Getting Started-Teachers

Welcome to ThinkIB Visual Arts! This site is designed for teachers to get all the information and resources you need to successfully teach the course, and hopefully lots of inspiring teaching ideas too! The newly improved student access feature enables students to have their own version of the site that you can modify.

The current Visual Arts curriculum guide is based on 3 interlinking areas within visual arts and these areas are reflected in the structure of this site, with sections on art thinking, art making and curating and exhibitions.

In these challenging times of school closures we now have a section for distance learning, providing support for teachers and students working from home.

Distance and Blended Learning  

Creating and Using Student Access

Art Seeds  

An overview of what you can expect to find in each of the main areas of this site

Getting Started-Students

This is the area of the site that your students, once you have given them a code, will be able to access independently. It contains blue pages with all the information for them to stay informed as to course requirements, to self assess and prepare for the final submission as well as projects, seeds, questions, prompts and tips for success.

The teacher of course has access to all the student pages  and you can select additional orange pages for them as you wish.

What is IB Art?  is a summary of the course, not only for students! Information is broken down into clear, managable chunks.

The Studio Strategies section points students towards strategies and resources for making art

The Art Seed Bank is full of imaginative starting points

The Researching Art section helps students identify sources, with tips for writing and researching about art.

Course Design

Here you will find detailed discussion of each component with many sub pages per section

Part 1,The Comparative Study

Part 2, Process Portfolio

Part 3, The Exhibition,

Explore the role of Visual Journal and find examples of  Curriculum PlanningMapping a Course Outline, and Unit Planning 

Teachers may also find helpful the pages on approaches to teaching art: structure vs freedom, open ended assignments, the role of themes, key issues around how much we actually need to teach the subject and how much freedom to allow students.

For engaging, skill building starting assignments have a look at the suggestions in Starting Strategies

IB Core explores the core requirements of the IB Diploma: the The Extended Essay the role of ToK in Visual Arts, CAS and the IB learner profile.

Art Thinking

The Art Thinking section of this site focuses on critical thinking, looking at, reflecting on and responding to art, with many teaching activities to help build these "art thinking" skills. This includes Writing about Art Formal Elements of Art , Visual Analysis, Building Art Vocabulary , Referencing and Citing SourcesFinding Information on Artists and using investigation and Research to support art making.

Also in this section are resources on Culture and Context and examples of how to include this in our teaching. Culture is addressed from a geographic point of view but also from a thematic angle, with examples within different cultural, social and contexts.

Cross Curricular Connections  are an interesting way to develop art work informed by other topics the student is studying.

Art Making

This key area of the site is devoted to ideas about art production ranging from Drawing to Alternative Photographic Techniques to Installation Art, with much more in between. The Art Making Forms table is introduced and divided into three parts, Two Dimensional Forms, Three Dimensional Forms , Lens-based, Electronic, Screen-based Forms.

Non traditional media are discussed in pages such as Beyond the Studio, Collaborative Projects,  Mad Materials and Emerging Media.

 The Art Seed Bank is a stimulating collection of independent art making activities for students, jump off points, invitations to create and to discover new artists.

Exhibitions and Curating

This section addresses visual communication both as viewer and creator. There are many practical activities for introducing and teaching Curatorial Practice and on curating and presenting work for exhibition.  Visiting Exhibitions provides tips and clear guidelines for visiting exhibitions with students.

I recommend browsing Selected Artists and Shows to have a look at selected artists and exhibitions, a way to get to know new artists, discover exhibitions you might not get to see yourself, and find useful related teaching activities.


Everything you need to know about assessment and more!

E submission Guidelines, Group 6 Grade Descriptors, CAF Planning and Progress Form , Internal Assessment rubrics and discussion of the criteria for each component:  CS Assessment  , PP Asssessment  , Exhibition Assessment  -and handy charts for formative assessing , Self Assessment Rubrics  for students, Grade Boundaries and much more. See Assessment Updates page for IB news or modifications.

Student Gallery

This student gallery includes a curated selection of inspirational student work across all three components. This is intended as a place where teachers can share best examples of student work once the work has been marked- with the students consent naturally. Please visit the page for info on how to submit your students work.

You can view slides from each student represented in the galleries, organized by component

Comparative Study Gallery

Process Portfolio Gallery

Exhibition Gallery

Resources and Inspiration

Although this might not be your first port of call, Reflections on Creativity and the psychology of creativity are a fascinating topic for anyone engaged in creative work, students or teachers. There are lots of fun, quirky resources here, Surrealist Games , Oblique Strategies , Your Taste is Killer, Nothing is Original ...  just to name a few.

There are resource pages on Visual Arts in Education, practical tips for Applying to Art School, and for Showing Film and Video ( have you ever seen A Brief History of John Baldessari?) and Guest Teacher Lessons by teachers like yourselves, sharing their areas of special knowledge.

Take a peek inside some Sketchbooks and Studios, and for a special focus on YOU visit the section on the Teacher as Artist and, why not, write your own Artist's Manifesto !

It is my heartfelt wish that you find everything ( or most everything) you need to support your teaching here, and that this resource may ease your load and be a pleasure for you to use. Happy teaching!

Selected Pages


Art Seeds 30 December 2020

Art Seed Bank is a new section on this website that proposes mini explorations or art challenges for your students. These...

Distance and Blended Learning 23 September 2021

Blended learning is the new normal at this point. With most schools closed due to the Covid-19 outbreaks, there is a necessity...

Creating Student Accounts 17 July 2020

Beneath your name on the home page you will see 'My account' and 'Student access'.How do I get started? use the orange distance...

Student Access 17 May 2020

This website began primarily for IB art teachers but recently we have opened it up to students as well with all kinds of...

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