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California Visual Arts Content Standards

California Visual Arts Content Standards

Posted by: San Francisco Film Society

Below is a compiled version of the California State Standards for learning in the Visual Arts. 

Artistic Perception
Developing perceptual skills and media arts vocabulary; analyzing film elements, principles of media and the impact of media choice:

• Students perceive and respond to various works of media, using the vocabulary of the media arts to express their observations.

• Students identify and use the principles of filmmaking to discuss, analyze and write about visual aspects in the environment and in works of art, including their own.

• Students research and analyze the work of a filmmaker and write about the filmmaker’s style and its contribution to the meaning of the work. Students analyze and describe how the composition of a film is affected by the use of a particular principle of filmmaking.

• Students analyze the medium and genre used by a given artist and describe how its use influences the meaning of the work.

Creative Expression

Creating, performing and participating in the media arts and communicating and expressing through original works of art:

• Students apply artistic processes and skills, using a variety of media to communicate meaning and intent in original works of art.

• Students create films or other works of media.

Historical and Cultural Context

Understanding the historical contributions and cultural dimensions of the media arts:

• Students identify similarities and differences in the purposes of media/film created in selected cultures.

• Students identify and describe the role and influence of new technologies on contemporary filmmaking and media.

• Students identify and describe trends in the media arts and discuss how the issues of time, place and cultural influence are reflected in selected films and media.

• Students discuss the purposes of film/media in selected contemporary cultures.

Aesthetic Valuing

Responding to, analyzing and making judgments about works in the visual arts:

• Students analyze, assess and derive meaning from works of art, including their own, according to the elements of art, the principles of design and aesthetic qualities.

• Students articulate how personal beliefs, cultural traditions and current social, economic and political contexts influence the interpretation of the meaning or message in a film.

• Students compare the ways in which the meaning of a specific film or piece of media has been affected over time because of changes in interpretation and context.

• Students formulate and support a position regarding the aesthetic value of a specific film and change or defend that position after considering the views of others.

• Students articulate the process and rationale for refining and reworking their own films.

• Students employ the conventions of film criticism in writing and speaking about film.

Connections, Relationships, Applications

Connecting and applying what is learned in the visual arts to other art forms and subject areas and to careers:

• Students create a trailer for an event (e.g., theater or dance production, debate, conference) that is taking place at their school.

• Students create a film that communicates a cross-cultural or universal theme taken from literature or history.

• Students compare and contrast the ways in which different media (television, newspapers, magazines) cover the same film.

• Students demonstrate an understanding of the various skills of a filmmaker, film critic, film preservationist, film programmer and technical filmmaking jobs (e.g., sound, electrician, costumer, etc.).

• Students develop competencies and creative skills in problem solving, communication and management of time and resources that contribute to lifelong learning and career skills.

• Students learn about careers in—and related to—the visual arts.


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