Thursday, March 6, 2014

Farms and Forms

Wow!  First graders continue to amaze me with their skills!  The only tool we used to create these drawings was a parallelogram stencil! I decided I would give each child their own parallelogram to trace since the parallelogram is the hardest part of drawing a cube.  This was a new shape for most students and we certainly discovered how useful it could be!

First we traced the parallelogram in the middle of the paper.  Then we used the side with the green line as a straightedge.  This also gave the children a reference point for line lengths.  We talked a lot about line directions: horizontal, vertical, diagonal.

Here is a video I made.  I'm planing to make more drawing videos so that I can play them for my students as I walk around the room to check on their progress!  I haven't used the videos yet with the kids to know how feasible this strategy will be, so it will be interesting to try it out.  For older kids, I could also give absent students the iPad so they can watch the video as I work with the rest of the class on the next steps.  I'm also thinking these videos could be a great resource for other teachers and families at home!  Here are some of my first "how to" videos:

Part 1: The Barn Drawing: I don't like to use stencils  for entire pictures.  Usually, if I break down and give one to the kids I only use them to help students understand how big to make the first shape.  This was an idea that I came up with that took stencil use to the next level! Enjoy!

Part 2: Adding the Animals: We added the animals on a different day and I told kids to put them wherever they wanted!

On a step by step project like this, we always start with pencil.  We do the toughest part on both sides of the paper (the barn in this example) and the kids decide which of their own drawings is best.  Then they edit the better drawing.  Once the kids learn to use this process (2 drawings) it helps them stay positive and keep moving forward.  Even when the kids make a mistake, they know they will be able to do a second drawing and edit the best one later.  Usually, half the kids pick their first drawing and the other half choose their second drawing... unless I made a big mistake teaching one of the drawings :)

Learning Goals: I can...
- Show line directions and relationships: horizontal, vertical, diagonal and parallel
- Explain which 3D shapes (forms) were used to create this picture (cube and cylinder) 
- Use a parallelogram as a tool for drawing (as a stencil, a straight edge and to estimate distances)
- Paint and color carefully
- Explain what an architect does (art careers)

Inspiration for this project came from here.

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