26 September 2012
Kids love to make projects with their names. So introducing graffiti has them all smiles from the start.
We live in a town with the railroad tracks right through the center. The kids see the train cars covered in graffiti just about everyday. It makes a great attention grabber to start the lesson.
We talk about what it is, where they see it, why it's there. We talk about vandalism and destruction of property.
Then I show all legal examples only. I make it a point to stress this over and over. I have a loop of several really good examples from you tube, graffiti artists working on legal walls in Los Angeles, Germany, and Switzerland. Our Monday Motivation artist, Dare, was from Switzerland. It's hard to find good examples of the techniques without the fancy filming techniques, or inappropriate for elementary school music choices in the background. I run these clips on my projector ( no smart-board in my classroom :( ) with the sound off and we talk about the color choices and styles.
These video clips are from IRONLAK, a spraypaint company, at a festival they set up just for the artists to test out the product. Artists paint on large panels set up in the grass.
Students start with simple line and add bubble letter or block letter shapes around their name.
Once we have the shapes, they enlarge and push them together so the letters are all touching.
Some remove lines between letters. Other start planning their designs across the letters.
I made up some color group signs to demonstrate different effects with the various color choices the students wanted to make.
After the names are colored, I will introduce shadows. Then we'll enlarge the designs one more time with a series of contour lines around the whole shape.
Finally we cut out the names and hang them in the halls of the building at various places to simulate graffiti art that just pops up almost overnight (the kids like that part best)
update on 27 Sept - here's a few more examples....
24 September 2012
19 September 2012
Islamic Name Tiles for 5th grade - A lesson in symmetry
(example and my note card "cheat sheet" to make sure I'm covering all I want to cover in the intro)
When I introduce this lesson, I like to ask the students about their knowledge of current events, if they've ever heard the terms Islam, or Islamic, and what they know about that. It could very easily lead to some touchy conversations so I like to direct them away from the people to the art.
We talk about the region this group comes from, I pull down the map and we locate the Middle East. Ask what they know about that area and the land.
We start with tracing a triangle in their sketchbook. Using bubble letters or block letters from our 4th grade Graffiti lesson the previous year, we fit the name into the triangle taking care to stretch and elongate some letters to use the space of the triangle wisely.
9" square paper is folded three times (in half, then in half, then on point with the open ends up) to form a pinwheel of triangles and the tracing begins. One triangle is drawn free-hand, the remaining are only traced using a light box or the windows.
(they were all over the building :)
A really nice example so far.
Last up is the coloring. Islamic tiles were glazed with blues and greens in opposition to the dry desert colors present in that region. So our tiles will be colored with blues and greens also.