I was asked for more detail on these -- and the ideas were taken from others
assignments -- I can't remember if I saw it in Act and Activities, SchoolArts
or this list -- but I adapted for my student audience.
We take old matboard or watercolor paper if I can spare it, several different
colors of spray paint, ususally silver, gold, black and red are favorites.
We go outside, lay down newspaper with rocks so they don't blow away and
arrange stencil letters, textures (pebbles, shells, the plastic baskets that fruit
comes in, skateboard wheels, torn paper, etc. etc.) and spray through these.
Some of my students are really into graffiti, so this is a "hook" right away --
other kids have never used spray paint and they are into trying something
new. Everyone loves being outside in September -- so it works for just about
Lots of kids take off their fancy sneakers or Tims or wear plastic bags over
them -- I didn't realize this was an issue until I came to this school when I
warn them that the wind might carry the spray paint a little and to have lots
of room between them (only 5 kids outside at a time -- my room has an outside
Once they have a background, graffiti-type wall, they have to draw a person
(head and shoulders so that there are no floating "balloon" heads) with colored
pencil using shading and lots of practice with skin tone blending. They can
draw from observation of a friend, a photo or a magazine photo. Most kids use
magazines and draw someone they like (sports or music person usually).
These came out great last year, looked really contemporary, and hung up at
the Board of Ed for a month or so.