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Lesson Plans

Re: "Take a line for a walk"

Date: Sun Aug 13 2000 - 06:31:28 PDT

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    << One of my fav. quotes is "A line is a dot that went for a walk" by Paul
     Klee. I write this on the board and have the kids illustrate it. I have had
     some great illustrations on this one. My students are 6-8th grade. Easy and
     fun one day 'filler' project.
     jeannie in ga >>

    This reminds me of a 40 min. lesson I often use to begin the year with my
    kindergarten students. Of course, you can use it with other lower grades also:

    We begin with a discussion of "what is a line?" I illustrate a dot on the
    board and the kids take turns taking the "dot for a walk" in different
    directions (zig-zag, straight, curvy, wavy, etc.). We discuss this vocabulary
    to describe the variety (even the word variety) of lines. Next, everyone
    "draws" the different lines in the air with their hands and arms to convey
    the lines through large muscle movement. I demonstrate what happens when a
    line loops or crosses itself to enclose space and makes a "shape". The kids
    come up to the board and draw examples of a variety of shapes one can get
    when a line crosses over itself or meets. Now that the concepts of dot, line
    and shape are clear, (10 min.) the art begins:
    I ask my little ones to begin by putting a dot anywhere on the edge of a
    9"x12" white paper with a thinline Sharpie marker. Next, I ask them to take
    this dot and make it a line. Once they have a line, they "take the line for a
    walk" across their paper, trying to draw the line in a variety of directions.
    As they take their "pet" line for a walk they make one continuous line that
    can even cross over itself to make shapes. (5 min.) I demonstate the "walk"
    on my paper first, distinguishing it from "scribble-scrabble", and stress
    that the line must end up on the opposite side of the paper.
    Next, out come colorful markers. I ask the students to find any shapes their
    line made and color them in. (20 min.)
    As a recap, we have, what I call, a "Museum Moment", when each table comes up
    to the front of the room to hold up their art for all to see! (5 min.)

    The kids love it and everyone is successful. Plus, it is a prelude to the
    concept of "abstract", which, believe it or not, I approach with 1st grade at
    the end of the year. I begin abstract with "remember when we took our lines
    for a walk?"

    Susan on Long Island
    p.s. I got a lot of positive feedback on the "napkin-design" lesson. Glad to
    contribute ideas, as I've gotten many from the list! Thanks, everyone!


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