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I believe that's the "aha" that Betty Edwards talks about in Drawing from
Within. You can't teach the "aha" but you can help students see it for
themselves The teacher is a facilitator of learning rather than storehouse
This past spring I worked with the Math Art Project at ECU where math and
art teachers both teach these neat integrated lessons and then test students
(pre and posts) to see if they increase math and art understanding. Well,
when we taught perspective, there was one 1st grade teacher who had her
students doing 2 pt. perspective drawings of boxes. Everyone was amazed
that these little 6 years old could do perspective much less 2 pt. But the
kids didn't really "get it." sure they could follow the steps to make the
1pt. perspective road or the 2pt. boxes but could they look up to the
ceiling and apply that knowledge to the way the lines appear to vanish? I
don't see how that's any different than just copying all the time rather
than making an original composition.
I teach grades 6-8 and I teach perspective to all of them. Some sixth
graders are even ready for 2 pt. perspective and bird's eye 3 pt.
perspective while many are just "getting" 1 pt. perspective. I think it's
more important that they are able to apply the idea before they learn more
stuff. This also goes back to the "Why Johnny can't draw" thread we just
Are there any other elementary teachers who introduce perspective before 4th
or 5th grade? What do y'all think?
Michelle H. Harrell
North Garner Middle School
Garner, North Carolina
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