Here is a lesson my 5th graders enjoyed. It meant a little outlay of my
own funds at the grocery store. I called it the "Giant Cookie" lesson. I
selected a number of bags of cookies that have a relief sculptural pattern.
They come in vanilla or chocalate and have a thin filling. Each student got
a cookie and was told the time to eat it was AFTER they did the drawing. :-)
I used a 9 or 12 inch square of manila paper. They started out with a
medium range color of chalk and rubbed it smooth into the outline of the
cookie they had drawn on the paper with white/light colored chalk. The
cookie was on a small piece of paper on the table beside the student. I
turned out a row of lights so that the highlights were more obvious. (If you
have some magnefying lenses, and/or spotlights, they can help the students
with their observations.) Then I demonstrated to them how to squint to see
the light edges of the ridges and to do these in the lighter colored chalk.
Then we looked for the shadow patterns and we did these in the darkest
values. The challenge was to make the cookie look almost like a "trompe
l'oeil" (trick/fool the eye, en franšais) painting! We would do the
background in a complementary flat color. If you bring in some samples of
Dutch realist paintings, the students may find a number of insects and other
critters within their very detailed still lifes. It may appeal to a middle
schooler's zany sense of hunor to incorporate some critters in their value
drawings and make the critters bigger than life as well. Maybe some of your
students have an insect collection they can bring in for a resource.
Ann-on-y-mouse in Columbus
Art teacher, K-5, retired
> 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.