Inventions and Discoveries

In the PYP5 programme’s Unit of Inquiry How the World Works. Scientific Inventions and Discoveries, students have had the opportunity to explore how inventions and discoveries are not just limited to science, but also encompass the visual arts. This week, the focus was on innovative art movements, particularly Impressionism. Through this exploration, students have begun to understand that art, like science, has gone through several revolutions that have changed the way works are created and perceived. 

What is a print? This was one of the key questions that PYP5 students addressed while studying the Impressionist movement. They learned that the term Impressionism comes from the work Impression, Rising Sun, which did not seek to represent reality in detail, but to capture the essence or impression of a moment through effects of light and colour. This approach proved to be a revolutionary way of seeing and capturing the world, different from artistic techniques that sought precision and minute detail. 

The pupils discovered that the Impressionists preferred to paint outdoors, en plein air, allowing them to capture scenes with an immediacy not available in the studio. This method allowed them to record not only what they saw, but also the environment and the specific moment, using vivid colours and quick, loose brushstrokes. In their art classes, the students applied these techniques, working exclusively with pastels to imitate the brushstrokes and luminosity characteristic of Impressionism, allowing them to experiment directly with the methods and styles of this artistic movement. 

Ultimately, this week of learning not only enriched the students’ knowledge of Impressionism, but also taught them valuable lessons about how artists interpret and express their reality. The hands-on approach using pastels helped students connect theory and practice, providing a solid foundation for appreciating and understanding how artistic movements can be as innovative and revolutionary as inventions in any other field. This holistic approach is essential to foster a deeper appreciation of art and its impact on our perception of the world.