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Resource Classes

In order to talk about art, you need the vocabulary to describe, analyze, and interpret what you’re seeing. Thinking of the right words becomes easier the more art terms you know. The idea isn’t to sit and memorize the list, but to consult the word bank regularly and gradually you’ll remember more and more terms. Here are some describing words I am teaching your child in the art room.

Color Words: natural, clear, compatible, distinctive, interesting, lively, stimulating, subtle, clashing, bright, harmonious, intense, rich, saturated, strong, vibrant, vivid, dull, pale, muted, cool, warm, light, dark, mixed, contrasting, complementary.

Tone Words: dark, light, smooth, varied, constant, graduated, contrasting.

Composition Words: arrangement, layout, structure, position, landscape format, portrait format, horizontal, vertical, diagonal, angled, foreground, background, middle ground, centered, asymmetrical, symmetrical, balanced, unbalanced, lopsided, overlapping, cluttered, chaotic, spacious, empty, flowing, fragmented, formal, rigid, negative space, positive space.

Texture Words: flat, smooth, raised, rough, coarse, incised, scratched, uneven, hairy, sticky, soft, hard, shiny, glossy, reflective, satin, frosted, matte.

Mood Words: calm, content, peaceful, relaxed, tranquil, gloomy, miserable, sad, somber, tearful, unhappy, aggressive, angry, chilling, dark, frightening, distressing, energetic, exciting, stimulating, thought-provoking, boring, dull, lifeless.

Form / Shape Words: 2D, flat, abstracted, simplified, stylized, 3D, realistic, natural, depth, space, sharp, detailed, blurred, obscured, overlapping, indistinct, distorted, exaggerated, geometric, linear, long, narrow.

These are examples of terms your child will learn in the art room. As you can see, some of the art words can be used to describe other subjects as well. Art is math, history, social studies, language arts, music, and science. Author C. M. Rubin said, “If you have embraced the discipline, resourcefulness, inventiveness, persistence and passion it takes to create original works of ART – then you know what it means to have used all of your brain and you will be better prepared to compete in the global economy.”


The music program at Gordon incorporates all aspects of music within the classroom. The Music Standards of Learning developed by the State Department of Education and the Chesterfield County Music Curriculum guide our music program. The students participate in numerous events throughout the year and become active musicians and audience members. They also learn to appreciate the connections between music and all facets of society.

Physical Education

The purpose of physical education at W. W. Gordon is to help students acquire the knowledge, processes, skills, and confidence needed to engage in meaningful physical activity both in the present and for a lifetime. The practice of leading a physically active lifestyle will bring about personal enjoyment, challenge, satisfaction, and a health-enhancing level of personal fitness. As a result of physical education instruction, the student will be able to do the following:

  • Demonstrate competence in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities.
  • Apply movement principles and concepts to learning and developing motor skills and specialized movement forms.
  • Achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of personal fitness.
  • Demonstrate responsible personal and social behaviors in physical activity settings.
  • Demonstrate a physically active lifestyle, including activity within and outside of the physical education setting.

Welcome to STEAM! This is a brand new resource class this year at Gordon Elementary! Our students will get the opportunity to develop their problem solving skills while exploring each of the STEAM domains: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. As students explore, they will also practice their skills of communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. The goal is to help students learn difficult concepts through application and hands-on experiences.
Dena Brown is our New STEAM teacher.