Sunday, January 29, 2012

Shapes to Forms - A 3rd Grade project

The Element of Form -

Years ago the art teachers in my school district developed a scope and sequence and curriculum map for our elementary art program. We spent a great deal of time and effort on this task. We review these and make adjustments every few years. They are based on the Elements of Art and Principles of Design, art media and techniques, and introduction to target artists. Getting through the entire scope and sequence in a school year is very difficult with the time constraints we face. I feel it also slightly hinders the time allowed for students to express individual creativity - yet students need the foundation that these concepts provide.  An interesting discussion was started by Theresa McGee on balancing teaching skills while providing open-ended art experiences over on Art Ed 2.0.

This past month I've been working with the Element of Form with my 3rd through 5th graders. Many art teachers incorporate a clay project when teaching form. I do sometimes and certainly review form when I do a clay project with students. But with three schools - 650+ students a week - I have to spread my clay projects out throughout the year to keep my sanity.

So this year I tried something different with the 3rd grade. After discussing shapes and then introducing forms to the students I had them pick a form template (cube, rectangular prism, or pyramid) and color each face of it with different designs and colors. I didn't give them specific directions on what they could or couldn't do on these. I wanted to give them some freedom to express themselves. The only direction I gave was to make sure their name was on one of the faces and make sure all the designs were "school appropriate".  Students used colored pencils and/or crayons for this.

After the form templates were colored and put together, I had students work in their cooperative groups to create a sculpture using everyone's form. They had to work together and discuss what would create the best sculpture. I snapped a photo of each groups work. Then we had everyone put their forms together in one large class sculpture.  Students sometimes had a bit of frustration when the lightweight paper forms would topple over when bumped.

The form templates I used can be found on my Art with Mrs. G! Website.

Here are some of the results!

No comments:

Post a Comment