I'm trying to figure out the rest of the nine weeks.
My students are finishing up a value project next week. Unfortunately, not
many students really "got it." This nine weeks I've been basing my projects
around the elements of art. For example, they learned about line and made line
studies. Some came out pretty nice. Then they learned about shape and had
fun with Op Art. Then they learned about color and enjoyed the edible color
wheel. A quick lesson on Matisse inspired some really nice collages in which
they used line, shape and color. They had to select a color scheme, use some
collage items and were allowed to use any other materials available to create
their still life collages. So far, this project has been most successful.
My next lesson was on value. I briefly discussed crosshatching and value,
made a pretty good handout and had them practice shading a value strip. From
there, I gave them a choice of project. I did a quick lesson on Surrealism and
Salvador Dali and allowed them to either create a surreal collage from
magazine images and then use a grid to produce a value drawing, or they could select
a nice image from a magazine and cut out only part of it so they could draw
the other half any way they liked. I keep stressing that they need to notice
the lights and darks and values in between. I told them they could use drawing
pencils or colored pencils but should layer their colors and use the
crosshatching technique. I know that ideally, I would have had them work from black
and white photos only, but I really didn't have the resources available to do
Some students seem to get the idea, but many do not. Since I really can't
get the kids to listen for even five minutes, instruction has become very brief.
I try to help those who want the help and kind of let the others just
produce subpar work. I'm wondering if next year I should leave out value? I'd
rather find a much more interesting and easier way to teach it to kids with no
drawing experience. It's so hard to keep their attention, and then they complain
that they don't understand. How do I keep their attention long enough to get
them to understand?
My second question is that I want to move onto texture and perspective next.
Originally I was thinking of having them make textured squares of paper...by
painting and dragging items through the paint, or by adding things to the
squares. Then they would cut up the squares to make cool collages of musical
instruments. I would tie this lesson into a lesson on Romare Bearden. Now I'm
not sure it's a good idea. Any thoughts? For perspective, I love Mike Sacco's
lesson with connectors, but I'm worried that this stuff is going to be too
hard for them?
For form, I'd like to finish off the semester with paper mache masks. I have
a feeling the mask project will go well, so I'm not too worreid about that
I really want to keep the kids interested through these final weeks and would
love for them to feel proud of their work.