Sometimes I find the beginning part of a lesson to be the most challenging part of all. To give the students just enough inspiration to begin, but not enough ideas to crowd out all their creative choices and ideas.
This lesson starts that way. Students create a place of their choosing; a land surrounded by water or other land. Their own country with names and areas they create all of their own. Everything imaginary but inspired by maps hanging in the art room.
Once a spark of an idea starts, they run with it like wildfire! It's just the large expanse of choices that tends to kick up some art version of "writers block" with some kids. That blank white piece of paper can be intimidating at times.
A few ideas from the sketchbook, countries were namesd, lands were conquered, cities were built and claimed. Included were discussions on what makes a map "official". Topography, map keys, compass roses, longitude and latitude, etc.
Day 2 sent us to our light boxes to transfer sketches to brown craft paper, plus I put up our examples on the project boards as a hint to what would happen to the maps next.
...and some decorative detailing.
to be continued...