Thursday, July 14, 2011

1st Grade Mobile Marker Drawings

I used to introduce my first grade students to Alexander Calder's artwork, focusing on his mobiles.  The website is so comprehensive that I just used it instead of making a PowerPoint.  We mainly focused on the shapes he used during our discussion.  I drew examples of different shapes he used on the chalkboard for reference.  For the studio portion, I first asked students to draw 5-7 shapes that look like the kind of shapes Calder would have used.  (I try to teach the students the difference between being inspired by something and copying something.)  We talked aboout negative space and I asked them to put a "hole" in one of their shapes.  After the shapes were drawn, I showed them how to connect the shapes with lines.  *I recommended that they not form a ring by connecting the shapes in a circle.  I checked the drawings at that point to make sure there were no floating shapes and that they had drawn big enough.  When they were ready, I gave each student a sharpie to trace over their pencil lines.

Last year at this point in the project, the students painted with primary colored tempera paint.  This year we still reviewed primary colors but we tried out our brand new Mr.Sketch markers! (One thing I'm glad I ordered.)  I showed the students how the markers have a square tip and you can make wide strokes like you are painting a wall for the big part of the shape and just use the pointy tip for really skinny areas.  I'm thinking this will make the markers last longer since it reminded the students not to layer and layer and layer the ink.  I was very impressed with the quality of the markers.  Anywho...

After the shapes were filled in, I showed the students how to trace around the larger shape created by the smaller shapes.  We compared  it to ripples or concentric circles.  The students kept "echoing"the shape, leaving a small gap, until all the space was filled in.  They worked from the middle > out, then outside > in to fill in for any closed off spaces.  I think the lines made much more interesting visuals this year and the students were so proud when they finished!  This was actually a very calming process so that was a bonus!

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