Ontario Elementary Grade 8 The Arts Curriculum

The Grade 8 expectations in the arts curriculum are organized into four strands – Dance, Drama, Music, and Visual Arts.


• body: body awareness, use of body parts (e.g., hips, shoulders), body shapes (e.g., angular, stretched, twisted), locomotor movements (e.g., leap, dart), non-locomotor movements (e.g., twist, rock), body bases, symmetry versus asymmetry, geometric versus organic shape, curved versus angular shape, isolation of body parts, weight transfer
• space: levels, pathways, directions, positive versus negative space, proximity of dancers to one another, various group formations, use of performance space
• time: stillness, rhythm, tempo, pause, freeze, with music, without music, duration, acceleration/deceleration
• energy: quality, inaction versus action, percussion, fluidity (e.g., glide, sink, fall, shiver)
• relationship: dancers to objects, opposition, groupings (e.g., large and small groups), meet/part, follow/lead, emotional connections between dancers


• role/character: analysing the background, motivation, speech, and actions of characters to build roles; using voice, stance, gesture, and facial expression to portray character
• relationship: analysing relationships to develop the interplay between characters
• time and place: using props, costumes, and furniture to establish setting; modifying production elements to suit different audiences
• tension: using various stage effects to produce specific audience reactions
• focus and emphasis: using a wide range of devices to highlight the central theme for the audience; making deliberate artistic choices to sharpen focus


• duration: tempo markings and rhythms encountered in the repertoire
• pitch: major and minor tonality; keys encountered in the repertoire
• dynamics and other expressive controls: all intensity levels; changes in levels
• timbre: tone colours of world music ensembles and instruments (e.g., gamelan, shakuhachi, doumbek, sitar, djembe, ocarina)
• texture/harmony: monophonic, homophonic, and polyphonic music
• form: forms encountered in performance repertoire (e.g., minuet)



Students will develop understanding of all elements of design.
• line: directional lines; one- and two-point perspective to create depth; contour drawings of figures
• shape and form: various visual “weights” of forms (e.g., large, light-coloured forms can seem to have less weight than smaller, dark forms); complex three-dimensional constructions and motifs; gradation in size
• space: one- and two-point perspective or foreshortening to create illusory space; informal converging lines in an image creating the illusion of space; adult human figures that are seven to eight heads in height; alternative systems for representing space (e.g., layered images in medieval art; disproportionately small images of people within a vast landscape in Chinese art to show the smallness of humans in relation to nature; images seen from several points of view simultaneously in Egyptian and cubist paintings)
• colour: tertiary colours; contrast of colour; absence of colour
Note: In creating multimedia art works, students may need some understanding of different colour models, such as RGB and CMY(K), and websafe colours.
• texture: real and illusory textures that appear in the environment
• value: cross-hatching to suggest volume and shadows; variation and increased range of gradation in value

Students will develop understanding of all principles of design (that is, contrast, repetition and rhythm, variety, emphasis, proportion, balance, unity and harmony, and movement), but the focus in Grade 8 will be on movement.
• movement: actual lines to lead the viewer’s eye (e.g., solid lines, dotted lines); subtle or implied “paths” using shape, value, and/or colour (e.g., an invisible path created by leading the eye from large shapes to small shapes, from shapes in dark colours to shapes in lighter colours, from familiar shapes to unfamiliar shapes, from colour to no colour); actual action (e.g., kinetic sculpture, animation); implied action (e.g., an invisible path created by an arrow, a gaze, or a pointing finger; the “freeze frame” effect of an object in motion, such as a bouncing ball suspended in mid-air or a runner about to take the next step)

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