Develop a professional philosophy of art education for young children.
  5. Collect and organize a variety of lesson plans for open-ended art experiences that can be used with young children.

Instructor contact information:

Email is the best way to contact me:
I also have a phone line at the college, but since I am not in the office this semester, you can't reach me directly.  You can leave me a voice message, though, and I will call you back as soon as I am able.  My office phone: (707)-522-2625.
Office hours for this course will all be conducted through Tech Connect Zoom, which is accessible through the Canvas course page.  I am still working on scheduling office hours, but I will have some individual and some drop-in/ group meeting times.
Please see more information about me on my Introductions page.


Our text for this class is Rapunzel’s Supermarket: All About Young Children and Their Art (2nd ed.) by Ursula Kolbe.  This text is required and can be purchased through the SRJC bookstore or online.  Some articles will also be required, and are contained in the weekly modules.

I will refer to many other great resources about art and early childhood education throughout the course; many of the resources I mention are contained in our course bibliography in case you want to explore them further.

Required Technologies

    • A Canvas account ( and access to a computer with internet and word processing is required for this class, as are the skills necessary to operate a computer. Because this is an online course; students will use the Canvas course web site for all assignments, communications, and coursework.
      • If you feel unable to use the required technology for this class, please visit the Student Technology center.
      • Canvas has an app that can be used on a smartphone or tablet. This app can be extremely helpful, but it also has limitations. You will be most successful in this course if you have access to a computer for writing papers and submitting assignments.
      • For canvas support, go to For technology support, go to

Instructor Announcements

I will post announcements on the “Instructor Announcements” page in Canvas throughout the semester. Canvas will forward these announcements to your email or phone based on your specified notification preferences. Visit your Canvas account page using the blue left hand navigation bar to set your preferences. I strongly encourage you to subscribe to this announcement page in order to receive notifications quickly.

Grading policies


The breakdown of grading for this class is (from the course outline):

  • Writing:  50% of final grade
    • This includes most of our "lab" assignments (described below), and the final portfolio for the course.
  • Problem Solving activities: 25% of final grade
    • This includes creating a plan for an art environment, creating a notebook of materials and activities, and an individual project you will select.
  • Participation: 25% of final grade
    • This includes discussions, participation in Zoom meetings, sharing an art idea, and all extra credit assignments.
  • Each assignment will be given a certain number of points if completed satisfactorily. See some additional grading policies below.
  • This course will use the standard grading scheme for A. B, C, D and F grades (see below); however each category of assignments will be weighted according to the above percentages.  The grade book will reflect these categories.
      • A= 90- 100%
      • B= 80- 89%
      • C= 70- 79%
      • D= 60- 69%
      • F= below 60%

Some additional grading policies for this course

  • Assignments that do not receive the maximum number of points may be redone and turned in again within two weeks for additional points. 
  • Assignments may lose up to 10% of their point value for excessive grammar and spelling errors.
  • Late assignments will lose 20% of their total point value for each week that they are late.  Unless otherwise specified, assignments are due by the end of each weekly module in which they are assigned.
  • Discussion posts will only be graded if they are completed by the due date.  You will receive a 0 for late discussion posts.  There will be an additional due date for initial posts in each discussion in order to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to participate.
  • See descriptions of assignments below.

 Due Dates

Generally, assignments are due at the end of the weekly modules, which means they are due by the end of the day on Sunday.  There is not an assignment for every week.  Some assignments will take more time to complete (like compiling a notebook of activities, see below), so I will introduce them several weeks before they are due.  All assignments will show a clear due date in the assignment description page.


Typically I provide all the materials we use for art experienced during this course.  However, in this all-online environment, it is not possible for me to do that.  In order to fully participate in this exploration of children's art experiences, you will need to have some basic art supplies on hand to try out materials and experiences. As we go along, I will recommend the types of materials you might use in the classroom with children, but remember that if you have the basics on hand, you will not need all of the tools and media I recommend to complete the course.  If you are currently working with children in an ECE program, BONUS! You will probably be able to try out these activities at your program using their materials.

Some basic materials you will need this semester:

  • Paper- Regular white printer paper and some paper grocery bags will be enough to try out the activities for the course; you could also purchase a pad of drawing paper at an art store if you want something that is higher quality.
  • Drawing implements- you should have a set of markers, colored pencils, and crayons.  When I say "set" I mean 3+ colors of each... so if you already have some of these at home, you are probably fine.  You will notice as you play with art materials that quality does really make a difference, but you will be able to try out activities for the class with any quality of materials.  If you are going out to buy supplies, I recommend Target or Office Depot for Crayola products; they usually have back-to-school sales.
  • Liquid Watercolor or Food Color-- we use these a lot for color activities and for making dough.  For this class, you can buy a pack of food color in the baking section of the grocery store (they usually come in a red-blue-yellow-green set; you mainly need red, blue and yellow).  Sargent and Discount School Supply are two brands that make liquid watercolor for school use.
  • Paint-- you will need a set of 5 colors of poster or tempura paint.  Again, "set" could mean small jars of each.  You will need red, blue, yellow, and ideally white and black.
  • Coffee filters or paper towels-- we will do coffee filter painting at least once; if you don't have coffee filters at your home, paper towels work also.
  • Dish tub-- or similar plastic bowl or tub (even a 5 gallon bucket could work) for a few projects.

Where do I buy art supplies?

There are many places you can purchase the type of art supplies we will be learning about this semester.  Locally, Riley Street and Village Art Supply in Santa Rosa, Art and Soul in Sebastopol, and Fine Line in Sonoma have a great variety of art materials.  Michaels and Jo Ann Fabrics also have many basic materials.  Online, suppliers like Discount School Supplies and Nasco Arts and Crafts specialize in children's art materials.  Amazon will also have many items and brands.

Whenever we are working with art materials with children, safety is a primary concern.  Non-toxic art materials are all certified with an "ASTM" label to certify they are non-toxic.  If you are going to use materials with children, make sure they are either food-grade or have a label that specifies they are non-toxic.

Descriptions of Assignments

Discussion requirements: Students are required to participate in discussion activities throughout the course.  Most required discussions will happen during the weeks when we don't have a Zoom meeting. Unlike other assignments in each module, discussion posts cannot be left until the end of the week to turn in or complete. Specific requirements for discussion posts include:

  • For most discussions, students must make at least 1 posts and reply to 2 other student posts. Making more than the required number of posts is encouraged; additional posts may be shorter than requirements.
  • Each initial post (vs. reply) should be at least 250 words and contain a reference to the reading or online course resources (i.e. a video we watch). Some discussions will have more specific requirements.
  • Reply posts should be at least 75  words and either include reference to the course materials or specific reflections on your classmate's ideas in the post (in other words, "I agree" or "Great post!" are not sufficient).
  • You need to participate in each discussion at least twice per week, so that you are giving  other students something to reply to.  You first post of the week can be either your main post or a reply to a classmate, and should be made early in the week (that can include the weekend before the module starts).
  • All of these guidelines are intended to promote an interactive discussion each week, which is why I emphasize them and also take off points if people are not contributing to the discussion.
  • See the guidelines for communication ("netiquette") below.  It benefits all of us when everyone is respectful in their communications in all aspects of this online course.
  • Students will receive a maximum of 5 points for discussions.  Grading is based on the criteria above and using proper netiquette.

“Lab” Assignments-- There will be 8- 10 homework or “lab” assignments over the course of the semester.  Due dates for labs can be found at the end of the syllabus, but all are contained in the modules of the course.  I call these lab assignments because I think that term best describes what they are about—most are based on experiences with materials, but each assignment asks you to think and write about that experience further. 

 Art Activity Idea-- Each student will share at least one art activity idea to share with the class.  Your idea can be something you have done with children, or something you have read or heard about.  Activities must be developmentally appropriate, open-ended,  and you must specify the age group targeted.  We'll have a discussion page dedicated to sharing activity ideas.

Activity Notebook—In order to develop your own repertoire of art activities to use with children, you will create a file of activity ideas for a specific age group.  These activities should all be art-related, developmentally appropriate, open-ended and should be organized for easy use.  

Semester Project-- Each student gets to choose an independent project related to our course topics.  I will give a list of suggestions for the project, but you can also create and propose your own idea.  The projects will be due in the last part of the semester, but before our final portfolio.

Final Portfolio-- In lieu of a final exam, you will be asked to create a portfolio that represents your ideas about appropriate art education and incorporates the ideas we have discussed in class.  There are specific guidelines for this portfolio that I will share mid-semester.

Additional information

 Student behavior: I expect students to actively participate during class.  I also expect an environment of basic respect for myself and your fellow students.  Students are required to follow the college’s code of student conduct and refrain from behaviors that disrupt class or distract other students.  Some ways that may apply in the online environment:

  • Follow netiquette expectations in discussions and other online interactions
  • When on Zoom, follow some basic etiquette to create a comfortable learning community:
    • Keep your camera ON whenever possible so that fellow students and the instructor can see you when you are speaking and get to know you.  Be aware of whether your clothing and background are ready for public viewing 😉.
    • Mute your microphone when you are not speaking; this makes a big difference in reducing background noise and echo effects.
    • We will use both discussion and the chat box to communicate during class periods; we'll take turns speaking and may use "raising hands" if needed to create a queue so everyone has an opportunity to speak.

Cheating and academic integrity: as stated in the college catalog, “Academic dishonesty is regarded as any act of deception, benign or malicious in nature, in the completion of any academic exercise. Examples of academic dishonesty include cheating, plagiarism, impersonation, misrepresentation of idea or fact for the purpose of defrauding, use of unauthor­ized aids or devices, falsifying attendance records, violation of testing protocol, inappropriate course assignment collaboration, and any other acts that are prohibited by the instructor of record.”

Child development students are expected to do their own written work. This includes specifically citing sources of facts and quotations, and using quotation marks to delineate the inclusion of someone else’s writing in your papers (an example would be quoting a section of a web page).  Understanding how to properly cite sources in academic work is a learning process, however, and my approach in the course will generally be to help you learn the proper use of citations and quotes.  I will take points off your papers for repeated misuse of published information. Intentional cheating will not be tolerated, and any graded work in which I discover that you have intentionally represented someone else’s work as your own will receive 0 points with no possibility of a rewrite.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:  If you need disability-related accommodations for this class, such as a note taker, test taking services, etc., please provide the Authorization for Academic Accommodations (AAA letter) from the Disability Resources Department (DRD) for me as soon as possible. If you have not received authorization from DRD, or if you are new to SRJC and think you may need accommodations, it is recommended that you contact them directly at their web site: Disability Resources.

Other Student Services: There are many online tutoring resources this semester.  SRJC tutoring offers live chat and Zoom tutoring sessions, and you can easily access them during their regular hours (8- 7, Monday through Thursday; 8-4 Friday).  There is a link to tutoring services in our Canvas page navigation.  You can also access NetTutor, a 24-hour online tutoring service, through the link in our course navigation. Additionally, I have included a link to the many student services available online (including Counseling and Health Services) in this Resources page in the first module of our class.