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perspective for 5th grade and beyond


From: Bunki Kramer (bkramer_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Feb 08 2003 - 08:36:02 PST

from: Bunki Kramer (
Los Cerros Middle School
968 Blemer Road
Danville, CA 94526

>From: "paplinda <>" <>
> I had wondered this same thing about perspective when I began
> teaching elementary art a few years ago. The district's lesson books
> I had (Spectra, a curriculum written by Kaye Alexander and edited by
> Lee Hanson) provided for a one pt. vanishing point perspective for
> 5th grade.
I find this thread about perspective in 5th grade interesting as I remember
being taught 1-pt. in 5th grade in a private school (connected to a college)
in NC in the late 50's. It must have been the "in" thing in the late
50's-60's for 5th grade and STILL seems to be, it seems. I also remember
being one of the few who grasped the concept too so that doesn't seem to
have changed either. I never had art classes in middle or high school so my
next experience with 3-D drawing was in college.

What really stands out in my memory was being in college and being required
to draw our artroom or dorm room in 2-pt. including the furniture and all
the odds and ends. As I love spatial drawing, I was in heaven. No so for
several of my buddies. They struggled with this and got little or no help
from the professor. It seemed to me that she kinda dropped the project when
she saw the problems. Memory is hazy on that account but I do remember
marveling that a college art perspective lesson was so much of a challenge
to several ART students.

Nowadays I still see the struggle with my 7th-8th graders...even something
as simple as names in 1-point. With my personal history and experience,I
feel it's not that kids aren't using their thinking skills to their fullest
as the fact that for some reason the spatial concepts are primarily
difficult for them to comprehend. Smart kids are some of my less
perspective-thinking kids. Some of my less-than-smart kids get it right
away..which blows away the theory that it's a "thinking" skill primarily.
Sure...there are rules to perspective but you have to know when it makes
"sense" to use the rule. I would even go so far in this flappin' of my lips
to suggest that it's a "sensory" skill instead of a "thinking" skill. I
would say it's more of a "feel, sense, know" than a "think".
troubles me (no...irritates me) when someone says that students aren't using
their "thinking skills" if they can't connect to perspective. There's much
more to the reasons behind it.

It's a wonderment each time I teach perspective to see just which students
will master it and who won't. I'm always amazed at the outcome because I can
never picked them out beforehand. Interesting topic. Toodles....Bunki